“Why don’t you leave?”, “How can you love someone who treats you this way?”, “You need to stick up for yourself”, “I wouldn’t allow anyone to treat me this way”.
Anyone who has experienced any form of domestic abuse will probably have heard these sentences in one form or another. They are usually made by well-intended outsiders who have been fortunate enough and never experienced abuse. Or at least they don’t know that they have.
But the truth is, “leaving” is extremely difficult. And that’s all financial or family commitments taken aside. …
“Please ignore the pillows, they are hers,” this was the caption on one of the early selfies he sent me.
Of course, I couldn’t stop staring at the pillows. They were white with pink faded roses. They were pretty, just not what I would have expected to see in the home of a 27-year-old. In fact, they weren’t too dissimilar to some that my granny kept.
But each to their own. I am really not a judgy person, and what would I care about his ex-wife’s home decoration style anyway? As far as I was concerned this was all a…
I had been given the rare opportunity to interview my future boss, together with the 2 other direct reports he would have. Since it was a new process we had to come up with ideas on what we wanted to do. We decided to pose a fictional problem and see how he would deal with it. I took a leap. I proposed to tell him that I was suffering from C-PTSD. The others loved the idea, but what they don’t know is that it’s not a fictional scenario.
While I have suffered from anxiety for a while now, C-PTSD started…
Today a friend contacted me to tell me that my abusive ex has deleted his LinkedIn account. It was the last of the social media accounts he had kept after information about his behaviour got leaked earlier this year (not from me). Now he is completely off the radar. Or has at least removed all digital footprint under his name. It’s strange for me. It wasn’t like I would have ever messaged him, but it was the last link I had. And yes, I did occasionally check if he is still alive, or still appears to be working.
10 years ago a distant acquaintance liked a page on Facebook. It came up in my feed, and out of curiosity, I followed the link. The post itself was removed shortly after, as I am sure the individual didn’t mean to share it. The website was a photography portfolio of some sort. But the pictures were all explicit. Namely of nude men or male couples.
I couldn’t take my eyes off them. I kept scrolling through the pictures, pausing and dreaming at my favourites. …
It must have been the third or fourth time that I had spent all day in a hotel room with Andy*. We had taken the day off work and didn’t leave our room from the moment we checked in until we had to leave in the evening. It was exciting and exhausting at the same time, but I loved every second. In fact, I had never experienced this level of attraction with anyone ever before. But then I had never been with anyone like Andy before. He was my soulmate.
I had only known him for a couple of months…
A year ago today was the worst day of my life. It was the day on that the love of my life told me that he had chosen someone else. I still remember how sick I felt when he ushered these words: “I love her. I need to be with someone who is more like her. You know I will always love you, but we just don’t work out.”
I had never felt so much pain and so much confusion at the same time. I couldn’t eat for days and had no idea how to cope with life without him…
“What prompted you to study Psychology?” my boss asks me. I shrug. “It’s been something I always wanted to do. I am interested in how people and their brains work”. That’s not a lie. But of course, I never told him about my last relationship with a narcissist and how I had to learn all about this personality disorder, so I could heal from my trauma.
May has possibly been the worst month on my journey to healing after narcissistic abuse. Or maybe it has been the best, depending on how you look at it. There is no denying it, I have been incredibly lazy.
I have abandoned my morning routine of doing exercise, meditation, journaling and writing. Instead, when I wake up now, I have a coffee while I play Match Masters (a highly addictive match 3 game my daughter introduced me to).
I have also been procrastinating on my studies and done the bare minimum to prepare for my next dissertation. I have barely…
5x Top Writer. Raising awareness of emotional abuse and toxic relationships. Narcissistic Abuse Survivor.