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I moved out last week.

It feels surreal to even write that. It was like walking out of a hurricane and landing on a quiet beach. I can breathe now. And it’s crazy because I didn’t expect that. I totally expected to be in a tornado of emotion and panic, to be scrambling and worried and defensive and angry. I am none of those things. Maybe the tidal wave will still hit me, but I really don’t think so.

I think I finally realized what I was allowing in my life, and that I didn’t need it anymore. I finally realized, like deep down knew, that it was over for me.

Do I still love him? No, I really don’t. I care about him and want him to be happy. But I think that’s because I’ve forgiven him (another thing that kinda blows my mind) and maybe also because I know he never will be happy anyway, so whatever.

Everything has been pretty amicable after the first day (when I just packed up all my stuff and text him on my way out the door, horrible, I know…) and I hope it stays that way. I also know the only reason it is like this right now is because he has definite psychopath/sociopathic tendencies and he’s hoping to just keep me in the wings as a little ego boost when he needs it. I am still his backup since I’m still the mother of his children. He knows it. And wants us to keep a “good” relationship so I can continue to be useful.

And you know what? That’s fine. I refuse to go on the warpath here and try to destroy him. That is not who I am, and it would end up destroying me and my kids in the same process, with no guarantee of success. So I am choosing to let it all go… At least as far as everyone knows. I can still vent to you all here. 😉

I won’t be talking trash on facebook, I might even throw him a bone of “Such a Good Dad!!!” every now and again. I’m not telling anyone who doesn’t already know, what a jerk he really is. If anyone asks, I will just tell them our personalities didn’t live well in the same house. They don’t need to know more.

Another Game?

Is this just another game and another chapter of being used by a narcissist? Yes and No. I have to look at this strategically, what do I want? I want to live my own life, in peace, and have my kids be as happy as possible. Period. So if I have to stroke his ego, and deal with his shenanigans, I will. I don’t have to sleep next to him at night or listen to him rant about the dishes or the bathrooms or whatever his pet peeve of the moment is anymore. I can play nice. And because of his new church buddies, it looks like he is going to revert to being “good guy” for awhile and help me out too (like offering child support and paying for stuff for the kids when I expected nothing).

I guess in some ways it’s manipulative since, in reality, I don’t want anything to do with him. But really, isn’t this just business? That’s what we are now in my mind, business partners in raising our kids. Will he be an easy partner? No way. I know. But he’s not my “boss” anymore so I can ignore what I need to and do what’s best for the kids at least half the time.

And all that aside, I have to live with myself too. If he ends up screwing me, so be it. It will only be financially (and we have pretty much nothing anyway), and I have family helping me, I will be ok. I have full confidence in my state’s custody system that I will get 50%, so I don’t believe he can hurt me there. (And I have seen first hand how blindly this state will stick to that even with plenty of evidence that it should NOT go that way). 

He told me he doesn’t understand why I left, and I didn’t even try to enlighten him. He told me he still loves me and I didn’t say anything. He cried and I didn’t even react. And that’s super weird for me as an empath, but it does tell me how far past all this I am. Somehow in the last year, I moved on and didn’t know it. And yes, all the arguments we have had in the last few months have not made me cry or even made me more than irritated, so maybe I should have known I would be so calm about this right now, but I didn’t. I fully expected this to be hard. But I have finally, FINALLY accepted that his feelings are so warped, and mine have been so trampled on, that everything we ever were has died. And I have this sad, reflective but not depressed feeling about it. Like when you fondly remember a friend from childhood or something. It seems far away and long ago.

I’m sure I will have plenty of other things to forgive him for, he thinks he is super Dad, but he’s really not and I am going to have to try and balance two kiddos with him. I know that’s not going to be easy. And like I said, maybe the other shoe will still drop on my emotions and I will fall apart at some point. I’m ok with that, I’ve done it before and survived. I’ll deal with whatever comes. But right now, my little is upstairs sleeping, I’m about to go get my oldest from school, and I’m writing with the back door open and a nice breeze and I’m at peace. And I haven’t had that in…. I don’t even know how long. So I’m just going to ride this wave of calm as long as I can. <3

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27 thoughts on “Walking Away From a Narcissist

  1. Justin says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs as I moved out with a N wife two years ago, far before I was ready emotionally. But it was the right thing, as I knew things were never going to change and I was tired of being gaslighted and abused. Here was the kicker…because of my emotional distraught, she won the custody battle. I let my emotions control me and she manipulated them well, mainly by playing keep me away from my children, who are my world. I did everything wrong. I reacted to everything, rather than ignoring the sideshow that she threw at me. My piece of advice is that the courts don’t care about personality disorders. They want you and your ex to get along as best as you can, because that is in the best interests of your children. Trying to expose a sociopath is a fruitless battle of he said, she said. When you show that you are aligned with your children’s best interests and you can co-parent with somebody that has the emotional attitude of a 4 year old by ignoring their bad behavior, the court will take notice. You will always parallel parent with a N, there will never be true co-parenting. But there is great peace to building a life without somebody trying to rule it for you. It is a drama free life and one that gives your children a break from being somebody’s supply. Your ex will move on quickly. I don’t regret my divorce, but I continually regret my path through it. I wish you far more wisdom and grace. You’ll need it…Good luck!

  2. Carol says:

    Prayers are with you and your children, may you have the courage and strength to endure the next leg of this families drama…Freedom is a true testament to your healing…♡♡

  3. Dana says:

    Praying for you! I am married to a narcissist but thank God we have no kids together! You can do this! I am done too, just working on a way out! We can do this!

    1. Sheryl Simons says:

      Blessings to you both! Strategy is needed to leave a narc!

  4. Carol says:

    I’m so glad you have been strong enough to leave. This is the start of the rest of your life.

    Much love xxxx

  5. Kathy says:

    When you go to court for your divorce, you will want to make sure that your attorney, and the judge know what has gone on. I once knew a woman who finally left her psychopath/sociopath. He came back, from another state, and abducted their child. The mother did not see her son again, for almost twenty-five years. He did not take the child because he wanted him. He took the child in order to be able to torture the mother, forever.

  6. Bcmom says:

    Congratulations and YOU GO GIRL!!! You’re a tough cookie, and, you deserve all of the happiness, peace and blessings that come your way! Us survivors are just that, SURVIVOR’S!! We’re strong, compassionate, and we know our worth. I don’t personally know you, but; I know that you are a great woman with a beautiful heart. If you weren’t, a narcissist would have NEVER chosen you. They are attracted to the good in us because it’s something that they dont possess. Then they try and break us because of it!! Their twisted, psychopathic, cruel madness has no end. Live your life on your terms now! Blessings, peace and happiness to you!!!

  7. ibikenyc says:

    Gosh is this well timed!

    I am physically still here but successfully hard at work emotionally detaching. I am astonished at how much change, growth, and progress I’ve experienced in an incredibly short time.

    One thing that’s got me concerned, though, is what sort of emotional fallout might be ahead. I have a habit of insisting especially to myself that “I’m fine!” when I am anything but.

    You say, “Somehow in the last year, I moved on and didn’t know it. And yes, all the arguments we have had in the last few months have not made me cry or even made me more than irritated, so maybe I should have known I would be so calm about this right now, but I didn’t.”

    This is so encouraging to me! Thank you for posting.

  8. Debbi Bradshaw says:

    This was so good to read. Im ready to leave and he started trying again. As always. Im tired im ready to just breathe again but scared at the same time. Good for you for finally being free.

    1. Sheryl Simons says:

      Trying is just a tool for them!

  9. Helen says:

    I am keeping this post in my inbox so i can re-read as needed. You spoke some really poignant truths there that resonated for me, about releasing the past and anger and being present in peace. Thank you. I divorced my narc in October, he walked out in August (due to Domestic Violence charge by the state). I didn’t realize he was a narcissist until Christmas, it was a total re-visioning of the past 8 years of my life. Your blog has been really helpful and i have been crying with you and cheering for you here the last few months. I am super glad you made it out! Good luck and so much love to you.

  10. Kandice says:

    So proud of you! You’ve got this!!!

  11. Marina says:

    Sadly, but you’ll have to be immoral with him because this is what they invite. You’ll use him, this is the best way with them. Don’t ever tell him he is a great Dad, he himself will feel he is anyway. These people are very screwed.

  12. Sheryl Simons says:

    Peace, sister! I can relate to all you have written I left over 20 years ago. It was the right thing to do. Still, it was hard. He was ‘Nice’ until divorce was over, claiming he would change if I would reconsider. I did not waiver. Kept things business like. Then all hell broke loose when he tried to turn the kids against me. Stay calm and cool if this happens. Nothing would surprise me now, but I was blindsided then. He pulled stunts I wouldn’t dream of. I am glad I left because I showed my kids that I am a strong person, even in hard times!

  13. Stacy says:

    I found your blog today, and I am obsessed! I am you. But we need to add alcoholism to the narcissist in my life. I asked him to leave 6 weeks ago, and I feel like you feel here…STILL! That feeling of having let it all go, that I didn’t really even still love him when we split, is the feeling I had and continue to have. I was so worn out after 6 years of being treated like his mother/bank/support/cheerleader/validator of emotions/whipping post that I forgot what it felt like to be able to breathe. We have kids. We have step kids. We have a house. We have lawyers. And I need mine, because he is letting everyone know how perfect he is, and how he deserves everything. I have a fight on my hands, but I have some littles who make it all worth it. Thanks for your voice!

    1. Susan Davis says:

      I HOPE IT REMAINS THAT WAY FOR YOU- YOU WOULD BE THE FIRST STORY END SO WELL! AS FOR MY NARCISSISTIC EX HUSBAND AND I, WE SPIT IN 08, HE PROMISED DESTROY MY LIFE, THE DIVORCE WAS 2011, HE REMARRIED IMMEDIATELY DECEMBER 2011. ITS 2017 MY NARCISSISTIC EX HUSBAND KEPT HIS PROMISE HE DESRTROYED MY LIFE A SLANDER CAMPAIN, TIES ME UP IN FAMILY COURT, and CHILDREN & YOUTH WITH HIS ACCUSATIONS,

  14. Well done! What you write speaks to my heart because I have the same decision in raising my son (the 22 month old son he’s never met). My ego won’t let it go. Like – he needs to be the hero in his own mind and even when he was paying us, I rebelled against us being used so he could appear like the hero. So I started to couch lovely statements wrapped up in passive aggressive comments, as my own revenge (we haven’t spoken since I was 6 months pregnant and he actually forced me to take him to court to prove paternity). We were a tool to be the victim and now a tool to be the hero. And during triangulation they play these roles simultaneously. It’s the only two roles they know how to play.

    So the last payment is two weeks overdue – my revenge is working – but for what? Sure, I feel I need to do these little self-empowering acts and no, we’re not hanging on the money and he can’t escape paying it either, but does it benefit my son? So as I work out this strategic dilemma as my higher consciousness leads me to my own truth, I thank you for writing this piece and appreciate that I can really mentally relate to it.

  15. Teri says:

    Please be careful! This is not unusual behavior. You should make sure you have someone with you when you and/or your children see him. Please see an attorney or someone from a women’s shelter to ask for advise about spending time with your children and him.

  16. Tiffany says:

    Wow. I just recently found your blog and it’s my life. Strange enough, I told my Narc I was leaving him after 18 years and 3 kids later last Saturday. He is in total denial talking about thanksgiving and I’m like…hello? I got approved for a rental house and am moving out as soon as it’s ready!

  17. eliza says:

    I am SO happy for you! You are so brave and I admire you so much. Amazing.

  18. Lady says:

    I am hiding in my master bathroom as I write this. Because… Yes. I am living your nightmare. For 10 years now. And I can’t figure out a way to leave… But I know I need to. Financially, it’s so scary. I quit my job and my education (that was”our plan”) and now I feel totally stuck. Duped. And harnessed. And I can’t tell my friends Or my family…. How could they help? And how weak am I?
    Tonight my nar broke one of the kids tablets. Because they are too loud and I let the run wild (i spent the entire day making meals for next week because we have baseball 5 nights… You simply can’t win ).

    I am so proud and happy for you. I can’t wait for my victorious moment! Thank you for your courage.

  19. Brandy says:

    I just left my N today…or I should say, he kicked me out. I think I needed that, because I just kept going back because I felt sorry for him on so many levels. This time he threw all of my belongings out the front door and I had to get on the ground and pick everything up. It is more than him just being a N which is bad enough by itself, but he is also an addict. This makes it worse. I would feel so stupid every time I went back. Knowing that it would never change, because he couldn’t take responsibility for tearing our family apart. I had to send our 16 yr old son to live with is grandparents because of all of our fighting and his drug abuse. Our son just couldn’t take it anymore. But for some stupid reason I stayed because I thought that I could salvage our 20 year marriage. And I know people look at me and say “look her son can’t even live there, but she stays..she let her son go”. But no one understands the codependency, the manipulation the control that the N has. Hopefully this is the last time, that I will never go back. I had to leave my house that I worked so hard to buy and everything in it, but now I’m with my son at my mom’s house. I’m going to try and pick up the pieces and just start over. This is the hardest thing ever, and I know that I have to be strong. I don’t want to ever go back to that hell. I pray everyday that God would give me the strength, but maybe what God gave was the N kicking me out on my butt since I wasn’t strong enough to walk away. He broke my phone before I left (the 5th one in 18 months)but it’s kind of a relief because I know he won’t call or text like he always would and try and get me to come back. The verbal and mental abuse was too much. I never will allow anyone to talk or treat me like that ever again. Well, I’m off to church…a happy place for me. Maybe one day I can find my happiness again…anyone out there, please pray for me and my son.

    1. Brandy says:

      I am so glad I found this blog by the way…reading this shows me that I’m not alone. You are so brave and that is what I am desperately trying to be. Thank you for putting this out there for others like me.

    2. Carol says:

      Brandi, prayers prayers and more prayers coming your way you got this get yourself a good counselor concentrate on the good things in life do not allow his controlling ways to take up your mind space spin your mind on your son and moving forward… I left mine after 21 years of marriage…..

  20. Hannah says:

    I have been following your blog for about a year now, and I want to let you know that reading your words have helped me in making the decision to leave my husband. He has been clinically diagnosed as a full blown narcissist with sociopathic tendencies and I have been with him for a little over 5 years. About 6 months in the abuse started and me being the empathetic person that I am thought I could fix him. Of course I kept a smile on my face and made everyone believe everything was okay, but I was slowly dying on the inside. About 3 and a half years in when I was about to graduate college I decided that I would accept a job far away from him and break off the relationship, not even a month after I made that decision I found out I was pregnant with his child. Being from the bible belt my parents and his thought it would be best that we get married. I knew it wasn’t a good idea, but I went along with it because I was scared of being a first time mom and I felt like I needed the help, even if it was from this man that was no good for me and I thought maybe becoming a father would change him (spoilers: it didn’t) For the first month or so of marriage things seemed to be okay until I was 8 months pregnant and may I remind you that hormones and emotions were running high I just glanced through his phone and found out he had been cheating on me with multiple women while I was pregnant! Still afraid of being a first time single mom, I took him back. We had our son and things have been a downward spiral ever sense (he is a year old). But, because I am the primary bread winner in the family (he doesn’t work or go to school, just sits at home and plays video games) and because I have been the only one taking care of our son for a year now I am completely confident that I can be a single mom and rock it. I found a new job (that pays better) closer to my family and I am in the process of figuring out when I am actually leaving. I share all of this because I want you to know that YOU helped me make this decision, YOU helped me to want a better life for my son and I and YOU helped save me. So thank you.

  21. Nicky says:

    I hoped I would have a similar story, and before I even realised there was a name for all that he did and that there’s a bloody text book about his behaviour, I planned to play nice, be supportive to him in “all that he is going through” (imaginary/made up to excuse how he has treated me of course – the abuse, the (latest) affair, walking out after instigating an argument & blaming me for having too high expectations) but inevitably when it came to the safety of our children, (he was neglectful of them both & abusive to our kindergartener) I wouldn’t let him have it his way anymore. I wouldn’t send my kids to him anymore when he was back on drugs, just so he can use them to pretend to his new (secret) girlfriend what a great dad he is (he got me with this same facade about my Step-son who i inevitably ended up caring for from pretty much day 1). Well when I actually spoke up to a lawyer, a counsellor, and these people told me his behaviour is worrying and on Class A drugs alone he should not be alone with the children I finally stood up for them in the right way. I’d stood up for my oldest on so many occasions against his father’s bullying, belittling & blaming him & screaming at him & even aggression towards him, but I soon learned that I was “undermining him” and sometimes I would tell him what he had done was innapropriate in an ever so loving way that really sugar coated it. I learned how to behave, but I never full complied. I would call out his (worse) behaviour in front of our son so that he knew (our son) this behaviour is wrong. I tried to teach my husband that treating him like this would create another addict and another HIM like his father created, well duh! I stumbled on his plan! It’s only now I realise he did know all along & it wa part of his sick nature, he purposely treats our son like that because he DOES want him to feel insecure & constantly try to please his father. Now I have to try to battle to be heard to protect my children from the person who should be protecting them, he has no interest in what they think of him they are too young, he just cares what people think from the outside. I do fear he would physically harm or even kill my kids, whether accidentally or on purpose. Not to mention that best case scenario all he inflicts on them is emotional damage, more so anyway. If anyone else has tried & succeeded in this, I’m scared of going through court & him charming his way through it all, saying all the right things because he knows how he should behave and be, he just chooses not to, but knows what people want to see and hear… How do you protect your kids without making it worse in the long run? I’m scared of what happens if he gets 50/50 custody & it’ll be worse for them & me having been through this, he’ll of course need to punish me, using them as his greatest weapon. Is anyone else going through this right now?

  22. Steph says:

    Thank you for writing this kind of blog, I’ve read your previous post also and 80% of the contents make so much sense for me. Me and my boyfriend haven’t married (Thank God) and we’ve been together for 2years now. Everyday with him is like walking on an eggshell, everything that I do I have to confirmed it with him first, otherwise if it’s turned out to be wrong he will went rage. And everytime he’s in a rage condition, always because of me, whether I said the wrong words, do the wrong thing. It’s me who always have to do the controling so that he wouldnt get mad.

    It’s frustrating really. I dont know how many times I’ve tried to leave, but he always find a ways to come to my house and calmly pointing out what I’ve done wrong, and because I dont want to make him rage again, I just said sorry and try to fix everything.

    And alcohol is the devil in this, I dont drink at all, but my boyfriend like to drink a lot. When he’s in this drunk stage, and I said something wrong, he will go crazy. I’m really used to him screaming, shouting, say that i’m stupid, a bitch, or some kind of animal, all the bad words you can find in the book. He really means all the words, he knows all my weakness so he used it as a weapon. Even when I said sorry hundreds of time, he still screaming like crazy. I’ve face physical abuse a couple of times from him.

    After all that pressure, i cant even tell it to anyone, my family or my BFF. Because one time when I tell it to my best friend, words get to his ear and he went rage again. That make me cant talk to anyone about my pain and stress. All i want is someone to talk, and I know if i tell anyone near me about this they will tell me to break up with him. I just dont have the courage. I’m too scared.

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