True Survivor Story: Monsters, Warriors and Love with a Capital L

True Survivor Story: Monsters, Warriors and Love with a Capital L

By Christine Wills

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. (Little Gidding)” 
― T.S. Eliot

There are no victims here, only warriors of truth.

If I tried to explain the last five years of my life to someone who knew nothing of the abuse, who knew nothing of “narcissists,” it would be like trying to explain color to the blind. For this reason, I am sharing my story of narcissistic abuse and how I survived it.

Five years ago, I met a girl. I hadn’t necessarily been looking for love or even the One. I know now that that mentality of looking without, instead of within, to fill the void was perhaps the greatest weakness of my character. To believe in love at first sight, to believe in princess charming, to believe that one day I would be saved from my own inner loneliness…

How wrong was I, in this whole experience?

Experience, that I sorely needed; I have come out now with fresh new eyes, a new mind set, new knowledge of what people can truly be like. I once believed in monsters, the ones hiding under the bed, the ones lurking in the shadows of our closets, ready to pounce at us, to grab at our ankles.true-survivor-stories

It was the same for believing in love, I think. I grew out of being afraid of the monsters but still believed in Love, with a capital L.

How naive I was, how innocent. How trusting, how loving was I to trust the Devil with my heart. I look back on my life, realizing that I had always had a brush with narcissists, but this last one was the worst, staying in my life like a piranha on prey. Something about me, some inner vulnerability must have led her to me, like a shark to blood in the water.

She love bombed me, made me feel like the only person in her whole universe. Made me feel like we were soulmates; made and created for one another. She made me feel safe to share everything about me with her, my strengths and weaknesses. My hands are trembling, memories just below the surface, twisting and fighting, like a pit of hungry snakes, writing and slithering.

Pushing on…

I try not to dwell on what was, but what will be. I do not see myself as a victim. I am a survivor. The day I realized that all those years she was simply abusing me, using me; with a fake smile on her lips, reveling in the misery I felt, her nails painted red with my blood as she had clawed at me, like a hysterical animal snared in a bear trap; I knew what madness had claimed her.

She was not like me.

She would never be like me.

These creatures, these human “beings,” lack everything necessary to grow, to become whole themselves. For this reason, they seek us out, hoping to capitalize on our own securities and vulnerability, brainwashing us, taking us for a ride. They mirror all of who we are back onto us. The saddest part of all this is that despite having all of our wondrous qualities and strengths mirrored at us, we think we can never be without them. This is all an illusion. A perfect performance worthy of an Emmy.

The truth lies in understanding that we fell in love with ourselves. That we fell for an illusion of who we thought they were. Nothing about her was real. It was like falling in love with a dream, one that felt so real; a lie we wanted to believe so strongly, out of fear, out of desperation.

She was my everything and I hers.

But soon, after the months and years of struggling for money, and her tearing into me like a hungry shark, that illusion was being challenged, every day. Why was she always criticizing me, why was she always talking about herself as a victim, why were things always going wrong, why did I feel so nervous and unsure in her presence? Why was I always doubting myself? Why was my health, slowly but surely, getting worse?

I spent years fighting to get her to admit to her faults, to take responsibility for her words and actions. I tore myself in two trying to get her to love me as I loved her. I burned the candle at both ends to prove to her that I was worthy of her love, her trust, of her time. I spent so much of myself trying to get my ex-narcissist to love me.

And in all this madness, I felt like I deserved it. Some sort of karmic retribution? But for what? Even God himself was not that spiteful, and yet, I allowed this daily ritual of chastising to happen to me, to allow my whole soul, mind, and heart to be assaulted by her own damaged thinking, and her own twisted version of what love was.

I felt I deserved it, even as she brought an ex-lover into the picture. I allowed it, out of love, trust, and to prove I wasn’t insecure or jealous. I should have left so many times before that day. But I think the worst emotion to have when it comes to these kinds of people, is to have hope. Hope that they can change, that they will change, that if you work at it things will get better.

They use hope to keep us captive; we basically put our own selves in chains and give them the key.

I had no boundaries. No self-respect for my own self. The worse thing I thought while with her was, “If she loved me, she wouldn’t do this.” “If I trust her, she’ll respect me enough not to do this.” “If I do this for her, she’ll need me.”

All these thoughts I’ve had, all created to keep me trapped and in a relationship that was eating away at my soul. I became a ghost of my old self. I was ashamed to show my face to my mother, to my father, to my siblings. I was ashamed at my own weakness, at how love had made me a victim. I was also stubborn; I never asked for help. I just rolled with the punches, every single one aimed at my soul.

This whole time, there was a spark in me, that would rise up for a week, every month, coming out of hiding, crying and screaming at me that I wasn’t happy, that I deserved better, that this was not love. That I had to end things, I had to move on, I did not deserve this…

THIS ISN’T LOVE.

It was like having Tinkerbell, arising out of the shadows, shedding light and reason into my world.

The day it all ended was when I said NO!

No to giving her money, to disregarding my feelings, to being abused, used, and discarded. NO! to having my own kindness turned into a weapon against me. NO! to having my boundaries constantly tested. NO! to being treated like an object.

It was over. I had reached my limit.

On the drive home, my face red from a numbing slap unmistakable with the scratches on my face, neck, and arms, I cried. I hadn’t even touched her. Nothing in my behavior had warranted that attack on my person. I was numb. There was only numbness for how I felt but there was also acceptance.

There was Tinkerbell’s voice, chiming in my head telling me, “I told you this did not love.”

As I drove home, I cried, talking to myself out loud.

“This is not love. This isn’t love. This is not love!”

The last came out in a scream as I gripped the steering wheel, blinking away tears to clear my blurred vision. I was done, so done with all the pain, the madness. I exhausted. I was tired of trying to save someone who didn’t even have a soul, tired of throwing myself down the rabbit hole. She could stay there, in her own version of Hell. She didn’t need me there when all I was was something to keep her afloat in her own madness, while drowning me at the same time.

I was done with it all.

And when I left, she didn’t fight for me. She already had her next supply. A girl that I had hated, a girl that mirrored my own kindness. A girl that was also in love with the idea of love itself. Another person who wanted to save an already lost soul, and who was just as naive and innocent as I had been, despite being present in more than half of all the drama.

There was anger and hate, but I realized that wasting that kind of energy on those emotions is like drinking poison, waiting for the other person to die. I take it one day at a time, being grateful for the experience, for the pain I had endured. It was something I needed to learn, pain that I needed to feel, madness that I needed to touch, and have it envelop my whole world to know that I did not want this in my life any longer.

So, I say this; your kindness to the world, your naivety, your innocence is not a weakness. It is only such viewed in the eyes of those who have none. Be as pure of heart as you can possibly be in this world. Not all who love, can hurt us as much as their kind can. Be pure, be honest, if a little bit cautious. You aren’t blind to the truth of the monsters. You know they exist, and they walk among us.

Be strong, be brave, my survivors.

My warriors.
Christine Wills

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.

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Public humiliation is one of many ways that a narcissist will manipulate and psychologically abuse his or her sources of narcissistic supply.

Narcissists and Public Humiliation

Often, a narcissist will humiliate you in public as part of an active smear campaign – and while I’ve previously explained smear campaigns, today I’m going to go a little more in-depth on the public humiliation part of it – which, in my opinion, is one of the most traumatic parts of the whole smear campaign tactic. So, first off, I’m going to give you a few real-life examples of how toxic narcissists have used public humiliation to hurt the people who loved them.

The Litigious Loser

One client told me her narcissistic ex-husband would use their children as bargaining chips and poison them against her. Then, he’d intentionally push, poke and agitate her to the point she’d get really upset and confused – and would then start videotaping her and threaten to use it to take her to court. He held the recordings over her head in order to continue to manipulate and control her even though they’d been divorced – which he did for several years before she came to me for narcissistic abuse recovery coaching.

The Sexy Selfie Stronghold

In today’s digital world, nearly everyone can admit to having snapped a sexy photo for the one they love and even, in some cases, participated in on-camera sexual activities with that person.

And you know how narcissists are, right? Yep. SEVERAL of my clients have told me that their narcissists – both male and female – have either used or threatened to use nude or otherwise compromising photos of them in order to blackmail them into doing what they wanted.

Flying Monkey ‘Friends’

Another way that narcissists like to manipulate and publicly humiliate their victims is through the use of flying monkeys – people who, willingly or otherwise, help the narcissist to manipulate you.

For example, a narcissistic wife of one of my clients managed to humiliate him by spreading gossip among his female co-workers about his sexual health – none of which were true, but all of which really changed the way his co-workers saw him.

Her intention, of course, was to ensure his fidelity as he worked alongside his attractive coworkers each day. But in her selfishness and lack of concern and empathy for her husband, this narcissist had managed to make sure that he felt completely isolated, alone, and humiliated in his workplace every day. The environment eventually became so toxic that my client moved on to a new company – and thankfully, he got divorced (and eventually moved on with a much healthier girlfriend).

In all three of those cases, there’s a similarity – and I’m not talking about the obvious one (the humiliation factor). I’m talking about the fact that none of these people recognized at first that they were even being abused – or at least, they couldn’t admit it.

So let’s talk about that.

The Humiliation Factor: No One Wants to Admit They’re Accepting the Abuse

So, how can you possibly “miss” the fact that you’re being abused?

The problem with abuse is that most relationships don’t begin with abuse. Instead, there are subtle shifts along the way, silent reprogramming until the abuser feels confident that they can control the relationship.

In most cases, by the time the abuse becomes recognizable, the victim has been so brainwashed that she or he (men can also be victims of abusive relationships) doesn’t recognize the actions as abuse and actually takes the blame for his or her predicament.

Victims often can’t be convinced that they’re experiencing abuse. They’re so busy justifying the behavior of the abuser that they don’t see it for what it is.
In many cases, the simple answer is that it’s hard to admit you’ve allowed this to happen. But if you recognize some of the following patterns in your own relationship, it’s quite possible that you are in fact, a victim of abuse.

Thoughts? Share them, along with your relevant experiences, in the comments below this video.

Don’t Go It Alone! 5 Ways to Win at Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

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Have you figured out you’ve been dealing with a narcissist in your life, but you don’t know where to begin your recovery? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, it reminds me of an old story about a child trying to move a heavy stone while his father looks on. The child works and works, but is just not strong enough. Finally, he tells his father, “I can’t do it. It’s impossible.”

His father responds, “Of course you can. You haven’t used all the strength you have available to you yet.” The little boy answers that he has tried his hardest, and still can’t do it, to which the father responds, “You haven’t asked me to help you yet.”

If you need help in your own healing and you don’t know who to ask, look no further – here’s some support and help that’s available to you right now.

Here’s the Help You Need in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Sometimes, when you’re trying to recover from narcissistic abuse, it can feel like you’re moving that heavy rock. You struggle and fight, but it’s so hard to stick to the plan that you give up. There comes a time to recognize that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Enlisting the aid of friends, family, and a good support group can bolster your efforts and help you overcome setbacks that threaten to derail your narcissistic abuse recovery efforts. Instead of trying to go it alone, try a few of these suggestions to help you stay on track with the help of friends and family. If you prefer a guided experience, you can start your narcissistic abuse recovery for free, right here. 

Get a support system

Gather up trusted friends and family members and make them part of your inner circle – your support system. Don’t have people you feel comfortable sharing your situation with? How about a whole group of people who have been there, done that? Join my SPAN group, right here. It’s totally free and confidential. We also have several other groups that are specific to your situation and your level in recovery – check them out here. 

Get your family on the right page.

When they’re not narcissistic, husbands, wives, children, and siblings can offer support in unexpected ways. Something as simple as a sincere compliment at the right time can be all you need to nudge you onward. By the same token, refuse to let them sabotage your recovery efforts. Sometimes even people who are acting as the flying monkeys of a toxic narcissist don’t know what they’re doing. Give yourself the freedom and space you need to clarify the situation – and don’t be afraid to take a step back from people who are toxic for you, especially during recovery.

Join our small group coaching sessions.

There’s a lot to be said for seeking out the support of others who are fighting the same battle you are. Whatever it is that motivates you, you can find it in our small group coaching sessions led by the amazing Lise Colucci – and you’ll get one-on-one help as well as being able to connect with and learn from your fellow group members during our sessions. Healthy sharing, companionship, encouragement, applause, and practical, common-sense advice from others who are also fighting to take back your life can all make this whole narcissistic abuse recovery stuff a whole lot easier.

Learn all you can about the topics of narcissism and narcissistic abuse recovery.

Read up on narcissistic abuse recovery, watch my narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube videos, or, if you’re pressed for time (or struggle with ADHD) check out my Tiktok videos for shorter, bite-sized narcissistic abuse recovery help – or visit http://booksangiewrote.com to pick up my books – all less than $5.

Get one-on-one narcissistic abuse recovery coaching, counseling, or therapy.

sign up right here to get one-on-one personalized coaching and counseling for narcissistic abuse recovery with one of our certified narcissistic abuse recovery coaches and counselors. If you prefer a therapist, check out our page on finding the best therapist for your narcissistic abuse recovery needs. 

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