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.

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!

How to Save Your Children from a Narcissistic Parent?

When you are involved with a narcissist, the effects on you are bad enough, but when you have children with one, it is truly a sad situation. This is the case because the children will eventually suffer the same abuse that you do as soon as they develop their own thoughts and opinions on life. So if you decide stay involved in a relationship or marriage with a narcissist, you must become aware of the harsh reality that your children will become the sacrificial lambs.

Whilst they are still young, the narcissist views the children as little extensions of him or herself and their image. The children are a grand source of narcissistic supply because whilst young, they idolize that parent. During this stage, there is no difference in views or clash of opinions. However, as soon as they grow and become little independent thinkers, all bets are off! The narcissist parent pushes his or her views onto them and expects the children think and behave exactly they way he or she does. If the narcissist does not value a particular sport or activity, the child will not get to play or engage in it. If the narcissist has certain beliefs of what job that child should have someday, he or she expects the child to pursue no other career.

The narcissistic parent will often try to have the children team up with them to abuse the other parent. They put false notions into the children’s impressionable minds that the other parent is lacking in some way. In my case, my narcissist would try to make me out to be “no fun” to the children, which couldn’t be further from the truth. He would repeatedly try to make me out to be the “bad guy” so that the children would see him as the “good guy.” The burden of the disciplinarian was always put upon my shoulders.  When I tried to have any kind of order, he found it hilarious to try to create chaos just to rattle me.  Then he would turn around and blame me for the very chaos he cheerfully created.  He hardly ever was on my side and usually let the kids get away with bad behavior because he wanted to be the “fun dad.”  Then when I would try to get the kids to behave, he would say that I was being too harsh.  He didn’t back me up, which is what good team parenting should always do.

The narcissist wants the children to “love them more” and to act as his or her minions. The narcissist is so insecure that s/he is desperate for validation and needs to feel like the children needs them more. However, the children frequently find themselves struggling to identify with that parent because of the strings-attached love.

I could see that my little ones often felt unheard and inconsequential, and tense in the presence of their narcissist father. My six-year-old son would try to tell his daddy something about his day and the narcissist would just say “Uh huh, that’s great” without actually hearing what my son was telling him. My narcissist would not even try to really listen to the children, then he would talk over them. He always interrupted them and me. I could never get a word in edge wise. It drove me to the brink daily. Finally, I just stopped trying to even talk anymore, because it was just easier not to.

While staying in a relationship with a narcissist, the children will inevitably pick up on the abuse you suffer even if they are not yet the targets. It is unavoidable that the children will notice subtle hints of your suffering, no matter how hard you attempt to hide it. They will witness you walking on eggshells, they will see how you strive to avoid conflicts with Daddy or Mommy. They will learn how to play the game. Those eager little learners will eventually observe how they have to “perform” in order to reduce the negative reactions of the narcissist parent. And even more tragically, they may also learn from the narcissist parent how to manipulate others to bow down to their will. Regardless, the result of staying in a narcissistic relationship has terrible consequences to the children. Either they will be taught how to become the perfect victim for narcissistic abuse or they will become narcissistic abusers themselves.

This was a big reason why I chose to leave. I had to save my children from being groomed to be future victims of narcissists, or becoming narcissists themselves. I realized that leaving my narcissist was the only option if I wanted to save my children. At least they will spend the majority of their time with healthy, unconditionally loving relationships, which will help make up for the little amount of time that they have to spend with their soul sucking, emotionally absent father.

How to go NO CONTACT with a Narcissist When You Have Children with One

It is a widely known rehabilitative step to go “no contact” with a narcissist partner. This means to stop all forms of communication. No phone calls, no visits, give back all gift attempts or mail, cut all ties with that person completely. It is truly the only solid way to break free from the narcissistic emotional abuse and begin on the long, twisty path to healing. I sure wish I could, but you see… I have children with my narcissist.

I have to abide by certain laws of the court, maintaining just the minimum amount of contact as possible. It is a difficult situation, definitely not for the weak and weary. However, coming out of a seven year roller coaster relationship with a narcissist, I am nothing but weak and weary. So what do I do? What does anyone do? I take it one day at a time while building up my defenses.

First, you must find a support system. I am so fortunate to have my amazing parents and my brother to look to. Also, I am so lucky to have good, true friends that were always there but on the sidelines just waiting for me to come back. I lean on them to listen to my tales of woe. Just talking and writing about it has helped me so much. I find that when I speak or write about what I have gone through, somehow it is released into the atmosphere and weights are lifted off of me. I know that I will get through this, and you will too. Daily I am unearthing shreds of hope and strength that simmer under the surface for my two beautiful children. I cannot afford to fall apart. They need me…I need me. We deserve to get through this and live a life that is good and pure and full of possibilities once again.

Second, cut as many ties with your narcissist as humanly possible while staying within the bounds of the court’s requirements. But because of the children, I cannot just change my phone number, or move away. I have a chain that still binds me to my narcissist. However, I have lengthened it as much as possible. It is ironic that when we were together and my narcissist was gone for a week at a time for his work, he would never ask to speak to the children on the phone. Even when I would try to put him on the phone with the children he would say “No, they don’t make any sense when they are put on the phone anyway.” However, now that we have left him, he INSISTS to talk to the children EVERY single day. Interesting that he never cared before, but now that he has lost his power over me, he struggles to hold onto any bit of control he can grasp. He knows that it puts a crimp in my day to have to be available to put the children on the phone. He never says anything different to them, it is always “I miss you, I want to hug and kiss you.” Same old sayings the conversations lasts about 30 seconds. Then when the children do try to speak, he just talks over the them and they get frustrated. They want to get away from him on the phone as fast as possible. It is sad and ridiculous.

Third, go through an intermediary as much as possible. Anyone who was once involved with a narcissist knows how disrupting their communications can be whether text, email or phone. So, it is greatly recommended that you use any means possible to limit these stressful interactions. One resource out there that is helpful regarding child visitation schedules is an online calendar. These are nice so that you don’t have to have gratuitous contact with your narcissist when setting up visitation. A few examples of online calendars include Custody Junction, and Our Family Wizard. In addition, it can be used as a tool to help keep track of your narcissists actions and in-actions.

Fourth, stop caring about what the narcissist says. Easier said than done, I know. But now that I am equipped with knowledge of how a narcissist operates, I am much more resilient to his disparaging comments. I don’t play into his petty, pathetic hands anymore. If he gets out of line when calling to talk to the children, I just say something cryptic like “I am not going to hear this, this doesn’t concern the children” and I hang up the phone. It is actually quite liberating!

In a nutshell, going no contact with your narcissist is not a luxury afforded to those who have children with one. However, there are numerous ways to limit that contact by elongating that chain that binds us to them. With a few changes, a cast iron spirit and a strong support system, facing our future free of emotional abuse is a beautiful prospect. There is light at the end of the tunnel.