The End of Narcissistic Abuse: An Inside View

May 15, 2016

I wrote this on the day that I finally had enough. As I said elsewhere on that day, “My cup runneth over.”

This is what it was like after spending about 25 years, off and on, mostly in relationships with Narcissistic or Borderline partners.  This is what the last seven years of that time did to me.

This is what it was like to finally be done.

For the last seven years, I’ve been surrounded by a whirlwind of lies. This has sharpened me, and made me more conscious and aware, but it has taken a toll on me.

Seven years ago, my second and last marriage ended. There was no closure for me, no answer to the question, “Why?” And I asked.

In my search for answers, I teetered on madness. But I also did a great soul-searching during that time. Never have I swept away the inner world so…madly.

That time changed me. I scraped away everything I could that was not “me”. I remember vividly, at one point in the search, coming upon an image so tender and dear to me that I wished it were part of me. But it wasn’t, and I allowed it to be swept away. I cried as I watched it go.

It was an act of self-preservation. In the ruinous cellar of my inner world, I saw the pillars that held the whole structure intact. I recognized these pillars as part of “me”. I scraped them, scraped against them, scraped away all that I could, recognizing that I could not scrape away ME. It was impossible.

All that fell away was NOT me. It was temporary, exterior, mere wallpaper on the stone that was permanently there. I did not hesitate much, because I had already lost what I wanted. It was an act of self-preservation, the scraping of me.

Then came the lies.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and empty space will be filled by…something. I did not yet have the fortitude or the foresight to guard my emptiness carefully. I welcomed what seemed to be good, what “felt” good to my emptiness, to the space left by my recent loss. And so I fell into the whirlwind.

I did my best.

Nature Herself seemed to be aligned against me as I struggled forward, seeking. I was learning to trust, despite my setbacks. So I did my best to trust, the best I could, and I fell. Or at least I stumbled. Life presented forks in the road, one after another. I learned to choose one or the other, but I often took neither road and suffered the consequences. Or I tried to take both roads at once.

I was actually counseled to take both roads, as if all were attainable at once. “Faith! Belief! It’s not what’s real that matters! It’s what you THINK is real!” Baloney. Malarkey. Bullshit. There is what is, and there is what is not, and that’s all that there is. No mantra or affirmation can change the Laws of Nature.

Flood came and then drought. A record flood! The worst drought EVER! The coldest Winter in years, stretching deep into March. But I was popular and rising, sad but hopeful, figuring things out and enjoying my life. Then, ultra-deception, close and personal, and one more mooring was cut.

Things were still good, as I was learning and getting by. Faces came and went, and I let them come and go. I reached out, stretched out, bettered myself, moved forward. Aloneness. Solitude. Cold weather. My boys. I excelled, I achieved, I did well.

Then I smacked a brick wall. Trying to take two roads at once, ignoring the still, small voice within, I exerted too far and lost again. I felt the shift immediately.

Soon, Life presented a challenge. I accepted. I couldn’t refuse. I was grabbed, shaken, and shown what lay ahead, a glimpse. I accepted. I thought I was up to the task. I would never be the same again.

Elation. Hope. Pain. Confusion. Up and down, back and forth. Anger, rage. Blame. Appeals, denials, exertion, effort. Failure. I folded my hand. Enjoyed time alone. Experienced grace, light, life, impossibility! Friendship.

And then–return. I apologized, I confessed, I promised. It was not in my control to repair. I suffered, month after month. I acknowledged, I tried. I humbled myself, submitted to rebuke, to condemnation, to endless blame, spite, hatefulness.

Overcome and overwhelmed, I left. And found brightness. Lightness. Ease. And then–nothing. I distressed, and it returned. Then went away. Blame. Anger. Confusion. Desperation, betrayal, forgiveness, happiness. For a minute. Then, rinse and repeat. Again.

Pour another drink, my friend. It’s time to celebrate again! Or is it? That didn’t last long. The shittiest birthday ever, but I made some kids happy. Enough of this! No more. Guilt. Wretchedness.

Who did I hurt? Anyone? Everyone? Myself? Back and forth, over and over again. I can’t stop! There’s too much hope here to give up. I see! I see what’s presented to me, and I believe it…because I trust.

No matter what, I will do the right thing. I will endure. Is it so hard because it’s good or because it’s bad? I HAVE to find out! I believe. I will trust. I will continue. I will follow through.

I did not know that I would break. And I did.

Aloneness. Friendship. Peace. Tenderness. No contact. I must heal. I must let this grow right this time. It’s been wrong for too long to let it heal wrong again. I need my space. I need myself. I need you to leave me alone.

Maybe there’s still hope. I will see. I will step softly, on my terms. I know what’s best for me. I see you pressuring me. You need to stop. You don’t understand what you have done to me, what Life has brought to me, what’s going on inside me. I cannot carry your burdens right now. I can’t carry my own. Let me be. I will return.

You did WHAT??!! WHY??!! But it’s not TRUE!! How could you? Why did you?? What have you done? You’ve destroyed everything! And for what?? You didn’t even talk to me first! Does the truth mean nothing at all??!! What do you mean, you were upset? I don’t believe this. How does one come back from something like this??

Hello? Yeah, you were right. I know, I’m so sorry. I fucked up really bad this time. I don’t know what to do. You’ll take me back? You must really love me! I’m so happy! We’ll figure this out together!

Another flood. What do you mean, you can’t do this? Pain. Guilt. Control. Submission. Apology. Struggle. Violence. Drunkenness. Sadness. Trying…for nothing, for no reason at all but to cause more suffering. No, you can’t call me that. No, I’m not as you say. No, that’s not what I meant. No, I think I’m done now. I have other things to tend to. Important things are happening. But not here. This is dead, this is death. I must go.

Blackmail. Aloneness. Regret. I can’t believe I believed again. Lies. Intentional or not, still lies. I see the truth now. Now I can tend to what’s real, and right, and good, and true. I hope.

Hello? Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you.

JOY!! For the first time in 6 years I can use that word! I feel JOY! My heart is bursting with love, overflowing! Thank you, Life, God, Universe! I haven’t ruined everything! Sweet, sweet preciousness! Yes, I accept. Yes, I am very, very sorry and I’ve suffered very much for my wrongness. Happy, happy, happy! Disbelief. Amazement. Humility. Togetherness. Family. We will overcome.

Or not.

The past creeps in like a cold fog in the night, drifting in wisps that coagulate and form together. It builds up, sucking the warmth, hiding the light, and making one’s breath cold like Halloween night. Anger. Blame. Denial. Let’s put the old record back on and play it. No, let’s not. No…I think we will. And so we do.

Wax on, wax off–or, rather, wax off, wax ON. Demands. Pressure. Resentment. Impatience. Stories told to elicit sympathy, maybe true, maybe not.

Connections that don’t exist. Falling, spiraling, downward, backward, to a place not quite known or defined, perhaps not real but treated as Gospel and preached as such. Material gain. Scores settled, balances paid, debts discharged…or not. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, depending on…what, exactly?

I’m not made for this anymore. I broke and healed. Right, this time. This isn’t where I dwell, but I’ll endure it, for as long as I can, because I have hope and because I’m very happy enough of the time to look past the harm. Not overlook…but look past.

I don’t think you know who I am. No, I’m not being arrogant. You’re acting like I’m somebody else, somebody I’ve never been. What you say isn’t true.

Why do you believe that? Why don’t my words make any difference? I’m speaking truth! I’m doing my best. Damn good, actually. Yes, I know I’ve done wrong. Time isn’t healing. The past isn’t receding. It’s becoming the present.

No, I won’t do that. I’ve learned not to do things like that. Nothing good comes from it. I’m sorry. That’s your choice. It doesn’t have to be this way. Or does it? It’s not something I control. There’s only so much I can do. I’m doing my best. I don’t know what to do.

I’m tired of the lies.

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