How to Safely Leave the Narcissist: A Checklist of Things to Do

How to Safely Leave the Narcissist: A Checklist of Things to Do

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.

If you need additional help and support in your narcissistic abuse recovery, look for a trauma-informed professional trained in helping people who are dealing with overcoming narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. Depending on your particular situation, you might benefit from Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching, or you might do better with a therapist. But, first, you have to decide what to do from here – if you’re unsure, start with my free Narcissistic Abuse Recovery quiz. With your results will come recommended resources for your situation.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

If you haven’t already picked it up, head over and download your free PLANning Tool Kit (Planning to Leave a Narcissist). Then, when you’re safe and ready to move forward, remember that online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

 

What Happens When You Abandon The Narcissist?

What Happens When You Abandon The Narcissist?

If you’ve decided that the narcissist in your life is not healthy for you, there will come the moment when you realize that it’s time to walk away. But, unfortunately, no matter how much you try, nothing changes, and the abuse continues.

Are you planning to abandon a narcissist?

If you plan to abandon the narcissist in your life, you should know first that you’re most certainly not alone. Unfortunately, the unfortunate truth is that thousands of men and women experience emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of a malignant narcissist. While this is terrible news for humanity, it’s good news for you today because our research and experience allow you a glimpse into the psychology of the narcissist and a play-by-play guide for exactly what to expect when you leave a narcissist.

It’s a painful realization to reach that point of giving up, but this is what is necessary if things aren’t going to change. This is when you have the greatest risk of narcissist retaliation if the narcissist thinks you’re planning on leaving them. Once you decide that it’s time, the final stage of implementing this can take place. Deciding to abandon a narcissist is scary, especially since a part of you misses the person you signed up for and how they used to be so kind and caring before everything changed.

Discovering That You’re Dealing With a Narcissist

Maybe there was a specific incident (or several) that you feel caused them to become disillusioned with you, and so you spent months or years trying to make up for whatever damage they claimed you caused.

And you might have found yourself Googling about how you could become more like what the narcissist in your life really seemed to want, right? But then you ran across something that blew your mind – you found out about narcissism, or more specifically, narcissistic personality disorder.

As you read through the checklist or article you found or watched the video you clicked on, and a lightbulb went on in your head. Your brain almost hurt from the heavy realization you had at that moment: after all the months or years you’ve been blaming yourself, it turned out that it wasn’t you after all.

You suddenly understood that this person matched up to the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. And that even if they weren’t diagnosed, they clearly demonstrated the trademark behaviors. You didn’t know if you were happy or super angry that you’d been unfairly beating yourself up for all this time. You weren’t sure whether to be upset that you had bent over backward to prove yourself to someone who would never see you. You struggled with the idea that you wasted so much of your life trying to make them happy when it would turn out that even if you were literally perfect, they would never be satisfied.

In other words, you recognized that this person who you now know as the narcissist in your life has actually done nothing but abuse and devalue you as they see fit and at any given moment for almost as long as you can remember. Are you worried you might be wrong, and this person isn’t a narcissist? If so, take our free toxic relationship test or look at this video, which offers signs that you’re in love with a narcissist. 

Making the Decision to Leave the Narcissist

Maybe you thought something was wrong with you at first. You couldn’t understand how someone could treat you the way this person has treated you, so you assumed you must be the problem. Maybe you thought that if only you could somehow “fix” whatever the narcissist claimed was wrong with you, and things would finally change.

But now, you’re over it, and you want out. You crave (and deserve) freedom, and you have taken the time to create your escape plan to go no contact or low contact.

You would love to abandon the narcissist completely. But you want to know what to expect. And if you’re honest, you are understandably concerned about what consequences you could face if you take off and leave the narcissist.

Why is it so difficult to abandon the narcissist? 

Let’s face it – the reasons you might be hesitant to leave the narcissist are many. Not only are you highly likely to be trauma bonded to them, thanks to years or even decades of abuse, but you might be dealing with a fear of abandonment and some attachment issues of your own.

And, quite honestly, you’re at least a little bit afraid of them.

You have seen the narcissist fly into an unreasonable narcissistic rage for the smallest of reasons. And anytime the rage didn’t give them the results they wanted, you’ve witnessed them using narcissistic injury, also known as the “poor me” act, as a way to manipulate you into doing what they want. Unfortunately, this has been a problem in your life more often than you care to admit.

But now that you’re finally done and you’re ready to get the heck out of dodge, you are fully expecting all hell to break loose. You know that it won’t go easily, and you suspect that the narcissist will do anything literally in their power to stop you, especially because you leaving means them losing the one thing they cannot do without – narcissistic supply.

And, if you’re like most survivors, you’re worried about what they will do if you leave.

What can you expect when you abandon the narcissist?

The early part of the no contact journey is no picnic, so when you abandon the narcissist, you can expect to deal with various manipulation tactics, including the following.

The narcissist will beg you to stay.

The narcissist might beg you to stay – or even try to talk you out of leaving. You may even hear things like, “You’ll never find anyone who loves you as much as I do,” or “You’re going to regret this in the long run.” But, then, they will start love-bombing you again and suddenly become the “perfect partner,” and they’ll seem so sincere. Naturally, you will want to believe them, and you will find it nearly impossible to leave if you indulge in this little fantasy at all. Just remember that once they’ve got you firmly back in their grip, they’ll quickly return to their old ways.

The narcissist will guilt-trip you.

The narcissist will try to make you feel guilty for abandoning them. Then, they will suddenly forget that they ever treated you anything but like royalty. In general, narcissists are incapable of taking responsibility for their actions, and the narcissistic guilt trip takes things to a whole new level. Not only is the narcissist well-aware of your “buttons” (which they will happily push at any given moment to get what they want), but they have literally no limits to the levels to which they will stoop. This video offers insight into managing your guilt when you abandon the narcissist.

The narcissist will threaten you.

In many cases, the narcissist will (at least threaten to) stoop to any level to get revenge. You may even hear things like, “If you leave, I’ll tell everyone what a bad person you are” or “If you walk out that door, don’t ever expect me to let you back in!” Remember that even if you choose to stay, they’ll start a smear campaign about you if they haven’t already. So don’t try to reason with them, and don’t make excuses. If you’re afraid they will physically hurt you or your kids, be really intentional in your planning and do your best to avoid confrontation as you exit. If possible, leave and don’t say anything to the narcissist until you’re safely away. This video offers insight into what to do if the narcissist snaps on you. 

The narcissist will stalk and harass you. 

Expect to be stalked and harassed by the narcissist after you abandon them, especially if they have no other sources of narcissistic supply. If they have other sources of supply, they may still stalk you, but it might be less intense or not at all, depending on the situation. Still, it’s important to remember that for the narcissist, this supply can literally feel like a requirement for them – like air or water. So, whether it’s immediately or later down the line, you should be aware that abandoning a narcissist can lead to stalking. If you’re concerned about an existing stalker or you already know that the narcissist in your own life will become a stalker, be sure to grab my free stalker safety kit, right here, so you can take precautions and keep yourself safe. This video also offers insight into how to keep yourself safe from a stalker. 

The narcissist will hoover you.

If the narcissist in your life is not already engaging with a replacement for you, then you can expect to be hoovered. Named after the famous vacuum cleaner company, “hoovering” happens when the narcissist tries to “suck you back in” after the discard. This can be drama-related or an attempt to reconcile the relationship – or, in some cases, an attempt to get you to break no contact once you do get away.

You can expect the narcissist to hoover since you are one of their primary sources of narcissistic supply – and sometimes, the only one. When you unexpectedly cut off that source of supply, the narcissist will be like a vampire who goes without blood for too long. They’ll do anything to get a little taste of it – if they’re in need anyway. They will send you texts such as “Can we please talk?” or “I miss you, please come back.”

Now listen – this next part is hard and will take a ton of willpower, but you’ve got to hold your ground here. Don’t answer their texts. Please don’t respond to their repeated efforts to contact you on social media. Block them and their usual flying monkeys – and if they show up at your door? You don’t answer it. If they won’t leave and are causing a scene? Call the police and have them removed. 

This video offers insight into why narcissists hoover and how to prevent yourself from falling back into that toxic, abusive mess they claim is a relationship.

And speaking of flying monkeys, this brings me to my next point.

The narcissist will engage their flying monkeys in triangulation.

Here’s where the narcissist will employ these so-called flying monkeys. Flying monkeys are just people who willingly or otherwise do the narcissist’s bidding and support their agenda. In other words, they enable the narcissist’s games and manipulation, whether they do it willingly or the narcissist manipulates them into helping.  If the hoover doesn’t work, and sometimes even before they try the hoover, the narcissist will pull out the triangulation card.

Triangulation is, unfortunately, a prevalent manipulation tactic often employed by narcissists; this is when the narcissist communicates as a third party between two people but prevents the two from communicating directly through either manipulating or controlling at least one of them.

So, in this case, because the narcissist may be desperate to get in touch with you for a bit of supply or to cause you more stress and pain (which, if we are honest, is also supply), they’re going to start reaching out to people who will help them by telling you “how worried they are” or “how sad the narcissist seems” since you left, or whatever. This video offers insight into dealing with flying monkeys and the smear campaign. 

The narcissist will flaunt their new source of supply in your face.

Alternatively, the narcissist may quickly scoop up a new person to be their source of narcissistic supply. And, once they’ve got that poor unsuspecting soul in place, you know what they’ll do, right? They will try to use this to hurt you. So, they will try to contact you to fill you in on their “good fortune.” They’ll want you to know how much better they get along with the new supply – and how that person “gets them” in ways you never could.

Of course, they’ll take all the supply they can get, right? So you know they’ll be posting all over their social accounts, telling the world about this new and amazing person they have finally found. They’ll proclaim that this person is their new soulmate and even insult you indirectly in the process by either not acknowledging that you ever existed or by directly pointing out how much better they are with the new person. They will conveniently forget how a similar thing happened when they met you – that they once thought you were their amazing soulmate who could do no wrong and who just “got them” in ways their ex never could. Ahem. Yep, it’s a typical narcissistic cycle of abuse. Anyhoo…

They will try to call you or send you messages to brag about them, hoping that they will get a rise out of you. Of course, the best thing to do is ignore the messages and block their number and social media profiles. If you get any strange friend requests or follows from new accounts that look suspicious, then you will want to block those as well. This video offers insight into how to deal with the narcissist getting a new supply.

The narcissist will run smear campaigns.

Remember how I mentioned smear campaigns before? Well, not only is the narcissist is worried that you will expose who they are, but they’re also going to need a replacement supply and fast! So, they’re going to tell everyone a big sob story, and they’re going to try to tell everyone what a terrible person you are.  They will attempt to ruin your reputation among your family and friends, and if possible, they’ll even try to get you fired from your job. The narcissist can also threaten you by leaking your personal and private information in public. Be careful to avoid engaging with their rumors and lies. Instead, if someone you feel deserves an explanation asks you, then you can explain yourself just one time. If the person appears not to believe you or continues to act as a flying monkey on the narcissist’s behalf, you can step away emotionally until you’re feeling more healed – and at that time, you can decide whether you’d like to keep that person in your life. This video offers insight into dealing with the narcissist’s smear campaign.

Should you abandon the narcissist? 

Given all of the information shared here, you might feel a little doubtful about your decision to leave the narcissist. Worse, you might find that things are still not resolved, and more damage is done by separating from the narcissist. But while it won’t necessarily be easy, it will certainly be worth your time and trouble. And now that you know what to expect when you abandon a narcissist, you can be prepared and protect yourself along the way. This video offers insight into creating your exit plan safely.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

 

No Closure At the End of Your Relationship? What Now?

No Closure At the End of Your Relationship? What Now?

Why do narcissists refuse to give you closure in a relationship?

Are you desperate for closure after the ending of a relationship with a narcissist?  Rarely is the need for relief from the discard allowed by the narcissist – and being able to speak your mind and discuss the issues you lived with if you have gone no contact is practically a foreign concept.

Lack of Closure After a Toxic Relationship Leaves You Reeling

Feeling the need for closure in order to move on and heal can perhaps be one of the more frustrating things survivors of narcissistic abuse go through after a discard. I know that for me personally, it left me feeling like it was impossible to stop thinking about the narcissist and I even struggled to forgive myself for having been with them in the first place. Can you relate?

What can you expect from the narcissist at the end of a relationship?

With a narcissist, if you get closure then you are one of the rare few. The narcissistic person will not allow you to get the closure you need. Instead of closure you get the silent treatment, smear campaigns, gaslighting, blame-shifting, the narcissist playing victim, hoovering, and repeated abuse. In other words, anything but closure.

They might even call you the abuser. Of all the people I have spoken to about the abuse they have suffered, not one has said they have had closure directly from the narcissist.

Can you create your own closure so you can move forward with your healing after narcissist abuse?

Absolutely you can! This video talks about why a narcissist won’t give you closure as well as ideas for how to move forward with your own life to create the closure you seek.

Get Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Now

Additional Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Resources

When You Can’t Stop Obsessing Over the Narcissistic Abuse You Endured

When You Can’t Stop Obsessing Over the Narcissistic Abuse You Endured

“Why do you still think about the abuser after you have been removed/no contact with the abuser for months? Not longing to be with them, but thinking about the abuse and what happened,” a YouTube follower asked me. Here’s what I told her. 

Going through a relationship with a narcissist is absolutely soul-crushing. It sounds like you’re dealing with rumination and most likely trauma bonding. Depending on how long you spent with them, and depending on how you were raised (and by whom), you might struggle with rumination for a long time. But there are things you can do to overcome it, and there are ways you can move forward. Let’s talk about it.

What is Rumination?

Rumination is what we call it when, during narcissistic abuse recovery, when you can’t stop the repeating thoughts in your head. These thoughts tend to be sad or dark, or replaying your abuse over and over in your head. This habit can be dangerous to your mental, physical and spiritual health because it prolongs and can intensify the struggles most of us have during recovery. You might find yourself feeling increasingly depressed and you might be having a difficult time thinking straight. This will make processing your emotions feel next to impossible.

Why Do Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Struggle with Rumination? 

Rumination keeps you feeling stuck, and it is sadly common for survivors of narcissistic abuse, especially after the relationship ends – but even when they’re still in it. In my opinion, there are a number of reasons for this.

After a relationship with a narcissist, a lot of us have become “overthinkers,” even if we weren’t before. See, the narcissist’s selfish, manipulative behavior has led us to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to “fix” our broken relationships (and often, ourselves) while we were still in these relationships. And even if we recognized that something was just kind of “off” about it, or that we were dealing with a toxic relationship during the relationship, we might have either second-guessed ourselves, doubted ourselves, or blamed ourselves – or some combination of all three, thanks to the ongoing invalidation and manipulation we suffered at the hands of the narcissist.

We find ourselves trying to figure out exactly what went wrong, and we try to understand why. We want to know how much of it really was our fault, and we try to wrap our heads around what we’ve gone through. We wonder if the narcissist ever loved us, and we wonder what the heck is so wrong with us that we would put so much of ourselves into this toxic, abusive person. We doubt that we can move forward alone (sometimes as a result of being told that we’ll never be loved again, or that we aren’t capable of doing so). We think we are worthless and we doubt we deserve to be happy, anyway.

All of this leads us to struggle with cognitive dissonance, which is a form of psychological stress or discomfort that happens when you simultaneously hold two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. In other words, because we see one thing and are told (or shown) it’s something else by the narcissist during the relationship, and because we try to (or actually) start to believe it, it messes with our heads in some big ways.

Closure is Essential to Your Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

So, how do you begin to overcome overthinking and ruminating about the narcissist and what they did to you? Let’s start here: you need closure. And as it turns out, that isn’t something most of us get from narcissists.

The Narcissist Didn’t Give You Closure

Most narcissists do not offer their victims any sense of closure. Either they leave without a word or they aggressively discard you and refuse to acknowledge any fault at all – or, in some cases, their victims find the strength to leave them and they play the victim. In nearly all cases where a narcissist is involved in a relationship that ends, they leave you with no closure, feeling confused and spinning. They either do this intentionally or instinctually, depending on their intelligence, their “level” of narcissism, or their place on the Cluster B spectrum. The higher their intelligence and level of narcissism, the more likely they do this intentionally.

A Powerful Way to Create Your Own Closure

One powerful way you can get closure is to write the narcissist a special kind of letter. This exercise actually came to me personally in a very strange way. At the age of 20, I found myself ruminating about a painful experience I’d had with a person I’d been involved with. While I was, in so many ways, finding peace and happiness after ending that relationship, I could NOT stop thinking about this person and feeling angry about what he had done to me.

One morning, while I was having my coffee and again feeling all this anger, I threw my hands up and screamed at the ceiling, “What do I need to do to get this person out of my head?”

I realized in that moment that I had continued to allow him to control me, even though I was no longer in contact with him. And it was right about then that I thought I was going crazy – because, though I was alone in my apartment, I literally heard someone whisper in my ear. I was FURIOUS at this mysterious voice and knew for sure it didn’t come out of my own head, because it said something absolutely ridiculous – it said, “you have to forgive him!”

Well, after calming myself down and getting my head together, I sat down with a pen and a notebook, and I started writing a letter that would not only help me to create my own closure, but one that would change my life forever in some surprising ways – and I inadvertently created an exercise I have used with my clients over the years.

How to Do the Letter Exercise

Create Your Own Closure After Narcissistic Abuse

Here’s how you can do the same thing.

  • Get yourself a pen and a notebook. If you struggle with writing by hand due to some physical issue, then you can type it out on your computer or phone – but if at all possible, I suggest you write with a pen or pencil as it seems to have some additional therapeutic value here.
  • You’re going to write a letter to the narcissist. In the letter, say ALL the things you wish you had said to them but never did, or the things you needed the narcissist to hear and they refused.
  • Be sure to take your time, and if you need to, write a little bit at a time, put it up, and then come back to it when you’re ready or when you have time.
  • Put all of your anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment, and any other feelings you have about the narcissist and the way they treated you in the relationship in the letter.
  • You can say all the curse words you want or need to say, and you can scribble all over the paper if you want to – just put all of your feelings into the letter. No thought or feeling is too small to include – think “brain dump” or “soul-cleansing” – so make sure you include any and everything that comes to mind, no matter how petty or unimportant it seems in the moment.
  • When you’re finished writing, let it sit overnight or for a couple of days. Then, pick up the letter again, and read through it.
  • Add anything you’d like to add, and if you want to, you can rewrite and edit the letter.

This is when you’ll add the final paragraph in the letter, and you’ll want to make it something like this:

And now, though you do not deserve it, I am forgiving you (or releasing you, if forgiveness feels too painful right now), not because you deserve it, but because I no longer want your toxic, negative energy in my space. I trust that you’ll get exactly what you deserve from here on out and I release the need to know what happens for you next. Goodbye, forever. 

At this point, you have two choices. You can mail the letter, or not. Personally, I did not need to mail the letter and would not necessarily recommend that you do – because, in reality, the letter is for you, not the narcissist. It’s all about getting the negativity out of your head and out of your life, and it’s an ideal way to start to create your own closure. I suggest you burn or shred the letter and get it out of your life – and as you do, you imagine the negative energy and anger and all of the other emotions burning away – or being shredded up. Some people like to float their letter down the river or to clip it to a balloon and let it fly away. Do whatever feels best to you. Heck, you could even just throw it in the trash. But whatever you do, once the letter is written, get it out of your life.

This simple exercise provided me with SO much relief, and many of my clients report the same thing. Have you tried this? Will you give it a shot now? Let me know in the comments section, below.

There is additional information on why you feel stuck and how to overcome it in this video.

Question of the day: The question of the day is: have you struggled to stop overthinking what happened to you in your toxic relationship? If so, were you able to get past it, or are you still struggling with it now? Have you tried the letter exercise, and did it work for you? If not, what did work? Share your thoughts, share your ideas, share your experience in the comments section below this video, and let’s talk about it. 

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Resources

Helpful Videos for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

Tips For Finding A Safe Place To Live When Leaving An Abusive Relationship

Tips For Finding A Safe Place To Live When Leaving An Abusive Relationship

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.

Useful Resources for Financial Abuse Victims

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.

It’s just a really smart idea for where to live when you need to move quickly – and I had to share it with you!  See the video here or on YouTube.

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

QueenBeeing Resources for Narcissistic Abuse & Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

See More Options for Help On Our Emergency Domestic Violence Resources Page

Tips For Leaving An Abusive Relationship Safely

Tips For Leaving An Abusive Relationship Safely

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.

In either case, you’re here because you have finally have had enough, and you are ready to leave. If all of this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. In addition to downloading your free copy of the PLAN (Preparing to Leave A Narcissist) Toolkit, be sure to take note of the following tips.

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

Helpful Reading for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

 

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