Getting On With Life

Being a migrant anywhere I believe you seem to be automatically at a disadvantage. I found a website called Expat Online or something similar. I was surprised to discover many women in a similar situation to myself. The plight of an Australian girl living in Europe had particularly caught my eye. Her experiences had very much mirrored my own and like me she had had no success reaching out for help. In fact her situation was worse than my own. She could not speak the language. When she had tried to get help, the men(including her partner) had stood there chatting and she had had the distinct impression she was being portrayed as crazy.

We did go for several bouts of couple’s counselling. That was a mistake. In fact attending counselling with him was so traumatising, I had flashbacks for ages. I had soon realised he was so plausible, nobody was going to help me and if we split up, he and his awful family would get hold of the children. I was not going to surrender my children to him under any circumstances. I have since read the book The Sociopath Next Door and have decided my instincts were probably correct. I made the decision to sit it out until the children were old enough to be allowed to make their own choices. In the meantime I set about doing my best to make it work. I had even read Dr Phil’s Relationship Rescue. The best advice was to really study your partner. I did this with gusto. I had tried to discover what his needs were and did my best to meet them. I became interested in photography and had become meticulous about storing our photos as one consequence of this.

The photos had really helped me too. I had focussed on the good times and developed strategies to manage his behaviour. By and large this had actually worked really well and I had managed to be relatively happy most of the time. I was open with the children about their dad. I have since discovered Sam Vaknin says much the same thing -basically tell the children the truth His rages in my eyes were the tantrums of a three year old and I would not give in to them under any circumstances. He had improved significantly, although mixing with his family was a major trigger for him. One family member in particular had known exactly how to push his buttons. I ended up going no contact with most of his family. This was not because I had known anything about “No contact” I had just realised it had felt so much better having nothing to do with them. It still does.

I came to feel a bit sorry for my ex at times. I had watched his relationship with his family and had tried to learn from it. I could see he had not really been allowed to develop his own seperate identity. I had recognised he had no idea who he really was. I thought how lucky I was to have been allowed to develop my own seperate identity. I thanked my parents for this many times. He did however triangulate me with his family all the time. As I largely ignored them, it bothered me less and less.

Things had deteriorated again when he had changed jobs and had started to move up the corporate ladder. I had hated the whole corporate wife thing and had refused to conform. My ex had found this frustrating but our children were really well-liked as I had done my best to bring them up with minds of their own. I think this was to some extent respected. They were polite but they did not conform either.

My relationship with my ex had deteriorated on joining the new company. The blokey, chauvinistic culture had really got up my nose and I did not hide it. However I was now fighting to keep things stable on too many fronts. I became deeply unhappy. He had started to completely disregard my opinion on anything. He now had to make absolutely all the decisions. He would sit on his laptop and later his phone and simply plan our lives with no consultation. I had periodic problems with flying monkeys but I would basically tell them to get lost. I have zero tolerance for flying monkeys. I learned to laugh at the narc’s harem. I thought if you are dumb enough to put up with what I have had to, good luck to you. The whole time I had kept my eye on my timeline. If things had not improved by the time the children could make their own decisions, then it would be over.

The end had come a little earlier than I had intended. It was God’s timing which mattered in the end. I had told him his threats no longer intimidated me. I think that was it in his mind. He had then planned a scene.


The Beginning

Sitting there in my comfortable room one evening, I was poised there with tears trickling down my face, as I listened to Desperado by The Eagles, I had decided to change my life. I had realised that, as in the song, I did indeed have to “Come to my senses.” I made the fateful decision to get serious about dating.

The last guy I dated before the narcissist was actually really nice but I had thought we were no longer a couple, as i had heard nothing from him in a couple of months. He had told me that he would be studying but hearing nothing for so long, I had assumed it was over. I was wrong as it turned out-more of that later.

I had been teaching, saving money and then travelling. I was definitely restless. The big event which I believe may have made me more vulnerable than usual was the death of my grandmother. We had been really close and I had adored her. (Even now I have a small picture of my grandmother by my bed.)

The bar at the dance had been unusually busy. We were standing in a line, in a very English way, waiting for a drink and I had started talking to a guy I knew. The guy standing with him, had soon begun to hold a particular fascination for me. I had discovered he was Australian and having not long returned from Australia myself, I was keen to talk about my trip. To be honest at that time, he had appeared quite distant. When I think about it now, I feel that he had not initially believed I would be good supply. Perhaps he detected that I would be quite hard work, which is perfectly true.

My experiences of travelling had left me independent-minded and something of a free spirit, so I was not a girl, who had danced around her handbag. I was more than happy to dance on my own. I was actually in the middle of a group , when he had appeared smiling and had begun to “strut his stuff” on the dance floor. I had thought he was hilarious. Naively I had assumed I had found another “free spirit”. He did seem a bit in love with himself, even then but I had had no idea of any possible danger. I was strong. I was independent. I had a career, many friends and I had always had a strong sense of self. I had had no reason to believe I would attract a predator, although I now believe he was not the first.We had a great time and I had felt an instant connection. He had seemed to share my quirky sense of humour and fun. Soon he had asked for my number, which I had not been able to recall, as I had only recently moved in. He had instead, given me his. He had given me his home number, his work number, his address etc etc. I had never had a guy give me so much information. Conversation was easy between us. Actually it often was, even towards the end. A few weeks before our split, some woman had actually commented to us, how comfortable and relaxed we had appeared. The irony had really struck me because by that stage, he had not been the only one putting on an act, although my motives had been different.

I have learned much about myself through all this. I had always had many male friends. I was relieved to find somebody, who like me enjoyed friendships with members of the opposite sex. I realise now he had his own personal harem. In fact I now believe he had deliberately paraded me in front of at least one woman(married) with whom he was having an affair. (More of that later..)

I had waited almost a week before calling him. We had soon excitedly organised our first date.

The Inspirational Way One Man Dealt With His Grief

How one ex Disney animator dealt with his grief at losing his wife

This beautiful animation really inspired me this morning. This man used his grief to create something beautiful. I was also reminded that the Taj Mahal was a product of grief. Perhaps those of us still dealing with the loss of a non-existant relationship with a narcissistic abuser, may one day also be able to produce a masterpiece.



Free School

Let’s Stick Together

Kim Wilson TV-Fringe Element Narcissists

This is almost exactly what I have been experiencing in my life. The primary narc has been replaced by a number of “Fringe Element Narcissists.”.

I love her idea of treating each one like a science project.

Vintage GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

This is a fantastic concept. She is basically suggesting we mentally contain them and do not absorb their energy. I have one in particular I have been observing for several months. I am working on the idea that we basically have to mentally quarantine them. I am scientific by nature and had been testing my theory for months, as I had concerns about some newcomers in my life and so far everything checks out. I recognise the tactics only too well.

Initially I was pumped for information. I watched as they deliberately overshared in the hope I would do likewise. Another one even tried to lure me with chocolate. (Straight out of the narc handbook according to Richard Grannon.) The chocolate went in the bin-

I did give the oversharer a couple more chances because I really did not want to believe it was happening again. Time and time again I have watched God handle these situations in awe. He does not muck about, so I just observe and wait for God to show he is the one in charge.

Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The End of The Tunnel

How many of us who have experienced narcissistic abuse end up moving homes? Some even decide to move countries. In many cases this relocation can be an amazing opportunity. In my case the one time my youngsters decided briefly to have my ex narc on loud speaker phone, he had managed to mock my plans. You know the kind of thing, so I won’t go into details.

Nonetheless I pressed on and here I sit writing in my new home. Life still presents occasional challenges but I feel like I am on another planet. I think I must have been living in Narc Central before my move. I wonder if they are all drawn together, as I swear the vast majority of people I encountered there, were somewhere on the upper end of the narcissistic spectrum. I realise now that I had been living totally on edge for decades. It was his world but it had never been mine. Now it feels like I am back in my world, I have to pinch myself to check it’s real. My years living in Narcville, have left me profoundly mistrustful but I am starting to chill out a little now and I even experience moments of pure joy.

Today was just such a day. I spent time with a friend, who loves my new home as much as I do. People don’t barge into me anymore. They stop at crossings. They wait patiently in the checkout queue and above all they actually smile.

When we are going through the trauma of divorce and separation, the future can seem daunting but if we plod on, keep moving one foot, however tentatively, in front of the other, (even when the path ahead seems to have disappeared into dark and even occasionally dangerous undergrowth), one day light will break through and life will begin again.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Hamster in the sun
The Future Is So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!