I'm writing this post partly in response to the heartfelt comments I received from a recent blog I posted, but also in response to the odd 'other' posts I've written that inspired or gave hope to some of you beautiful women going through your rough journeys at whatever stage you are at in living with or divorcing a narcissist.
There are so many things I wanted to do in my life that I know I would have succeeded at.
I had dreams. I wanted to be a dancer, a Psychologist or an Artist. I know I would have been amazing at all three, but excuses were plentiful and now later in my life, regrets are deeply painful. Which leads me to this. My marriage to my STBX only lasted that as long as it did due to my lack of confidence, fear of the unknown, wondering how to survive with young children, NO MONEY and a whole bag of never ending excuses. I could just reach in and pluck out another whenever I need a 'pass'. However, the day my world changed was the day my STBX unconscionably confirmed he was leaving, and leaving me to deal with selling the house and a ton of debt.
I want to explain to you how I went off the deep end, how I became manic, how I wanted that day to be my last on this earth, how I pictured living on the streets, and that's only off the top of my head. I'm trying to find words intense enough, deep enough, painful enough and devastating enough, but there are none that truly depict what was now, in literally a heartbeat, my new reality.
For so many years I was a molded into a "house mouse", afraid of my own shadow.
I didn't even write a dozen checks in all the years of marriage to my narc. I didn't understand finances, insurances, car maintenance stuff, or who to call for 'whatever' or even how to file my own income tax! I know this sounds corny, but plain and simple, looking back I can see there was something or someone guiding me. I was on automatic pilot. Even making phone calls was a nightmare for me, but I had no choice and my very first phone call was to find out where I can get financial assistance. That one phone call led to another and another and through never ending (!) CROCODILE tears and crippling fear I persevered because I knew that if I didn't the only option to living this horrific life, was not living it and my love for my children did not allow me to be that selfish. And all it took was 1.5 years: truly a snippet of time for the gargantuan payback.
I regret not leaving my narcissistic husband sooner.
So what's my point you might ask? It's this. I DO REGRET not having left sooner. I DO REGRET not taking back a few good years to have pursued 'my' dreams. I DO REGRET looking into the mirror seeing wrinkles from having 'survived' my life rather than having 'lived' it. BUT, thanks to my life, I am blessed with my beautiful children and finally, my freedom. So while I know deep in my heart that all you ladies are still trying to find your way out, you're road to freedom, please, please, please do it before you let your dreams pass you by. If being free means working as a cleaning lady, a waitress, a salesperson, a dog walker, a babysitter or maybe as a bartender/hostess as I do now then that's great.
I sincerely hope some of you can learn from my mistake. Don't wait until you're 60 years old. Don't wait until you feel like your dreams have passed you by. You would be amazed if you realized how one day you're feeling young and like you have all the time in the world (to do whatever) and then all of a sudden you realize how quickly the years fly. And they do, even though in the worst of times it feels like we are frozen in time. We don't see it coming; we just look back one day and see that the years have passed us by almost as if we never saw it happening.
I know a lot of you women haven't reached your mid-life years so reclaiming your life and finding (new) love is within your reach much more easily than it is once you get older. I would much prefer to talk about dance, psychology or art, but I'm no connoisseur on those subjects. I did however feel the need to talk about something I do know a lot about; leaving a narcissist.
For many of you it will be for the sake of your children. But please make your list of what you need to do, the order you need to do it in, how you will do it and when you can realistically expect to be out. Then stick to it! Stick to it! Stick to it! It will happen! I am so grateful to be free and settled in my life now, but rarely a day goes by that I don't regret not having done it sooner. And truth be told, I couldn't have know this until now. Like they say, "Hindsight 'is' 20/20".
(the blog was originally posted by a community member.)