The Fight Back

When we eventually uncover the truth about narcissists and narcissistic abuse, it feels like we have stumbled on some alternate reality. One minute we think we are living a fairly standard life. The next we are in the middle of some macabre TV special or worse still a horror story. If we are fortunate we realise that our lives, our souls and everything we hold dear is at stake. If we are less fortunate we can become a crime statistic or just another broken individual, who has no idea what has happened to us. How come my little old ordinary life had caused me to cross paths with so many of these toxic beings. I’ve had my life threatened, had my ex and his family try to persuade everybody I was a crazy woman and have ended up seriously ill in hospital, having been expected to carry on like a machine, while pregnant, looking after a very active toddler, dealing with the loss of my father and the death of two of my friends, in quick succession.I was pregnant-not to mention being an awfully long way away from home and my own family of origin and any support they might have been able to provide.

My pregnancy with my son was really awful too. He had virtually ignored our needs. It was so bad I had said I would not have more children with him. He had briefly put on a show for a while. Eventually managing to change my mind while we were on a trip away. He had gone out of his way to show he could be attentive and caring. I had fallen for it. The first pregnancy had been the result of a condom failing. (We had planned to have children eventually but our son had come along a little earlier than we had intended.)

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I thought I knew these things but somehow you never believe it is going to happen to you.

I had been rushed into hospital following the birth of my second child, desperately ill. In the meantime my ex had carried on with his life as normal and had organised a rota for the neighbours to look after our children. I remember trying to survive in hospital in surgical gowns, as he had made no real effort to sort me out with clothing. I had become sicker and sicker in hospital and whilst he had loved to disappear in huddles with the doctors and nurses, no doubt to tell them what a hopeless individual I was. He had actually done nothing to improve my terrible situation in hospital. I feel sure he had it all worked out. Everybody would feel sorry for him having to look after his crazy, invalid wife as well as his young children. Although he would of course have the full support of his family of origin. However his little fairy story had soon gone a slightly awry.

Even sick as I was, I had sent his family packing and had clawed my way back to health.

I had also managed to organise some help, to get me through my recovery, including some childcare. His attitude had seemed to improve and he had become a little more supportive. We had even gone for a weekend’s break. leaving the children with his mother. I am not proud of this, but by this stage I think they both had me convinced that I was a hopeless mother anyway.

Everything had changed for me, having endured that particular nightmare. I had realised that I had to take better care of myself. I had also then started to fight back. I had read books and written journals and had started keeping records, should I need them in the future, when I had fully intended to divorce him and to get away. It was then I had started the habit of insisting everything was in writing, citing my poor memory. I had had no idea about gaslighting. I had just known my mineral levels were all over the place and had assumed that was why I was “confused”. It has been interesting to read back through many years of these communications. It has taught me a great deal. I also (unbeknownst to him) had started keeping an occasional diary record. I had made my assignment to fight back to and improve my life whilst documenting at least some of my struggles.

Music Source: Colin Wright

Edward Bulwer Lytton

The pen is mightier than the sword.