The Truth About Narcissistic Abuse
What I have learned from my own experience.
By: Amanda Spradlin
First things first. I am just leaving my narcissist after well over a decade of deceit and if nothing else from this article, let this first point be the takeaway; we don’t ever choose to stay. It is never a conscious choice that one makes. To stick around for some psychological showdown of who is the bigger and meaner clown is not a decision that we debate upon within our minds when contemplating a relationship. We want out, and more than anything else, we just want to feel safe in our own space. The problem is, we don’t know how.
We have a hard time realizing the power within ourselves because of all the negativity that we have felt, being manipulated into believing that every bad thing that has transpired was all our fault. We try to ask others for help but by then the narc has told so many lies about us to everyone that we know. So, we don’t have anyone left, no family or friends, that we can actually trust with our truth. The truth that we, the target, has tried to hide for such a long time. There is no where to go.
It’s the arrow to the bullseye that hits us right between the eyes, unveiling every cover up we have concocted for them to save ourselves from embarrassment. Every excuse or reason we made up to justify why they act that way. We feel responsible for their actions. After all, they’ve gotten us to believe that it’s all our fault. We think that if we just try a little harder, cater to them a little more, make ourselves more physically desirable, and manage to have everything else under control that maybe, just maybe, they will see that we love them and how much they are hurting us. But they don’t, and the cycle continues, like a skipping cd on repeat.
Somewhere along the lines we start letting ourselves go because they have gotten us to think that we aren’t worthy of love of any kind, much less self-love. Getting dressed for the day just leads to an argument of who we are trying to look good for. Going anywhere by ourselves other than the grocery store sparks a conflict of what we need to go shopping for. We have to ask for permission just to take a shower because heaven forbid, we be missing in action for more than 10 minutes if they should need something or not want to keep an eye on the kids.
We can’t do anything to try and better ourselves because that would just make them look bad. We have no privacy. Our relationships with family and friends dissolve away through the narc’s lies, manipulation, and isolation. Eventually, we wind up unable to even have a free thought process without hesitation of what they will think if we speak what is really on our minds. We apologize for absolutely everything even when we shouldn’t because we’re used to constantly being accused, blamed, and criticized for everything, all the time. We feel such a need to prove ourselves because we want to be seen for who we really are, after all of their slander and smear campaigning.
It is a very lonely life. In order to break free, we have to crawl, on our knees, through the depths of hellfire and fury as they try to hold onto our feet and keep us caged into the darkest part of our reality. There is nothing worse than a narcissist who loses control. While you’ll be triggered to defend yourself against the attacks, do not engage in low blow combat. If you have mustered the strength and strategy to get away, then understand that you have already elevated beyond the level of comprehension and lack of emotion that they are stuck at. Love them enough to leave them alone and love yourself enough to be on your own.
The truth about narcissist abuse is that they will always be a narcissist and their abusive behavior will continue. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Love yourself. See you without them or their lens, identify what qualities you are left with, and hold onto them. Be you. Just be you, and practice patience in finding out who that is again without them. We don’t ever choose to stay but often, the problem is we don’t know how to get out. We’re too compassionate. We think we can change them and they will always try to find a way to pull us back in. Keep pushing and keep your head up. Don’t look down, and don’t turn around. This is what I have learned from my own experience and the only thing I want to hear when my divorce is final is, “Congratulations!” I can’t believe I have survived this experience. I feel like I almost didn’t... Honest.