The Narcissist’s abusive control can cause physical illness in the victim

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.

Is he or isn’t he?

Is he or isn’t he?  This is the question that I keep coming around to. Is the man I married and depended on, and looked up to, and had children with, a full blown malignant narcissist? I use to think that if he was clinically diagnosed with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) it would make me certain that I did the right thing in leaving. But it is a fact that most people with NPD are never officially diagnosed because they see themselves as perfect and have no reason to see a psychiatrist. According to Sam Vaknin, world renowned NPD pioneer and self proclaimed narcissist and psychopath, narcissists are incapable of change and only get worse. Therefore, you have to leave, case closed. So, sometimes I wished that he was clinically diagnosed, thus taking responsibility out of my hands for walking away and breaking up a marriage with children.

I never wanted to be a single mother, I always said that I would never divorce unless cheated on or I was physically abused. But I in no way considered how damaging emotional abuse could be, which is much more difficult to comprehend when it is happening to you. Abuse is obvious when you are punched in the face. You feel it and it leaves a mark. However, emotional abuse can be so undetectable and leave no physical trace that it is difficult to see how much damage it causes to the self. That is the very crux in the narcissistic relationship.

At times, I felt that it would be easier if he were the one to leave me. Then I could feel like I had no control over the future of the relationship. I would not be responsible for the guilt of divorcing my husband and not trying to work it out. Because “hey, he doesn’t want me anymore, there is nothing I can do, so I guess I must move on.” However, I realized that if I stayed with him, I only had an illusion of control over the future because he was the one in complete control and I was merely along for the roller coaster ride. In my case, I had no choice but to leave. It was bold, I left when he had no idea, when he was gone for week of work away from home. During that week, I rented a truck and enlisted my parents to help me load up pieces of my life and move out. The reason that I say I had no choice is because he was slowly and methodically killing me inside. I did not recognize myself anymore. I lived in a state of constant emotional turmoil. Choosing to leave was really my only choice, if I wanted to truly live. Therefore, whether or not he is or isn’t a clinically diagnosed malignant narcissist doesn’t matter to me anymore. He is awful enough for me to be content with my decision.

What I am telling you is that labels don’t matter. Don’t wait around to figure out what your partner really is. If he or she has enough of the NPD traits that any layman can see, it makes sense for you to back away, and feel confident enough in your decision to end it. Just the fact that you are online looking for answers about your partner’s odd behaviors is a huge clue that something is not right with him or her. Trust your instincts, I wish that I did. I will touch on that topic in a later blog.