The Narcissist’s abusive control can cause physical illness in the victim
The control they exert over you is so smothering. To me it felt like he had both hands cupping my heart and would squeeze it when he was asserting his will. I could not catch a deep, fulfilling breath in his presence. I felt like I was drowning on a daily basis.
The constant pressure of perfect performance gets to you after a while. The stress is ever present. I have always prided myself on being a “type A” personality, I get things done. I am a perfectionist, I am a neat freak, I cook and clean and do what is asked of me, and have not had a babysitter in over 3 years! I am a non-practicing attorney because I much prefer to stay at home with my children and watch them grow into amazing individuals. So I have been a full time homeschool mom these past 7 years. That can be a strain at times as any woman knows, but it is worth every minute!
However, if I ever voiced any of my tensions from that day, my narcissist would say “What’s wrong with you Mommy? Can’t you handle the house and the kids, or is that just too much for you?” Then he would go on about how stressful his job was and that my job at home was not stressful and that he would gladly trade his job for staying at home with the kids and putting me to work anytime. He belittled me so often like this that I could never have a qualm or complaint without him accusing me of being “ungrateful” that I got to stay at home.
All I wanted was to vent and to be able to talk to him about how draining it can be when you have a toddler throwing massive tantrums and a 5 year old fighting for attention all day long without even a second for me to decompress. He never wanted to hear about my day, even though he would ask sometimes. His eyes would glaze over and he would not pay attention to one word I said. Then he would ask me questions that I had already answered earlier in the conversation. I became furious with him at the drop of a hat because I was so horribly frustrated at not being heard by him. I felt like I was talking to a hole in the wall. It is a sad truth that narcissists don’t listen or pay attention to anything that is not related to them directly.
Believe me, I know pressure, I know stress! I went to law school and even passed the bar the first time. However, the pressure and stress that the narcissist applies was a dose that I could not withstand any longer.
My health was suffering and I started getting tingles in my legs and arms. I thought I had Multiple Sclerosis. I had five MRI’s that said nothing was wrong, thankfully! The neurologist asked me if I was an “anxious person” because he could only deduce that my body was responding to extreme pressure and stress with physical symptoms. Knowing what I know now, I believe that I had a nervous breakdown from all of the worry and upheaval that we have had the past 7 years of marriage. I noticed that the tingling got worse when my narcissist was around me, especially if he had “an issue he wanted to discuss with me.” That was one of the ways he framed his abusive diatribes.
During those times, I didn’t know what Narcissistic Personality Disorder was, but now I wish I had. It would have saved me so much pain and worry and youth. Time is something that you cannot buy and if you choose to waste it, you can never get it back.