Something really weird happens when you share the most embarrassing, traumatic, miserable relationship of your entire life and how you suffered at the hands of a raging narcissistic abuser- people come out of the wood work to say “me, too.” Friends that I’ve known for years who have never shared stories of their narcissistic ex’s shared stories that were eerily similar to my own, but with different abusers. They had buried the details of their own abuse because it’s traumatic and it hurts, but it’s all the same. The chain of narcissistic abuse rarely changes- they idealize you, devalue you, and then discard you. Then they repeat with the next unassuming victim and the cycle of pain continues.
They bank on you being so embarrassed that you allowed them into your life that you just walk away quietly, licking your wounds like a beat dog. They tell people you are “crazy, delusional, and obsessed” with them if you dare speak out against them. Their entire existence served to devalue yours, and this is how they continue to attach themselves to you. They walk away completely unscathed.
But what happens when you fight back?
You provide truth, facts, screenshots, bank records, and legal documents to back up your abuse in an effort to prove yourself to people who don’t really matter just to continue to defend yourself from the abuse you suffered and take your power back.
You find yourself explaining the basics of narcissistic abuse to people who, like you previously, had never encountered this level of psychopath before. It’s very hard to understand it unless you lived it.
You put yourself in even more danger. The minute I began to fight back, the threats got worse. The minute I started to expose my narcissist, my personal safety was threatened. I moved. I changed cars. I protected myself and my daughter from someone who still cannot leave any of his ex’s alone. He cannot stand not to have supply and seeks it out regularly, having multiple streams at all times to boost his demented ego.
Unless you set hard boundaries, narcissists will always resurface in your life. You’re never free of their control unless you remove yourself from every single scenario in which they can contact you. In my case, a protection from abuse order serves as the no contact I need to heal from him. Contacting me means jail for him. So far, he hasn’t been dumb enough to break that order.
And then you bond with people he’s hurt before. You find yourself a whole new group of friends who know exactly what it’s like to survive the narcissist you encountered. You find your heart broken again for women you never would’ve come in contact with otherwise, but you share a bond that cannot be broken- you survived him. They know exactly what it’s like to be adored and then broken down by him, because they lived it, too. They know what it’s like to want so desperately to be free of him, only to have him resurface via phone call, text, or email. They know what it’s like to tell him no and feel the wrath of him and the degrading comments. They know what it’s like to love him and then watch him pick apart their lives piece by piece.
At one point, they were “the most amazing woman” to him. He used all the same lines. He did all the same lying and cheating and sold them all the same sob stories. They know what it’s like to turn into investigators to see who he’s cheating on them with. They know what it’s like to regret every single day they spent with him and every dollar he swindled them out of. They know what it’s like to be physically sickened by his face now. They know what it’s like to hate the thought of him ever touching them. They know what it’s like to regret the day they ever met him.
Narcissistic abuse is abuse, plain and simple. It will take you deeper than you ever wanted to go and you will lose yourself trying so hard to appease the narcissist. Everything you loved about your life before the narcissist you will long for.
If you’re deep in the trenches with your narcissist, keep moving away from them. Keep setting boundaries. Keep saying no. Keep forcing them to be accountable for their actions. They hate that.
One day, you’ll be ok. One day, all of the pain and turmoil they brought into your life will be a distant memory and you’ll find that woman you were before they set out to destroy you. One day soon, you’ll survive the narcissist.
You have a whole team of women who have been where you are. We see you, we hear you, and most importantly- we believe you.
We’re all cheering you over the finish line.