Last night someone asked me, how could you stay for so long with all of the horrible things that he did to you? The question that many are afraid to ask. The question that sometimes I can’t even fully answer without getting angry with myself. Why the fuck did I stay with a man who treated me with such disrespect, and disregard for SEVEN LONG YEARS?
The answer is simple-it’s called narcissistic abuse.
I am an educated (master’s degree, law school, certificates up the ying yang), intelligent, and financially stable woman, yet I couldn’t see through this manipulative, sociopath, narcissist. I was basically outsmarted by this dumb bastard with his charm and smooth tactics.
He mastered the love bombing phase and showered me with so much love, compliments, and attention that I was hooked. Yes, there may have been some minor hints of abuse at the beginning that I ignored but he did a very good job of getting me under his spell before revealing his true colors. By the time it became more obvious, he had beaten down my self confidence and was verbally abusing me on a daily basis. Sometimes this abuse would be in the form of “jokes” that were clearly not jokes, other times there were passive aggressive comments, and a lot of times there were loud outbursts and rages when he had a few too many drinks. Those rages scared the living shit out of me. He would yell to the point of things shaking in the house. Sometimes he would throw things and slam doors. His eyes would gloss over and one time he actually blacked out.
His friends would watch him insult me or demean me and call him a douche to his face, and tell him to cut the shit but it wouldn’t stop him. His family, including his own daughter (who I still love dearly and refer to as my step-daughter as I wll forever!) would tell him he was an asshole, but that wouldn’t change anything. She told me to leave him on multiple occasions.
But every single time I kicked him out, he weaseled his way back in. The tears. The begging. The pleading. The promises of change. Now I know it wasn’t because he loved me so much, it was because he would lose control over me and couldn’t handle it. I fell for it every single time until something finally clicked.
That something was me almost dying from that seizure that turned out to be from the brain tumor. It took me seeing what a horrible caregiver and selfish piece of shit I was living with. I realized that I couldn’t grow old with his man. I couldn’t grow with him period. This couldn’t be my life anymore. ( see blog post Getting rid of two tumors)
So, to answer the question of how I could stay with him for so many years- I am embarrassed to say that I was abused and I hid it from everybody.
I am so often referred to as this strong, fierce woman (even the title of my blog!), yet I was weak, sick, and losing myself. I fell victim to abuse.
Don’t fall into the narcissistic trap like I did. Be aware of the signs and run at the first red flag because once you’re sucked in, it’s like stepping in fucking quicksand.