Learning About Who I am and What I Want Now…

One lesson that I am learning after leaving my narcissist, is of the importance to understand who I am and what I want out of life. It is so liberating to remove the dead weight he placed upon my shoulders of his wants and needs. I am now free to focus on me for the first time in a long time. I still put my children first in most instances, but I also realize how important it is to “put my oxygen mask on first” or else I wont be any good to my children.

I am discovering how much stronger I am now that I am away from that unhealthy relationship. I have learned the hard way, that I would much rather be on my own than suffer in a narcissistic relationship, where I was very much alone anyways. Because narcissists lack the ability empathize, he had no capacity to emotionally support me, he just latched onto me and sucked out my energy much like a leech or a Dementor in Harry Potter.

Another lesson I have learned is that I do not need a man in my life to be happy. First, I need to be happy with myself and happy on my own. Which I joyfully feel that I am finally at that point. I am really enjoying this time for me and for the chance to discover who I really am. I have been given an amazing opportunity for a job that I never imagined I would get. I am delighted to find that I have an aptitude for it. It is a challenge that I am now up for and it is great to be able to get out of the house and be around other professionals and utilize my schooling to help contribute to society. It gives me more purpose when I get up every morning. I feel as though I am part of something bigger now. I also put my children into a small private school and they are really enjoying it, which is a huge step for me because I had dreams of continuing to homeschool them through their young years. However, I had to adapt to the life of a single mother and those who fail to adapt will eventually succumb.

There have been so many changes in the past year that I can barely wrap my head around it, but these changes have been welcomed blessings. Everything has been falling into place since I took back my life and left my narcissist, much better than I could have ever dared to dream. I am even on track to build my house, which is something I have always dreamed of doing someday. It is funny that in order to achieve that dream, I have to do it on my own, not when I was married. Better now than never, and it will be all mine without the narcissist’s approval.

It is an amazing feeling to know that having a man in my life wont define me anymore. Now don’t misunderstand me, I do not fantasize about becoming some crazy cat lady and dying all alone, however, the thought doesn’t scare me so much anymore either. If there is to be anyone that I chose to share my life with, he will have to be amazing and be a compliment to who I am now. I strongly feel that I will not settle for anything less. I am not desperate to find someone, because I am content with my life and who I am becoming.

Sure it would be wonderful to find someone someday who honestly loved me for me, everyone yearns for that, someone who truly has your best interests at heart. But I don’t really know if that is possible this day and age. My past relationships have not proven to illustrate that as a feasible outcome. Maybe I am jaded after coming out of a train wreck of a marriage, however I feel that many people are just out to use you for their own selfish needs. After emerging from a smothering narcissistic relationship, I realize just how important it is for each party in a relationship to have their own hobbies and life, which ultimately makes each more interesting and gives you more to talk about. Then you have the things you do and share as a couple. It is not healthy for a couple to “do everything together.” Whoever wants to be a part of my life will have his work cut out for him. I once read that you should make a list of what you want to find in your future partner because it increases your chances of success the next time around.

So, here it goes… if I could place an order for a perfect partner, he would have to be someone who has much in common with me, I will no longer shift who I am to make a man happy. He will have to like to travel, but also enjoy relaxing at home. A man in every sense of the word, strong and solid, who makes me feel safe and appreciated. Someone who is capable, kind, and honest. Someone who appreciates nature and being outdoors. Someone who can teach me new things, and brings out the best in me. Someone who likes to cook nice dinners, but also enjoys dressing up once in a while to go for a fun night out. He will have to be smart, but not a smart ass. Confident, but not cocky. Humble, but not meek. And lets not forget someone who can make me laugh, for I dearly love to laugh! A sense of humor is so important in life. I know these qualities I look for in a mate seem contrary, but life is about balance, it is not good to be too much of anything for a variety of reasons. There must be an equilibrium. I am finally finding out who I am and I never want to lose myself in someone ever again.

So in a nutshell, who am I?  I am a woman who looks forward to every day now.  A dreamer who has yet to lose hope.  A believer who sees all I have accomplished and knows that I have the strength to carry on.   A survivor and a woman who has lots of love left to give, and I will give it to my family and to myself and to anyone who endeavors to be worthy. And what do I want?  I want to always remember that what I went through has molded me into who I am.  I am stronger and smarter for it and I know now that it all happened for a reason.

Finally on the outside, looking in…

In case some of you are wondering why I used a photo I took of some gothic looking windows on my homepage, it was a decision based on my personal memories of being trapped inside a narcissistic relationship. I am recently divorced now, but when I was married to my narcissist, I spent many moments looking out of the windows at the sky and the trees and wonder what life would be like if I left. What would life be like if he was not a part of it anymore? How would I feel? He was such a fixture in all areas of my life that I couldn’t really see my life without him and his abuse. I could not wrap my head around a life without torment. I was staring off into the unknown.

But in those moments, standing on the inside looking out the window, I felt like Rapunzle trapped inside the tower. I was not permitted to do things on my own away from him. I had to ask “permission” to go see my own parents! He kept me on a tight leash to say the least. He used the excuse that he needed me to take care of the house, the children, etc so that I would not be able to venture out too long. I only got my hair done two times a year and if I was gone too long, he would text and call and act perturbed that I was still gone. When I walked back through the door, he would be agitated that he had to watch the children and would throw a fit and make me feel guilty that I had ever left. Meanwhile, the whole time getting my hair done I could not enjoy it because I was filled with worry that he was getting more upset by the second.

I once asked him if it would be OK if I went on a weekend girlfriend’s getaway someday. A wave of insolence washed over his expression at the very mention of it. He said, that he doesn’t go away with his friends, so why should I get to go away with mine? Well, he did not even have friends to go away with anyways, so that was a moot point.
That was the sneaky tactic he used during arguments. He claimed that he did not do this or that, therefore, I could not either. How can you argue with that approach?

I will never forget the loneliness that consumed me when I was with my narcissist. Despite the fact that he ingrained himself into every facet of my life, I was alone. He was emotionally absent. I never felt supported or encouraged in any of my endeavors. Even baking a birthday cake for the kids was a challenge. I enjoy being creative, so it is fun putting lots of effort into making fabulous cakes for my kids. Last year, I made a pirate ship for my son that had every detail accounted for, even little fondant molded cannons. I even made a fondant unicorn sculpture for my daughter one year. I love spending time on the details, as I equate that with love. However, my narcissist would always get grouchy and resentful when I devoted any time to making the kids cakes because that meant that was time I was not giving to him. I would ask my narcissist to keep an eye on the children so that I could concentrate in the kitchen. He would ho and hum and tell me that it wasn’t his job to do that because he “was not a babysitter.” Then he would ask me why I needed to go to all that work and that I should “just go buy them a dairy queen ice cream cake or something.” He always acted irritated and mad as hell each birthday that I would ask him to be helpful in any way. It usually ended up with me trying to frost a cake with a child attached to my leg because he wouldn’t try to even keep them occupied. So, I learned that if I wanted to enjoy the process in any way, I would spend time during the day (when he was at work) for a week before the party sculpting the details out of fondant so that I could attach them at the last minute so that it did not infringe on “his time.”

Being married to a narcissist is all consuming. Standing on the inside looking out of the window I could not imagine how my life could be if unencumbered by him. All I could see was a tangle, but now that I am safely outside the window, looking back in, I can see how hopeless I felt. I had no joy left inside, I was depleted and exhausted in every way. Just after I left him, a friend of mine asked me “Are you excited?” At that moment, I was confused at the question and just replied that I was terrified. I felt that something inside me was dying, how could I be excited about it? But now after nine months have passed since that question, I can honestly answer, “Yes! I am excited and hopeful, happy, and grateful that I listened to my gut and my family that I was in a terrible situation. I suffered the death of a life that I had hoped that I would have, but now I have a new chance at a life full of new beginnings. I look forward to each new day and what amazing possibilities that could come my way.

Dealing with the Loneliness after Leaving a Narcissist

You can’t live with them, so you have to leave them. But it doesn’t make the hurt any easier to bare. Making the choice to leave is not as simple as people think. Toxic relationships alter a victim’s belief system to such an extent that they have great difficulty identifying their true feelings about their reality. At the start, I felt like there was a hole inside my soul. Once the anguish of living with him began to outweigh my fear of leaving, I had no choice but to run. Months after I left, I remember feeling in no way ready for another relationship, however, I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing something. I felt sad, lonely and lost. I yearned for an understanding of why I was feeling so depleted inside.

How could I be sad about the end of the relationship when he was so awful to me? Then I realized that this is what happens after a toxic narcissistic relationship ends. When you are so used to having someone beside you, abusive or not, you still can’t help but remember the times that were good. Because during the relationship, you were conditioned to think that it would get better. The roller coaster relationship of ups and downs, good and bad, perpetuated this futile belief. But it is important to keep it in perspective, never forget the hurtful things they have done to you. Hold on tight, because that nasty side was the truest side to that person.

I would never even consider going back to him. But it is understandable how the victim cannot help but be mournful of how their situation ended up. I slowly came to realize that I was not sad about him, but I was sad for what happened to me, because I allowed it to happen. I was embarrassed that I refused to see the truth sooner.  I was disappointed in myself that I failed to stand up for my beliefs and my family earlier.  I felt resentful of the seven years of my youth that I had given to him. I was greatly distressed by the loss of our family unit, the lost trust and love that I had placed in him, and the loss of the future that I had always dreamed that I would have.  It has all gone up in smoke now.

These feelings all added up to why I felt so miserable in the early days after leaving my narcissist. I felt like a deer caught in the headlights and there was nothing that I could do to stop the bright lights of sorrow from striking full force. That is only natural. When the wounds are fresh, the pain is real. However, with each and every day that has passed, I become more confident and grateful that I saw my situation for what hell it was and drew up the strength to leave. Better now than never, I really would have been sad if I had wasted anymore time on him. Come hell or high water, I am so thankful that I saved myself and my children from such an abusive man. It has not been easy, but I rather face the unknown possibility of potential happiness and greatness, than stay stuck in a perpetual cycle of emotional torment.

Narcissists Cannot Stand You Having Friends

A narcissist is greedy in all facets of life. He or she must have complete access to all of your love, your time, your money and your attention. He or she feels immediately threatened if you were to try to maintain control over any of these aspects of your own life. In my case, he had all of the money tied up in investment properties, I didn’t work because we agreed I would stay home with the kids. He never added me to the checking account and I had no ability to use a debit card to even get cash back at a grocery store. All purchases I made were by a credit card that he permitted me to use. Then each and every night, he perused the credit card purchases online, he justified doing so “to make sure there were no fraudulent purchases.” However, now I can see that he was just keeping track of every move I made. This is a clear example of financial abuse, he figured that since he made all the money, he could determine how it was spent. I knew better than to argue, because of his irritated answers in the past when I would question his reasons for keeping me off the checking account.

A narcissist is greedy with your time. They must have all of it. If you go somewhere, they want to go. If they have to go to a work function, they want you to go along too. They are afraid you might get away if they leave you to yourself for any length of time. I hardly ever was permitted to go anywhere alone. If I left the house, he made me take the kids, a 3 and 5 year old, how much fun is that? It was so hard to take little ones anywhere, that it was easier for me to just stay home. He did most of the grocery shopping. He knew that it would frustrate me to the point of just hunkering down and not even trying to go anywhere. Then he would proclaim, “I am not a babysitter, I don’t want to stay home and watch the kids while you go out with your friends or visit your family.” The narcissist must have you all to himself. He or she cannot stand the thought of you having a life that doesn’t involve them somehow.

One of the many instances showing how limiting my narcissist was happened when we moved to a new town and I had a 2 ½ year old and a 6 month old baby girl. I had barely seen the light of day because I had been breast feeding my daughter for those first 6 months and hadn’t slept much, not to mention getting to socialize with anybody but my narcissist. One day, when we were at the park together, I ran into a woman who had a little boy the sane age as my son and I hit it off with her, despite the fact that my narcissist was there with me. It was so refreshing to talk to another human being and I would catch glimpses of how life should be, lighthearted and understood. She knew what I was going through with motherhood and we bonded. Then she asked me if I wanted to get away from the house and go for a walk around the neighborhood one evening and she would bring along another mommy friend of hers. It was going to be a nice stress relieving “girls walk.” Immediately, asked my hubby if it was “OK with him” and he hesitated and said “yes, but don’t be too long, I am on call tonight.” I was overjoyed that my leash was lengthened for a moment. I thought for an instance that maybe my husband was “lightening up” and that maybe I would be aloud to have friends that he wouldn’t be jealous of.

Well, I would soon be disappointed again. The evening my friends met to walk, we roamed a bit further than I felt comfortable with because I remember the warning my narcissist gave me, but I was outnumbered. The girls wanted to keep walking a bit farther and I was having a great time just getting a bit of time away for myself, which I felt that I deserved after never getting any help with the kids. I was back maybe 15 minutes later that I had hoped, and all hell broke loose when I walked through the door.

When I entered the house, I saw my narcissist sitting in the armchair with a sleeping baby in his arms. He had a scornful look on his face. Next, I witnessed my two year old little boy sitting on the couch, with a book in his lap sleeping in the upright position.  Suddenly, a chill went through me, I knew in that instant that I was in trouble. In our house, the narcissist always read to the two year old before bed, he could have easily done so here, instead of letting our son sit on the couch to fall asleep. It did not matter so much at that point that I was not there for the bedtime routine (for the first time ever), however, the narcissist wanted to set the stage and create a show for me to make it seem like I “shirked my duties as a wife and mother.” I asked him why he did not just read to our boy and put him to bed, but he said that it wasn’t his job and that I “should have been here and not out with my friends.” He went on to say that I “disappointed our son and him as well.” He made me feel like a terrible mother when in fact, I had not done one thing for myself in those first 2 ½ years!  The tension in the house was unbearable for the rest of the evening, he wanted to teach me a lesson.  The narcissist could have put the sleeping baby in her crib, and have read to our little boy and put him to bed, but no, he laid in wait, like a malicious spider just waiting to entangle me in his sick web of madness.

From that moment on, I turned down future invites for evening walks and any event that would “infringe” upon my narcissist’s time because after all, my world had to revolve around him to avoid run-ins like this one. Looking back, his emotional abuse of me is so apparent, but at the time, I felt that I didn’t deserve to do things for myself. He always turned it around on me to make me look like I was selfish or ungrateful when in fact, that couldn’t be any further from the truth. It was awful to live with the narcissist, a living nightmare in fact. I am so very thankful that it is in my past now, and I must never forget the torment and abuses I suffered at his hand so that I will never fall prey to an unobtrusive spider ever again.

A Change of Perspective

Looking back at how I survived those 7 years married to a narcissist, I realize that I now am utilizing a piece of myself that I dared not do when I was with him. Now that I am removed from the horrible abuse, I am using my own perspective. The whole time I was with my narcissist, I learned to view everything through HIS perspective, HIS eyes, HIS mind. He taught me that his perspective was the only one that mattered in our relationship, and that mine was no longer relevant or even in existence.

It was earth shattering the moment that I realized that I had adopted such a warped vision of how my life with him was playing out. He made me believe that I was the problem, and that I didn’t “respect or appreciate him” when all I ever did was bend over backwards to please him. But my hard work was in vain because nothing was ever good enough.

Before I diagnosed my ex husband as being a full fledged narcissist, I used to think that he just didn’t understand women. I believed that since he grew up with 3 brothers and no sisters, he was lacking in the compassion towards a female’s mindset. But that turns out to not be the case at all. The issue is that since he is a narcissist, he has no empathy, no compassion, no real appreciation for the views of anyone other than his own. He only has contempt for all else, especially his supply, me.

Now that I have left my narcissist, I only look through his perspective when I want to prepare myself for his next swing at me. Many times, I know what he is going to do or say before he does it. But the difference now is, I believe in myself, I know I am not to blame. I am stronger and smarter than he could ever know. And I will never let my own perspective become overshadowed by him nor any other man ever again!

Enjoy the Holidays Your Way…

For the seven years that I was married to my Narcissist, I was never able to have the Christmas tree that I wanted. I am allergic to real trees and all that they entail. I love the idea of a real tree, don’t get me wrong, however, the pollen and the rotting tree water play havoc with my sinuses. A few days after having the tree in the house, I would be miserable with itchy eyes and nose, and would suffer with img_4900sneezing and congestion. I would tell my husband year after year that I cannot tolerate a real live Christmas tree in the house because it makes me feel awful for weeks on end, however he never cared a fig about how I felt. It was always about him, as was everything else.

However, now that I left him earlier this year, this is the first Christmas without him, and the first in long time where I am free to make my own choices about the holiday. Therefore, I bought a phenomenal replica tree that I can use year after year that is pre-wired with both white and colored lights that my children can merely press a remote to change the mood of the tree on a whim. It is awesome! And it doesn’t make me feel terrible physically.

It is funny how those little moments after you leave your narcissist remind you of the countless things you had to give up while just being involved with your narcissist. They really add up, maybe at the time you thought nothing of it, but once you have left, you slowly begin to realize just how many things about yourself that you gave up, or gave in. Innumerable moments that you acquiesced because it was just easier to rather than to fight a losing battle with him or her.

Decorating the tree this year was better than ever before because I could do so with my children without him rushing the process, where 2 or 3 of my glass ornaments would get broken because of his impatience. And for the first time this year, I placed a new ornament on the tree that I bought with my children when we went to Frankenmuth Michigan for Labor Day weekend. I bought them each their choice of ornament and I bought one for myself, a beautiful glass monarch butterfly that is proudly perched near the top of the tree. It symbolizes my life and the changes I have undergone this year. After being stuck in a cocoon during the marriage to my abuser, I have metamorphosed into a winged creature free to go where she was once forbidden. I gaze at the tree this year and can’t help but to feel proud for how far I have come in a short time and I vow to never lose sight of myself again.

I wish you all a happiest of holidays! Take care of yourselves and enjoy your loved ones.

Narcissists Offer Faint Glimpses of Human-like Behavior to Keep You Holding On.

When in a relationship with a narcissist, you quickly learn the predictability of his or her reactions to certain circumstances. That is why you walk on eggshells, so that you don’t accidentally trip one of those hair triggers and set off an explosion. (Even though you are NOT at fault.) You tiptoe around as to not make them upset somehow because you know the awful reaction that would happen if you do, but every once in a while the narcissist will withhold that terrible predictable reaction and you are shocked and feel instant relief. You even feel gratefulness to your abuser that you had been spared his or her fury.

Subsequently, you then see a faint glimmer of hope that the narcissist has potential to change his or her nasty ways and slowly transform into a human. However, that is part of their great deception. Narcissists are incapable of change, incapable of having empathy, incapable of truly loving another person. So, narcissists throw you a bone once in a while to confuse you and keep you off track to think that all of their previous overreactions were just misunderstandings or “in your head.” These fake-outs keep you dangling by a thread.

Those very limited instances where the narcissist doesn’t rage at you when you were certain that he or she would because they commonly did in the past, confuse you greatly and help you maintain hope for the relationship. But this hope is futile. See the narcissist for what he or she really is, a soulless monster. No amount of abuse, whether be it emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, sexual, etc. is worth putting up with because a good person who truly loves you would never attempt to abuse you in any way.

How to Leave a Narcissist?

It is a terrifying yet defining moment when you discover that the person you have loved, trusted, and confided in, is actually a controlling, selfish, emotionally empty narcissist. Then you find yourself scouring the internet for answers. I know I did. I became obsessed with arming myself with as much information about narcissistic personality disorder as possible to better understand what I was up against. It was horrendous to realize that he never actually loved me, but just used me to serve up his narcissistic supply. Then, once I understood that he could never change, I braced myself for the upcoming fight.

Leaving any relationship is never easy, but leaving a narcissist is even harder. I used to believe it noble to end a relationship with someone to their face. However, leaving a narcissist can cause a tremendous backlash. Narcissists do not handle rejection well and cannot abide being challenged in any manor. They lash out at the slightest perceived insult or injury and are known for disproportionate reactions to events. Therefore, the act of leaving a narcissist triggers a huge wound to their ego, it is unthinkable to them that you would ever chose to leave them. If you feel that you are in danger, you must find a way to get out of the precarious situation as safely and as quickly as possible. For me, I boiled it to The Seven P’s.

1- Plan your escape carefully. I officially decided to leave my husband when he flipped on the lights at 6:30 am and hovered over me while I lay naked under the covers in bed, curled up in the fetal position. He then proceeded to give me the same “ultimatum” he had used in the past to get me to cower. In his booming and intimidating voice, he told me that he was tired of me be being sad about how he interacted with my parents over the Easter weekend, which also happened to be my birthday. He informed me that if I wanted to continue to act sad, that I can just leave with the kids and move in with my parents and he would file for divorce. (The incident that precipitated his reaction happened two days before, where my parents drove 3 hours to visit us for the holiday/birthday weekend and my narcissist picked a fight with them after a dinner that I had just spent 3 hours to cook. It was nonsense really, my parents thought it would be nice to take me to get Dairy Queen blizzards for all of us for an after dinner treat. But my narcissist did not want to stay home with the kids for the 20 minutes it would have taken to bring it back, and he flipped out! My parents were stymied by his overreaction and asked him why he was so upset? My dad tried to talk it out with him, but then my narcissist continued to say that they were bad grandparents and told them that I was “unaccomplished little girl.” My parents didn’t know what to do and knew that they did not want to argue in front of the children, so they decided to leave and drive 3 hours back to their home thus missing my birthday and Easter the following day.) I was devastated, horrified and embarrassed. I pleaded with my husband to apologize to them but he refused and claimed that they were picking a fight with him, which is insane. He was smug when they left, there was a glimpse of happiness on his face.

I knew that this interaction would change everything, the cat was out of the bag. My parents would see how he really was and I couldn’t cover it up anymore. I knew that if I stayed with him, it would not only kill me but kill my parents with sorrow over watching their daughter fade away. So, when he turned on those lights two mornings later and gave me that ultimatum that I was to either let go of my feelings of sadness and just be the “happy wife he wanted” or I could just take the children with me and go live with my parents and he would have papers drawn up for our divorce. You see, I had no choice but to leave that miserable, intimidating, despicable shell of a human being. I chose life. The next step is crucial in leaving a narcissist.

2- Prepare Make your preparations thoughtfully. Mental and as well as physical preparation are very important. First, you need to be in the right state of mind to be okay with the life changing decisions you are about to act on. Leaving an abusive relationship is one of the most difficult things you will have to do. But you can do it, I did. My preparations involved booking a moving truck to be picked up when he was out of town, and asking my parents and friends to help me with the move. I also had to meet in secret with a divorce attorney to understand the implications of taking our children with me and to initiate the divorce process. I had one month before his week long trip that I knew I could make my escape safely. I knew if I would have told him that day he gave me the ultimatum that I did want a divorce, he would have flipped out and who knows what would have happened. I did not want to find out. So I used that entire month to make lists of what I needed to do before I left. I was advised by my lawyer to photocopy important legal documents, mortgages, bank statements, car statements, retirement documents. Etc. I complied, but couldn’t help but feel terrible in doing so, with all of the terrible things he had done to me, I still felt vile to be sneaky, but then I realized that it was not just for me I was doing this, but to protect my children and I will not apologize for that.

3 & 4- Placate & Prevent arguments during the final stages- Before I made my escape, I had a month to co-exist with my narcissist. I intended to do so as cautiously and peacefully as possible because the events leading up to my deciding to leave him did not make the living situation very comfortable. He was quick to argue with me over anything he perceived a challenge to his authority. However, I suddenly realized that if I engaged in any more arguments with him, it could easily escalate into me needing to vacate that day and I knew that if I had to, all my planning would be for nothing. Therefore, I needed to go along with the program to please him and make him feel like he was the all mighty unchallenged one. I laid in wait for the moment when he would be gone on his trip and I could then safely make my move out of the house.

5- Patience I kept my eye on the end goal. Every time he made me feel bad, I would turn the other cheek. I felt that he was always trying to goad me into an argument, so I would pretend that I wasn’t bothered by what he was saying. I knew that I would be free from him if I could just stay calm and play my cards right. Patience is a very crucial element of the escape. You know what I am talking about if you have ever seen the movie “Sleeping with the Enemy.” That movie always makes me quiver when I see how her horrid husband abuses her and accuses her of cheating. This movie hits a little too close to home for me and was definitely of an inspiration for me when I was enduring that last month with my narcissistic husband. Each morning that came during that final month I was mentally counting down till I was far away from him. I felt like I was holding my breath for 30 days and nights.

6- Prioritize what you must take and what you must let go of. It is almost impossible to take everything with you, if you must leave the home. If you are lucky enough to own the house yourself, I guess you could change the locks and wait for the fireworks to begin. In my case, we shared the home, but I knew I needed to get as far away from him as possible for my safety and my children. So, I only took what was mine before the marriage, and anything that I knew he would not want or miss.

7- Pretend to be dominated- My narcissist had been trying to completely alienate me from my loving, giving family these past seven years and he really thought that he accomplished it that day. But what he didn’t know was that I was stronger and smarter than he took me for.  I knew that it was an asset and a strength to be underestimated.  He really believed that he had broken me, but I have something inside of me that he doesn’t: true love of myself, real empathy and a sturdy resilience.  But by me pretending to play the part of the obedient, doe-eyed devoted spouse, he felt secure in his dominance and it gave me more opportunities to accomplish my great escape.

So there you have it.  These seven P’s allowed me to make my way to freedom from my narcissist.  I know they could be helpful to your escape.  Everyone’s situation is different I know, in yet there are so many similarities in narcissistic relationships. When I saw how unreasonable and nasty he could be to my parents, who had given us their love and support since day one, it was as if the final veil had dropped and I saw him for the monster that he really was and always will be.  The bell had been tolling for a long time, I could no longer ignore it’s ringing.  It was the last straw, the definitive answer to the question that had been eating away at me. I could no longer see what I wanted to see in him, I had to see the awful truth of what was in front of me.

Half a year has passed since I packed up that truck and left. It has not been easy, but I am so thankful that I made the decision to make my escape.

Ways to Recover from a Narcissistic Relationship

There are many ways to cope with the abuse that has been done to us. Those who have been the victim of narcissistic abuse have two options. To stay a victim or to become a survivor. I chose the latter. I am only 7 months out from a nightmare with my narcissist and I still have to deal with him because we are going through a drawn out divorce battle with children, but I have been making little discoveries of what has helped me along the journey to rediscover myself and I wanted to share those with you. Please feel free to comment and add any that have helped you.

First and foremost,

Go NO CONTACT, unless you have children with one, then go as little contact as the court will allow.

Adopt a theme song. This sounds funny, but it really works. One of the joys of breaking free from my narcissist has been the rediscovery of my love of music. I had let my love of listening to music drift from me when I was with my narcissist. He robbed the joy from my life in many ways. Now, I find myself listening to upbeat music again that makes me look forward to future. My theme song is “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone. Each time I hear it I can’t help but dance.

Pick a new perfume or cologne. A scent is a powerful thing, when a person chooses an aroma it is extremely personal to their tastes, and by applying it to their body they are sending it out to the world as an extension of who they are. Everyone has a favorite perfume or cologne. But the other day, I tried something new and I couldn’t believe the effect it had on me! It did not remind me of “me with him,” it was like I put on a fragrance that was just all me, now. It instantly added a boost of confidence as if I were going through a metamorphosis and becoming something more beautiful without him.

Make a list or two or three. This list can be what you learned from your last relationship. It can be what you are looking for in the next relationship. Or it can be what you want to accomplish in you life during the next 5 years. But a list is helpful because it allows you to identify your priorities, you weaknesses, your mistakes, your strengths, your goals. Seeing your thoughts down on paper can jog your mind into making it happen.

Listen to old music that you used to listen to before you met your narcissist. This helps you to remember how you use to feel, it helps you regain strength and confidence of who you used to be. You begin to uncover who you really are, not who he or she made you into.

Take care of yourself, without guilt! Get your hair done, get that pedicure or massage. Just do something that makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t forget to eat well and try to work some exercise into your daily routine. Even if you start small, it pays big dividends in your self confidence and health.

Take a trip on you own. I am working on making this happen. Someday, I dream of going to Ireland or Scotland. I have heard that traveling by yourself is an amazing way to soul search. I don’t have the money or time to do this now, however, even just spending a day by myself without the internet or phone can be nourishing. In my case, it will have to do for now.

Read good books that interest you. It is so comforting and healing to let you mind escape the present and focus on bringing a story to life in your thoughts.

Do things that your narcissist forbid you to do when you were with him or her. In my case, that is pretty much anything.

Believe that you CAN!

Meet with old friends, or make new ones. You may be surprised at the response of old friends if you try to reach out to them. I was.

Talk to a support person, join a group or find a therapist who specializes in recovery from narcissistic abuse.

Look at old pictures of yourself before your narcissist entered the scene. You will be amazed!

I moved back to my childhood home after leaving my narcissist. I was up late one night just exploring my old bedroom. Looking under my bed, I discovered a treasure trove of who I used to be. I pulled out this wooden box filled to the brim of pictures of me with old friends, travels and adventures. I couldn’t believe at who I was looking at! I was happy, confident, fun, exciting. I forgot who I use to be. I come across a picture that I took when I was up in the sky parasailing in Jamaica. I forgot that I had even done that! I couldn’t believe how badly I disassociated with myself when I was married to my narcissist. He tried to destroy who I was and replace me with what he wanted me to be. It made me sick to think that I almost let that really happen. But now I am the warpath to win myself back!

Plant your feet, find yourself again and soon you will rise up tall and strong.  You will be surprised how beautiful you can grow.  Know that you are not alone, you can win this battle too!

Being Over-Protective is a way to Control and is a Big Sign of a Narcissistic Partner.

In a relationship it is inevitable that you will find yourself questioning the other person’s intentions at some point or another. And if you are involved with a narcissist, you certainly will on countless issues. In the beginning of my relationship, I often found myself wondering if he really cared about my safety or if he was really just paranoid and mistrustful of me? For instance, my husband wouldn’t let me get the door for the UPS or mailman if he wasn’t home. If we were staying in a hotel, he wouldn’t let me walk down to the hotel lobby by myself. He wanted to escort me to my car, or to a certain building for work if he was available, etc. He masked his concern as “loving” and “for my safety.” However, I begin to wonder if it could be something else.

I used to think that it was cute that he seemed to worry about my safety so much. But looking back from a safe distance, I can now easily see that it was all about control. He needed to know my exact whereabouts at all times. He made constant calls and inundated me with texts veiled as “just saying hi” or “I am just making sure you are ok.”

This “concern” is merely a ruse for the narcissist to keep you on a short leash. Narcissists are extremely suspicious and jealous of anyone who you spend time with. Yes, even your own family! If you work outside the house, they are suspicious of your co-workers. If you are gone too long at a hair appointment, they may accuse you of meeting someone at the salon. If you take too long at the grocery store, they bombard you with questions and act like you are guilty of something.

The bottom line, the narcissist suspects the worst from you even if you have never given them any cause to worry. Therefore, you find yourself walking on eggshells trying extra hard to reassure them that they are “the most important person in your life.” All I know is that I am a fiercely loyal individual, I have never even thought of betraying my partner. I am not a suspicious person. I had never even considered the grim possibility (until now) that he may have cheated on me, despite the fact that he was the one who had ample opportunity. Please be aware that true, selfless, trusting individuals are the types of people that narcissists latch onto and suck the life out of, like a leach. The narcissist then isolates you far away from family and friends and you begin to feel like you are a caged bird, held within walls higher than you can ever see over.

It has taken me a lot of time to learn about the incurable mental illness called Narcissist Personality Disorder. The more I discover, the more everything else makes sense. My ex’s extreme and groundless suspicions about me says a lot about his character, and loyalty and mental disorder. He projects his awful, despicable thoughts outward onto me as if I was guilty of his very thoughts or actions. Thus, I have deduced that 9 times out of 10, the person who is cheating is the one who accuses the other of adultery.

If you find that your partner is being “overly protective” and “controlling” watch out. A narcissist may be lurking underneath.