- Family and Parenting
Escaping the Narcissistic Maze
How to Escape the Emotional Maze
The problem with being in a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder is that it takes you a long time to realize that your significant other has an actual personality disorder. One might see them as controlling, manipulative, dishonest, and attention seeking. These may seem like minor personality flaws yet to the person involved with the NPD these traits can become unbearable.
First lets take a look at the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD.
- Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- Exaggerating your achievements and talents
- Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
- Requiring constant admiration
- Having a sense of entitlement
- Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
- Taking advantage of others to get what you want
- Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Being envious of others and believing others envy you
- Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
NPD is viewed as a personality disorder or illness but the real victims are the people that have to live with or associate with them. They can be an emotional vampire to anyone that crosses their path. In my recent experience, I have found that Narcissist do not grow weary of targeting their victims like most people would. It is a life long goal to destroy anyone who realizes that they are not as spectacular as they try to portray to the outside world.
I have lived for 18 years with a Narcissist. Deciding to leave the relationship is something that I avoided for many years because I knew that it would be torture. I actually had no idea hard the process would be. I was very young when I met my ex. When I met him he seemed to have life all figured out. He presented himself as someone who was smart, romantic, charming, and even vulnerable. My ex had the wonderful family with loving parents that I had so desperately desired all of my life. I was a target to the Narcissist. I was young, insecure, and from a broken home. My narcissist gave me unlimited time and attention. He swept me off of my feet and made me believe that if I chose to spend my life with him that everything that I had ever worried about would be okay. I was so very deceived!
I became pregnant shortly after we met and then I was trapped for good. I never regret my first born son at all but I do regret how things changed after I became pregnant. From the viewpoint of my ex I was his for good. He no longer needed to charm me. I was young and pregnant with no one else to turn to. We decided to get married and then the cycle of anger and abuse began. The signs began to slowly leak out. First and foremost came the anger. My Narcissist began to loose his temper over the smallest things. My personal things (never his things) began to get broken during his violent fits. There where holes in the walls and broken windshields constantly. I became very afraid of his temper and began to try to keep him happy. This was an impossible task.
Once I was right were the Narcissist needed me to be; scared and needy, things began to get worse. The verbal abuse became so constant that I truly started to believe it. In his eyes my family was trash, I was trash, and I would have nothing if it were not for him. He believed that providing me with nice things meant that he was a good person. The problem with that was that when I did not act in the way that he wanted to he took my things and locked them in a safe. The things that were locked up were my phone, car keys, purse, wallet, and any money that I might have been allowed to have. I was completely under his control.
Once we had a child I became so depressed and withdrawn that I barely left the house anymore. Then came the classic Narcissist behavior of slander. He told his family and all of friends that I was an antisocial recluse and did not like them. He created a separation between myself and any of the outside world. I was lead to believe that he was the only one that loved me and that there was something wrong with me. He became abusive to our son. He beat him with a belt at just two years old. He verbally attacked him daily and tore him down until he felt like nothing just like I did. We went on to have a total of three children. I still don't understand it completely but the younger 2 children never seemed to get anywhere near the level of abuse that my son and I did.
As the years went on I did all that I could to become the perfect wife. I thought that if I did everything right that he would get better. He did not get better, things got worse. In a way I blame myself. I enabled him and covered for him. I was so desperate for the perfect family that I tried to hold it together at all cost. It was pure torture. I was never able to deal with my own issues or have my own anger. I felt that I could show no emotion at all in fear of setting him off. One day as my Narcissist sat on the couch and told my sons that I was nothing but a "whore who only stayed for the money," something inside me clicked. I did not get upset or argue. That was it for me, I stood up and said "I can not do this anymore." I started packing. Of course he followed me around insulting me, dumping out my suitcase, locking up my things etc, but I remained calm and so did my children. They packed quickly and where ready to follow me wherever I went. They knew that we had no car and all of the bank accounts would be drained before we got out of the neighborhood. What my preciously trusting children did know was that I loved them and that I would do everything I could to take care of them.
This was just the first turn in my escape from this maze. That is how I have come to view my divorce from this Narcissist, as a maze with many turns. Most of the turns are unexpected. You can know in your heart that someone is insane but there is no way of knowing what their next move will be. The day I left he told me he would destroy me and I am here to tell you that he has tried to do just that. This is a learning experience and so far I see no light at the end of this maze. I move forward everyday with everything I have and I will continue to do just that. This is just my first entry. I have many more turns and twist to share and hope to be posting much more very soon!