Erin Riley - Narcissistic Abuse Survivor and Author of “A Dark Force - 20 Years With a Covert Narcissist”

In this week's episode of Next Page, Laura and Todd sit down with Erin Riley, survivor of narcissistic abuse and author of "A Dark Force: 20 Years with a Covert Narcissist." Through her gripping and candid narrative, Erin unveils her two-decade journey trapped in a destructive relationship with a covert narcissist. Erin illuminates us about the concealed nature of narcissistic abuse and the profound toll it took on her mental and physical wellbeing. Riley dives deep into the character of a covert narcissist, a deceptively kind and agreeable individual who hides a lack of empathy and manipulative behavior behind a well-crafted facade. She speaks on her childhood and how a pattern of generational trauma and emotional neglect led her to develop a hyper-vigilant personality, a trait that unknowingly set her up for manipulative abuse.

Erin's courageous story continues with her rocky marriage to Fabio, the covert narcissist whose quiet and helpful demeanor initially drew her in. As she navigates through the red flags of Fabio's passive-aggressive behavior, blame-shifting, and avoidance, Erin slowly starts to uncover the distressing truth. When the abuse reaches a breaking point, Erin's desperate attempt to save her relationship ends in betrayal when Fabio brings another woman to Panama. This heart-wrenching experience, along with years of physical and mental strain, initiates her journey to recovery. Erin’s resilience shines through her process of self-reflection, therapy, and acceptance of her codependent tendencies, which eventually leads her to break free from the cycle of abuse. Her invaluable insights serve as a stark warning and beacon of hope for others entangled in narcissistic abuse, emphasizing that recovery, though challenging, is possible with self-compassion, boundary setting, and supportive resources like Erin’s memoir and advocacy work. Episode 42 with Erin Riley is NOT one to miss!

Key Takeaways:

  • Growing up in a dysfunctional family can set you up to be vulnerable to toxic relationships.
  • Covert narcissists are sneaky and manipulative, often projecting their own self-loathing onto others.
  • Trust your gut and recognize red flags in a relationship, such as passive-aggressive behavior and blame-shifting.
  • Codependency can make it difficult to leave a toxic relationship, but it's important to prioritize your own well-being.
  • Healing from narcissistic abuse involves recognizing your own worth, setting boundaries, and seeking support from others.


Erin Riley's Book - "A Dark Force - 20 Years With a Covert Narcissist

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