What had driven them to finally leave and go no-contact with their narcissists?
In many cases, there was a single moment that became the catalyst for change (often led up to by a series of events that caused growing concern, of course).
With the permission of the people who shared their stories with me in a private group I have on Facebook for research purposes, I’m sharing these true stories with you anonymously (to protect the people who wrote them).
The stories do come from three separate and unrelated individuals, but that’s all I can tell you about their identities.
I’m not sharing these stories for shock value – simply because oftentimes reading about the successful transitions of others from narcissistic abuse victim to survivor can inspire us to take action to make our own situations better.
(Survivor Story #1)
The Moment I Knew I Had to Leave a Narc Husband: I realized he was interested in my daughter.
He had no idea how much he was hurting me by looking at porn all day on his phone.
One day I woke up and realized I didn’t care anymore – it was like a light switch went off and I was numb to his abuse.
We went for a drive into town and there was a puppy in the road that had gotten out of their fenced yard. I said, “let’s stop and put him back;” he said, “the dog will be fine,” and kept driving.
We got to town and an old man was pulling out of the store parking lot with an old motor home and one of the side doors was open.
I said, “let’s let him know he has a problem.”
My husband screamed at me to mind my own business.
I said fine, but I knew it was time, I couldn’t keep going on.
A few months earlier he had started to show a big interest in my daughter. I noticed that lately, when she went to say goodbye, he would turn his head.
She’d end up kissing him on the lips. He would sit down so that she would have to bend over and he would get a good look at her breasts.
We lived on a lake and she was taking a shower and everyone else was at their lake, someone needed something and he “volunteered” to go up to the house.
My “mom-bell” went crazy. That’s when I said, “I will go with you.” Of course, he was furious! I don’t know what he thought he was going to do, but I couldn’t take a chance.
(Survivor Story #2)
The Moment I Knew I Had to Leave a Narc Boyfriend: When He Gaslighted Me
I knew I had to leave four months in! I’d experienced the love bombing and thought we where failing in love.
But for some reason, I always had concerns and held back. while I kept my own life going.
Over time, I learned that my concerns weren’t for naught – I found out he’d been an excessive cocaine users for years!
Although, according to him, he pretty much stopped when with me, I didn’t agree with it. And then, he credited me for making him deal with life. He drank a lot at first which I didn’t like as I’ve gone out with an alcoholic in the past, but then he seemed to cut down.
He admitted he had cheated on his ex wife several times. That knocked me sick and I pulled him on this and told him how shocked I was. He didn’t seem to have much empathy toward his ex wife at all.
He was always banging on about exes, calling them psychos and worse. Explaining domestic issues and fights they had had. I’d had enough! I was making subtle hits for him to stop.
Anyway, after four months of me playing it cool and kind of cringing a little about the love bombing, I actually started to expect a little more.
He went all distant and became very unreliable with plans he’d made with me. Of course, when I tried to bring this up he became so angry with me. Plus, he used his son as an excuse, and to guilt me.
He was totally unreasonable. I got the silent treatment.
He was telling me I was angry when I wasn’t – just upset my his uncaring behavior; I felt all off a sudden so anxious.
I was totally walking on eggshells, when I thought he was smitten with me. I googled something, and the pattern of the courtship, his chaotic past he admitted to and -SHOCKER- his personality matched the traits of a narcissist!
I knew I had to leave. I mean, unless he suddenly showed me he’d had a personality transplant. Well, he never did of course, and we both just stopped talking with each other.
The fall out for me was very upsetting, but I’ve never said a word to him. I knew I could not resolve conflict with him. And looking back, he had hinted about me seeing his bad side and how he’d be heart broken if we ever argued.
Nowadays, I can see how me pulling him up and having a opinion made me not very agreeable in his mind. He wanted me to be his girl and had warned me I couldn’t get my way all the time – this after he cancelled other arrangements. It was just really odd behavior, but looking back, I realize now that I didn’t see it at the time.
(Survivor Story #3)
The Moment I Knew I Had to Go No-Contact With My Narc Family: When my father committed suicide
I left my family for good after my father died and I saw how heartless they truly were. He barely had a funeral and they were 20 times more concerned with getting the money he left.
The only reason they gave the half-assed funeral they did was so their name can be on papers to get his stuff. They felt no remorse what so ever for the trouble they caused him (or even the fact that he was gone or killed himself).
They read his suicide letter (which they had the biggest shout out in) and nothing they spun it around to “he was just crazy.”
My sister got over $100,000 from his death and screwed over everyone else in the end -and when we found out the rest of the family didn’t bother to get him even a $200 tombstone, she said it wasn’t her problem and to let someone else pay for it.
I noticed they only pretended to care in front of me, because in the end I was closer to him. They figured he had told me stuff, I guess.
They completely disregarded my sister as a person while everything was being planned. We used it to our advantage while we were fighting them.
Of course, I got a shout out in the letter too. So at the time, I did say a million times “I didn’t want any of the money.”
In my mind, I didn’t deserve it because I felt like I could have saved him and I didn’t. I was too busy all the time dealing with all the narcissist bullshit.
If I had known … if I had seen that hotel room just a few hours before I did, I never would have left him there.
Anyway, I guess it was then I realized my whole life I’ve most likely been living with sociopaths – it was like, at that moment, I suddenly recognized that I had been at the mercy of sociopaths my whole life.
I guess I should be lucky I only came out with nerve issues and anxiety – because I know for a fact I just barely missed a lot worse. Once everything was done, I went no contact. But every now and then they find flying monkeys – last year was the last time I saw one, I think. I want to get my niece and my brother out now, but it’s hard.
Okay, let’s discuss it. Do you recognize yourself or someone you know in one of these stories?
Tell Us Your Story
One of the biggest things I hear from narcissistic abuse survivors who find this site or my narcissistic abuse recovery videos is that they are so relieved to learn that not only are they not crazy, but that they aren’t alone in the painful and shocking realization that they are being (or have been) abused by a toxic person.
It’s a HUGE part of recovery. And it matters. It’s so important for people who are going through and recovering from narcissistic abuse to truly understand that they are not alone.
When you share your story and your personal experiences with narcissistic abuse recovery, not only can it help you grow and evolve in your own recovery, but it offers you a unique chance to pay it forward and help to encourage and support other survivors who are having or have had similar experiences.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.