Healing, Leaving, Recovery

LEAVING THE CHAOS

IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE NOW, BUT ONE DAY THIS WILL BE OVER
Getting through will push you beyond the breaking point. In time, the pain will become a distant memory in your new life.”

It’s sometimes hard to imagine what life would be like without a narcissist in your life. I used to daydream what it would be like to be in a relationship with a kind person who truly loved me and cared for me unselfishly. A person who understood me and cared about the things I dreamed about. A person who spoke to me thoughtfully and with respect. Who was in my life to raise me up and support me, not tear me down and attempt to destroy me.

My Marriage was a Lie (But You Wouldn’t Have Known It)
I used to sit with my girlfriends and listen to them gush about how their husbands were excited about their pregnancies, supported their going back to get their Masters degrees, change jobs, and did little things to let them know they cared. As I sat and sipped coffee or wine, I just nodded my head and lied when they asked about my marriage. The lie was better than the truth. Besides, they would never believe the truth anyway.

Marriage Counseling Disaster/Hoax
We attended marriage counseling and it was a disaster! In therapy, the therapist told me I was married to a toxic person who was lying to me and was probably a narcissist. She warned me about his anger issues and the language he used when he spoke to me. She cautioned me that it’s only a matter of time before a partner with abusive tendencies switches to acting on his words. She told me she didn’t judge my situation (home raising a child with Autism and not working completely reliant on his income and good graces), but told me I had to decide what kind of life I wanted for myself and for my children. One day, I would know for sure what path I would choose. She was right.

Two years later I filed for divorce. He was raging mad and he refused to move out of the house. “This is MY house. I’ll be damned if I’m leaving. You’ll just have to pack your shit and go.” I moved out of the bedroom to the basement while I looked for an apartment to take the kids. I stayed there two long weeks while he Hoovered me and paced outside my locked bedroom door at night. Before moving out, I cashed one of my 401Ks to buy furniture and therapy devices for my son (the narc had a five-bedroom home with rooms and rooms of furniture, but refused to supply us with even the essentials).

Shutting Down the Voice of Chaos
I remember walking out the front door that day, realizing I was finally free. It felt like a giant boulder had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt I was taking my first real breath in the over twenty years. Our divorce went on for nearly two and a half years. He tried everything to financially break me. He didn’t pay child support, help with our son’s medical needs or anything over a year! He Hoovered me, stalked me, harassed me via text and email relentlessly. He even attempted to pull a switcharoo on my son’s therapist and had the focus shifted from his needs to getting “closure” for our divorce (I promptly stopped and pulled our son out of sessions to find another therapist).

For years my husband told me I was fat, worthless, and stupid. During our marriage I out earned his income and rapidly excelled from promotion to promotion. He monopolized my friendships at work and personally. He used my connections, my family, and others to hurt me continuously. He was jealous of my age (I’m younger), my looks, and “how easy” I made everything look. He hated my confidence and tried for decades to erode my self esteem. He tried to destroy every shred of who I was as a competent, smart, educated woman. He attempted and used every tactic in the narcissist’s toolbox to remake me into a fem-bot Stepford Wife. . .and he failed.

Freedom Sweet Freedom
I broke free. It wasn’t easy. The divorce nearly ruined me financially, but I rebuilt my career. I rose to position to position–until I reached the pinnacle of my profession. My kids were thriving. We had a cute little home of our own. There was food on the table every day, music playing on the radio, and even an adorable little dog we love like crazy.
The daydream I had all those years ago, it came true. I have beautiful people in my life now. New friends who love me for me. A great man in my life and so many blessings I can’t count them all.

Today, I’m thankful for the pain. I’m thankful of the two beautiful children my past blessed me with. Going through has made me truly appreciate all the wonder, beauty and blessings in my everyday life. Through my journey I remained the same person I was before: kind, compassionate, caring, sincere, honest, loving, trustworthy, capable, competent, smart, and accomplished.

The narcissist tried to scar and injure me beyond recognition, but I healed. I stitched the cuts with golden thread and let the light shine on my bruises. I stopped living my life in secret and starting living out loud. I sing, fly, and cast out the doubts he seeded in my mind to live beyond fear. I am living a full life. Sometimes when I sit sipping coffee with my friends, I can’t wait to tell them about my latest adventure and the great things happening for me. Sure, there have been bumps along the way, but the rain doesn’t pour forever. When the sun comes out, the rain stops, and life level-sets to a new and better normal. In my new life, happiness and peace are more than passersby. They are the staples that bring my life joy.

The narc wants us to believe it is our fate to stay stuck. To stay put in the psycho trap they set for us. To keep us held in misery and frustration. The truth is, that is a lie. We are able to choose a different path. We are free to stop the chaos to find true peace and happiness. We just simply have to gather the strength and courage to take those first steps.

This can be your story too. The world is waiting for you. What path will you take?

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