Survivor Stories: I Am Very Happy

I met him online and liked his personality and sense of humor very much. He seemed like a pretty genuine, average guy for about the first three weeks aside from a few comments that seemed like backhanded compliments that - at the time - I thought I was reading into too much, but now I recognize as the first red flags. We “fell in love” right away and I was showered with gifts and compliments. For three weeks. 

He had some problems, though. He was a disabled vet with PTSD from serving in Iraq and was going through a divorce from his second marriage. He was also for the past three years raising his teen daughter from his first marriage. When his ex remarried and had another child, his daughter grew jealous and falsely accused the step-father of molesting her. After the police questioned her, she admitted it was a lie and was sent to live with him by the mother who resented her creating this turmoil. 

I was with him for about two years. A constant on and off, make up and break up, fight and beg back cycle. I do not have low self-esteem, have a good job and a home, but was beholden to “working with and forgiving him” because of his PTSD. He was a master of saying and doing the most hurtful things and somehow making it seem like I would be the bad person for not forgiving him. He would create fights out of things that I can’t even pinpoint. He criticized every minute little thing I did. Oh, but when he wanted to say the right thing… sigh. I could just melt back in his arms. I cried about 30% of the time I knew him. 

One night he was picking some fight and began defending himself against being a narcissist. I hadn’t even accused him of this, and up until a year ago I had no knowledge of the true traits of one other than my general understanding of the Greek mythological story. On a whim I searched “narcissist” in YouTube and the titles of some of The Little Shaman’s videos came up that started putting into direct and simple terms what I couldn’t quite describe. Narcissists are ungrateful. Narcissists ruin holidays. Narcissists always have to be right. And so many more that were literally 100% spot on. He had diagnosed himself at some point, I suppose. He knew it. And thank God he let it spill because honestly, I would have never been able to heal without this information. He was so twisted, maddening and full of head games, I needed a “decoder” to deprogram and reprogram myself. 

I binge watched those videos, I played them for my mother so we could talk through them, I sent links to friends that I thought had similar abusive relationships past and present. During March 2018, the videos were the ONLY thing I listened to day and night. Thank you, Little Shaman! She helped me more than years of therapy and I don’t know her but I love her for it!!

So where is the guy? Well I’m the middle of that March 2018 period, I stopped contacting him. Seeing what he was actually made me dislike him—would he have been able to hoover me back in? I would be lying if I said no. I think he still could have, but he was arrested. His daughter turned him him for raping her. The story about the stepfather was made up. He was the molester the whole time. His self-righteous, better-than-everyone, accuser-of-everyone-else’s-faults persona was the mask he wore to cover up what he really was. And the PTSD was a lie, too. He was in the military, yes, but was discharged when they learned he was bipolar. A clever cover story for his unstable behavior, brilliant actually, as it made all around seem like bad people for not cutting him slack and he could play the war hero, too! 

He was given twenty years. No chance for parole. I was given the gift of never having to worry about him contacting me because he can’t. 

I have since met someone else, someone that I may have overlooked because he was at first shy but I gave him a chance because he made me feel good after feeling bad for so long. And when he got more comfortable around me, he turned out not to be so shy, but instead the most amazing, kind, funny, good-hearted man I have ever met. We have been together about nine months and it’s a very healthy strong relationship. And I am very happy.

Despite this I would say I’m not quite 100% healed from the narcissistic abuse because it’s just that damaging. But I’m close and lucky—not everyone has their narcissist thrown in jail (no contact) with their crime (real self) displayed in the newspaper to help them see who the narcissist really is. In turn though, I am hyper-sensitive to people with any toxic traits— now which is a parting gift I am happy to take from the experience.