My narcissistic ex-husband did his best to tear me down, and tried to devalue me and convince me to believe the worst about myself. Conversely, he praised himself; he was smarter, a better parent than me, made the best decisions, was handsome, and everyone he knew loved him. Those characteristics actually described me, not him, but over time, I began to take his false self-affirmations and accept them as my truths. So I write the following truths that I know about me, with the knowledge that I will never allow him to be what he wished me to be:
I am smart. I was smart enough to know to end the marriage. No matter how long it took for me to get the courage to do so, I did it. A smart woman knows to escape a bad situation.
I am a great mother. Despite not receiving child support for many months, dealing with the stress caused by their father, and working full time, I always made my children my priority. They never missed a meal, established a healthy routine, and I provided a home environment that was predictable, safe, structured, secure, and peaceful. Great moms are the firm foundation for a balanced family. Experts say it only takes one healthy parent to have balanced kids. I’m that healthy parent.
I make great decisions. My decision to not remain in an abusive marriage, seek counseling to repair the damage my narcissistic ex-husband caused, hire good legal counsel, and pursue a higher educational degree are all proof that I make great decisions. (Months after he filed for the divorce, and after my attorneys told me that I’d likely not get Maintenance (Alimony), I applied to and was accepted into a top university. I’ll get my Master’s degree in a few years and move on to a better paying job.) I made great decisions before I met my ex, and I’ll continue to do so.
I am beautiful. Full disclosure: I was ending a contract with modeling company when I met my husband. This didn’t stop him from calling me “ugly on the inside.” And somehow, during the marriage, I started hating my outer appearance. I looked tired, worn out, stressed, bloated and wore maternity clothes for more than a year after I’d had my children, wore clothes three or more sizes too large, and I just didn’t care about my appearance. After he left, I slowly started making changes – applying lotion, wearing clothes that fit, trimming my nails, plucked my eyebrows, bought lip gloss, got a haircut, etc. And I’m happy with how I look and feel, which is important.
I am loved. I have friends and family who love me. And through this divorce process, I’ve found out who my true family and friends are. My ex told me that everyone either hated me or was using me – but actually that only applied to him. At the end of the day, knowing that I am loved allows me to feel very fulfilled.
I am all of these things, and even more.
(This blog was originally written by a member of our community.)