Is there a way to create a safety plan when you are going to leave the narcissist? How can you get out of a controlling relationship safely and successfully? Here’s everything you need to know to start planning your escape from the narcissist in your life.
Are you planning to leave an abusive narcissist?
Your narcissistic partner is abusing you, and you are finally ready to leave. But, unfortunately, it took you way too long to this point, and the idea of leaving the narcissist is quite scary. Not only do you have no idea what consequences you will face when the narcissist realizes you are trying to escape, but the idea of going it alone in the future could have you feeling stuck and alone. These are just a couple of the reasons that it’s so very essential to create a safety plan, and you have to make some considerations.
Your Guide to Leaving a Narcissist
When you are finally ready to leave the narcissist, there are several things you need to put in place before pulling the proverbial trigger. If you have kids, it’s even more complicated.
What’s the PLAN?
If you haven’t already, you might like to download my free PLAN (Planning to Leave a Narcissist) Toolkit to help you plan your escape. PLAN is a free, comprehensive toolkit designed specifically to help you safely leave a narcissistic abuse situation in an emotionally, physically, and/or psychologically abusive relationship, with or without kids involved.
Leaving a Narcissist is Harder Than People Think
In many cases, leaving the narcissist will be a tough decision for you. Even though you’ve heard people tell you to “just leave if it’s so bad,” way too often, you’re scared to leave. Maybe it isn’t THAT bad, you’ll reason. I am probably just overdramatizing it, you’ll tell yourself. But change is hard, even when it’s for the best.
And, assuming you’ve been codependent in the relationship and are struggling with trauma bonding (as most survivors of narcissistic abuse will), leaving the narcissist will be even more difficult. Plus, whether or not the narcissist can return your feelings, chances are you do or did love them with all of your heart. And that doesn’t make it easier.
In fact, leaving a relationship is not easy under any circumstances, and doing so can lead to a lot of pain, confusion, and suffering. But when a narcissistic person is involved, things are far more complicated.
You might be planning how to leave the narcissist already, so this article, along with your PLAN, will ensure that your plan is as effective as it can get. However, whether you decided that enough is enough or they have decided to leave you, it can be highly stressful and chaotic.
What do you need to consider when creating a safety plan to leave the narcissist?
Get support where you can
When creating a safety plan to leave a narcissist, be aware that you may need outside help. Especially if you are enduring another episode of abuse and you want to leave, it can help to talk to a trusted neighbor or friend and tell them what you’re dealing with, the truth of it. And fill them in on your plan to leave.
Create a code word or a signal together that you can use to get help. For example, if you’re dealing with an episode of narcissistic abuse and you need the police, you could text your code word to the neighbor or put something in the window that faces their home. Or, if you’re planning to leave, you could have your go-bag at a friend’s house so you can get in the car and go when you have the opportunity.
Keep your car full of gas.
When you make your escape plan, you want to make sure that your car is fully fueled at all times so that you can go when the opportunity presents itself. You also want to keep your vehicle parked forward in the driveway or on the street and avoid keeping it in the garage. This way, the narcissist cannot block your way when you make your escape.
Keep an extra set of keys on you.
Make a copy of your car and house keys so you can keep them in your pocket at all times, if possible. The narcissist can quickly grab your car keys and keep them hidden from you, and they will absolutely do so if they think it’ll keep you around.
Plan for income
When you plan to leave the narcissist, you’re going to need to figure out how to survive, so try learning some skills by taking an online class. You can also apply to work part-time at a coffee shop or supermarket to start saving some extra cash. Finally, you will want to look into financial aid and other options to help until you get back on your feet.
Plan for a place to land
Tell your friends and trusted family members what you are enduring and your plan to leave the narcissist. Perhaps someone can give you and your kids, if you have any, a place to stay temporarily when you escape. Of course, you will want to look into shelters as well.
Are you being financially abused by a toxic narcissist? Take the test now!
Are you in a relationship with a malignant narcissist who controls your money or who won’t give you access to your family money? Do you feel like you can’t get away because you don’t have the ability to pull together the funds? You might be dealing with financial abuse.
What is a malignant narcissist?
A malignant Narcissist is someone who has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) along with antisocial features, paranoid traits, and ego-driven aggression. One of the primary similarities betweeen all malignant narcissists is the marked lack of compassionate and emotional empathy, along with the fact that they actively behave from that perspective, making them incredibly cruel to those closest to them. They may also exhibit an absence of conscience, a psychological need for power and an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement.
Financial abuse is a manipulation and control tactic that malignant narcissists are known to use to control and manipulate you through money. They may do this by refusing to give you access to your own money or to the family money, or by preventing you from getting a job or bank account of your own. They may also cause you to lose a job you already have or actively work to get you fired. In some cases, they might actually go the other direction, where they refuse to get a job of their own, and they will still control all of your money and refuse to give you access. Financial abuse often looks like genuine concern for your financial wellbeing and/or for your “own good” at first, and in some cases, survivors say they felt “taken care of” in the beginning, but later realized they were trapped as a result of giving up the control over their own finances.
The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups– We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
Are you in the process of preparing to leave an abusive relationship? If you are, you’ve got a lot of things to consider. One of the most important is where do you go from here – as in, where will you live when you leave?
Finding a Safe Place to Live When You Leave an Abusive Relationship
Once you are ready to leave your abusive relationship, and you have the important documents you need in hand, you’ve got a good start. You’ll have your car fueled up and ready to go when you make that final move. Where do you go? Fortunately, there are options. Making that plan before you leave is an absolute must – but when you’re being financially abused (as is often the case in these toxic relationships) or you’re struggling financially for any reason, you might be worried about how you’ll survive. And of course, you’ve got to consider your safety, as well as the safety of your kids, if you have any. Even a “non-violent” abuser can become violent when you leave – so be very careful.
What is Financial Abuse?
Financial Abuse is a manipulation and control tactic used by an abuser in which they use money to control and or manipulate you. This can be done by restricting you from accessing family money or by forcing you to provide all of the money. Financial abuse may involve blatant lying about, theft of, and/or hiding of family money, among other forms of manipulation and control.
This video offers an expanded discussion on financial abuse in toxic relationships.
Places to Live When You Leave an Abusive Relationship
Whether you’re dealing with financial abuse or not, you still might not be sure where to go when you’re getting out of the relationship. Here are some options you can consider for a place to live when you’re leaving an abuser.
Maybe You Don’t Have to Leave
While this is not always an option, in some cases, you might actually be able to keep your home and kick the abuser out. This could be the case when you owned the home prior to the relationship, or when you’ve paid for all or most of the home. It might also be the case when you have children who are school-aged. However, as you’re probably well-aware, getting a toxic person to leave their home can be nearly impossible in some cases. If that is your situation, you might temporarily leave and work with an attorney to legally evict them.* Be sure to check the eviction laws in your area and speak to an expert or attorney who can help.
*This is not legal advice and should not be taken as such. Always check your local laws.
Set Yourself Up Ahead of Time
If you’re not being financially abused and you can’t keep your existing home, you could set yourself up in a new home or apartment on the down-low. Don’t let the abuser know what you’re doing. Make sure your phone isn’t being tracked, and if it is, leave it at home and get a backup while you set up the new place so they won’t be able to find the new place if that is a concern. Over the course of a month or so, you could rent a new place and set it up, slowly moving your things a little at a time. Then, you can just be gone one day when your abuser comes home. Alternatively, one survivor I know happened to own an apartment building. She actually moved her abuser into an apartment and taped the key, address, and a goodbye note to her front door the day she changed the locks. Obviously, this option is not going to work for everyone who is in this situation as narcissists and other abusers often DO financially abuse their victims.
Stay With A Trusted Friend Or A Trusted Family Member
You might have the option to crash with a friend or family member for a while while you get back on your feet. Be aware that it’s really important for you to be open and honest about the abuse you endure when you speak to this person about staying with them. Even if this person isn’t able to let you stay forever, it can be a way to get out immediately and plan your next steps.
However, not everyone is so fortunate to have a trusted friend or family member who will gladly take them in after they leave an abusive relationship. Since most abusers end up isolating their victims, you may have no one left who you feel you can trust. Don’t worry – as alone as you feel, there are hundreds of thousands of people in the same position. But what do you do in that case? And what happens to you if you are in that position? Fortunately, there are other options you can consider.
Find A Domestic Violence Shelter
If you cannot go and stay with a trusted friend or family member, you can always stay at a domestic violence shelter. These shelters are also known as women’s shelters, and they are generally a group of apartments or a building where abused women can escape from their abusers. Even better, these shelters will be sensitive to your specific situation, so you never have to worry about the abuser finding out where you are as everything is kept private. You will be given a burner phone or an unlisted landline in the meantime, or you can always change your cell number.
If you have children, the good news is that there is usually enough room for both you and the children. Generally, the shelter will provide everything for your basic needs, including childcare and food. You cannot stay at the shelter for an infinite amount of time, but you won’t need to worry about that. If you don’t have a job, the shelter will help you find one (and even offer you job training in many cases). You’ll also get help with finding a permanent place to live when the time comes for you to do so. The great thing about the shelter is that you can receive access to legal help, support groups, counseling, financial help, health services, and educational opportunities.
In other words, you are not left high and dry if you go to a shelter – you’ll be given help and resources that can save you in so many ways.
Staying Safe at a Domestic Violence Shelter
Often, when you’ve been in an abusive relationship with a toxic narcissist, you might find yourself worried that they will become stalkers (and they often do). The domestic violence shelter option can be your safest bet in these cases if you don’t have a friend or family member who can protect you.
You are usually not required to give your personal information when you go to a shelter, and they may even give you a false name to keep you protected. If you are unsure how to get access to a shelter, you can talk to your therapist and look for organizations in your area about domestic abuse. Reach out to them, and they will be there to help you.
Alternative Option for a Place to Stay When Leaving a Narcissist
If you don’t have a friend or family member you can stay with, and you’re not able to get into a shelter (or prefer not to), you might need an alternative option for a place to go when you leave. So, here’s a quick, easy, and relatively cheap place to live (at least temporarily) when you leave your abuser. This idea came from one of the members of our SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Group chat.
Important to Consider: If you choose to move to a new city or area to get away from your abuser, you will need to become acclimated to the new location. That also means if you have kids, they will need to go to a new school.
Ultimately, remember this: You are never completely stuck. And while leaving might mean that you have to temporarily adjust your lifestyle, it can also mean that you actually get your life back. You deserve that – and you do not need to trap yourself with the abuser. You can break free and stay safe. Here are some additional resources for you.
Find a safe place to stay when leaving an abusive relationship
In the US: visit Womenslaw.org for a state-by-state directory of domestic violence shelters in the U.S.
If you’re in a relationship with someone who is abusing you, whether this is physically, psychologically, emotionally, or otherwise, and you’re ready to consider leaving them, you may not know where to begin.
If your partner is a narcissist and has been subjecting you to narcissistic abuse, gaslighting, and other forms of manipulation, you might have spent a lot of time doubting yourself, not sure whether you’re right and they’re toxic, or whether they are right and you’re crazy. If you do still happen to be doubting yourself, you might be interested in taking one of my free narcissistic abuse recovery self-assessments, right here.
Tips to Prepare to Leave a Toxic Relationship with a Narcissist Safely
What can you do to prepare yourself to leave a toxic and abusive relationship? It is not as easy as picking up and going. Here are some of the most important things to consider before you leave a narcissist and an abusive relationship.
Know Where You Stand Financially
Financial abuse is real when it comes to narcissists, and the last thing you want to do is leave the abusive relationship and find out the hard way you are not financially fit to leave. That is a critical step to take when you are married to an abusive person – and there are some really specific things of which to be aware. Once you know the financial facts, you can present them to the court, and you will get your fair share of the money. That means you must know what you have in the bank and all of the debt that you carry. A bonus tip is to take screenshots of the accounts, so you know what you have available before you go. This video offers additional tips on dealing with financial abuse in toxic relationships.
Grab Essential Documents
The last thing you want to do is leave essential documents behind so you will want to collect them. Make sure you have access to your personal IDs such as your driver’s license and passport, your birth certificate, as well as the ones of your children, passports, marriage license, investment numbers, car documents, and social security number. Make sure you have your bank and mortgage/lease information as well. Take pictures of them if you are afraid that the abuser will destroy them. The PLAN covers a full list of documents you’ll want to gather before you go.
Begin Saving Money And Get A Job If You Must
As much as you want to make sure that you get your fair share of the money you’re due from the marriage, you will want to make sure that you begin saving your own. If you need to get a job, even a side hustle, you should do it That will only help you feel more secure about leaving your abuser. Many abused spouses stay in toxic marriages because of finances. If you can support yourself and your kids if you have any, even if you are just getting by, that is better than staying in a toxic relationship. These days, there are plenty of work-from-home jobs you could do, even without telling the narcissist, if you play it right. Just be careful with your earnings and keep them in a separate account from the narcissist’s money. You can look into services like PayPal or online banks like Chime to create a private account without the narcissist’s knowledge, for example. Bonus tip: you might also want to consider checking your credit through a free service like Credit Sesame, which also offers you tips on how to improve your credit score. This video offers additional tips on how to leave a narcissist with no money.
Make Changes To Passwords
If you are afraid that the abuser is monitoring your social media activity and emails, then you want to change your passwords, so your abuser does not have access to any of it. Change all of your passwords, whether for social media, online banking, or any other platform. Keep the passwords in a safe list that the abuser cannot access.
Tell Your Friends And Trusted Family Members The Truth
When you are about to leave your abuser, you must tell those you trust to support you through it and even offer you a place to stay temporarily until you can get on your feet. You will also feel more secure and safe while leaving, and you will also need them to encourage you to go on with your plan for leaving as it is a daunting thing to do, but a courageous thing you can do for yourself.
Reach Out To Experts And Shelters
If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to preparing yourself to leave the abusive relationship, contact a family lawyer, a therapist, a narcissistic abuse recovery coach, or another expert who can safely advise you. Many lawyers offer initial free consultations and advise you on collecting financial data and everything you need. Also, contact shelters or a therapist can give you some leads to shelters if you are unsure where to look. Be sure to check out our domestic violence resources page as well.
Leaving an abuser is a scary thing to do, but if you utilize these tips and get the support you need, you can do it. You deserve to be safe and healthy.
QueenBeeing Resources for Narcissistic Abuse & Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
Today we’re talking about the parasitic narcissist. It’s a fact that a parasitic narcissist wants everything you’ve got. The “lazy” narcissist will refuse to get a job and will do everything in their power to get you to pay for everything. They won’t stop until they’ve taken all you’ve got to give, and then some. A parasitic narcissist will suck you dry – financially, emotionally and otherwise.
What is a parasitic narcissist?
This is the type of person who refuses to get a decent job or to support him/herself and who believes that you (and the world) owe them something. This kind of person tends to have NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) or at least to be considered a toxic narcissist. They have a tendency to be attracted to empaths, and like all narcissists, will be highly prone to gaslighting and manipulation of their closest sources of narcissistic supply.
In this video, I’ll expand on the definition of a parasitic narcissist and explain exactly what you can expect from one. Plus, I’ll offer tips on how you might deal with a parasite narcissist.
You might also be interested in learning about narcissistic financial abuse. Financial Abuse is a sneaky, pervasive tactic used by a narcissist in which they use money to control and or manipulate you. This can be done by restricting you from accessing family money or by forcing you to provide all of the money, and may involve blatant lying about, theft of and/or hiding of family money, among other forms of manipulation and control.
After a toxic relationship with a narcissist who may have been financially abusing you, one sure thing that can elevate your feelings of dread and powerlessness is financial problems.
Money Stress Related to Narcissistic Abuse
Since narcissists are so likely to use financial abuse to control their victims, many survivors feel stuck with their abusers as a result. And in general, worries about money can be some of the most toxic around because lack of financial security encroaches on nearly every aspect of your life and the lives of your loved ones. It’s an incredibly serious issue that can snowball into other problems if you let it.
Financial Abuse and Mental Health
A link between debt and mental health problems exists, and these struggles can often feel insurmountable. Read on to see how financial stress can harm your emotional outlook and to discover tips to get your finances in order so that you can move past the agony of money-related anxiety.
Financial Abuse and Physical Health
Money troubles are also known to contribute to physical health problems, interpersonal issues, and even addiction. You’ve probably dealt with headaches or digestive troubles when you’ve been really stressed out. Weight gain also occurs when long-term financial strain is a problem.
Financial Abuse and Divorce
When you’re dealing with financial abuse during a divorce, or ahead of one, you might feel helpless and stuck. You also likely know that finances are one of the biggest contributors to divorce – and this is true even for healthy couples, but especially in toxic relationships. These types of conflicts can carry over to your workplace, too. When you’re stressed and irritable, you might inadvertently be less than pleasant in the office, and dealing with conflict in a mature, stable manner is difficult.
How do you take control of your money after financial abuse?
It’s true that more money isn’t going to magically appear, and I don’t want to seem patronizing with my suggestions. However, I also know that taking action to make even the smallest change in your own situation can be empowering, often providing motivation to make additional changes. So let’s look at some ways you can get a handle on your finances in order to cut down on the anxiety related to them.
You may think it’s a dirty word, but you really do need a budget. Even if you don’t currently have enough money to go around, planning for what is the most important place to focus your funds and considering some tangible ways to deal with the rest can give you a sense of control you’ve been missing.
Try to focus on realistic and manageable changes you can make right now instead of getting lost in what the future may bring. Falling into that trap will only lead to more anxiety.
Consider what costs you can eliminate or cut down on. Then look at what debts require your immediate attention. If you’re not sure which debts to tackle first, get help from an advisor or a knowledgeable friend if paying a professional is simply not possible.
You can also do some research online. Making informed decisions regarding your money and creating a plan should go a long way toward alleviating your anxieties.
Self-Compassion During Your Financial Abuse Recovery
Listen, no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Even though you’ve suffered financial abuse, you can recover. But it’s important to avoid beating yourself up in this process. I promise you, it won’t help – and I’ve never heard of anyone who managed to hate themselves better in any case. So, be gentle with yourself.
Whether you’ve suffered from financial abuse, or even if you have personally made mistakes in the past, you’re on your way to moving in a better direction, While your finances might not be in the shape you’d like them to be right now, you’re trying and taking proactive steps toward improving your situation. That means an awful lot.
FInancial Abuse Video
Here’s a video on financial abuse that may help you.