Leaving the Narcissist
“You poisoned my mind with the thought that I was loved and the worst part is I believed it” – unknown
Leaving is always a hard thing to do. Leaving my narcissist (soon to be ex-husband) was really hard for me. I honestly don’t think I would have left if I hadn’t had such amazing support from my friends, family and church community.
Catch up on this story here is the very first post Divorcing the Narcissist
There were many times I planned to leave. Times I even packed up but I never left. I even threatened to leave my ex several times but even he knew that my threats were just that empty. I wish I had the strength to leave the first time I caught him in a lie. There were so many lies and time after time I forgave him. This was an awful cycle and a narcissist will take full advantage of it. Crossing boundaries means absolutely nothing to them and they will always find a way to draw you back in once they feel like they are starting to lose you.
It’s like a deeply demented game of cat and mouse. It’s a game but the outcome is always the same…you will lose…and the narcissist can change the rules at any time. You are always thrown off never knowing how you ended up where you are.
After moving to California and being isolated from my friends and family our marriage became even harder. I was a stay at home mom and my ex made pretty decent money…enough that we didn’t have to worry. But he was in control and whenever he was angry he would make me give him back the debit cards and checkbook. (A narcissist loves to be in control. He wanted me to be reliant on him so that I would think twice before ever leaving him.)
My narcissist husband would not put me on the bank account. His reasoning was that if I ever decided to leave that he didn’t want me to drain the bank account and leave him high and dry (projection). (Irony- he drained the joint bank account after I told him I wanted a divorce and that I wasn’t going back to him). He did eventually put me on the bank account but the reason I bring this up is to show that he was in control of everything and that made it all that much harder to leave.
Don’t let a narcissist steal your security; don’t let them fool you into thinking you can’t leave and that your only choice is them. Choose to be free and choose to take care of you and your children if you have any.
My advice to any ladies (or men) going through a similar situation, turn to your family and friends and don’t be afraid to ask for help. My mother and father paid for my children and I to fly back to Texas so that I could get away from my ex. I packed up and left while he was at work and then my Pastor’s wife graciously let us stay at their home until the day of our flight which was about a week later.
When leaving a narcissist you must be careful. I would have done things differently had I known I was truly going to leave him.
Here is my list for anyone who is wanting to leave their narcissistic.
- If you can put some money aside for leaving. Get a credit card in your name and open your own bank account
- Don’t tell them you are leaving; they will only talk you back into staying using any and all manipulation tactics (guilt, shame, humiliation, money, love, children)
- Tell only those you can trust your plan
- Leave while they are at work or won’t be home for a long while. Get out quickly!
- Only take what you truly need
- Take all of your important documents
- Get a copy of all documents pertaining to you and your significant others financial information
- Don’t tell them where you are
- If you are married hire an attorney who knows about narcissism
- Keep a record of anything the narcissist has done to you and or your children
- Prepare for them to retaliate and try to get back at you
- Go no contact. They will never let you go and will only keep trying to convince you to come back and if your resolve is slipping you will
- Take care of you. Love yourself and let your wounds heal
You have to figure out what it was that let you be in this toxic relationship. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed just be happy to be free and move on.
After leaving my ex we stayed in touch and I honestly thought my leaving would set him straight. I had hope that he would once again be the man I fell for (that man was an illusion). He of course told me everything I wanted to hear. How much he loved me, how he couldn’t be without me and the kids, how he wanted to start over and get to know me again (he actually said he wanted us to go on dates with each other). These were just empty words because the minute I brought up how I wasn’t ready for that because I didn’t trust him, those pretty words were replaced with anger and frustration. Don’t fall back into the trap. No contact was the best thing for me. It allowed me to move on and I am much happier for it.
The greatest thing that helped me was reading these books after I left my ex. I couldn’t put these books down and they helped me realize I was definitely through.
Can you relate to this? Are you in a relationship with a narcissist? Please leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.
Post #2 Through the Rain
Post #3 Everything is your fault
Post # 5 When the Narcissist wants you back
Here are some other helpful articles to read
8 Most Common Narc-Sadistic Conversation Control Tactics (she hit the nail on the head with the word narc-sadistic)