Hello. My name is Kristen Milstead.
I started this blog on a whim at the end of 2017 because I didn’t have anyone to talk to about the things I had just experienced in the relationship I had just left.
For almost four years, I was in a relationship with someone whose behavior fits the pattern of that of a narcissist.
Notice I don’t actually say what he is. I say his behavior fits the pattern. I’m less interested in staying focused on him and more interested in trying to understand what happened to me (but here’s the reason why I think the labels are so important and why I will always argue for calling a pattern what it is).
What I experienced, unequivocally, was a phenomenon called narcissistic abuse.
During this time, I thought I was going crazy. I experienced the most intense love and the worst betrayal and psychological pain I have ever felt. There was a time I thought he was going to kill me. There were also other forms of abuse present in the relationship as well. My identity and psyche became nearly unidentifiable even to myself.
After doing hundreds of hours of research using both the Internet and by taking advantage of the Library of Congress, I have been able to understand more about what I went through. For one, I can conclude now that I had undergone a form of brainwashing that is pretty standard in these types of relationships and had developed a trauma bond.
I spent a long time and thought a lot about what narcissistic abuse really is, trying to come up with a definition that I think works to try to make it easier to understand and explain to others. Giving narcissistic abuse its own unique definition can help promote awareness and highlight the special ways survivors are harmed in these relationships. Check it out and see if you agree: Narcissistic Abuse in Relationships: What Is It?
Overall, this blog has been a way for me to try to start taking my own life back and healing from what happened to me in the relationship. It changed my life and has been integral to my recovery.
But… because it covers so many points of my recovery in time, you’ll see many styles of writing and different voices here: research results, my theories for what happens in these types of relationships, my personal recollections of what happened to me, and my thoughts and feelings about how it felt to be in a relationship like this one.
Today, although time has passed and I am much better, I keep writing to document the ongoing, honest portrayal of what it’s like to continue to recover from a relationship like this one and to encourage others to leave their abusive relationships.
If you are new to my blog, I would encourage you to start with these articles, which are the most popular on my website and the ones I get the most email about:
If you like what you see so far, I invite you to sign up to get all future articles delivered to your inbox.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my website. Stay strong!
Kristen Milstead has a Ph.D. in Sociology and specialized her research in criminology, gender and sexual behavior, and sexual assault. She is no longer working in academics and now lives in Washington, D.C. where her career focuses on none of those things, but uses her general knowledge of social behavior and numbers. She sings in a competitive karaoke league when she has more time, but her first passion is maintaining the blog and helping others who have been in relationships with a narcissist understand what they went through.