I am often asked how I keep such a positive attitude and how I was able to walk away after 28 years.
I did a lot of work on myself in the marriage. I would not recommend others do things this way but I did not trust him alone with the kids so I felt I had to walk that tightrope and stay. It gave me the opportunity to start building my confidence and teaching my children how to cope with their father.
There just came a point when my passion for life was so stifled that I was not able to live in my own skin. I was acting in my own life and I didn’t like it. I wanted to participate in my own life and make it my own. I did not want to live as a character he created.
I knew I had the strength. I had after all, been able to walk this tightrope for years and keep my balance. But was I brave enough? When my abuser turned his sights on my older son because I would no longer be his fix, the Momma tiger came out and I was brave enough! Then I had to face my fears. He had me locked in as a stay at home mom with no income, and nothing in my name. He had threatened to take the boys away from me and leave me destitute. Shortly after he held a hatchet up to our son on a camping trip and looked at me and said “I am going to kill him”, I found that my need for freedom to be myself and safety for myself and the boys, far outweighed my fear of homelessness. In fact, at one point, my youngest told me he would rather live in a cardboard box with me than in a castle with his father.
I didn’t always make the right decisions legally. I made my decisions based on my children. I lost a lot of money through his games and not fighting for what I felt was rightfully mine but I just kept plugging along. I had my days when the tears would flow and the anxiety would take over. On those days of tears, I stayed in bed and allowed myself one day. On the days of anxiety, I would work out extra or if it was nighttime, I would create something by crocheting or quilting or knitting. I also wrote a lot. Journaling my fears, my successes. This blog is a result of that journaling.
Six years later, I own my post traumatic stress. I can work through something in a few hours or a day and put it to rest. I refuse to allow him to steal my joy even though he always has his foot in the door of my life and still plays games. Especially monetarily. But him throwing a wrench in my budget is far easier than not having a budget under his regime. I had to beg for money for diapers and prescriptions. Now, I am in control and if I don’t have it, at least I am not begging him.
And most importantly, I refuse to let the new love of my life pay for my abuser’s wrong doings. After all, he is an innocent man and all he wants to do is love me for me. So, I’m honest when PTSD rears it’s ugly head or when I am insecure about something and I make it clear, there is nothing he could have done differently, it just shows up as past trauma sometimes and I need to deal with it head on. Communication and honestly go a long way and a good man, like mine, listens and tries hard not to fix and knows exactly when you just need to be hugged.
One question I see at least once a week in a narcissist group I follow on Facebook is “How do you leave when the sex is so good with your narc?” I always reply: Is it good? Is it good to be someone’s whore? Sex in a committed relationship is supposed to bring you closer. It is supposed to bring you joy and excitement. Often times with a narc the sex is good but the reality is afterwards you are treated just as bad or worse than before the sex. I often wonder how we can allow ourselves to live this way. I didn’t. Once I recognized this was happening, I shut things down. No one would disrespect me in that arena. And I can tell you, sex is amazing after the narc. Sex with a narc is like a back handed compliment. No thank you!
It’s a long road back. Why waste more of your life begging someone to understand and love you who will never love you in a healthy way and will never, no matter how hard you try, understand? Let go.
Put your freedom over your fear and take back your life!