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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Finding myself again - escaping the narcissist - NO I'm not crazy

Topic: Finding myself again - escaping the narcissist - NO I'm not crazy

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. Willow13
    Willow13 avatar
    4 posts
    11 January 2020
    My injuries can't be seen when you look at me but they cut deep to my core. My confidence and expertise in the workplace are appreciated and applauded, I laugh and chat like nothing gets to me or stresses me. On the outside I have it all. Of course I have the normal disruptions and setbacks of everyday life, but only two people closest to me know the truth. I live each day in fear that he will snap and come after me. I constantly look for him everywhere I go. Leaving the relationship was relatively non eventful (mainly because he thought I would come back AGAIN), but the non contact and extracting him from my life is the most difficult thing I've endured. He has not let go, he won't let go and has harrassed, stalked and attempted all ways to manipulate and coerce me into submission and return to his secret world of abuse. He has been relentless and comprehensive, demanding one day to remorseful the next. Endless voicemails, text messages, emails and visits to my workplace. It didn't matter if I blocked his number, he would call or message from another persons phone. He has threatened suicide if I did not do as he asked and talk to him, a guilt he knew I could not live with. This time I am not giving in, I'm stronger and have finally realised I deserve better. I deserve respect. I deserve peace. This was not love, this was manipulation in it's extreme. It's hard to talk about the daily grind of navigating this life. It's hard to know who you can trust with your experiences because you now second guess everyone's intentions and trust. It's lonely and it's scary. The control was extreme. I was not permitted to say "No" to him, I was not permitted to have my own opinion. I was not permitted to have friendships he didn't approve of. I was his servant. If I did make a mistake or displease him there would be consequences always. He showed love by giving me gifts and holidays but there was always a payoff or repayment of some sort. His "LOVE" was always conditional. Would love to hear from those who have experienced this type of abuse. Sharing experiences might help us realise we are not crazy and we are not to blame. Hoping there are people out there willing to chat. One day at a time, moving forward and never looking back no matter how difficult the day is or how much the fear invades my mind. I'm determined this time I will find my way back to me and not have to live in fear anymore.
  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    6963 posts
    11 January 2020 in reply to Willow13

    Hi, welcome

    Well done in this progress you are displaying.Of course you know that it is the very beginning of recovery. Time will see that abuser drift.

    Yes, have had a narcissistic person control my and my sisters life, our mother. So for 54 years I tolerated and a big part of that was to keep contact with my father, a great man, until he passed, then it was only time before we'd reject her and her controlling ways.

    She ruined my first wedding, 25 years later wanted to ruin my second wedding but enough was enough and stopped her. So determined she was I had to get a court order keeping her away, but it worked. Some might think it was me and my sister that contributed towards such senarios- no, we were good to her in every way. She had conflict with everyone and being her children made it a whole lot harder as she believed she owned us.

    So, now your situation. I found that understanding the way my mother thought was a big way of recovering. Acceptance through education. So went about researching such people. I found it. But I have to say we are not diagnosing here just passing on, in this instance, what I believe my mother had as she was in denial.


    Queen witch hermit waif

    And then there is straight narcissism. Either way ridding yourself from your life 100% is the way to go, any slight contact will fuel their armour, justify to others their stance etc. That happened to us and we lost relatives, cousins and a favoured auntie have never returned to our lives. So be it.


    Beyondblue topic emotional blackmail

    Beyondblue topic depression and toxic people


  3. Willow13
    Willow13 avatar
    4 posts
    12 January 2020 in reply to white knight

    Thank you for your reply.

    I can only imagine how difficult it must be when these people are family members. To break that connection must have been so hard initially.

    I will definitely read more information on narcissism, understanding and knowledge is power I'm sure. I do need to keep reminding myself that his behaviour is his responsibility not mine and I've finally realised I cannot help or rescue him. He needs to do that himself.

  4. Lady Nova
    Lady Nova avatar
    99 posts
    12 January 2020 in reply to Willow13

    I know this story so well. It was, and at times still is, my story.
    See his number and panic ...
    15 minutes before quitting times at work and running to the ladies to vomit in fear.
    Isolation because he has abused all my friends and even tried intimidating my coworkers.
    Trying to choke down dinner waiting for the question "what's this shit on my plate?"
    The constant criticism of my abilities to parent, work, keep house ... in bed.
    The screaming at me to better control "my child", the one with Autism and ID.
    10 years without sleep
    Generalised anxiety disorder.
    Major depressive disorder
    Adjustment disorder
    binge drinking ...
    3 years with walking pneumonia

    after 25 years I packed up 3 children, took 2 single beds and walked away. The harassment continued, he invaded my work "to talk", he invaded my rental property "to talk", he cancelled my phone so I couldn't talk to anyone (it was in his mane because I wasnt allowed to drive and therefore couldnt buy a phone without ID), he used my credit card details to fraudulently buy stuff on line, he lied to CPA when he was reported for leaving our Autsome kiddo in the car and told them it was me (the person without a car and no license), he lied to Child support making it necessary to prove that I had the children, but in the mean time I had to pay HIM child support. IT went on and on. I had to move 4 hours away to get away from the day to day, but he still finds ways to inflict emotional damage when ever he can.

    Stay strong. I am damaged, but I control my pieces now

  5. Willow13
    Willow13 avatar
    4 posts
    15 January 2020 in reply to Lady Nova

    Wow you are incredibly strong and brave.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It gives hope when we see it is possible to escape and start to put the pieces back together. You are not only helping yourself heal but your children also.

    I know we can all do this and sharing has helped me so much. Hope it helps you too.

  6. Lady Nova
    Lady Nova avatar
    99 posts
    15 January 2020 in reply to Willow13

    I never feel strong or brave.

    People point it out, but all I feel is the failure of letting him harm me for so long, for exposing 3 children to it all for so long.

    I learn to drive, despite my mental illnesses, at 46. Even that achievement leaves me feeling that I failed too many times at it, and left it for so long.

    I have to acknowledge that my self assessments are less reliable than of those who love and support me, Sometimes that is the bravest thing I can do, let others encourage and hold me up.

    thank you for your kind words

  7. CapsLock
    CapsLock avatar
    1 posts
    16 January 2020 in reply to Willow13

    I’ve waited a long time to seek help to deal with the left over mess of emotions and damage that has been caused by such a relationship. A narcissist, alcoholic and misogynist. 15 years my senior, I think I ended up in that relationship seeking a male figure a couple of years after losing my father to terminal illness. That was a whole other trauma in itself. The following year I lost my half sister and then had to deal with my brother attempting suicide.

    But this relationship, this man became my fiancé after 1.5year. There were red flags. Anger issues, dominating and controlling behaviour, outbursts of rage and very self-centred. Slowly day by day the full picture emerged. He isolated me from my friends and family. Controlled my work schedule. Would destroy anything that gave me joy or anything I worked hard to achieve. I was an art student and he would regularly slash artworks out of rage. New outfits and shoes cut into pieces/burned. I had to hide my bruises behind makeup and mask my limps & bruised leg bones from being tripped and pushed into the floor or furniture.

    I was with him for almost 4 years before I took the leap of faith, scared, shaking and no idea what the future held. I knew I would either die at the hands of him if I stayed or kill myself as every day was hell on earth.

    it’s been 6 years on now. I never sought professional help for the after effects. I regret that. 1.5 years after, I started having panic attacks. I couldn’t eat and couldn’t sleep. I was scared to leave the house. I ended up in hospital as I’d lost so much weight and was barely functioning. I got physically better and ploughed on with life.

    I’m in a new relationship with a wonderful man now. Life is mostly good. I don’t have panic attacks anymore, I think I learned some strategy in hospital and just grew past them. However when I lay down to sleep my brain keeps taking me back there to that horrible place. It’s like being ‘dumped’ at the beach. Stuck in a tumbling wave with no sense of up or down and desperately fighting to find the surface to take a breath. I get trapped in my memories now and they still hurt. I’m unable to fall asleep now and just quietly sob and read about PTSD until My eyes get tired. I find myself here at this forum now after another night of memories I wish I never had.

    I have recently started a mental health plan and will be starting sessions with a psychologist in February. It’s something I should have done a very very long time ago.

  8. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    1472 posts
    17 January 2020 in reply to CapsLock
    Hi CapsLock,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It sounds like it was an extremely difficult time for you and it took courage to make the changes you made.
    It is great that you are getting professional support to work through everything. 
  9. Lady Nova
    Lady Nova avatar
    99 posts
    17 January 2020 in reply to CapsLock

    can I recommend you find a trauma specialist? You can find one through victims services ( here is the link for NSW ). You can apply for additional free mental health visits, 22 per annum I think, with an approved therapist. Their therapists do additional training to treat trauma. Highly recommend.

    Life after abuse is hard, but we can do it <3

  10. Happilyneverafter
    Happilyneverafter avatar
    13 posts
    17 January 2020 in reply to Lady Nova
    Trying to explain narc abuse to someone who hasn’t experienced it really does make us seem crazy. No one in their right mind can fathom that another person could do such horrid things to a person they ‘love’. I wasted 19 years with a ‘child’ who promised me the world and never delivered, who put everyone on a pedestal but me and his children. I was called paranoid, delusional, crazy, controlling, unstable, you name it, he said it. I took it all, tried to be better for him, changed everything for him and got cheated on, screamed at, abused( many times), and discarded like yesterday’s trash. I’ve been away for over a year, he has discarded our children also. And to know the ow is actively supporting him to continue his abuse toward me and our children is mind boggling and outright disgusting. These people are dangerous, stay strong and please keep up no contact. We are not crazy, we are not the bad ones. I am now the alienator and keeping his children away from him, in reality he alienated himself and our children saw him for the monster he really is. I hate myself for going back many times, believing his lies, putting my children back in that situation. Now, the fog has cleared and I see my children absolutely thriving.
    1 person found this helpful

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