For me, this time occurred when I left with my 3 kids after he became physically abusive throwing me up against a plaster wall for asking a question. This wasn’t the first time but it was the last. The protection order was granted and support was ordered (though he refused to pay, ended up being arrested for violating the order, and a warrant was then issued with wages garnished). For victims it’s the hardest, the most critical and the dangerous , most vulnerable, and scariest time of their lives when leaving an abusive relationship. It’s also the most empowering, liberating, and the most considerate and thoughtful gift you can give to yourself because you are putting yourself first and your family as was my case.
I spent many sleepless nights and often 2nd guessed , asking why, and doubting my abilities in leaving but the alternative of staying and not seeing tomorrow far outweighed the fear of failure. I had given up my career for my family, and had nothing to fall back upon. So often victims are asked why did you stay? In my case and I’m sure in everyone’s we have similar stories. I was beyond afraid, he threatened me that nobody would believe me or my stories against him especially because he worked a block away from the White House, he had connections in government and local government, and he worked alongside these same people including the local police department and enforcement officers. Fear, retaliation, threats , emotional blackmail, enablers, loyal harem (groupies) and followers all supported him. The brainwashing of how awful I was, how incapable I was of supporting myself, and how I couldn’t amount to anything without him had taken its toll. I was exhausted in every form from 13 yrs of abuse, egg shells, doubts, fears, and living a life like a prisoner with ptsd and Stockholm . I had gained weight, sleep apnea, had eye twitches and stress related issues, had night sweats, was always sick, developed lockjaw, grinding teeth, losing hair, facial breakouts, inability to trust or even look someone in the eye and of course after learning of the multiple affairs and hidden adoptions had to be tested for std’s. My narcissists tried to convince me it was all my fault and that all his problems in life were a direct result of me being present. Every aspect of his life was my fault if it didn’t work out however, he graciously took credit for all my work that was achieved. I was drained of everything in all regard and was so desperate for attention, affection, love, and mutual understanding. I lived like a prisoner in my home and felt stuck in my situation.
To simply have a voice and a voice that could be validated was something I will never forget. To stand up and speak and tell my story and to know that with every breath I spoke those words might help others also relate in knowing they too were not alone, they too could tell their story, and they too are worthy of being validated was the only way I knew to give back . I had held tightly to the belief that someday I would find a way to support others in this same situation and give them an outlet in which they can express themselves freely and openly and no longer live in silence. To be able to give warning signs that even I with a Masters in Criminal Justice missed was a blessing. Victims should never blame themselves but should become knowledgeable about narcissism and the accompanying disorders and treatments that are interconnected. Professional help is available for anyone who needs it.
One of the biggest things that narcissists try to do is in convincing you that you are crazy which is quite laughable. I promise you not only are you not crazy but you are so much better than the narc and it’s because of your unique makeup and your high standards, and unique traits such as the ability to be empathetic, nurturing, and loving that the narc targeted you. For me, my ability to raise a family alone while he resided 5 states away with only weekend visits in which he walked in and out like a revolving door showed how much I was capable of doing. My ability to not only raise our family but acquire a MPA degree with high honors while he did everything in his power to make me barefoot and pregnant in his part to become dependent only added to my strength. My wish to put others needs before my own in volunteering for over 14 yrs made me his perfect target of choice. His wish to degrade , humiliate, chastise, berate from 5 states away with such precision and power showed me that his energy was solely upon bringing others down through negativity, constant criticisms, complaints, and moodiness was not how I was raised to lift others up and give a loving stable home. Keep in mind narcissists can be anyone, anywhere, of any age, race, color, or creed from any demographic and nationality.
You see you hold the power, you have the ability to say this is not how your story is going to be written, you hold the pen to rewrite your story anyway you choose. For me it was finding that strength within to do what was needed to change my situation. I walked away, but not without having to file bankruptcy after living a year off of credit cards to raise a family. I was left homeless, w/o income or employment, w/o assets or savings, w/o credit, with no plan B other than to keep moving forward in small steps with 3 minor kids. We lost everything we accumulated in the marriage, yet I was the happiest I ever have been. I would’ve rather lived in all honesty in a cardboard box, than deal with the abuse and torment any longer and I chose to live!
You see it’s not the material possessions, it’s not the education or the career, or the house. It never was about any material possessions, assets or wealth. For me it was about my living legacy (my kids) for which I stayed and for which I left and began to rebuild from nothing. I was angry yes, but I was also blessed to be given a 2nd chance to life. So many victims aren’t given that chance and their voices are now permanently silenced by their abuser. While leaving is a very hard time and the most dangerous time ( so please proceed with caution and have a safety plan in place by alerting the proper authorities), you need to know it’s the most important thing you can do for yourself and your inner health and well-being. You matter, your life matters, and you are important. You can overcome narcissism. You can uncover your true authentic self in life after narcissism. You can live a happy, healthy, more fulfilling life, by focusing on yourself and your needs. Make yourself a priority, stay safe, have a great support system, tell someone you trust, make your voice heard. Never give up, never stay silent, never allow someone else to take away your power. #innerhealing #health #happiness