Do I Stay or Do I Go?

This was a difficult decision to be made. Not as easy as it may seem to most. After years of emotional cruelty, you may feel depleted of confidence in yourself, and you may be afraid of the unknown. I was.  At least there is some familiarity with this devil you know, verses the devil you do not. However, if you stay, you are doomed to more inevitable abuse. If you leave, you will have challenges to face, but you will be free to breathe again, to just be…again.

It all changed for me when I discovered what Narcissistic Personality Disorder was and learned that it was incurable.  I had no choice but to leave.  I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I had faith that it would be worth it. It has been four months since I left my narcissist, and I am so glad that I did. I still am waiting for my divorce to be final. In the meantime, I am living at my parents house with my two children trying to save up enough money to build a house of my own. I am struggling to both homeschool my little ones while making money to help sustain us.

When I was with him, I felt like I was drowning, I could never catch my breath when he was around. Thinking back to how I felt when we were together, it was as if he and I were stuck in a boat out in the ocean, all alone. Then he would push me off the boat into the shark infested water and I would struggle to keep afloat, and plead with him to throw me a life preserver. When he had enough listening to me beg for help, he would rescue me begrudgingly and then tell me how lucky I was that he was around to come to my aid. That is what narcissists do. They drive you to the point of desperation and then when you crack, they use it against you later. It is mind boggling really. If I had never gone through this daily misery myself, I could not really understand it if someone would have tried to explain it to me.

When you are in the thick of it, it is difficult to see through it. Looking back, it is crystal clear what he did to me. But at time, I was so immersed in the emotional torment that I began to think that everything must be my fault. That was before I knew about the narcissist’s weapon of projection. That is when the narcissist accuses you of doing what, in fact, THEY are doing.  The narcissist will control every decision and every action in the relationship. They may make you feel like you have a say, but in reality, you have been conditioned by them to know what to do or say as to not provoke a negative response.  So, really you have no actual say in anything.

He also enjoyed making me feel like I was ungrateful if I ever suggested doing anything by myself. I could not visit my family by myself, but then he did not want to go with me. So, he cut my family and old friends out of my life. Then he accused me of not being a good wife if I ever suggested getting together with a mommy friend without the children. He would say that we are married and why be married if we wanted to do things without each other? He would also famously claim that “he was not a babysitter” and that if I wanted to do things with my mommy friends, it can be when he is at work and I can take the kids too. Because when he was home, it was “family time” despite the fact that it meant we do whatever HE wanted to do. Or if he was around me and the children, he was tuned out sitting in the corner on his IPAD instead of doing one on one things with our children. Ugg!

I must say that I am doing better every day and I am so thankful for my parents and friends that have taken me back into their world with open arms. I feel so embarrassed that I let that monster take me away from them in the first place, but the sheer fact that they see past it and are glad to be here for me and my children makes my heart explode with gratitude. To think that if I would have stayed with my narcissist, my children would have grown up not ever experiencing the nourishing, loving grandparent relationship that they get every day now.  Also, my brother is an awesome influence on my children too.  They adore him because he actually takes time to do things with them.  Something that their own father rarely did.  My children are able to be themselves, to be silly without being micromanaged, to be able to pursue what they want without judgement.  They are free to be children now.

So, the moment that I voluntarily jumped off that boat, which held me and my narcissist, was a pivotal point that has moved my life in a positive direction. I had faith that I could swim to safety on my own, never again looking to my captor to appear the savior. Now, instead of fear of the future, I am excited to see what it feels like to find myself again.

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