Narcissistic Abuse: One Day You Will Be Okay
After leaving from narcissistic abuse, you feel like you’ll never pick up the pieces of a shattered life. It’s common to feel weak, physically and mentally, distressed, beaten, and just plain broken. That’s how I felt and in a lot of ways, I still feel that way.
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Can Be Slow
I’ve never been the same since I left TD. In many ways, it’s a good thing and in some ways, I’m still angry and I am full of resentment. I’m working on the anger. Progress, not perfection right? While I continue to work out and undo all of the damage, one thing I have managed to do was find my voice. Last week, for the first time in my life, I was able to stand up to him. Not in a raged filled argument, but in a collected and rational way that strong said, “No more.”
Long Story Short
My narc is also my landlord, which is a long complicated story which you can check out my About Me page to find out the whole story on why I still live there. In the divorce, I didn’t fight for it. I wanted nothing to do with the house. I knew it was a money pit but as in a lot of stories of survivors of narcissistic abuse, he got his way. It’s an older house that 10 years ago was in desperate need of repairs, especially the roof. We kept putting off replacing it, then the divorce happened.
At the time we were getting along so moving into the house seemed like a good idea. How quickly things can change. Shortly after, the situation with my daughter came to light and I had to shell out thousands of dollars for lawyers and experts. One thing after another kept happening. Soon I became broke and in debt and now I can’t move out. Once my tax return comes back, we’ll get out of here. Back to the story.
The Roof Collapsed
After too many years of putting off replacing the roof, it finally had enough. A raccoon found her way up to the roof and discovered a vulnerable spot to dig her way into the attic. Prior to this, a leak going on for quite some time. We didn’t know that the ceiling was softening and ready to cave until the weight of the raccoon caused it to fall through the ceiling into the house. So now we had a raccoon in the house, along with a hole that I could see through the sky. I can’t make this stuff up.
TD tried to weasel his way out of getting an exterminator out saying it was after hours and no one was picking up. Yeah right. Thankfully, our neighbor helped us get the raccoon out because she wasn’t going to go easily. we put a tarp over the roof, a piece of paneling over the interior hole and waited for a contractor to come and begin work. You’d think it would be a priority to TD. Especially since he claims to be a loving father, he would at least make sure the roof over her head was structurally sound.
As usual, I was wrong on this one. One, two, three weeks go by. TD keeps blowing me off in his replies to my messages. It then came time to pay rent. Since he was blowing off my requests to fix the giant hole in the roof, and any other tenant would probably have called the city, I didn’t pay it to get his attention.
Before doing this though I looked up what the tenant-landlord code is for my state, which is kinda vague about a landlord’s refusal to make major repairs. I’m not a lawyer, but I was fairly certain I had the law on my side. I mean if he sued me, I might have been in the wrong but what do you think a judge would actually say in this case?
Old Habits Die Hard
As expected, he went ballistic when I told him I withheld rent for him not fixing the roof. He went into his usual rant on how I’m trying to replace him as a father, I don’t tell him anything, I have no right to withhold rent, and so on. With narcissists, you can’t feed into their rants so I had to tread carefully so I didn’t fall into to the pattern of trying to change his mind.
I know I’ll never get an apology, or acknowledgment how much he messed up my life and my daughter’s. I will never see acknowledgment for being in the wrong in this situation. Everything on his side is out of my control. I can control my reaction. Instead of responding with rage, I gave all the facts. I document everything so it was easy to prove what I said in my texts. All of TD’s words were just an anger-filled rant, a tantrum like a toddler would have not getting their way. Narcs usually argue in this way.
I Will Not Be Afraid Anymore
Five years ago, standing up for myself would have caused a panic attack. and basically tell him, you WILL NOT talk to me that way. You WILL NOT threaten me to play on my fears. You WILL NOT intimidate me. In a very calm and rational text message exchange, on my end at least, where I let him know he cannot make me cower in fear any longer. Here are some samples of our conversation.
Finally Standing Up to the Narc
Enough was enough and I had to stand my ground. I let TD bully me, intimidate me, verbally and physically assault me for too many years. It was exhilarating to finally say enough. It was amazing to feel at the same time to be able to recognize the manipulation and mind games and defend against it. Not in a psychotic rage, but a strongly worded come back to his threats and insults.
It is liberating when you know the narcissist is just throwing out threats with no real backing. With narcissistic abuse, the narc slowly erodes your sense of trusting yourself and the narc can get you to believe literally anything. They can make you think the sky is purple, even if you can clearly see that it is blue.
Sure there were probably some things I didn’t need to throw in there like, “You sound insane.” In most cases of narcissistic abuse, the narc tries to gaslight the victim. They try to make you think you are crazy and aren’t seeing or hearing what you are. That is the phrase he would say that to me to make me feel like I was going crazy. His message before that was trying to scare me into his line of thinking. I was trying to make a strong statement that I was on to him, even if he didn’t pick up on it. I’m still not okay but I’m finally okay enough that I no longer fear him or fear his retaliation. I know the truth and he will say anything to get me to think otherwise.
You Will Be Okay Too
If you have found yourself in a similar situation of narcissistic abuse, you will be ok again too. It takes time, healing, therapy, and determination to come this far. You may not feel like it will or that you don’t have it in you. It’s there. Sometimes it takes a while to find your voice and use effectively against the narcissist.
After receiving a very polite text message, TD is moving forward to fix the roof, and work will begin soon. We will see. To be continued…
This post was also published on Medium.