Types of Empaths

What Are The Two Types of Empaths? (One is immune to narcissists)

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Do you find yourself experiencing deep attunement to the people in your life? Have you been labeled as too sensitive? Do you take on overwhelming emotions and feel like you care too much about how others feel? 

Empathy allows us to interpret the emotions that other people experience. But empaths actually sense and feel the emotions themselves. In other words, someone else’s pain becomes your pain. Similarly, someone else’s joy, fear, or sadness becomes your joy, fear, or sadness.

There are pros and cons to the empath personality. That said, these two types of empaths are not necessarily fixed states. You can change how you relate to and understand other people. Let’s get into what you need to know.

How Do You Know If You’re An Empath?

All empaths tend to feel emotions very deeply and profoundly. Others may describe them as “extra sensitive” or even “needy.” That’s because empaths feel both their feelings and the feelings of others. 

Many empaths struggle with intimate relationships. They want to feel connected and supported by their partners. However, they often read into every little emotional cue. They doubt themselves and their partner. They constantly second-guess the security of the relationship. Similarly, they often experience sensory overload from all the thinking, talking, and interpreting the other person’s emotions.

Empaths also tend to have strong intuitions for people. They can sense if others are having a bad day before they say a word. They get gut feelings about someone’s personality based on a single interaction. 

Finally, empaths tend to be extremely patient and good at listening. Others often come to them to confide in their secrets. Empaths are usually compassionate and generous with their time and resources. While many people appreciate this kindness, some choose to take advantage of it. 

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What Causes Someone To Be An Empath?

There isn’t a single factor contributing to the empath personality. Instead, it appears that a combination of different variables contributes to this phenomenon.

Like with all personalities, individual temperament seems to play a role. We’re all born with different levels of sensitivities. You can observe these basic differences just by watching how babies interact with the world. While some babies are fairly mellow and calm, others are far more reactive to different lights or sounds. 

Genetics can also be a determining factor. Highly sensitive people often have mothers or fathers with the same traits. The modeling of this sensitivity may pass down from generation to generation.

Finally, trauma also plays a significant factor in one’s sensitivity. Almost all empaths have a history of emotional or physical abuse. Trauma impacts how safe people feel in their relationships. It also affects one’s self-esteem and mental well-being. 

Why Is The Empath-Narcissist Relationship So Common?

On the one hand, empaths are often loving, patient, and kind. On the other hand, they can have a seemingly insatiable need to rescue and love. That’s because empaths tend to feel validated when they connect with others.

Narcissists often seek out empaths because the empath tends to be cooperative, compassionate, and low-key. The level of cooperativeness is critical. Narcissists seek out this trait in their partners because they recognize they don’t possess it themselves. They know that overly cooperative partners will sacrifice their happiness and needs to maintain the relationship’s homeostasis.

Empaths find themselves pulled towards narcissists because they initially present as strong, confident, and charming. They may shower you with compliments and affection. Moreover, they may be quick to profess their love and happiness in being with you. All of these actions are carefully crafted to lure you in. 

The narcissist may paint stories of trauma or low self-esteem. They often complain of feeling misunderstood. Empaths can usually empathize with the narcissist in ways nobody else can. They often play into the victim stories their narcissistic partners tell them. 

Similarly, empaths also tend to believe they can change the narcissist. They assume their love and kindness can negate the narcissist’s need for power and control. They also assume that the narcissist doesn’t mean to hurt them. 

Unfortunately, this line of thinking is incorrect. Narcissists value power and control above anything else in a relationship. They lack empathy and regard for others. As a result, they will continue testing their empathic partners to ensure their utmost compliance.

What Are Exhausted Empaths? 

At its core, exhausted empaths are tired of their own empathy! They give and they give, but they receive so little in return. They don’t set boundaries with others. If they do, they fail to implement them. 

Exhausted empaths often try to please everyone. These pleasing tendencies extend beyond the relationship with the narcissist. They often act submissively in all relationships, including ones with family members and coworkers.

The exhausted empath’s motives can feel both desperate and erratic. They’re good listeners, but it seems like nobody listens to them. They may want to fix other people, but they don’t recognize that some people can’t or don’t want to be fixed. 

It’s no surprise that exhausted empaths tend to have low self-esteem. As a result, they tend to stay in toxic relationships.  They might subscribe to the false belief that love conquers all. They might also hold onto the magical thinking that their partner will change if only they do X, Y, or Z. 

Exhausted empaths aren’t just exhausted. They’re often resentful, bored, or completely apathetic about their lives. They may struggle with profound depression or anxiety. 

What Are Empowered Empaths?

Empowered empaths recognize their people-pleasing tendencies, and they aim to do something about it. They aren’t victims of their circumstances. They choose to rise above their discouraged empath status.

Empowered empaths understand the need for setting and identifying healthy boundaries. They recognize their feelings matter. They don’t tolerate people who can’t respect their basic needs.

Empowered empaths protect their hearts and minds. They value their integrity, and they have learned to harness their sensitivity only for people who deserve it. They still listen and give love, but they don’t give it endlessly. They also make sure to practice self-care and self-love. 

For these reasons, empowered empaths tend to live serene, fulfilling lives. They recognize they can control their actions. They also identify the importance of surrounding themselves with healthy and positive people.

Finally, empowered empaths learn from their mistakes. They recognize that slip-ups can and do occur. Rather than backslide into old ways of thinking, they know how to move themselves back on track. 

How Do You Move From Exhaustion To Empowerment?  

It is possible to transform from an exhausted empath to an empowered empath. This transformation requires both time and effort, and it may feel uncomfortable. 

First, it’s essential to recognize where you lie on the continuum. If you’re still in a narcissistic relationship, there’s a good chance you’re an exhausted empath. Chances are, you’ve sacrificed your needs, desires, and even your identity for the other person. 

Do you identify with feeling exhausted by yourself and others? Do you feel a sense of emptiness or numbness in your relationships? Do you experience tremendous regret over your past choices?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re probably an exhausted empath! At first, this self-awareness is painful. After all, you want to be a kind and loving person. It’s challenging to know that people may be taking advantage of your personality.  It’s even harder to realize that you are responsible for your healing and recovery.

Of course, detecting narcissism isn’t always straightforward. Many empaths believe they have found their twin flame in the narcissist. You thought they were your soulmate, but you quickly discover they’re just extremely manipulative and toxic. Unfortunately, they know how to also trick you back into believing you really are soulmates! 

Empowerment comes from a place of acceptance and self-love. Eventually, you must accept the narcissist for who they are. Most likely, they’re not going to change. Likewise, they definitely won’t change just because that’s what you want.

Self-love means respecting yourself. It means knowing your worth and not settling for anything less. Self-love can take time to cultivate, but it’s worth dedicating as much time and energy as it takes. The more self-love you have, the fuller your life will feel.

Final Thoughts On Types of Empaths

While you can’t help your core personality, you can change your actions. You do have control over your happiness.

To truly break free from the narcissistic spell, a total no contact approach is necessary (or extreme modified contact if you share children with the narcissist). No-contact is the most effective way to ensure your recovery. It’s guaranteed to help you move forward in healing. 

Keep in mind that both types of empaths often feel tempted by other “less-intense” methods. You will want to give the narcissist a second chance. You will feel guilty and cruel for pulling away. To compound the stress, the narcissist will try to convince you to come back.

Whereas the exhausted empath often gives in to the narcissist’s hoovering, the empowered empath knows how to keep their healing information to themselves, and not heal everyone around them in a completely out-of-control fashion.  They’ve come to accept that they cannot heal or transform the narcissist and have chosen to preserve their gifts and energies for people who can benefit.

Freedom requires eliminating that toxicity from your life. You are compassionate, generous, and loving. You deserve to share these gifts with people who actually deserve them! 

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28 comments
Monica says June 7, 2021

Thanks for all the useful information. It is through this that I have been able to pull out from being an exhausted empathy and start on the road towards an empowered empath.
My only constraint is that I have to continue in my marriage. Do give some practical guidance for my situation. Thanks,
Monica

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Riley says May 29, 2021

Excellent article. I was acting out of alignment with my integrity. The narc broke our plans with betrayal style and no apology. Now I’m trying to go no contact again. Narcs do not deserve an explanation for going no contact. They don’t reason and cannot see the truth of matters. They never accept responsibility and blame/ deflect onto the Empath. Thanks, Kim for your clarity of thought. We do betray ourselves! Getting to the core of that is next.

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Anonymous says April 19, 2021

Thank you Kim this was a wonderful article I’m definitely working on not over extending myself. I have realised that the same energy I put out is the same energy I want one sided relationships are no longer a thing for me.

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    Kim Saeed says April 19, 2021

    I can totally relate 🙂

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Magdalene says December 14, 2020

Thank you so Kim Saeed and your team for wise advice and instructions for me as an empath. May your Ministry continue to grow strong and blessed.
You have helped many people including myself.
Now l am healing but I have a place in my life l want to revenge because l spent most of my resources and time on the narcissist husband for 35 years only to realize it was a lie. Even though l am better off alone financially.
How do l heal the pain of losing my finances and time l am 60 years now and he is 70 years. I feel l am at a loss.
Please help me. Thank you.
Be blessed always.
Best regards
Magdalene

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Michael Artman says December 9, 2020

Kim – you have been SO helpful. No Contact. One day at a time. No Contact. She haunts my thoughts every day. No Contact. It’s getting better every day. No Contact. Period. Thank God for you, Kim 🌷

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    Kim Saeed says December 10, 2020

    Thank you for your kind words, Michael. I am so glad to know you are on the path to healing and a better life. Wishing you all the best.

    Kim

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Vicki Trusselli says December 7, 2020

I’m the exhausted empath in 2020

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Vicki Trusselli says December 7, 2020

Thanks. I was with a covert Narcissist for 11 years. The end was horrifying. He threw me out moved his girlfriend in after I had furnished the beach bungalow. I have discovered in four years of recovery that my own younger brother stabbed me with a lead pencil when he was like 4. He also stabbed me with a fork at the dinner table when he was round 10. He had later in life studied evangelicalism and became the family go to. If he said it was so they believed it. However if I said it it wasn’t true. I saved his life when he was 17. He never thanked me until I asked him 40 years later. He wrote about it to me but never got the episode correct as to mention everything. I told him he left out some things. Oh well now he’s a Trump supporter and I went to the wrong schools and worked at the fake journalism. He’s so asshole. My kids father and hisvfa

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Christine says December 7, 2020

It’s not the leaving that’s hard anymore. I despise him. There are just no resources for women who can’t afford rent on their own. Aside from shelter’s and they are cherry picking only homeless people from the street. I literally can’t leave yet. It’s killing me.

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    Kelli says December 7, 2020

    I can relate… and have some additional issues that basically render me truly helpless and hopeless, unless some magical stranger should happen to come to my rescue. I cannot believe my life has become what it has, how it has…

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    Vicki Trusselli says December 7, 2020

    Rent is so high. It’s hard. I’m struggling with roommates because I can’t pay $1900 a month rent on my social security. I stayed with the covert Narcissist 11 years. I was 66 when he discarded me. I’m 71 now

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    Paula says December 8, 2020

    I believe in you . It’s turn around time. Follow your purpose. God will make a way!! Faith over Fear!! I did it. It took me 7 yrs. I’m Free now. I live in California it’s expensive. God made a way. I will pray for freedom and restoration mind body and spirit .please know you are not alone. You are stronger than you think ❤️

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    Chris says December 8, 2020

    There is a way, Christine, and you may not need a shelter. It sounds like you are still looking at ‘obvious’ solutions. That is perfectly normal right now. Take this waiting time to start healing and practicing self-care. Then, start thinking outside of the box. For me, I had to stay another 5yrs before a plan worked out for me. The only way I found to get out was to GO BACK TO SCHOOL and LIVE ON CAMPUS when my eldest child went to college. I got away with it from his point of view because you get more financial aid if you have two in college at the same time. The cheapskate didn’t want her to go to school if he had to pay for it. So, when he found out she qualified for Pell grant if I went back for some classes, he agreed. I took a few non-threatening classes at the community college, and patiently planned, improved my gpa. Then, I made my move.

    I realize this is not the best option for most, but it is AN option that many do not think about. Choose 4yr university with residential housing, go full-time to get maximum financial aid allotment. Fill out FAFSA form. Everyone qualifies for fed student loans or PLUS loans. I know going into debt sounds scary and it is a responsibility. But, sometimes, you have to take a step back to move forward. These loans have the lowest interest rates of any loan out there and the repayment is deferred as long as you are in school. Choose a program and a school with tuition and expenses low enough that the full fed loans and Pell grant (if you qualify) will cover. Get the meal plan. Get a job on campus to build up your work experience if you don’t have any. Once there, find a roommate(s) to share off-campus expenses with and get an off campus apartment. Even at 50 yrs of age, this can be done. I did it. This will build up your renter’s history if you don’t have mortgage history and build your credit for when you get your own place (to have your kids and pets.)

    STAY IN SCHOOL! Campus police will keep you safe if their is a domestic issue, plus it will be a state/federal crime if he starts something there, not a mere domestic. So built in security. You don’t have to make straight As, just pass the damn classes and network. C’s get degrees! The more well-known you are on campus, (professors, faculty, employees, custodial, other students, etc.) the less he can do to you. You will be missed and since you will have already given all of his info to campus police, they will be watching for him.

    Get the degree or stay until you have secured your way off campus and can make it on your own with a decent job that can pay off the loans without him. ( just get the degree.)

    Your heart got you in this situation, but your head can get you (and your heart) out! Be patient, you are much smarter than he has made you think you are. You are NOT trapped, just in a holding pattern for a little while longer. Dream a new dream because this nightmare is about over. Good luck.

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Leslie says December 7, 2020

Kim, this was spot on and extremely enlightening. Thank you for all you do. Your wisdom and teaching has saved my life. Literally.

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Hauwa says August 20, 2020

Thank you Kim

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    Kim Saeed says September 28, 2020

    You’re welcome 🙂

    Reply
Empathetic says August 2, 2020

Two things very recently occurred to me:

One came to me as I was listening to an audiobook that was a fairytale of sorts. One of the characters is a witch known as “The Sorrow Eater”. She is very old but stays young and strong by consuming the sorrow of others. She has imprisoned an entire village (a sorrow farm) and creates the most wretched kind of misery in order to maintain a supply. The citizens don’t know she is the one who creates their sadness. She lies and tells them stories about how they got to be where they are. They believe she is a wonderful, kind teacher. Her character perfectly describes a narcissist. They say narcissists feed off the energy of others. Why not positive energy? Why does it always devolve into the the most negative, miserable experience for their victims? They stay young and strong while their victims drain and wither. I’ve never heard a better way to label them. SORROW EATERS!

The other thing I realized happened because of autocorrect. Empathetic. Em-pathetic. I’M PATHETIC! I’d say an empowered empath might think so.

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Anonymous says July 19, 2020

Hi kim,
The narcissist for me is my own mother. Of all people! In my opinion this is the worst scenario. Im the type that likes to be in a sincere & committed relationships that works both ways and am not used to this one sided selfish behavior that more or less feels like i dont even exist anymore. She has stolen my identity by blaming me for the things that result from her actions. she manipulated my kids and they no longer will talk to me. she has her brothers believing im crazy and not to listen to me. everyone i counted on being on my side is now against me cuz she got them involved. now she has been diagnosed with cancer and there is no way im gonna get anyone to listen to my story now, there all too busy feeling sorry for her. im still getting wronged when she lies about how the facts and to watch her act so innocent now that shes gottem my kids to hate me and treat her like shes their mother giving happy mothers day cards paying her a visit not me. fighting her battles she starts with me. she is loving every minute of it then says she loves me and wont stop and tell my kids the truth so i can have them back in my life after shes gone (stage 4 lung cancer) shes just gonna leave my kids thinking ive been the bully. Im clinically depressed have high blood pressure, anxiety, neck and shoulder problems and havent been worry free or loved in years. I am affraid becuz she wormed her way right in my shoes and nobody tells her shes wrong in making them do this. they came back from their dads when each of them turned 21 only to be used to hurt me and get my kids against me bcuz i had started standing up for myself and telling her she was wrong about things and things werent always my fault like she had the habbit of saying all the time. i went through so many emotional stages and finally researched my unique situation and discovered i was not alone. It helps knowing im not alone and that there are others witnessing this behavior from the very people you have chosen to love or in my case who chose to love me but cant. For some biological reason or a specific even in their life they are much like robots as they have no feelings to express humanity and have to fake it. never have i seen a tear roll down my moms face. and there have been many hardships in my life to cry about. Ive cried them all without her shedding one tear for me. Ive never been in a relationship since my divorce and move here where my mother is. My career as a mother is only my memory without no one to share it with bcuz she has convinced my kids and they have convinced their dad that its best just not to talk to me at all. So i cant even get his help to pull me out of this strange unfair identity that shes tagged on me to my own family as well as hers. My dad has never been in my life and i havent any siblings so im litterally now without anybody to make me feel like i belong in this world. To all the people that exchanged love with me, it was a wonderful thing……..the expression of love. I will be longing for my children forever and cry when i think of what she made of me to the people i brought into this world for my life. My children too, were expected to be permanent and forever relationships just like my mother and i have been forced to accept, adjust and adapt to N.P.D. because there is nothing we can do about it. because they dont want to admit they have it. they dont want to seek diagnosis, they dont think anything is wrong with them. but like everybody else in the world when actions cause damage we make the person take responsibility for it and the way we do that is force treatment on them by proving their actions cause serious damage on their victim to an authoritive figure like a judge and let the courts order them to get screened for NPD and make them admit who they are and what they do to people. not doing that allows their actions to continue and why are they so special that they dont have to account for anything they are responsible for. wrong is wrong damage is damage loss is loss and loosing you mind, identity & what you spend your life working on matters more than them getting to get their way to not admit it and get treatment. My mother never complained to a doctor about being bothered serious enough to cause any damages yet thats all she did was tell everyone i bothered her as they helped her push me away. they take away your joy, self esteem, the people you adore and long for forever, make you cry more tears than anyone ever was meant to and dont have to be held accountable???whats wrong with this picture. i dont want to run away from them i want them to be forced to say sorry and then spend their time cleaning up their mess they made of your life. if they wont volunteerily then make them. dont make the victim have be responsible for their own recovery. because they may not feel they have enough strength to get up each day let alone play keep away from their assaultant. should just have get diagnosed with NAS then let someone know who was your abuser and order them to get an tested for NPD. their more dangerous than a psychopath because they are ashamed of their action and try not to get caught and will do anything not to. whereas the other finds fame and thrill when people find out about them.

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    SUE FINNERTY says December 6, 2020

    “i dont want to run away from them i want them to be forced to say sorry and then spend their time cleaning up their mess they made of your life.” You will be waiting forever for an apology from these people. Also you are not running away. You are going no contact and don’t have to engage with them anymore. You cannot win with a narcissist. It’s about power over somebody else. They are never accountable for their actions and they delight in seeing you upset. On the other side of this is peace and freedom. It might take you a few years but it’s better than staying in the toxic dysfunctional drama.

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Monica says July 19, 2020

Thanks. Very encouraging and informative

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Elisa says July 18, 2020

Thank you, Ms Saeed! Just what I needed to read!

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    Kim Saeed says September 28, 2020

    You’re welcome, Elisa 🙂

    Reply
Bob says July 18, 2020

This article really resonates with me .. even after a few years of thinking I was healed or healing.. I seem to alternate between the two types of empath.s I’m trying to stay more in the empowered empath these days .. but do slip back .. thank you Kim this has helped me to be more aware of what I’m doing an need to practice at.. It a long journey.. beware of quantum leap’s they can fool you into thinking your all empowered .. then I get sucked back to my old exhausted empath .. Thanks to Kim I can recognize what’s happening a lot sooner..

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Rugia says July 17, 2020

I still feel that I haven’t thanked you enough Kim.
Your articles are always amazing.

I believe am still developing myself to be a fully empowered empath. I was able to let go of my narcissist out of self love and awareness and with your help still maintaining a no contact.
I now always let go of anything toxic. You are right, letting go is freedom.
THANK YOU Kim❤️

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Lauren says July 17, 2020

I used to be to be the first and eventually evolved into the second. I think all empaths has to go through this life lesson. It’s only after 2 relationships with narcissists that I drew the final straw with the second. I gained experience with the first(also my first relationship which lasted 6 years) and said enough is enough. Second one came and finally made me feel understood and loved. Love bombing galore and also giving me what I never experienced before – a proper relationship. All in all we all know that doesn’t last long, but it was actually through him that the second stage in my empathic transformation occurred. It’s not easy. It’s going to hurt. You’re going to cry and experience the pain of “losing” the partner you thought they were, but as you educate yourself on narcissism you are able to be your own therapist, talk yourself out of giving them second chances, you’re able to identify everything they do and not take their crap if your in some way not able to leave yet due to living circumstances, etc, you’re able to respond tactfully and gain empowerment in order to not be a complete walkover. They will become soppy and show you glimpses of the partner you met and thought they were when they realise you’ve had enough. Suddenly you will receive flowers again at random, coffee in bed, whatever little “loving” trick they used in the first part of your relationship. But…. then something as small as a cup left in the sink turns a miniscule thing into a full blown argument and you’re yet again demanded, disrespected and utterly shamed and degraded because you left your cup in the sink. This relates to many other things in your life. Like Kim said, get out. Any opportunity you get, get away from this person. I know you love them, I know you saw a future with them and you thought that they were your happy ending, the one you’ve always dreamt of, but it’s a facade. They have tricked you and that’s why they can’t stick to the countless promises of change, because they can’t change. They’re unwilling to and most of the time don’t ever see the error of their ways. You deserve better and as soon as you start taking these steps you’ll move closer and closer to becoming an empowered empath. You’ll recognise their traits, you’ll remove them from your life and create peace and harmony in the rest of the years you have left on this earth. We grow, but growth often has a precursor of turbulent events. Your sensitivity and love is beautiful and the world needs more people like you. So don’t give up, push through. It gets better.

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INGEBURG MACAULAY says July 16, 2020

A former casual friend has tried to interfere in my longtime marriage . She is making my life hell . She is a classic narcissist .there is more to the story –not enough space . I need help .

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Anonymous says July 16, 2020

a former friend (Narcissist } has tried to interfere in our marriage . My husband now has vascular dementia and she still tries to interfere . She makes my life hell . what do I do ?

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