Narcissistic Abuse - Finally Free!
I can't believe I am free.
I was with my ex-fiance for 8 years and suffered at the hands of his cruel torments, naming, shaming and blaming. I forgot who I was for a long time. It wasn't until I was humiliated in public so harshly that I decided enough was enough.
As a child, growing up I came from a broken home. I was lucky to have my Dad and Stepmum who loved and supported me. My mother was cruel, manipulative and destructive... but she sucked me in. It was during my early twenties and living with my mother that I realised I needed out and it was then that I met my ex-fiance. He was charming, nice, complimented me and made me feel special. This was the first alarming sign I should have seen.. but I was so wrapped up in the honeymoon period I didn't listen to my "gut".
Once we moved in together, the abuse began. He would tell me that my family never loved me, that he was the only one who could look after me, nurture me etc. He told me I was dumb, stupid, worthless and nothing without him. He controlled what I wore, who I saw, where I went. I started losing my self confidence and my ability to converse with others. I was terrified to talk to other people or accept invitations because he would harass me, text me all night or ask people to "look out for me". I felt like I was constantly watched.
3 years later I left him... but I wasn't strong enough. I cried for weeks and felt more alone than ever. I took him back and endured another 5 years of hell.
This time round, he didn't control who I talked to or saw.. but he diminished my existence and self worth. He used violence and blackmail to get what he wanted. He threatened to hurt my family, friends and co-workers. Work was my only sanctuary.
After getting engaged, I realised I couldn't marry him. The proposal wasn't romantic at all, it felt as though it was an effort on his behalf to make me stay. He stopped listening to me and dictated every part of my life. The public humiliation was the last straw.. so I left for work... returned home after he had left and grabbed the clothes on my back. I drove for 2 days and back in the care of my family.. I am free! I have inner peace and after extensive research on narcissistic abuse I realise how much of a fool I was... how he sucked me in.
My aim on here is to talk to others about it. The more we talk about it.. the less control the abuser has. I hope my story gives others inspiration to leave.. it was the best thing I have ever done!
Welcome FinallyFree, and thank you for posting such a valuable dsicussion topic. Surviving Narcissistic abuse has its own complexities, as you would surely know. Relationships with Narcissists are one of the few that can't be repaired with `boundaries' or `opening up' or `being assertive'...the usual advice people give you when things aren't working in your relationship. Its agonizing when you realise that you basically just have to end the relationship to be free of their abuse. Sometimes you still love them dearly, and your material and inner resources are almost all gone. It takes so much bravery to pick yourself up, let go of the hope you once had, and make yourself push forward. I was glad to read about your job, at least you still have that as a financial resource as well as some social support.
The best thing about reading your story, is how relieved you sound. Like you've found peace with the truth about your ex, and you know you've done the right thing now. That's not an easy place to reach. It sounds to me that you did some good solid research there, well done for empowering yourself with knowledge about NPD. Its liek Fog being lifted isn't it?
Some of the best and most empowering insights I've gained over the years has been in support groups for survivors of NPD partners and family members. I originally joined a group for support through a breakup, like you. And then later I joined another group for support with my Mother with NPD. Those were very valuablefor me, I learned a lot and felt I received the support and understanding I truly needed.
If you ever find any mental health professionals who specialize in this area, I'd be interested to know. I looked around a lot over the years, but didn't find any . How about you, have you sought professional help yourself?
Wow, thank you so much for your reply! And yes you are correct, I am relieved.
I agree, there isn't anything you can do with "dealing with a narcissist" and trust me I tried everything over the years. The more boundaries I placed, the worst the abuse got.
I am currently looking around for support groups and professionals with deal with survivors from NPD.. however much like yourself I haven't been able to find anything. It seems that although there is extensive information around NPD, there isn't enough support for those who want to overcome being with a person with NPD or fully understanding "why". The only reason I started researching after the breakup was because a friend mentioned that she thought he had NPD and recognised the signs because of her own experience with a Narcissist. Until then, I honestly thought the issue was with myself and that he was a psychopath with serious mental issues and demons.
How did you get yourself out of the situation? Did you come to the realisation as well? Sounds like your mother has similar traits to mine.. maybe that's why we were attracted to a partner with NPD also?
I hope that the more known this becomes, the easier it is for people who recognise the warning signs. I know the hardest part for me will be trusting someone again. Have you been able to move past this and find another partner?
Onwards and upwards here for us...
Thanks heaps for your reply , its nice talking to you. I look forward to discussing the different topics you brought up. Yes, I did process things enough to be able to move on to a new relationship. We've been happy together 15 years. Some struggles, but no abuse.
You always hope you won't get deceived again. Narcissists put on such an elaborate deception in the beginning, its such a huge betrayal when the mask comes off , and you realize no love was ever there. The shock and pain of it is so bad, you need a lot of time away from them to process it and move on. They won't let you have it, as you know- they stalk, harrass, threaten and just have no respect or human compassion. Its so confusing, why stalk someone you don't love even? The mixed messages make no sense.
I've known people on the support groups I mentioned to have gone to enormous lengths, to carve out the space they needed to properly get over the abuse. They would have to change phone numbers , jobs, or even move house. Its almost impossible to properly process what happened unless you have no contact with them.
I think I did learn to trust again, but its never been that `magical thinking' trust I once had, based on hope. I trust now, based on evidence. I need actions and history to match a person's `official version' of themselves, for me to really trust them.
Something I do trust though, easily, is that outside people with NPD or psychopathy disorders, most people are pretty good and try to be. I lean towards compassionate people, with a lot of empathy. The world is mostly these people.
In spite of the enormous deception your ex performed, your experience with him will have alerted you to a lot of the signs of NPD and abusive people generally. You probably know the way they walk and body language, you'd be an expert. I really don't think you'd fall for someone like that again, the harm and pain you've suffered has been too great.
It helps to be patient with the `fog lifting'. It gets better and better, until you feel real revulsion for the behavior you endured. When you fall out of love properly, it is so profound. You feel grateful for your life, and committed to never having that experience again. You won't. You will find love and you will have a good life after this.
I will get to the stuff about our mothers. That's an a important healing topic to me, I look forward to chatting about it too:)
Where are you staying at the moment?
Hello Finally Free,
I just read part of my life story when I read your post,
I want to say well done for getting your courage up to leave him. I admire you immensely for that. You see I had 2 children involved and I stayed with my hubby for 38 years, He died 4 years ago, but he has left me totally broken, unable to forget the years of pain and abuse I suffered.
I needed to tell you how proud I was of you when I read your story, however it's triggering me, not your fault, I wanted to do this, because your story I hope will help a lot of women to beware of these type of people.
I felt sad reading about your marriage Karen, you have been such a wonderful and uplifting source of support to other people on this forum. I'm very sorry for the pain you endured, you are lovely compassionate person and I respect your decision to put your kids first.
You're right, when it comes to NPD abuse, you really need a lot of information to even understand you are being abused, and then make decisions. But that information has been scarce traditionally. I'm glad mental health awareness is changing, including this type of abuse.
Many good wishes for brighter times,
Dear Finallyfree, bindi and Karen 😊
I am so happy to hear you are finally free, Finallyfree! It's a huge accomplishment to be able to disentangle yourself from a narcissists poinsonous grip.
Bindi you are such a wonderful person and gifted communicator you are a treasure to have on the forums.
Karen, you know i admire you deeply, and you are helping so many people all over the place here with your gentleness and compassion.
I freed myself eventually after 3 years of torture, and i was a shell of a person. I was so broken and i had given myself away, lost myself totally. I wasn't able to celebrate like you are, Finallyfreee. i felt like i was just nothing. It took ages for me to have my spirit back to be able to feel the relief and celebration that you express now. So happy for you.
I agree that it's an important discussion topic, i had no idea about narcissistic abuse until i was well out of it.
I am short of time right now but I'd like to join in. Have you ladies seen work by Melanie Tonia Evans? On her website, she has some very helpful articles etc. She has a course that she sells, but there are free resources there too for recovery from narcissistic abuse. You might find some things there helpful, i certainly did.
Wishing you all a Saturday of wonderful freedom.
I've read your thread. I'm glad it worked out well for you.
I was hoping to get some advice from you if you don't mind?
I am currently in a relationship with someone who's mother is narsacistic. He left for a little bit, but went back due to fear. She doesn't like me, so I am now unable to see/contact very often.
Being in this situation, what do you think is the best way for me to support him?
I have never been under the impression of a narsacist so I am struggling to relate and to find the right words.
I am so sorry to hear you've experienced this kind of trauma and heart ache. You have been so encouraging since I started posting on this forum, thank you for being here. Many times I have admired your communication style too, and I wish I had phrased things as well you did. You have a real way about you.
I was in a similar position to you after my breakup, so I really know what it took out of you, and how low you feel during that time. I'm glad to know that you were able to stay strong and commit yourself to a better life without him.
I have read some of Melanie Tonia Evans work, thanks for posting that. Some of it I relate to, some of it felt a little bit off to me. The only major example of that I can think of, is her advice about reconciling with narcissistic parents. I come from a another school of thought, which is to limit contact with abusive narcissistic parents, just as you would a narcissistic partner. But I can respect differences of opinion. She's a lovely young woman, I really appreciate what she is doing to help people dealing with Naricisstic partners . I am glad you felt she helped you 🙂
In 2000, when I was first dealing with a partner with NPD, the main online author in the field was Sam Vaknin. His website inspired some of the online support groups I participated in, for partners of people with NPD, and Adult children of narcissists. They were great groups. It is good to be able to look around online today, and find many other great writers on the subject. I have found so many of them insightful and valuable.
Wishing everyone a peaceful and joyful Sunday:)
You are a very kind and caring partner, I can understand your concern. Thats a very painful situation, when your partner lives with his Narcissistic mother, it is understandable that this would cause you a lot of relationship stress.
Have you ever lived together, or do you have any plans to do that? To me, that would be one solution. But i would like to offer you some cautions about that as well.
One of things I learned in `ACON' support groups (ACON stands for Adult Children of Narcissists) is that Narcissistic parents give their children `roles' to play, to support and cater to their Personality disorder. Some of those roles include `The Golden Child', who is the chosen one and most spoiled. It is not a role free of abuse, and it comes at a high price. But its worth knowing this child is often Narcissistic themsleves.
More empathetic children are given the roles of `Care-taker' , usually sensitive women are given this role, but sensitive men can take in on as well. They feed their parent admiration and cater to their other narcissistic needs. Those `other needs' could include `standing in the shadow' instead of reaching their full potential, as Narcissists are very jealous. Or it could mean trying to be perfect and put on a `good image', as narcissists like to hide their abuse behind the Image of a successful, good-looking family. Care-takers accept a lot of emotional neglect and abuse by suppressing their own feelings.
There is usually a child who is `The scapegoat'. This child can do nothing right in the parent's eyes, and is suffers the most brutal punishment and criticism.
This information is fairly widely available on the internet, you could try to do some reading about it. Maybe type in `Adult Children of narcissists' into google, that should give you some good reading material.
What i suggest, is try to figure out who your boyfriend is. You don't want a relationship with a boyfriend who is a narcissist themselves. It will cause you great harm if you do.
If you feel he is a sensitive one, being abused as a care-taker or scapegoat, then it may be beneficial to consider moving in together.
Just my thoughts, i hope they help.