Since a young age I always felt like I was different than other kids– not better, just different.
I preferred hanging with the adults, I used old sayings frequently, and on numerous occasions I could tell you what song was going to come on the radio next (which really freaked people out).
I chalked up most of the above scenarios to me growing up in foster care and having made adult decisions since I was about four–thanks to my alcoholic mother. I just thought I was ahead of my time as I was constantly being told by adults to “stay in a child’s place,” which I had no idea where that actually was.
After many years of suffering, feeling like an outcast, and thinking I had a heavy case of déjà vu’, I discovered I am an old soul/empath.
Since discovering that, I also now know that I attract narcissists.
Here’s my track record: my Mother, my first high-school best friend, and my high-school boyfriend who I later married and divorced after 17 years were all narcissists, in addition to the three that I dated after my divorce and two best friends I accumulated as an adult. It’s a real-life moth to a flame effect.
Throughout my marriage I always knew something wasn’t right about my ex-husband’s behavior. I remember constantly telling people, “Something just isn’t right about him. He shows no empathy, doesn’t cry at funerals or in sad situations and is very cold and mean-spirited.”
All of these years, I gave his bad behavior, emotional abuse, lack of emotion and empathy an extreme benefit of the doubt because we got together at such a young age and I thought he just needed to grow up.
He thought I would never leave due to my lack of a support system and the fact that we had such a good love story on paper–and to be honest I didn’t think I would ever leave either. Then one day I woke up and realized he was 33 years old and he was the same boy I had met in high-school when we were 14!
After living in what I can only equate to hell on Earth in a seventeen year-long marriage, I came across some random pins on Pinterest regarding narcissism and I was finally able to identify his odd behavior.
Once I was armed with what he was and the heavily supported statistics that narcissists never change, I finally found my will to leave and the decision was a cake walk! Two days after my discovery and having my mind blown, I opened a P.O. Box, cancelled my auto-transfer to our bill paying account, packed my stuff and moved out while he was at work.
I knew I made the right decision when I felt an immediate rush of happiness I hadn’t experienced in years wash over me the minute I made the decision to leave.
After struggling with depression on and off for years, I could never pin-point where exactly it was coming from, but my epiphany hit me like a ton of bricks: it was him!
He was the root of my unhappiness. After years of extensive criticism, put-downs, belittlement
and lack of support, I was at my wits end.
A week before I left him I was heavily considering drinking a bottle of anti-freeze and taking my own life, and I whole-heartedly thought no one would miss me- I actually believed I was doing them a favor.
Despite overcoming the stigma of foster care, raising my four sisters, buying my first home at nineteen, paying for my own wedding on a golf course at twenty one, founding my own non-profit that helps youth transition to adulthood, and self-publishing a curriculum on Amazon- he still succeeded in making me feel absolutely worthless.
Weeks before I decided to leave I had no support system and few friends.
Then the most magical thing happened.
The week I decided to leave, people who I thought were just acquaintances came out the cracks and began to rally around me and show me love that I had never experienced in my life.
I was so prepared to stay at a women’s shelter and completely rebuild my life in the trenches, if it meant I would be free from him, but I never had to do that, thanks to the real-life guardian angels that were sent to Earth to rescue me.
I am so happy to announce that I have been free from my dungeon for four whole years as I write to you all today!
In addition to escaping this torturous marriage, learning about his behavior helped me quickly identify all of the other narcs in my life as well as the new ones that popped up. I have eliminated all those people from my life and I am living 100% narc free!
Another sign that it was meant to be is that I have not wanted nor needed for anything throughout this entire process. I immediately found a place to live and an inexpensive car through referrals, and my friends have drowned me in copious amounts of love and support.
Best of all, I feel like me again.
I have goals.
I recognize the woman I see in the mirror and most of all- I WANT TO LIVE!!!
To all the beautiful people out there struggling with ANY kind of abuse, I would like to leave you with a few pieces of advice:
- No abuse is okay (and YES mental/emotional abuse counts)!
- Love should never hurt!
- You don’t deserve that treatment!
- There is someone out there who will love you the way you deserve to be loved!
- Don’t be afraid to tell your story and ask for help!
- Don’t be afraid to ACCEPT help (that was my biggest obstacle) and lastly;
- YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
My name is Chelsie and I’m 36 years old. I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, I have no kids or pets and I like to scrapbook and write on my free time. I’m the oldest of 5 kids, I grew up in foster care and I am a survivor of narcissistic abuse. Visit Chelsie’s blog: https://chelsieo.wordpress.com.
Chelsie, I love your article detailing your life. I also love your smile! Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you’re free. You deserve it! I do believe when we are on the right track, our angels and guides will come out to assist us. I’m so thrilled you found yours. Much love to you!
Hello Carol! Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement and thank you for reading- I know it was long. I truly agree with you on our Angels- may we both always be guided and protected by them. Hugs and much to you also!
Beautiful. I want to say thank you. All my life I have been surrounded by Narcs staring with my Mother. I didn’t know until. I found. Pinterest. N stared reading About the emotional abuse. I realize. Then. What my real problem.Was. I freed myself n on my way to a better life. I hope to also help. Others. It’s a eye opener. To n not really understandable how they can make our life’s so unbelievable. N Miserable. It’s still Mystery. To me. I’m learning Maudie
Maudie, thank you so much for reading and your kind words but mostly thank you for sharing some of your story. This is the most mind-blowing thing I have ever dicovered inmy adult life and I’m still wrapping my head around it. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] if you eveer need anything- advice, to vent, to cry anything! Stay strong and hugs to you.