The last few weeks have been particularly difficult for some reason. I don’t feel like doing anything and I’ve found it really hard to motivate myself to work on any of the projects or goals I’ve begun recently.
In the shower one day, it suddenly occurred to me that I’ve been lying to myself.
I’ve been telling myself for years that I’m okay, I survived, I’ve moved on, I’m over it – all those lies you tell yourself because it hurts too much to face the truth.
I spent almost two decades married to a narcissistic sociopath.
It’s amazing how cathartic it feels just to write that sentence.
Shortly after we separated, I spent a lot of time in the library, researching how I was supposed to deal with the end of my marriage. As our divorce progressed (it took over a year to finally extricate myself), I discovered exactly who and what I had married.
In hindsight, there were a ton of red flags, none of which I paid any attention to at the time. It took me several months of living apart from him to admit that he wasn’t who I’d thought he was.
Eventually I came to realize that I had endured almost two decades of emotional and verbal abuse. Once I had some distance from my abuser, my head began to clear. I didn’t recognize the person I had become.
I lived my life walking on eggshells, trying to avoid saying or doing anything that would trigger his rage. I tried to protect my children from him. I failed at both.
When our divorce was granted, I felt like I had finally escaped the chains. Except, of course, when it comes to narcissists, the only way to truly escape is to cut off any and all contact. Because of our children, that wasn’t an option for me.
Fast forward several agonizing years, filled with ever-more ridiculous and outrageous behavior from my abuser, and I was on my own, working at a new job, and planning my wedding to an amazing man.
After we were married, I convinced myself that I was ‘over’ everything that had happened in the past. That nothing my abuser said or did would affect me anymore. I survived the abuse, I moved on, I made it.
What I’ve realized, though, is that I never really dealt with the abuse. I appreciated its absence, of course, but I never really dealt with it.
The reality is that I’ve felt lost for a long time. I don’t know what to do with myself, and it’s because I haven’t done the work to rediscover who I am and what I want.
I spent so much of my life trying to prove to the narcissist that I was enough, without understanding that for a narcissist, nothing and no one, except themselves, is ever enough.
Admitting the problem is the first step, right?
So here I am, admitting I’m broken.
On to the next step.