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I ended a day that should have been a good one crying on the floor in my bathroom in despair. I know, I’m probably not the only one whose had a day like mine. A day where nothing much seemed to go wrong, but nothing was right either. And after a few too many glasses of wine and a totally eye opening video of what how fat you have really gotten, well, the effects of the life your living come crashing down and there is nothing left but your pain.13307203_1472650906085524_6229179927667615384_n

I thought I was doing OK, really. Maybe drinking more than I should, but stress, right? And I was aware, so its not like I was turning into an alcoholic. Lets overlook the fact that I can/could drink more than an entire bottle of wine and still walk and talk just fine. I have Irish blood, high tolerance. I might wake up in the morning with my back sore, but that’s just my bed, my hands might be stiff, but that’s just… what?

Psoriasiatic Arthritis. Goddamnit. I’m sorry, its really killing me to admit it. Because I really haven’t admitted it until now. I haven’t been diagnosed by a doctor, because I haven’t GONE to one, but I have all the symptoms, I have psoriasis (since childhood) and I hurt, everywhere. It explanes all the weird aches and pains I have been having, the chest pains that aren’t a heart attack, the shoulder pain that wont quit, the fact that my feet and back hurt so bad in the morning I can hardly walk and that some days my hands hurt too much to wear my rings. I’m not just fat, I’m broken. And I am afraid to tell him because I know he will just dismiss my pain or blame it on my weight, which isn’t totally wrong, but my weight is caused by my condition and my condition is caused by my weight and he will only see that second part.

13336060_1474951572522124_2981844870468649095_nI am crushed. I know there are things I can do to feel better before starting on drugs (chemo drugs, or drugs whose side effects are sudden death, I’ll wake up sore Thankyouverymuch) but dealing with this makes life seem so short and so lonely. I see other couples and I’m sure they have issues, but just feel like they’re nothing compared to what I’m dealing with. Like seriously, who is scared/reluctant to tell their spouse they have a chronic condition (that runs in their family) because they wont be believed? I’m so jealous, I can’t even tell you.

I’m just, beyond tired. Like, tired is part of this physical thing, but my soul, I can’t even. I want, so much, to be hope for you all. I WANT to tell you there is a way to be OK. To survive this and manage and maybe even thrive. But I AM NOT OK. I feel like this is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I have done the hardest Tough Mudder. Fuck that, its child’s play compared to this. I avoid talking to you, talking to GOD, because I don’t want to cry. I don’t want to FEEL how bad I feel. I want to pretend that its OK, because I’m choosing this, this horrible path is my choice. And that makes me insane I think. Just to see my kids every day and give them some kind of stability. Just to try and trust that God has a plan in all this and can make this horrible life worth it and beautiful, just to protect as much as I can what I have built in my daughters, requires super human strength. And I don’t have it.

I cry, deep sobbing cries, when I have time to. I cry silent single tears when I cant keep them at bay. I have cracks in my wall where God has gotten in and those places are at peace, even though it hurts. And even though I cant let him in any deeper, for fear I will totally fall apart. I can’t fall apart, because I am the only thing holding this all together, and OMG the pressure!… I’m not enough and never will be. I still have my self worth tied up in him somehow. I still feel like crap when he ignores me. And he still tries to put on the show on social media, his wife is amazing, yada yada yada, but in real life? Well, I’m never going to really be enough. The bruise of that fact is killing me, all the time. And somehow I have to stop letting that destroy me, take my self worth back from him, and give it back to myself and God, only then will I start feeling better, getting well, and losing the weight. Until then…. I’ll cry to God in the bathroom alone, and keep looking for the answer.

 

TWO DAYS LATER:

I feel I need to do a little follow up, mostly ‘cu13335217_10204768483890671_1076009131_nz I haven’t really spilled my guts like that here before and hell, I’m a little embarrassed. I’m not a baby, I’m a tougher than that. But you know what, sometimes it fucking hurts. Sometimes the loss of the dream of what my life would be just kills me. This is not even close to what I thought I would be by now. This life doesn’t fit my heart and it sucks sometimes. I am still that wide eyed kid inside thinking you should always tell the truth, that people are mostly good, and bad things don’t happen to good girls like me. On the one hand, Man, do I know better now. On the other hand, well, I’m still me deep down, so Thank God for that.

Yeah, I realize after ripping my soul open that there’s a lot left in me I haven’t let live. I have accepted a small life, a small role for myself. I have clung so HARD to my ideal of marriage and life and motherhood, that in a lot of ways I haven’t adapted and let myself thrive in adversarial conditions, though I know I’m fully capable. Crazily, I believe myself to be one of a group of incredibly strong women in my life. Honestly, I’m surrounded by incredibly strong women who support me and my efforts to create stability for my girls.

And you know what, he’s not a horrible father. He’s kinda stupid about girls, and he’s not nearly as protective (wearing a helmet on her bike, more freedom than I agree with) as I would like him to be. He hides the crazy from them pretty well most of the time, and Ill take that as long as I can. Ill step in when its necessary, because I’m NOT afraid, not anymore. The changes in me (and him, Ill give him credit for trying) over these last 10 months are dramatic and I’m so thankful for everything Ive gone though.

I’m not fine, and you know what, I don’t know that anyone really is. We all have horrible pain over something, we’ve all had our taste of hell one way or another. Maybe I let mine hide out too much and when it pops out I just cant handle it. I don’t know. I do know that I need to deal with myself. There are things I have to face in myself that have nothing to do with him. I have to accept my own identity, and not keep withing for life as half of a pair, I’m never going to have that, and that’s OK. At this point, I wouldn’t want it if it showed up with an ironclad guarantee. I hide from my potential, and I need to stop. I can be amazingly great and successful totally under the radar, no one would ever know, and even still, I hide from it. I have to stop that.

Anyway, I’ll be OK, enough OK anyway to not spend every night drinking wine and sobbing alone. Thank you for listening to my pain and sending me your love, I feel it! And even though I’m going to disagree with some of your advice, I totally accept and appreciate the spirit its been given in. Thanks for rooting for me you guys.

All my Love!

Sam

 

 

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35 thoughts on “I can’t even…

  1. Rebecca Pena says:

    My heart breaks with you…..

  2. Bee says:

    Samantha, I could have written your letter myself. You are not alone. I feel the same. I fight with myself every day about my weight, also caused by ill health, drink wine more as a sticking plaster rather than enjoying the experience, not caring about myself, just holding it together. I’ve a good job, gorgeous children and a man who is the cause for the pain. Perhaps reaching out we can try make little changes every day and start to lose the weight and feel better about ourselves, baby foot-steps together….? Bee.

  3. L says:

    I don’t usually comment on anything but reading this I felt I had to. I was married to a narcissist for ten years, together for twelve and we have three children. I have just turned 34, he is forty. I told him to leave in November last year after another of his explosive angry tirades in front of our children who were eight, five and two at the time. I had been suffering with chronic, unexplained illness for at least a year and crippling anxiety. I understand your staying but would seriously ask you to reconsider for the sake of your health. These men are literally killers.

    I have to be honest and say the abuse escalated once he left and his discard has been brutal but my health is improving. I am waiting on a follow up mri after a previous has shown an area of inflammation. The neurologist thought this could be ms, I’ve been terrified it’s something more serious. I understand and recognise the desperation in your post but it cannot get better if you stay. There will never be a right time to go. Sometimes when it’s all falling apart is the best time to go build something new. You will never be a priority in you relationship and if your condition becomes worse wil he take care of you, your children? When you leave you can focus on establishing a support network you can rely on ad on restoring your health. What if you become ill and he discards you then as narcissists are notorious for doing?

    You can escape with what you have and build something better. I’m not judging you, not at all but I know the pressure and the fear and I just wanted to tell you what I wish someone had told me: This abuse never gets better, it always gets worse, always. Please don’t wait, you have to save yourself. You deserve so much better. You are so brave already to carry the weight of those feelings, you can do it.

    With love,

    Laura

  4. Tracy says:

    Oh sweet woman…I’ve been where you are with my own set of details…I so know. And I can tell you…amidst what feels like hopelessness you will find your strength. You also will find what you’re putting in front of yourself to block it. It sounds to me like it’s almost time; sink or swim and I recognize a swimmer when I see one. I did this. It took me years and a lot of little changes (career, friends, MY OWN THINKING, PRAYING) but it happens. Self esteem, self worth, your habilitation tolerate being abused, your desire to save your children’s future…it all grows. Read. Deepak. Michael Bernard Beckwith. Marianne Williamson. Brenè Brown. Motivational quotes on Pinterest. Oprah’s Video soul series! They will resonate and one day at a time you will grow and find your true limitless self. And he won’t stand a chance against you. You can do this and you deserve to do this. It’s not selfish. It’s self care. Care for yourself first. It took me five years to finally let it go and believe I am worth more. And guess what….the man I have now? Omg. OMG. yes. I am a princess. No. A queen. And so are you. F:$k this man. Love him. Forgive him. Give him to God to deal with and save yourself. ❤️

    1. Tracy says:

      (Not habilitation…ability to…sorry)

      1. Tracy says:

        (13 years together and two kids…..).

        1. Hala says:

          Tracy, you give me hope! 8 years and 2 kids here and an exit strategy is finally forming!

    2. Geri says:

      Tracy, I really needed to hear your inspiring words! “You will also find what you’re putting in front of yourself to block it” is key for me. I thought it was more important to do things right than be who I am. I have been second-guessing myself for 23 years and have 2 kids with him. I’ve been doing all the things on your list for a year and getting stronger and more clear everyday. Thank you for the birds eye view. With hope and love, Geri

  5. Jess says:

    God doesn’t expect you to live in misery and abuse. He has broken covenant and you are released from it. I know that you want to be with your children. I miss mine terribly when he is at his fathers but half the time he is here we make special. I actually have time to take care of myself. Don’t get me wrong, jerk didn’t really want 50/50 but he went there because the narcissist in him make him want to win and get something over on me. I, like my mother just not as bad, get horrible debilitating headaches from strong cologne and when I told him he would tell me it’s in my head and wear it stronger to try and prove a point.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I am not staying out of some twisted ideal on marriage and faithfulness. Im not staying because I think I owe him anything. The single reason I am staying, is that the good days are outweighing the bad, and at this point, this is the LEAST painful path. I looked and looked for “salvation” a road to the removal of all hurt and pain, and there isnt one. There are drawbacks to every choice I could make. God is asking me to trust Him (God, not my husband), and Im going to trust that that means when the day comes for my freedom from this burden, the path will open before me. Until then, Ill find happiness in each day even with a narc floating around in my home. That doesnt mean though, that I still wont fall face first into the hurt every once and a while. :/
      I had a bad night, I still have a lot of pain I obviously need to sort though, because he didnt even do anything to me to bring all that up. He was sleeping and we had a fine day. Its just there still, the old pain. And even though hes better, hes still emotionally handicapped and we still arent a good match. But thats neither here, nor there at the moment.

  6. Carrie Coyle says:

    Samantha, I felt like you everyday. Until I made the hardest, scariest choice in my life and left my narcissist. It’s hell leaving and it’s hell staying. But the worst hell was staying. And my health suffered so much by staying. And he didn’t care, which in turn made me/my health worse. Like you, I thought i was doing the kids a favor by staying. Turns out, i wasn’t.

    I got tired of being miserable, tired of being a verbal punching bag, tired of always being the peace keeper, tired of never getting to have an opinion, tired of jumping through his hoops, tired of hearing about HIS constant headaches and being expected to ‘mother’ him, tired of getting dismissed anytime I remotely mentioned a health issue I had, tired of giving & giving of myself yet getting nothing in return except more negativity and abuse. Tired of asking permission to do anything with friends or family. But mostly, tired of the constant fear i lived in. The walking on eggshells. Trying to always placate a selfish person. Didn’t matter how hard I tried, he always found fault in me and anything i did. And eventually, I died inside. But, I had enough of a spark inside of me to leave. And yes, it’s been a TOUGH road, but I’m free. Free to be me. Free to have an opinion, free to go where i want when I want. Free of FEAR. My health has improved greatly. My kids seem happier… they don’t have to see his rages on me anymore. (He never cared that they were in the same room whenever he exploded on me without warning for NOTHING.)

    So, in closing, I really think you need to overcome your fear of leaving and GO. For me, it was when the fear of staying became worse than the fear of leaving. So I left. And time, time heals all wounds. Am I 100%? No. But am I happier and healthier? Yes. Only YOU can change your circumstances. Hard lesson learned by me. The more stress you under, the worse your physical and mental health suffer.

    1. Laura K says:

      Wow I think you and I were living the same life! The similarities of your life with him are identical to mine! Obviously it’s just the fact that we both lived with narcs! Congratulations you are free

      1. Carrie Coyle says:

        Weird how similar all narcissistic are, huh? They’re all strangers to each other, yet inflict the same abuse on their significant others. Assholes. 😉 Lol. So happy that you are free too!!

        1. Terry Davis says:

          Narcs are so very different in so many ways and yet their disease (as i see it) is exactly the same! They just twist their disease in different ways (manipulation ). I’m working hard (after 42 yrs of his “crazymaking”) NOT to allow him to suck the life out of me. I’m growing pretty independent with my thoughts and feelings. It’s lonely sometimes, but it’s my survival mode. I’m 65 and i will NEVER AGAIN allow him to mess with my sanity!!! I have learned and i am a child of God!!! Prayers for all who live this ridiculous lifestyle.

  7. Laura K says:

    Samantha, stop torturing yourself and leave him. Your children need you to be the best mom you can be, but you can’t take care of them that way unless you take care of yourself first. You are sacrificing yourself for their sake, which all good moms do, but there’s a point where your kids sense their mom is miserable even when you think they don’t know. Trust me, this was the turning point when I realized I had to leave. Out of the blue, on one of the good days, I was fixing dinner and my 7 year old asks….” Mommy, why are you so angry all the time?” They see through the fake smiles, they sensed I wasn’t happy and it bothered them. It’s not worth staying, all of this stress makes any health condition much much worse. You have done all you can, it’s time to do what’s best for Samantha so her children can see a happiness in their mothers eyes again. Nobody can or will take care of you the way you should be cared for and loved like YOU can. It’s time to let God in your life fully, pray for help and he will open the door for you. With Him, all things are possible. Love yourself almost as much as you love your children. Every day is a gift, don’t waste it.

  8. Susan Fuge says:

    Samantha,
    Sweetheart! I recognize much of what you are going through from my own experiences. So much. I’m sorry you feel so alone. I know what that is like. I have a friend who always says, “God will meet you where you are.” I struggle to let God in to all the parts of my heart that I am still protecting, because I believe I still need to protect those parts of me that are so weak. Thinking about that phrase helps me to be more vulnerable in the presence of God. The truth is that he can give you peace, even in circumstances you have chosen. He already knows. He knows every desire of your heart. The Savior has felt every piece of your pain. You can tell him every single thing you are suffering and ask for some peace. He already knows, but he waits to act until we reach out to him. Give him a chance to help you and bring you peace.
    Aside from that, on a more practical note: Have you studied the concept of boundaries? One of the problems with narcissists is that they have no awareness of boundaries – where they end and another person and their rights, feelings, etc. begin. When I was in a victim state of mind I didn’t know where I began and others should end. I let them trample me and I didn’t know what I wanted or that it was ok for me to protect myself and tell someone else no so that I could have what I wanted or needed for a change. It took me awhile to understand what boundaries were and even longer to figure out how to enforce them, but it let me out of the prison of victimhood.
    It’s all a journey. Take care of yourself. You don’t need anyone’s permission for that. One step at a time. Get the help you need. I love you, you deserve a better life and I know it is there for you, but I also know it is a long journey. You can do this.
    Susan

  9. michaela sorrentino says:

    Samantha…dear beautiful Soulful Samantha:
    “Make NO mistake about it- enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of UNtruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. Its the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true” – Adyashanti from The End of Your World.
    You ARE worth it.
    You matter. You ARE the miracle for others….but sometimes, it takes a total eradication of everything we think we know to come out the other side and understand our life’s purpose.
    So buckle up…it’s a rough ride sometimes…but this too shall pass.
    Namaste.
    Michaela

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      “Enlightenment is the crumbling away of UNtruth” I love that, its so true. Thank you. <3

  10. Third Time Round says:

    My work involves helping people with PsA, amongst other anti-inflammatory diseases.
    You are not alone in your experience with not only the physical manifestation of the disease; the emotional effect and absence of compassion is not uncommon.

    My patients come to me when nothing else has worked. They are at the point of giving up, and have dissociated from their destructive home situations. They have said they cannot manage dealing with their disease at a time of such emotional upheaval and have declined treatment, however I ask them to consider how dealing with their disease will give them the strength to deal with their situation – to find their own worth and fight!

    Please consider seeking treatment. Your options are not limited to dangerous chemical therapies. The drug I deal with is one of the ‘last resorts’, but it has given tens of thousands of people their lives back.

    I woke up this morning from yet another nightmare of my ex. His grip on me is relentless and I am so angry that I still allow him to control me through those memories. Then I saw your wrenching post, and remembered that helping others helps me. Thank you for getting me out of bed.

    See your GP. Get a referral to a Rheumatologist. Today. Wait lists are long and time will pass anyway. I am not in the US. I don’t know where you are, but the criteria for drug therapies are similar everywhere. I can give you an idea of what to expect if you need.

    I just implore you to not give in because some narc wants you to feel worthless.

    Feeling better is the first step to getting out – not the last.

  11. I’m sorry you’re strugging. I think we all end up there. A grief at the loss of dreams. The struggle for good self-care. My addiction is food (sugar). So I get the weight, the condenmation and the struggle. Hang in there. Not every day will be like this. ((hugs)). lillygracebrown.wordpress.com is my blog although I’ve not posted there in a long time. Initially I wasn’t aware that my husband was a narcissist (he is) but I’m still married and doing much like you do. Maybe some of my posts will be helpful on your journey.

  12. Kathy says:

    My Dear Friend,

    I say that because we are comrades at arms. I hear your pain. It is in everything you write. The never-ending-ness of agony, in a life spent with a narcissist. I loved mine, too. It was long ago and far away, but I still remember. I never had a way out, either, so I am still with him, but I would prefer to be almost anywhere else. I am physically disabled, and can’t get away from him, as I have nowhere else to go. Some say narcissists “mellow” with age. This one hasn’t — he has gotten worse. When I say if you have anywhere else to go, to go there, it is not to cause you any more heartache. It is to try to stop the emotional pain you are already in. NPD’s do not, and will not, stop. They will continue until we die, or they grow tired of us, then they will move on, as if we never existed. You should know they never were who we thought they were. The courtship was all a lie. Their “personas” were not, and are not, real. It was a calculated confabulation, to get them what they wanted (probably sex), in the beginning of the relationship. You have been waiting for him to go back to being who he was while you were dating, and that’s just sad. I did the same thing. I jumped through hoops, walked on eggshells, and tried, and tried, to please him. I was pleasing; since others said so. But he didn’t. He was entitled, so anything above and beyond the norm I did to create a good life, meant nothing to him. What’s more, he destroyed/sabotaged any vestiges of the good I created. Now, after forty-five years, there is little left, but hatred (his), and bitter resentment (mine). I rue the day I ever laid eyes on him, and can imagine you feeling the same way, in a few years. You are NOT the crazy one! He is. They are so mentally disordered, there is no better term, than “crazy,” for them. So, while we go around thinking we’re nuts, they get to continue their narcissistic machinations. We stand in horror, and amazement, at their capacity for sabotage and ruin. How could we ever have loved such sub-par beings? That’s easy. IT WAS ALL A LIE. THEY WERE PLAY-ACTING, but neglected to tell us. We married NPD chameleons, once under their spell, there was no turning back.

    Sincerely,
    Kathy

  13. Cat says:

    Samantha,
    I am new to your website but feel incredibly thankful for all that you have done. In fact yesterday I tried to get on and could not access it. I felt incredibly sad, thinking you might have taking your site offline. I think you are brilliant and brave. I can relate to the use of the same coping skills, especially on my bad days. I do know that it makes things worse so on good days I choose other supports and activities. I usually feel so blessed on those days, blessed for great friends, sunshine and hugging my kids. One suggestion is that I have been better about taken vitamin d and even noticed a supplement that helps with immune issues. I am also at the point that I am going to ask my dr.for an antidepressant. I have incredible stress in my life and ride a roller coaster with real life issues. I know I have to be strong for my kids and I know there is great things ahead. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability, know that you are not alone and you are amazing!

  14. Carol says:

    If a dear friend said all this to you what would you say to her and how would you try to help her.
    You are under extreme stress and I do think you should visit your dr and tell them the whole story. You may well have this condition but you should get your self assessed first. You’re extreme stress is manifesting pain in your tissues for sure. I’m worried for you, you do not sound ok, you need to seek support.
    The next bit is a bit harsh – but your little ones will do a lot better with a mum who is happier being single than unhappy in a couple.
    Lots and lots of love – Carol

  15. Gettingit says:

    Hi. I have thought a lot of about what I could say that would be helpful since reading your post. However, I keep coming up short. Words cannot really express how much my heart goes out to you and relates to you and wants you to know there are people out there that care. Living with zero support and really living with the complete opposite of support is so draining it is no wonder it is easy to look for solace in wine and food. It feels like we are loving ourselves or at least getting a small break from hell by indulging yet it becomes self-defeating when we look up and have an extra 10, 20 etc..pounds that is also send crushing blows to our already hammered self-esteem. (Mine is an extra 30lbs by the way). For now, choosing to to stay so we have our kids full time is where we are. At some point, when the narc gets to bad we will change that. I constantly ask myself…is my daughter watching this learning to pick a guy that does this to her? Is she safe alone with him on weekends if we separate. Is she better off with me miserable and physically here for her all the time? At this point, she is very young and staying is the only thing I can see until she is stronger. One of my friends got out after 22 years with 3 girls (7,9,12 at the time). Now looking back she tells me, “You will take all you can and then you will leave.” She is very accepting of where I am and gives me hope for the future. She is very happy to have made it out (and it was shear hell). She is happy her kids are seeing her be loved by a God loving NON narc in her new man. I hope this glimpse helps you with your own questions. Right now, I am staying for my kid. Right now, I am learning to cling to “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 . Right now, I am focusing on my codependency and how to be the best and most healthy mom/person I can be in spite of the narc. I will pray this for you as well. I do think living under the pressure of a narc exacerbates physical ailments. It is almost like our bodies spend so much time and energy fighting to survive that our immune systems cannot also mend the things they need to. It is like their toxicity enters us, not just mentally and emotional but physically as well. Our minds, hearts, souls and bodies are waving read flags “DANGER DANGER” and yet we press on trying to keep above water. Do I want this existence for my daughter when she is 45 like me? I do not. My constant prayer is to be the mom and example to let her soar and fly and be free in her life as she grows up (she is 5). I wish for her to be healthy enough to pick better to know better! The crux is can she ever do that when all she witnesses (even if it is unspoken) is disease and pathology and her mom rarely feeling true joy? As you can see, I have no answers but many questions. Talking to me, might be a lot like talking to yourself but I will listen to you and pray with you if you like! I am sorry you are suffering. I am here and lifting you up.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Thank You SO MUCH. That was a bad night for me, and like I said, he didnt even do anything. It just old pain. And I dont know if I will ever shake it all the way. Maybe someday, when all this is over.

      I got some clarity yesterday. I got the sad out of my system, I had my pity party and woke up the next day feeling stronger. I went for a 6 mile hike and remembered who I am. I need to do that more often! Pray more, take time with myself, not eating or drinking (temporary distractions at best) but doing me, the things I love, finding my own self again. And I need to get better! I can do it. But thanks for hearing my heart and seeing where Im at. Not broken, never will be, just sad sometimes. <3

      1. Anonymous says:

        I’m so sorry you had a bad night and your post resonates with me so much I feel compelled to write for the first time. I’ve been following your blog since last fall/winter and was in awe of your strength and determination to leave your toxic relationship. It was your blog, along with a new male therapist which helped me make a change sooner than I would have otherwise in my life. I know it may seem weird that i reference my therapist’s gender, but I think finally having a male perspective in my treatment really helped me see my reality instead of accepting my husbands delusions as truth.

        I was like you, an inherently honest person who expects the same from others with 2 young children, managing life without a partnership, telling myself that staying was better/easier (especially financially) than being on my own. I would rationalize and justify his selfish actions, and deeply believed all of the horrible things he told me about myself to keep me in [his] place; that I was a harsh, brutal, ridiculous, unsupportive, drunk bitch who was a “difficult person to love” and was lucky to have him. He was my husband of many, many years and would never intentionally hurt me, right? It must be true. How had I not realized it myself?! Looking back now on my first therapy session a little more than a year ago, I was a hollow shell of myself, who still hadn’t realized what I was living with and so i clung to the good memories and good days. My husband rarely lashed out in front of the kids, but preferred to just tell me very matter-of-factly, almost sympathetically, all of the awful things about me that he “knew” and I didn’t. Or even better put it into a 3 or 4 page email to me so I could punish myself even more by reading his stinging words over and over. As I sat with my therapist last summer sharing one of the more recent emails he looked at me and said, “I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. That’s not the way a husband should treat his wife. It’s not okay.” and I realized that if another man saw it, then i really needed to stop justifying his actions. I know that may sound totally hokey, because I’d had female therapists tell me the same in the past, but it didn’t resonate with me the way it did coming from him. It was the extra validation I needed.

        I started researching NPD and found your blog and you were preparing to leave and i wondered if I’d ever be able to do the same. Following yet another night this winter of sobbing after being berated and told repeatedly that I was “the worst person in the world” – I decided my marriage was officially over. You, my therapist and a few trusted people helped me realize I could do this, and that divorcing, as difficult and ugly as it’s going to be in the trenches (and it is with the smear campaign he’s running), is ultimately going to result in a healthier and happier environment for me and my kids to thrive. I served the papers and decided to move myself and the kids out, though they now spend their time between the both of us. You can only imagine how that went over! I took back my voice, my strength and my life, to create a better one for my kids. Once out from under his roof, i started to heal even more and found immense strength in my family and friends who now share their true feelings about my soon-to-be-ex, rather than keeping their thoughts about “my husband” to themselves. Don’t get me wrong, i still have bad days and have to regularly interact with him which is very difficult, and at times find myself questioning who the real me is … but, I’ve never once questioned my decision to leave.

        You CAN be happier, healthier and living in less pain than you are right now and you deserve that – for you and your kids. Living with a narcissist drains you of your worth and the sooner you can rekindle the fire that you had last fall pushing you to leave, the more quickly your healing, both emotionally and physically, will begin. I wish the best for you and your family and will continue to read and support you in your journey.

  16. Marie says:

    It is a face that when you are in an emotionally abusive relationship it affects your health and immune system. I read this recently, cannot remember where. Spouse’s that stay in an abusive relationship are more likely to develop cancer, heart disease and other immune related illnesses. Please consider leaving! You will be okay and will get through it. Hire yourself an attorney experienced with narcissists and move on. If you don’t have the finances, contact you local women’s shelter or resource center for help. You can do this~ xoxo

    1. Anon says:

      Take it from me –as I write this from a hospital bed hooked up to chemo–I do believe that the stress the Narc can cause in you can lead to cancer! I used to tell friends that his words were inside me torturing me like a disease…and so they were. Now I’m determined to get well and live a wonderful life with my two great kids and a sweet new man who is normal! 🙂

  17. I just found your blog and I feel like I’m reading something straight out of my life. I’m so afraid but this gives me hope that I’m not alone. Thank you for being so transparent.

  18. Scarlett Vida says:

    Sam, your story is so similar to mine, only I clung on until he finally had had enough of using and abusing me. It’s a year now since he moved out (at my insistence, for the small children) and I took my life back – I got a lawyer and had him served – mediation wasn’t going to work, not with the threats I was getting. It’s been a very hard year but the best of my life. My autoimmune illness is in remission, I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been – and the strongest, mentally and physically. His abuse was the cause of most of my problems, it turns out – problems very similar to yours. Things happen for a reason, so I don’t regret that I didn’t have the strength to leave, but I’m profoundly grateful every day it’s over. Hell is a place on earth sometimes – anyone who has a narcissistic partner knows this. The children are better too – the environment was so toxic that it affected their well being, physically and emotionally. I feel bad for that, but we are a tight little team and they know their mom is their rock. To my surprise, I’m my own rock now too. You have a lot of love and support and strength you’re not even aware of – please never forget that. And I promise you life apart from the emotional vampire is so much better in every way.

  19. -A says:

    Dear Sam,
    I just found your site and was astonished reading your post. I could have written it myself. I’m in almost the identical situation and have chosen to stay as long as pain of staying is not greater than the pain of leaving, and as long as I can withstand it for the sake of my little one. It’s been ‘one of those days’ for 10 years for me and a glass of wine at the end of the day is a marvellous escape! Next time I’ll lift a glass to you and all the other beautiful, soulful, tough-as-nails wives of narcs who have dealt with and are dealing with their situation!

    Five years ago I hit the wall physically with stress from narc + 150% work + new baby (with no support from narc & family 3000 miles away) & ended up in hospital for a week. Partial paralysis due to ‘post viral myositis’ & had to learn to walk again. Strange thing was, I never recovered. Turned into severe Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Thought I was getting better 18 months later but then nearly died from necrotizing fasciitis (aka flesh eating disease). 16 days in coma, 21 days in intensive care & 3 months in hospital. I have NO doubt why my body became so weakened and my immune system became so compromised. Anything you can do to protect yourself from his stress can help. These days I use meditation apps, prayer, a therapist, gardening, breathing, mindfulness & of course, my favourite, disassociation. Feels like I have a split personality. Working on it!

    I plan to get healthy & strong enough to work again! One day when my dream comes true I’ll be able kick that jack*ss out the door and never look back. Thank you for posting your story and for sharing with all of us – for once I feel like someone else out there understands.

  20. Suzan says:

    Sadly, I could’ve written this, except it’s my knees but the rest is the same. I, too am in a funk right now but guess what? Tomorrow is a new day and it will be better. I will be better. God bless you. I pray you find some relief and some peace. Glad mine left me because I wouldn’t have left him. Life is very good but I have my days with 17 years of marriage thrown out like trash. Also, sometimes they become nicer when they move out…..but they will never be nice enough to take back.

  21. Vita says:

    I would love to to pick up the phone with you. You are not alone in this. Before I thought I was the only one ❤️❤️

  22. Amanda says:

    Sam, if I could send you a great big hug, I really would. Xxx In the 10 years I have been married to my narc, my psoriasis has become insane; because of the stress. I have developed type 2 diabetes (40% higher chance when you have psoriasis) and had a skin cancer removed, because of the constant UVB treatment. And I drink. Far too much. But it’s all OUR fault, right? He hates me for being a ‘drunk’, but even over the past couple of days, his parting shot to me in the evening is that I am a c***; second sentence to me the following day – by 8.40am – is that I am an ‘f***ing useless idiot’. And we are supposed to live like this?? It is so much easier said than done, but recognise that it is his fault totally, and don’t destroy yourself because of him, because he really isn’t worth it. I send you, and everyone else who is living like this, all of my love, and the hope that one day, practically and emotionally, we can walk away from this abuse. Xxxxx

  23. Rose says:

    My heart goes out to all of you who are trapped and unable to leave or those who are biding your time to make your move. I was the daughter of a mother who wanted out for many years. She still isn’t out and is now severely mentally ill. I have my own battles. If you can, escape whist you’re still sane. You are worthy of a better life x

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