Top 15 things that can occur after leaving your Narcissist.

  1. You will have the gift of time to focus on yourself and what it is that you want for once.
  2. Space from your Narcissist will allow for the real healing to begin.
  3. You will become more calm, finding it easier to breathe.
  4. Confidence begins to come back.
  5. Independance will take root, making the way for personal growth.
  6. You can make up for lost time with family and friends, for the most part.
  7. Your fears will begin to dissipate.
  8. Your gratitude will soar when you get enough distance from your Narcissist, because it is easier to see how badly you had been treated.
  9. You become proud of yourself and what you can achieve.
  10. You figure out who you are again.
  11. You become emboldened to never settle for anybody who mistreats you.
  12. You become secure enough to allow yourself to love another again.
  13. You feel worthy to receive another’s love wholeheartedly.
  14. You notice all the little joys that seemed to elude you when you were with your Narcissist.
  15. Life becomes so much more fulfilling and beautiful!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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!

 

 

My little birdie…

After spending seven years stuck in a marriage to a narcissist, I got used to being in the dark. After all, he never would tell me about his past life before me. He would just tell me the bare minimum and gloss over the details. I always thought that it was strange, as I am an open book. I enjoy talking about the past, it helps me see how far I have come in my life. I am a huge fan of reminiscing. I am a scrapbooker for goodness sake! While I would have jumped at the idea of looking at baby pictures or embarrassing junior high photos of my ex, he never wanted to even show me. Also, he could care less about looking at mine. I figured that maybe he was just not a sentimental guy. Why else would he not care, or else strive to conceal his past?

Well, after I divorced him, there were so many unanswered questions lingering about who he really was. The man I thought I was marrying was not at all who he turned out to be, he transformed into a stranger on our honeymoon. That is a story for a later time. Well, it is funny how fate can intervene when you least expect it to help give you closure. While I was attending a conference for my work, a new colleague (who I will rename, Brad) sat down next to me and we began chatting. He asked me about my divorce and if it was amicable? I then told him a little bit about my divorce and how my ex was only amicable at the mediation because he had a new girlfriend who he already had impregnated. Brad couldn’t believe it and then he asked me if my ex was a foreigner.  I laughed and said no, and explained that my ex was from a nearby town. Well, then Brad asked what my ex’s last name was and when I told him, he was floored. He then said “Oh my God! Your ex is a relative of mine!”

I was embarrassed at first and thought well… I am sorry if you are offended that I have something unflattering to say about your relative. But before I could say that, Brad spoke up and told me that he is only a second cousin of my ex and that he always stayed away from that side of the family because he thought that my ex, as well as my ex’s Mom, Dad and other three brothers were very strange. Brad stated that my ex was always condescending and an asshole at family reunions. He said that he always thought of my ex as someone who would get a mail-order bride someday. I couldn’t believe everything he was telling me about my ex. It was awesome! Brad then asked me what I though about my ex getting dishonorably discharged from the military? I shockingly said, what??? My ex never told me that! He told me that he got out of the military after he finished up his time. But Brad said that my ex was definitely dishonorably discharged for some reason that he was not aware of.

When I think about it, I remember that my ex was married to his first wife during his three year service in Okinawa, Japan and I wouldn’t doubt that he cheated on his wife while she was staying back in America to finish up school. That makes more sense to me, he always said that SHE cheated on him while he was overseas, but I do know that the military will dishonorably discharge an officer for that kind of behavior. It does fit the narcissist m.o., whereby they claim others are guilty of the very conduct that they are guilty of. I would bet money on it that he cheated on her, not the other way around. Then he lies to me and hides his shady past and wants me to pity him and see him as a dutiful soldier. What a pack of lies!

But wait, it gets better… Brad then asks me what I thought about the first girl that my ex knocked up? I knew that my ex got his high school girlfriend pregnant, which that child is all grown up now. The boy is in his 20’s and changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name because of some reason I never knew. My ex really did not have anything to do with this boy, as my ex always blamed the mother for “turning his son against him.” Anyways, my ex never went into details about that boo boo. He blamed her for “getting pregnant on purpose to prevent him from going to West Point.” He then said that she was a “crazy manipulator.” Well, Brad went on to reveal the next shocker, he said that the family gossip was that my ex actually raped her. Well, that blew my mind! It all makes sense now! That explains why there is strained relations there, also it explains why he never wanted to tell me details. They were too horrible. Brad thinks it was a rape because she was underage and my ex pressured her into it, not actually with physical force. But that is bad enough in my eyes. I remember that my ex pushed me into sex before I was ready, much too soon, so I can easily see him doing that to others.

My little birdie unveiled several other tidbits about my ex’s strange family and their schemes. I told Brad that all I ever wanted was to fit in to the family of whoever I married. But that I never could fit in with them, I was always an outsider to them. Brad then quickly said, “It’s a good thing that you never fit in with them, they are all crazy! It shows that you are a good person.” That made me laugh out loud! We even had lunch together so he could fill me in on other details. Another scary thing Brad told me was that he could see my ex as being one of those fathers that abducts their children and runs away to another country. I must say that scares me to death, especially since my two very level headed parents have been saying that is one of their fears too.

At the end of the day, I thanked Brad profusely for being more honest with me in the span of an afternoon than I got from my ex in all of seven years. Brad said that he felt bad that he was having to tell me the dirt on my ex, and said that he felt like he was betraying his own family a little bit in revealing this to me. But then he said that out of all the divorces that he has seen, that mine was the most troubling and that he was so happy that I was able to get away from such an awful man.

When you come out of a relationship with a narcissist, you will inevitably wind up alone, in the dark, and full of questions. Just when I had stopped looking for answers and was living my life, some answers found their way to me. What is important is not all of the details as to why you were lied to, but that you got away. I still wont know everything and that is OK with me. I am just so thankful that I saw my chance to run and I took advantage of 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.

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!

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.