Living Through and Recovering From a Relationship with a Narcissist

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MINE by Bridget OLeary

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He told me he “loved” my voice.
He will never have the privilege of hearing it again.
It is mine now. I have taken it back.
He told me my hair was beautiful and he “loved” it.
He will never have the privilege of looking at it or running his fingers through it or grabbing and pulling it in the heat of sex again.
It is mine now. I have taken it back.
He told me he “loved” the curve of my waist.
He will never have the privilege of running his hand over that curve again or touching my body again.
It is mine now. I have taken it back.
He told me he “loved” my eyes.
He will never have the privilege of seeing them gaze lovingly, admiringly, trustingly into his again.
They are mine now. I have taken them back.
He will never smell my perfume again. It is mine.
He will never feel my arms around him again. They are mine.
He will never hear me say “I love you” again. I don’t.
I lost a lot when I left. But he lost so much more.
He lost me.
All of me.
He lost everything.
I, on the other hand, have gained everything.
I have myself back.
I will love again because I can, this time, someone who can love me back.

 

Bridget’s Bio:
I am recovering my life, rediscovering who I am, and healing my heart, soul, and mind. Recently awakened from a 34 year nightmare, I’ve come a long way with so much further to go.
 

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This post has been submitted by a reader of Fairy Tale Shadows.

6 Comments

  1. Amazing Bridget!! I just escaped a 27 year nightmare, also at a huge financial cost. I’m so happy that you got out!! We got out!! I hope to write about it as you have done here. Beautiful and yet so sad and true. My heart hopes with yours for the future. For now, we have our freedom, family, friends and ourselves to celebrate! I will print your poem and post it as reminder and be thankful each and every day. Best of luck to you!!

    1. Sela, thank you so much for your kind words. You are right when you say, “We got out.” We escaped. I am sending warm thoughts your way and wish you a beautiful, happy life! So glad and thankful to have found Kristen’s blog. Take care!

  2. Great writing and it you expressed loud and clear that you are done and healing. That is amazing. You should be really proud to have reclaimed yourself.

    I hope to one day soon be further along in my recovery after an almost twenty year on and off relationship. I felt so alone and had no idea that anyone had ever experienced the type of abuse and manipulation. I didn’t think anyone would ever understand. How could they when I couldn’t understand it myself?

    Now I am learning that I was not alone and that unfortunately many, many others are subject to this abuse. I hope that because of our suffering we can form a united voice and help others. I’m so happy I found this website. I will be sharing my story soon.

    1. Amanda, My heart hurts for you, for all of us, because somewhere, at sometime in our formative years we got the message that we were not valuable and not worthy of love, or maybe we were not taught what true love was. For me, it was my father sitting me down at 13 years of age and explaining to me that he did not hate me, but instead, loved me, all while continuing to be horribly abusive in every way to me, my siblings and our mother. So somewhere in our past the wires got crossed and our ability to discern love was damaged, making us easy targets for this particularly wretched form of abuse. And a large aspect of this abuse is isolation, which furthers our feelings of being alone, misunderstood, and sometimes even causes us to wonder if we’re losing our minds. When I left my ex-husband I had never heard of Narcissistic abuse. It was only as I tried to understand why he had treated me so horribly and why his behavior was so strange that I began to understand. Admitting to ourselves that we were lied to and that what we thought was love was, in fact, mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse is an extremely difficult concept to wrap our bruised brains around. Narcissists create a cult-like atmosphere with trauma bonding behavior. Our brains actually become addicted to a chemical that’s released when we’re treated well, but that other shoe always drops, the abuse begins again, and we live waiting for the good moments when we feel loved again, even if only temporarily. The cycle is perpetual and we start to feel crazy. After awhile we don’t even recognize “normal” anymore. It’s no wonder we feel alone. Recovery from this is slow and hard but also so very worth it. 💗

  3. Bridget, Your poem is extraordinary and beautiful and your words show the strength and resilience you had to take your life back. You are empowered and empowering all of us with your creativity. Thank you! Regarding your story, was it one action, one last argument, one final raging moment that ended the love in your heart and your head for your partner? I’m curious as I make my way through and say to to myself that “next time my boundaries are crossed, I’m done.” Yet, another incident ensues and then we go back to a “normal” (not really) life. Please continue to write. You have a wonderful gift. xo

    1. Vicki, Thank you for your kind comments. It is my hope that somehow I can help others who are suffering this kind of abuse to “see the light”, so to speak, and maybe they will get a glimpse of what abundant life is like, what hope feels like, and that their life story does not have to end on a sad note. That’s how it happened for me – I was finally able to catch a glimmer of hope, and realized that no, I wasn’t the crazy, “screwy” person my ex-husband had tried to convince me I was. When I mustered the strength to say, “No more,” and walk out the door I had that magic ingredient: HOPE. It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, a month after I moved out, I couldn’t stop crying and spent two weeks in mental hospital. I still had so much to learn. You asked when I finally lost my love for him. I think it was the day I saw him in the grocery store parking lot laughing his head off with his “new” girlfriend. It was roughly a week after our divorce trial where he cried on the stand and testified he had no intention of every marrying again. Seeing them together like that combined with the absolute vitriol he started to exhibit when we had to correspond in the following weeks solidified, for me, that he never did love me, as he claimed. It was then that any warm, fuzzy feelings I had left for him truly began to die. For normal human beings to have to leave someone we love, have children with, and have given our lives to is pretty much like tearing out our own hearts but when it’s a choice between that pain and our very survival, we must choose to rise, gasp for air one last time and decide to love our own souls enough to choose life. I was DYING. In every way. Narcissistic abuse has been called a “slow, purposeful soul rape.” That’s the most accurate description I’ve ever heard. If you are hoping your husband will get better or have a “light bulb” moment when he finally sees your worth and decides to value you all I can tell you, from the bottom of my heart, is I wasted 34 years of my life hoping my ex-husband would love me. And now I fully see and realize what he is, what he’s incapable of love, and I so wish I would have understood that before I ever married him. A true Narcissist CANNOT change, no matter what they say and no matter how many promises they make. We must LOVE ourselves enough to recognize when we are being abused and love ourselves enough to say, “ENOUGH.”

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