It's been some time since I've been on FWW but I realized that if it weren't for the love, comfort, strength and support this site has given me, I honestly don't know where I would be today. I also realized that we are all different and although we all have the same goal in mind, we may take different roads to get there and ultimately getting there is what it's all about. While I was away I noticed there are many new members, and unfortunately that is something that is inevitable because narcissists are born every day.
But what matters is that those of us who have reclaimed our lives, who have found life after a Narcissist have the duty and obligation to support and motivate those who are still trying to navigate their way. I do not begrudge those who have found happiness and moved on, but I do believe it is the weight of the ongoing support and inspiration of each and every success story that encourages and motivates members who are struggling to survive and/or break free from their narcissists.
I wrote a blog entitled: My slippers, a cup of coffee and FWW FOREVER. Well for reasons unnecessary to elaborate on, I chose to remove myself from FWW however, I would be a hypocrite if I left and I won't allow any one (or any thing) to cause me to go back on my word. So please let me bring you up to speed with what I've been dealing with since I last blogged and possibly throw a little inspiration your way. Sunday is my only day off work. 3 of those 6 days are 12-hour shifts.
I cry some days because it is definitely tiring and leaves me little time to do other things, BUT I can now look at my bank account and see the dollars adding up. I could be out of a job tomorrow (heaven forbid), but I would actually be fine for a year! Alas, the tears tend to dry up pretty fast. I've had to start my life over in my sixties, not so young like some of you beautiful women, BUT I am so fortunate that I am in pretty good health and shape and haven't had to take a single sick day off work in the 1-1/2 years at my job (which I still love!).
The keys to surviving emotional abuse.
I definitely tear up now and then, BUT the tears I cry now are not abuse related. I cry because I am lonely for companionship, BUT just a few months back I vowed never to let another man into my life. I can't expect life to happen on my watch as much as I would like it to. The apartment isn't as clean or as tidy as I am accustomed to, BUT, it's ours and we don't live in fear anymore. I regret having given 30 years of my life to a monster, BUT at this rate I have a good 20 years to live life HOWEVER I CHOOSE!
When I found myself in the eye of the storm (my journey to freedom), I never in a million years expected my life to be 'normal' ever again. I saw what is now 'my' life, as a life only other FWW members were able to achieve.
Stronger members: I always saw myself as weak.
Smarter members: I have no education to speak of.
Richer members: I had $300 to my name when I knew it was now or never that I had to get out.
Younger members: I was in my late fifties when my now ex-Narc declared out-of-the-blue he was leaving.
Well the truth is there are no criteria; no prerequisites and no skills required AT ALL other than the absolute commitment to yourself to break free. The only thing you need to do is commit, stay focused, keep moving forward and never, ever stop until you reach your destination. If it weren't for FWW I honestly don't know if I would be where I am today, free, independent and blessed to be able to inspire and motivate other members who have yet to find their inner strength to never give up their fight, their struggle and their belief that freedom is there for each and every one of us. Thanks to a very special member who I was touched by that inspired me to come back.
We are all different and all of our stories of our lives with narcissists are different.
We teach our children that we are all different but we are all special in our own way. We have to remember that as adults as well. Working together, supporting each other, is how we can all reach our goal of freedom and life reclaimed. Advice, support, and personal experience can come from many sources and not all can be applied to every person's life and/or situation so we have to extrapolate from all that we are given and embrace what 'fit's our life and our needs.
I missed FWW terribly because it helped make me the person I am today. I choose not to let anyone affect my happiness or choices anymore. You too have choices to either allow people to bully you/control you or you can take control. It doesn't happen in a day or two just because you want it to, but making the choice not to live by someone else’s rules, threats or conditions is your ticket to happiness. And if you choose to live under the umbrella of a Narcissist, you will never get out of the storm.
Let me say unequivocally that I am 'n-o-t' living the dream, BUT I am living proof that there is life, a much happier life, after life with a narcissist.
At any age! My hell, my nightmare, my journey to freedom took me two years of literally non-stop sweat, and debilitating stresses, but I knew that for every day I could've stopped and not moved forward, that would be 1 day longer it took me to be free. I'm truly grateful that I hit my rock bottom (even thought I didn't know it or think so at the time) because that's what it took for me to climb out and reach the top.
People still tell me how strong I am to have done/achieved all that I have, but it feels like another person, another lifetime. YOU CAN be a success story. It's not easy, but taking advantage of the Lifeworks resources made available by Hockney, gov't services, food banks, subsidized housing and so much more, just know you truly can do it!
Originally written by a community member here at First Wive's World — a supportive community that cares deeply about your experiences. Register today to share stories about your struggles and victories during divorce, or sign up for our Lifeworks program and receive access to trained counselors, experts & consultants.