I am one face in this battle but there are many, many more.
I have come to realize that this isn’t just my story – it’s the story of many, many women (and men) who have been affected by narcissistic personality disorder or other personality disorders. Divorcing a narcissist isn’t for the weak yet by the time you get to the point of finally wanting to leave your narcissist, you are usually beaten down and to the point that you don’t think you can continue for another day. That is the point in time where you have to dig deep inside and find the courage and the strength to take a stand. You need to dig deep in your closet for the battle gear (you know that dark corner where you throw the jeans that no longer fit?). Sometimes it takes a big of digging but I promise you that you will find the courage if you look hard enough.
My journal has turned into your journal. So many of my readers have shared stories with me that make me question if I was unknowingly living in a polygamist marriage. Usually, I don’t put anything past my X but somehow, I don’t think he was keeping up a double life in both the UK and China. Joking aside, this personality disorder affects so many people. If the stats are true and 4% of the population are Narcissists, that leaves a lot of us in the aftermath of the storm. There is power in numbers. A lot of my healing has come from hearing your stories and feeling less alone.
One of my friends said that she is going to write a book called, “Narcissism for Dummies” and the first (and only page) would say, “RUN“! Hindsight really is 20-20. I was almost two years into my battle before I realized that Narcissism was to blame for the chaos that had ensued over the past ten years of my life. Prior to that, I was clueless. I would watch him lie, steal, cheat and manipulate with a smile on his face. I would question my sanity. How can he open his mouth and lie like that? Who does that? I now have the answer: Narcissists do.
As I’ve said before, I don’t want to be seen as a victim. I don’t want you to be seen as a victim because your story is my story. My story is your story. I have the privilege of authoring the next chapter of my life and you have the ability to write your next chapter. Is it going to be a chapter where you are the victim or is it going to be the chapter where the victim finds her (his) voice and stands up to the bully? Narcissists are the same as bullies– they have low self esteems yet portray themselves to be powerful and bigger than life. I want to be that awesome kid on the playground who finally stands up to the bully and sets boundaries.
Cheers to setting boundaries and finding your voice! -Tina
PS Thank you for all of your comments and emails. I can’t tell you how inspiring it is for me to hear from you— some days I am encouraged to keep writing based on a simple message from my readers.