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My Narcissistic Ex-Husband

Reflections on loving and living with a Narcissist.  Let our experts guide you toward the healing power of moving on and allowing yourself some time in the spotlight.  Get advice on healing from his behavior and finding yourself again.

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I have come to the conclusion I am suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome); nightmares, flashbacks, depression, anxiety attacks.

I am not sure how to cope with it. Right about the time I was filing for divorce my therapist moved, and I have not made any move to try to find a new one. It's been a whirlwind of adjustments ever since. Husband moved out. Figuring out how to work full time, maintain the household and care for my children alone. It's quite the juggling act, I must say. I am not putting in a stellar performance, and that bugs me, but I am getting by. I’m trying to take the advice of family, to learn to forgive myself for all the rest and be satisfied, for now, with just getting by. Boy, do I expect a lot.

Getting clear from my divorce.

At the bottom of my heart is this little voice of faith that says I am held in the palm of His hand and that I shouldn't think that just getting by is unacceptable. So I take comfort in that. I have been aware that my heart possesses no joy right now. I lost it somewhere along the way. You all know why. I struggle just to get out of bed each day, get the kids to school and myself to work. I am adapting; finding my way. Yet, I make to do lists and have whole months (not hours or days or weekends) where very little gets checked off. I just can't seem to manage anything much besides eat, sleep, parent and work. I know things will get better. I know I just need to go final and get clear of the divorce. The inventory and assessment, taxes, other ridiculous discovery requests were daunting. I thought I would feel better once I got past that but, no, it didn't - I'm not there just yet. At least we finally got him paying child support regularly so that helps. I am riding on an even keel right now financially, but it's still full of ups and downs.

Detaching is key to healing from narcissistic abuse.

Emotionally, I have gotten more detached from my ex-narcissist. When he is civil and talks decently I don't dive deep in it - don't have a single thought (hope) of us getting back together like I once did. Nor do I feel great disappointment and sorrow like I always felt after a good exchange. My mind would reel out the line "see how well we get along? I don't understand why it didn't work?" Before I would weep in mourning, but no more. I just take in the moment now with gratitude that the most recent exchange was not ugly. I know the next moment could be entirely different. I am not fazed by that thought either. It just is what it is at any moment. I have read here and other sites a lot lately, and 3 books on narcissism and recovery are shaping my healing. I understand so much more now. The guilt is loosening its grip.

Two things have happened recently that are a sign to me that my feet have found the road to recovery. This is in addition to my improved attitude of detachment. One is that without intending to I did get a measure of revenge on my husband already. I have learned in my readings that the narcissist extracts pleasure from us by using us up and discarding us. The "discard" is monumentally important to them. Now, I have never been one to hold a grudge or step out of my way to exact revenge on anyone. I did this to him unintentionally. I realized our marriage was not livable and I filed for divorce first. He had plans to file and dump me in grand fashion. I am sure. I look back and all the signs were there. I just did not recognize them until now. No wonder he was so mad! Score for me! Lol.

The second thing that has happened is as follows. I am still having nightmares but they have decreased a bit. Now I started having this dream where a beautiful, sweet and innocent toddler sees me and runs to me. This kid looks like a cherub-but without wings and it's so real! I kneel down to greet him (or her - it changes nightly) and he runs into my arms, giggling joyfully, and I am enveloped in this hug like no other. I wake laughing still feeling his touch. It's strange but it comforts me. Getting out of bed is getting easier. I thought about it for a long time, pondering... what does it mean? I think it is a promise. A promise that blessings are coming daily and joy will return - I just have to kneel to accept them on whatever level they come; open my arms and my scarred heart to embrace the changes as they arrive in my life.

(originally posted by a member of our community)

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  • Comment Link beb Friday, 02 June 2017 12:03 posted by beb

    Dear LC. I am so sorry for your pain. I'm in my second marriage to a sick, cruel narc. I can't believe I am in this again. But I am grateful for the first narc, because I was able to see clearly what was coming (the discard) and get prepared. Not prepared all the way, though, because this time I have a child with this evil man and the guilt from that has been horrendous. But God gives us the strength to go through this. God doesn't kick us when we're down. The evil in this world does. Like I told my daughter, God doesn't wreck us, the evil in this world does - if we let it. We have free will in this world and many people use their freedom to choose to live selfishly regardless of the destruction they cause. Through this dark time God is working in us. We don't understand it and at times feel like we can't bear it. So I keep praying. For strength and His will. And telling God thank you for a roof over my head, food, water, etc. My daughter has decided she's an atheist now because of the nightmare we are enduring, so I understand. Sometimes I think of Job in the Bible. Everything was taken from him while his wife and friends ridiculed him, but in the end he received more than he had before. Our reward is not on this earth. This earth is a training ground. I am pretty much alone now as my family is in another state and the people we hung with and my narcs family, of course, have loyalty to him. My narc has been busy for months turning our daughter against me saying this is all my fault that he had to leave us for his 22 y.o. coworker. The things of this world is not what God wants for us. The things of this world are passing away. He wants us, our obedience to him. Praying for you and everyone being abused by these psychopaths. Psalm 121

  • Comment Link hpyogalover Sunday, 26 February 2017 21:52 posted by hpyogalover

    This was beautifully written.
    Be proud of yourself for being the one who left. I wish I had left the 200x I threatened to. I wish I stayed gone the time I finally did leave. They are poisonous to our souls and we are free. Take pride in your strength please.

  • Comment Link LC Monday, 13 February 2017 16:25 posted by LC

    Narcissistic abuse killed off what was left of my faith in a god. I still believe that god is real, but that he is not benevolent. I know too well that he kicks his faithful when they are already down. I am curious how people who have stared into the murky, disgusting depths of a narcissist's heart could still believe in a god that wants good things for them. I wonder if I will ever understand that or if that kind of faith is just dead for me now. Any thoughts to share on this, anyone?