The same thing happened to me in work situations, my last one being the worst. Lots of hoping for merit-based promotions in a 'helper' position with a large corporation which I never got (promoted everyone up over me who I trained in), with a narc boss who was looking for brown-nosing. I spent 7 years at that job until I got a heart flutter from the stress and decided to give my notice. I have taken some MS Office courses since then and will be getting my Accounting degree finally. Right now I'm going to think about me - take care of me. And an Accounting degree is not what I want to do especially, it's the experience I have with it in my background. If I could be doing something else, I would, but need the paycheck as a single mom with a daughter in college. Empaths don't really fit well with narc bosses. I found this out the hard way, although they go to great lengths to hide it before you start working with them. They generally use you as the office verbal punching bag and the person at the 'dumping desk' where they assure everyone else you can do the work they say they can't do. I'm hoping for a more easy-going, less ego-driven, merit-based boss this next time. It was a lesson for me. I can't really change myself. To be a brown-noser instead of doing merit-based work, as an empathic, doesn't really work for me. It's like lying. When the pain of staying becomes greater than the pain of leaving, as they say, I left.