Editor’s Note: Dear SPANily, this story was submitted by Anna, a fellow survivor of narcissistic abuse. We share it to offer you hope and to help you understand that you’re not alone. Want to share your story? You can do so right here.
I reconnected with a long time friend in the spring of 2015. We first met as teenagers in 1980, and we are both in our mid-50s now. We’d always kept in touch between relationships and were close. I knew him and I trusted him. I moved 1100 miles at his request to be with him. He told me to move into his house and I did. I got a pretty decent job and believed after all these years the magic was going to happen for me. I fell in love with him.
I lived with him for 3 years until mid-summer of 2018. I use the word “lived” loosely as I feel I merely survived. In addition to the living/dating relationship early on in the love bombing stage, he convinced me to leave my job and come to work for his company.
He said, “Just think of all the freedom you will have, you can come and go etc. as you wish. I will pay you x amount etc. It will be great! “
It has been the worst 3.5 years of my life.
I do not think I can put it into words, but here are a couple of examples of what it was like.
The Flu of 2016
I had the flu for two weeks in 2016 and this is what happened:
He said, “You know when you get well you are going to owe me for all this?”
I said, “You mean I owe you something for taking care of me when I am sick?”
Then he comes over and starts picking up cough drop wrappers and says, “I have to clean this shit up.”
He then proceeds to call his friend on the phone and tells them how sick with the flu he is. But he is not sick. He continues lying to his friend about how he is struggling to make it through – no mention as to my health or me at all.
Stripping Me of My Identity, One Thing at a Time
I was allowed a 2 x 3 closet for my clothes when I said it is hard for me to fit all my things in this space he told me to get rid of my things until they would fit. I ended up renting a storage container.
How I Finally Escaped, Sort Of
After 3 years of his abuse, I found a very small house and somehow managed to purchase it. I told him I was buying it so my elderly mother would have somewhere to go where she would not have to climb stairs. I convinced him I was telling the truth because my mother is 86 years old.
Meanwhile, I started secretly moving my personal belongings (one backseat full at a time) to the new place. It took about 2 months since I could only load the car when he was gone, but finally, my things were out of his house!
I kept just enough to get ready for work on a daily basis, stopping by my house to trade out clothes on the way to and from work. Eventually, the devalue/discard stage started (as it did on a regular basis) and one night in a rage he told me to leave.
I did. I drove to my home and have been there for 6 months.
I knew he was going to hoover and I knew I was going to be weak so, I went to the humane society and adopted a kitten. This way when he hoovered I could not move back to his house. He has two big cats that don’t play well with others, so my kitten at his house was a no-go.
The Journey Isn’t Over, But There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel
My plan for the new year is to secretly get another job. I am 56 years old, so age discrimination is somewhat of a problem. I have a BA from a good University and I am pretty good at a lot of things. My dream is to be a professional writer-blogger etc. however, if I can find something which pays enough to live on I will run like the wind. I am working on my final escape plan.
To Angie: I don’t think I would be writing this today if not for you. I cannot thank you enough for the genuine kindness I feel coming through your videos. Your advice is always on point and well…who doesn’t love coffee?