Rollercoaster Relationship with a Narcissist.

A few months ago, I woke up from a dream that seemed so real it made me dizzy.  I always have taken my dreams with a grain of salt.  In the past, I have met people with skepticism when they discussed their dreams somehow giving insight to what was going on in their lives.  Well, I have learned many lessons these past two years and feel that a deeper understanding of what is going on in your life can absolutely manifest in your dreams from time to time.

In my dream, I was stuck in the back car of a roller coaster and my Narcissist ex husband was in the front car with the kids and no matter what I did, I could not get to them.  That dream so completely summed up my relationship over the past 7 years with him.

In a relationship with a narcissist, there are extreme highs and extreme lows. They put you on the pedistal and toss you down into the pit, as I have described in a previous blog. When things were good, they were great, and when he was displeased over one thing or another, (no matter how trivial) things were horrible.

Now that I have broken away from my narcissist, life is inconcieveably better. The best thing I have ever done was to leave him.  I have a job I love, my kids enjoy their school and I finally finished building my dream house!  And just then, wouldn’t you know it…when I was happy to be on my way, on my own… I stumbled upon meeting a good, honest, and intelligent man who loves and respects me and my family.  And I met him only 2.3 miles from my new home as matter of fact!  It is funny because I swore off internet dating, as that was how I met my ex narcissist 8 years ago.  Since I entered the dating scene, I vowed that if I was ever to date anyone in the future, I would have to meet him face to face purely by introduction or by accident.

Eventhough I have been guarded since leaving my rollercoaster of a relationship, I have had two years to reflect on who I am and what it is that I want.  I now have the confidence in myself to trust my gut again. I am determined not to make the same mistakes in future relationships.

That is something that toxic relationships with narcissists do, they rob you of your joy, your confidence and your ability to trust and love others by shattering who you are. Whereas, a healthy relationship is meant to build you up, not break you down.

I am enjoying where this relationship is taking us.  It feels incredibally rewarding to trust and love again. He gives me space, but makes room in his life for me and treats me like I had always hoped for.  It is funny how something as simple as being listened to when you talk can make you feel so loved. He always makes time to talk to me about my day, and he actually seems genuinely interested in what I have to say. I no longer feel like my thoughts and opinions don’t matter.  I am loving every day of our journey together and haven’t seen one red flag yet and it has been 6 months.

I see what my narcissist is doing in his relationship since I left him. He is up to the same old tricks.  My ex narc had only been alone one month before he snagged his next victim. Irena is a 26 year old Ukrainian”au pair.” He got her pregnant after three months and they are aleady pregnant with baby #2, and it has not even been a full two years since she landed on US soil. I see how he drives at least 300 miles every other weekend and has moved another 3 times since I left and plans road trips and plane flights on a whim, dragging her and the baby along. I vividly remember how exhausting it was trying to keep up with him when he was on one of his roaming tangents.

I am so greatful that I jumped off of that rollercoaster, that is one ride that I will never board again.

 

Winding up the Year…Merry Christmas!

 

Well, one year has passed since my divorce decree was signed by the judge. What an amazing anniversary! I cannot believe how far I have come in that small amount of time. Last year, I was raw and unsteady, worried about the future. Now, I am strong, safe and excited about what adventures await me. My perspective has made a dramatic shift during these past twelve months. Since I have two children with my Narcissist, I cannot escape him totally. However, I have room to breathe and a say in my life. He still makes visitation difficult because that is one of the last ways he can exert any amount of control over us, however, I pick my battles. This is the first Christmas without my children, as they are with him this year. It feels odd for them to not be with me tonight, but I focus on the following weekend when we will be together celebrating our Christmas.

I have been so busy with work and being a single parent that it can be hard to find time to write down my thoughts. I really need to make time because it heals my soul, as corny as that sounds. This year, I have been enjoying my new career, I feel that I make a difference in my community. I am so thankful too that my children love their school and even got to participate in their first school play, something they never got to do when I was home schooling them.

It is strange how looking back, I was so terrified of the future. The thought of leaving my narcissist was so scary. I remember feeling depleted. He beat my confidence down so severely that I felt that I would have nothing to offer the world once I left him. He made me feel weak, inept, and dependant. That was all due to the emotional, psychological, sexual and financial abuse that he put me through all those 7 years. I felt like a child in his presence due to his continuous lectures and mistrust. I even had to ask his permission if I wanted to go visit my parents, which I hardly got that opportunity to do without him. I could do nothing right in his eyes. Which made me try even harder to please, as strange as that sounds. His paranoia and temper tantrums made me walk on eggshells trying to hold the family together and I would lie to myself daily thinking that it was either my fault somehow or that maybe he would miraculously stop the abuse. But the day I learned about narcissist abuse, it all changed, and I took that brave step forward to stand up for myself and for my children and to boldly step into the unknown. I realized that I would rather jump off the bridge that was crumbling down around me and take a chance at swimming to safety, no matter how far away the shore may be. I once said in a previous blog that “when the fear of staying outweighed my fear of leaving” I had no choice.

My coworkers have made comments to me that I apologize too much. It is true, it is habit. Narcissists do that to you, make you sorry for even breathing. But I am a work in progress. Instead of saying phrases like, “Sorry I am late,” I rephrase it and say “Thank you for your patience.” This is a subtle change that makes a big impact on your confidence. I find that my happiness is at an all time high. I wake up every day with gratefulness and purpose now.

I am looking forward to this New Year for many reasons. I am excited that my house will be completed soon. I am looking forward to making more happy memories with my extended family. I have even met someone special who treats me so well. It’s good that I have been alone for almost two years now because I had lots of time to reflect on what kind of person I would want in my life and so far, he ticks every box. He is calm, kind and thoughtful. He makes me feel so special! When I think of him, it brings tears to my eyes because I now see what I have been missing out on those seven years I spent with my narcissist. I see what a healthy relationship should be. Full of trust and mutual respect, thoughtfulness and feeling safe to be who I am.

I have high hopes for the future now and I wish that for all of you! You deserve to be loved, you deserve to be respected and appreciated for the amazing person you are. Don’t let anyone mistreat you, even for a moment. Life is way too short for that.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Realizing You Have Become Stronger After Enduring Narcissist Abuse…

Now that I am safely divorced and apart from my narcissist, I feel more invigorated by the day. I am on a path of discovery that I couldn’t comprehend one year ago. It is somewhat true what they say about “time healing all wounds.” Although time does help, it does not heal if you do not look within yourself to discover how deep your wounds have been inflicted.

It was shocking when I put some time and distance between the painful experiences I endured to recognize just how miserable and controlled I was living day to day. I was not living, I was merely surviving at best. I was incredibly altered when I married that man. Every day was a torment. He never asked me how I was sincerely, nor did he care. I had to repeat myself like a parrot because he never listened to what I had to say, unless he realized that he could save it up and twist it somehow to use against me later. A narcissist has no interest in you or anything you care about, because all their minds can wrap around is their own. They have no capacity to truly love, they are merely an empty shell of a human being.

Now that I am done with that part of my life, I have been focusing on my wants and my needs for the first time in almost a decade and it feels so wonderful! I hardly ever think of him, unless it is to remember he is calling to talk to the kids. I don’t waste my thoughts on him if I can help it, he does not control me anymore. But it is interesting how his abuse can still haunt me over the simple things I do now.

When I find my mind jumping to a moment where he would abuse me in the past, I experience a great wave of appreciation that I don’t have to endure it anymore. It hits me like a jolt, then I try to push it to the side and move on. I used to hate when these moments jostled me, however, now I take a second to be grateful for them because I no longer have to live under his rule. These moments solidify my fortitude.
I almost relish it when he tries to upset me know, because I just laugh and shake it off. He has lost his power over me and he knows it. He has not tried to upset me as much either because he knows he doesn’t have the same effect on me that he used to. One time at the pick up of the kids, he was talking to me about something that upset him and I looked at him and casually threw my head back and laughed. He looked at me stunned and confused. I wish I could have taken a picture of his reaction because it was priceless.

What I am trying to say is that the longer you are away from your narcissist and go “no contact” as much as possible, the better you will begin to feel.  As the days and moments slowly pass after you have left, only then can the wounds finally have a real chance to start the healing process. With this distance, you will be able to look deep into yourself and figure out what parts are missing and what parts you need to repair.  With time, you will get to the point where the narcissist’s actions annoy you rather than upset you. You will be annoyed that you didn’t see through his or her antics sooner, you will become irritated that you used to let it bother you so much in the past. When you get to this point, you will realize how much stronger you are now. It is a wonderful and powerful place to be! This is YOUR time, relish it!

 

 

The Divorce Mediation

The day of my divorce mediation (six months ago), I was a bundle of nerves. I anticipated a big waste of time. I had to drive six hours that day, three hours there and back with my Dad, my rock. When I walked into the door, I had little to no expectations. I figured that my narcissist would want to draw out our divorce as long as humanly possible. I could not have been prepared for what was about to happen. We never saw each other at the mediation, we were in separate rooms the whole time. So, I never even caught a glimpse of him, which I was thankful for. In that room, my attorney explained that if we did not come to an agreement and wanted to let a judge decide our marital asset split, that it could be six months till we even got a court date! That was a scary thought for me because I was anxious to end this and move on with my life. I was exhausted of the unknown, I was terrified of what the narcissist had up his sleeve. Up till that point, he would threaten to call his attorney over the smallest detail, thus racking up MY attorney fees that I was responsible for paying for.

To my surprise, we reached an agreement that day. It was not what I felt was totally fair, but I was thankful to get it over with, plus I was going to be getting something from the mediation, which is better than nothing. I contemplated at the signing of our settlement agreement…why? Why is he coming to any agreement when he said that he wanted to go to court at one point after I filed for divorce? I thought that maybe the reason he was unusually agreeable was because he wanted to marry his Ukrainian live in au pair/girlfriend. Maybe that was it? I thought I may have some bargaining power because of that possibility.

Anyways, the moment the papers were signed, my attorney said I should leave first and my ex would be cued to leave after I had gotten to my car. So we would not have to undergo the hurtful, awkward moments of the end of our relationship when it was still raw. So, when dad and I got to my car, we drove away and my heart was racing because I really did not want to accidentally run into my narcissist. Then when the coast was clear, we had a very long drive back home. My Dad and I sat in silence for the most of the ride.

The past 5 hours of the mediation were echoing through my mind. Then I had a vision of my ex, walking out of the mediation building, alone… to his car. I pictured him, driving alone…back to his house, feeling defeated and depleted. I remember feeling overwhelming guilt and shame at that moment. I felt terrible that our relationship had come to this. I felt that even though he was a horrible husband, and abusive in many ways, I felt terrible that my leaving him would cause him any hurt or pain. I felt responsible at that moment for any distress and I couldn’t help but to burst into tears. I never want anyone that I care for or use to care for to suffer, even if they do bring it on themselves. I can’t explain it any other way than that I am an empath.

However, I did not know it yet, but the reality of the situation was so far left of anything that I could have pictured. Because five months later, I find out that at that time, end of December 2016, my narcissist went home to his two months pregnant girlfriend, happy that he stuck it to me.

So, in reality, I was wasting more of my time feeling sorry for my narcissist ex-husband. I was making the common mistake of thinking that he had any human-like emotion. Here I was feeling bad that he was sad and alone, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. One of my work colleges made the comment about my ex in saying that, “He has plenty of empathy…for himself.” That is so true. Narcissists care only about themselves, the fact that we empaths ever put them first is the biggest mistake of all.

We must remember that narcissists are not normal, they are hardwired to look out for number one, they don’t care about you. My narcissist left the mediation happy, he was thrilled because he already had secured his next victim, the 25 year old Ukrainian that he had knocked up in order to trap her so she can serve up his narcissistic supply. Knowing all of this now makes me sad, not because he did this, but that I feel bad for ever feeling bad about leaving him in the first place.

Image is everything to the Narcissist

Narcissists are extremely aware of their outward appearances as well as their supply’s appearance. They are overly sensitive to how others view them. They want to be perceived a certain way at all times, usually powerful, successful, and attractive. My narcissist ex-husband (we are divorced now) was so finicky about what he would wear, that it was laughable. He would fret about his clothes all the time, however, it was comical because he would usually be torn between two similar pairs of khaki pants and Ralph Lauren polo shirts. I would try to be sympathetic, but then it would get ridiculous and I would think, “Just pick one, throw it on and be done with it already!” But I could never actually say that or else he would be insulted and make me suffer his wrath.

Before I met my narcissist, I had been known to run out of the house with no make-up, my hair in a messy bun, and a pair of baggy sweatpants on to run an impromptu errand. I didn’t intentionally try to look like shit, but it happened sometimes, and I didn’t feel bad about it! However, that all changed after I married my narcissist. He always had something to say regarding my clothing choices. This was especially the case when we were going out in public, however, even the inside of our own home was not off limits.
If we were going out to dinner, he would want me to get really dressed up every time, even though I would be more comfortable with the type of crowd just wearing jeans. Honestly, who dresses up to go to casual restaurants? He would rather we be more dressed up than under-dressed. I like to look nice too, but there was never a let down, I had to be on the mark at all times. It became exhausting.

Even in our own home, he controlled the clothes I wore. There were so many arguments over me wearing my juicy couture sweatpants. Don’t get me wrong, he liked when I wore them, but I dare not wear them around anyone else. Whenever we were set to have housework done, or a plumber or painter scheduled to come to the house, my narc would tell me that I needed to put on some other pants because my sweatpants were “too revealing.” At first, I laughed at him because I didn’t think that he could actually be serious! I mean, my other pants fit much tighter and were more revealing than my juicy pants. What the hell? Well, that was the standard rule, I couldn’t go to the store or even go running in those pants according to his standards. It was ludicrous!  If I protested, he would then accuse me of wanting to be provocative in order to attract other men. How could I win an argument with a person whose mind was twisted enough to even think those kinds of thoughts? You cannot argue with crazy.

Then every Christmas we would get into huge arguments over what we were going to wear for the family photo Christmas card. He would make nasty comments when I would make suggestions on what we could wear. Regrettably, one time I dared to suggest that we could do what most people do and have a casual Christmas photo where we all wore jeans and he hit the roof! He said that “We weren’t white trash, but knows that I would rather look like that.” He intended to cut to my core with his nasty comments, scaring me silent.  Then the photos would have everyone looking awkward and nervous because of the tense environment he created during the photo-shoot. So every time I look at a past Christmas photo, I remember the fight that ensued before taking the photo. It is sad.  That was also the case for most of our family photos.  I look at past photo albums and see so many great pictures but all I remember about that day was the fight that took place over some stupid thing the narcissist was unhappy about.  It is a shame really. Narcissists are superior at sucking the joy from your life. They make everything about them.

Also, my narcissist would insult me if he thought I was not dressed appropriately to see his family. He would first make a hint, saying, “Oh, you are wearing that?” Then if I chose not to regard his hint, he would then skip being settle and would ask me to change. I once made the mistake of standing my ground and saying that I liked what I was wearing and he got insulted and irritated in a split second and said that “I looked like a hippie and he couldn’t understand why I would not want to try to even look nice for his family.” I was so upset to hear his comment, because I was wearing one of my favorite knit sweaters from free people and believed that I did look great, but he hated my boho style.

So, even the mundane decisions of what clothing choices you make could be propelled into an argument in the wild world of a narcissistic relationship. It was too much for me, every day was a struggle to get by peacefully. What a person chooses to wear should be their choice, not anyone else’s. At the time, I thought that placating him was just a compromise, but when a compromise turns into something that takes your free-will to a place of no, then it is not a compromise. This was yet another warning sign that I was in a controlling narcissistic relationship.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Narcissists are extremely concerned about outward appearances. They want to portray a certain image to the world, and if they don’t think you measure up to the image that they want to project, they will make sure you conform. Since the moment I left my narcissist and have moved on, I live each day on my terms. Now, even the smallest decisions I make give me great happiness.  I am free to be me, with no apologies. After I left, one of the first things I did was to get a family photo taken of me with my two children, and guess what??? We all wore jeans! Those photos are the best ones we ever had taken together because both of my children and I were relaxed and happy and full of hope for the future!

Narcissists treat you like a child

When I was a little girl, I remember thinking that “I cannot wait until I grow up because then I can make my own decisions without always being told what to do!” Well, now that I am a woman in my mid thirties, you would think I had been living the childhood dream of ultimate freedom. However, up until one year ago, I was not. I finally put my finger on it! My narcissist treated me like a child at all times. He continuously questioned my choices, making me overly cautious and dependent upon his opinions. I felt like he knew better, not just because he persistently said that he did, but also because I was always wrong in his eyes. When narcissists continuously abuse you to think that you cannot even make the smallest decisions without their input, your confidence and sense of self is stripped away and your inner voice becomes childlike.

When I was married to my narcissist, I lived in a state of constant frustration. I was frustrated at not being heard, I was frustrated at never being right, I was frustrated that I could not make a normal, healthy choice about my life without his “permission.” He had overwhelming control over every aspect of my life. I even had to ask him for his consent to visit my parents, or go to the store, or even to the bathroom. If I didn’t, and I started to walk out of the room, he would shout at me “Where are you going Mommy?” Then I would get irritated after being so micromanaged in every instance that I wanted to scream!

The reason that the narcissist treats you like a child is because s/he is threatened by you. You outshine them in every way and they know it deep down because narcissists have low self esteem despite the fact that most display an overabundance of confidence. It is just for show. The narcissist chose you to be their victim because they thought that you were a valuable asset to their image. They were so impressed by your amazing qualities, they wanted to capture you and bottle you up in order to keep you all to themselves. Then they chip away at all those qualities that drew them to you in the first place because they are intimidated by you. You are their property now.

Looking back, I still remember the sick, sinking feeling I endured when I knew my narcissist was displeased with me. Which was a daily occurrence. I felt like a child who was in trouble with it’s parent and was awaiting the punishment that was sure to follow. I wouldn’t treat my own two children like he treated me, I respect and trust my children and love them for the wonderful individuals that they are. That is how love should be, unwavering and forgiving. It is sad but true, if you are involved in a toxic narcissistic relationship, get out! They will suffocate your soul and reduce you to a fraction of yourself.

Boom goes the Dynamite!

Tonight I picked up my children from spending another whirlwind weekend with their father. After giving them their baths, my son dropped a bombshell on me. Out of the blue he said, “Irena is pregnant! It’s a boy, his name is Michael!” My reaction was of such shock and amazement that I couldn’t help but to laugh and smile and exclaim, “Really? Oh my goodness that is amazing!” I did not know what else to say. Partly because I had known that this would happen since the moment that my narcissist told me one month after I left him, that he was bringing a 25 year old Ukrainian “au pair” to live with him full time while he had visitation of the children for only two weekends a month.

So what I am trying to say is that I am not surprised by any means, but vindicated. This makes sense now as to why he settled our divorce as quickly as he did, because according to the math, she was pregnant even before our mediation. My ex actually took my son and daughter into the doctor’s office to witness the ultrasound!  I am not sad, or even pissed off, to be honest. But I do feel sorry for the children because in the midst of their excitement of having a baby brother, they do not realize that they are standing on the edge of the cliff of abandonment by their father. They truly have no idea that their Daddy, who they look up to at this age, already has done this twice before.

The first time, my narcissist was 16 years old, made a boo boo while he was a senior in high school and knocked up his girlfriend, who he later abandoned so that he could enter the Navy. He blamed everyone but himself for his accident. He said that “she got pregnant on purpose to keep him from going to West Point.” Then he said that it was his parents fault because they “should have warned him not to trust a girl to take her birth control.” Really? Are you kidding me? It is his own fault that he couldn’t keep his cock in his pants in yet he actually believes it was everyone else that screwed up! Well, that little baby boy, “JJ” grew up without knowing what really happened, as he was taken on by his mother’s new husband and lived in a happy home for the most part. The child even went as far as to change his last name from my narcissist’s to his mother’s maiden name when he turned 18. That was a real slap in the face to my narc. As I feel it was justified, but I could not express that to him.

The second time, a decade later, my narcissist met a girl named Jill, married her quickly then he spent three years in Japan as a flight surgeon while he paid for her to go to college back in the States. I think that this is the only reason their marriage survived during those several years, but when he came back, they mysteriously separated. I say mysteriously because he could never give me an acceptable, or believable reason. However, he said that when they tried to reconcile, she ended up pregnant “to try to keep him.” He said he filed for divorce after that, because “he couldn’t trust her.” Anyways, baby Sarah came into the world right before their divorce, then he had strained relations with that little girl, till he eventually cut her out of his life when she turned 4 years old. I met him during that time, I only got to be around sweet little Sarah a few months and really fell in love with her! I always encouraged him to keep up the visitation but he said that Jill was poisoning Sarah against him and that it was a lost cause and that we should just move to where his “dream job” was in Michigan. Sarah lived in Pennsylvania, and we were in Ohio which meant the visitation was already long distance and a strain on Sarah anyways. We were planning on marrying and he was determined to “start over” and have “our own children.” So, this is a pretty good preview of what is destined to happen to my children. He has his “new fresh start” with Irena, and when he gets bored, he will dump our children and blame me somehow for it.

Initially my reaction of the news that his new girlfriend was pregnant was of hilarity and exoneration. However, now I can’t help but feel sick at the thought that a person can really do that to someone. I gave seven years of my life, love, labor and trust to him. But I just had the shocking realization that none of that ever counted for anything. He never respected me, he never was proud of me. He merely used me to serve his needs, he never cared for me. I now have the confirmation that he most certainly cheated on me through the duration of our marriage, and it is a disturbing realization. I truly hoped that he had more class than that. But that is a narcissist for you!

Now, I know what everyone reading this is wondering, “Why in the hell would this woman girl marry this guy in the first place?” It’s bad right? I know! But you must understand, that I did not know all of this before I married him. We met and married within a span of seven months. I didn’t take the much needed time to learn about this man that I was intent on spending the rest of my life with. I leaped before I looked. Maybe a part of me didn’t want to really see. All of these distorted pieces of his past came out slowly bit by bit. Then when it was too late, the picture of his horribly disfigured puzzle came into view. I was 27 when I met him, I was coming out of law school weary after dating a bunch of immature boys and he seemed like he was an established, professional man. That appealed to me I am not going to lie. But what he portrayed himself to be in all other matters couldn’t be further from the truth. So all I ask is that you don’t judge me too harshly. I was conned, as all of you were. But what it has taught me is a valuable lesson, not to trust too blindly. Make whoever you are dating, or spending time with prove to you that they are worthy of you.

Books to read…if you are Divorcing a Narcissist

If you are like me, you thirst for information to help arm yourself against your upcoming battle of breaking away from your narcissist. When I first realized what kind of person I was married to, I went online to try to discover all I could about how to handle the situation. Marriage to a narcissist is difficult at best, so I knew that divorcing one would be the challenge of my lifetime!  Knowledge is power and you have to take the lead in learning all you can about the possible situations that you may face when deciding to leave your narcissist. There are common threads with these relationships, there is no such thing as an amicable split with one. Be forewarned! The more you know the better off you will be when making your split. If you can learn from others mistakes, all the better for you!

Besides online resources, I also went to the library and discovered some amazing books that help give insight into what problems I would likely face when divorcing my narc. I am so thankful that I read these two particular books and strongly recommend that you check these two out if you are facing a divorce with your narcissist.

Splitting by Bill Eddy, JD. The author is highly qualified on this subject becausIMG_1667e he is a family lawyer, therapist, and divorce mediator. This book is very helpful because it dives into topic of divorcing someone with Borderline Personality Disorder as well as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It focuses on high-conflict divorces from the perspective of the court, and the best way to navigate the process and gives amazing strategic advice to the victim. I always felt that my ex was Bi-Polar because he would switch between hot and cold at the drop of a hat. Our relationship was an emotional roller-coaster, filled with either extreme highs or sinking lows. This book made clear what I could be dealing with in my upcoming battle and was invaluable to me.

Will I ever be free of you? By Karyl McBride, Ph.D. This book is helpful bIMG_1666ecause it focuses on how to navigate a divorce with a narcissist and protect yourself and your children during and after the difficult process.  It is a different take than “Splitting,” because it is a woman’s perspective that has a personal quality to it that is both reassuring and informative.

Preparing yourself before you leave is extremely valuable to your success in escaping your narcissist as intact as possible. The more you educate yourself, the stronger you will be to handle what your narcissist throws at you.  You can do this!

Narcissists are Extremely and Unreasonably Jealous

I have always tried extra hard to make my Narcissist feel like he was the most important person in my life. He told me at the beginning of our relationship that his ex had cheated on him which made me feel really bad for him. Because of him “playing the victim card” I always felt like that was his way of one upping me and the reason he was so suspicious of me. I reasoned that maybe his heart was wounded so badly that he was incapable of trusting anyone. I thought that his controlling behavior and suspicious nature would cool off the longer we were together. But that was not the case. As it turns out, I don’t think his ex ever did cheat on him. I now know that narcissists play the victim so that they get you to feel sorry for them, making it easier for them to manipulate you.

This is a very common move in the narcissist’s playbook. They then accuse you of being insensitive of their feelings. However, they never once stop to consider your feelings along the way. It is always about them. I would beg and plead for him to trust me and not be so suspicious when my cell phone would ring when we were together. If it was a wrong number he would interrogate me. “Who was that?“ “Why were they calling you?” I would then go as far as to Google the phone number and show him that it was a telemarketer. I was a nervous wreck when he bought me a new phone and new number and it turned out to be a previous number of some party girl who got calls from at 2 am from drunk guys at a club. They would ask for Shanikwa or someone. Then my narcissist would he would get mad at me, as if it was my fault!

I never will forget when my narcissist told me to dump every male acquaintance on facebook before our marriage, he even made me cut ties with my gay best friend. He said that it wasn’t who he wanted his future wife to be socializing with. The sad truth was that he didn’t want me to hang out with ANYONE other than him. Even my own family were enemies in his eyes. He saw my Mother as a threat because we are extremely close. He would make jabs at her on the rare occasions when we did get together. He did it in a sly, sneaky way that my Mom would later ask me why he said those odd things and I would shamelessly try to make excuses for him. I would say that maybe she misunderstood him, or that maybe he didn’t mean to offend. But she was onto him.

My narcissist was so jealous of anyone who took any of my attention that even just the act of sitting next to my Mom on the couch when the only other seat in the room was a comfy recliner where he had to sit, caused a serious fight. Later that night, my narcissist was dark and broody and confronted me as to why I would not ask my Mom to move so that he could sit next to me on the couch? He said, “your Mom should know that your husband would want to sit next to his wife.” I looked at him like he was bloody insane! At the time, we were living three hours away from my family and were back for one weekend visiting them at their house, I didn’t think anything of it when I sat next to her and not him. I wanted to be able to visit and talk with her. So from that moment on, any future visit at my parents house was ruined for me. I never knew what he would find to get mad about. I always had to put him first, so that he didn’t feel “neglected.” It was exhausting. I couldn’t enjoy the visit because it would create tons of arguments between us, so eventually it was easier to just not visit them. He couldn’t comprehend that I would want to visit with any of my family, because whenever we would visit his family, he would sit with a baby on his lap, avoiding his whole family and would make ME entertain them. He didn’t know what it meant to be close to his family, although he would swear up and down that he was “very close” to them. Liar.

So, if your partner keeps close tabs on you, vies for your constant attention, and puts down your family and friends in an attempt to steer you away from wanting to spend time with them, be forewarned!  It is a toxic relationship that will NEVER get better.  The narcissist is out to destroy you, he or she will burn everyone and everything you care about down to mere ashes.

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.