BETHESDA, Maryland, October 28, 2014 — Christina* is a survivor of narcissist and pathological abuse living and recovering in The United Kingdom.
Before the relationship, I had worked to lose weight and took steps to move my life in a happier direction. I felt it was time to find a partner and truly believed I was ready for that in my life.
During the relationship, I began to lose myself in his likes, hates and desires. I felt as if his way was the only way to be if I wanted to keep him in my life. I was a lost soul.
After the relationship, I am stronger emotionally and feel the relationship was a waste of time I wish I had back, but I look forward to the future.
Hindsight is wonderful, isn’t it? He began love bombing me from the first date onward. He said I was perfect, a real woman not like those stick thin women and that I was gorgeous. He texted me, called me, told his sister about me and had her come meet me. He asked me to move in with him after three months. He bought me gifts in the first couple of months but rarely after that.
He constantly accused me of cheating, told me I was a bad housekeeper, treated my pet badly and told me I smelled. He did not know how to act in restaurants. He left school at 15 and did not read beyond magazine articles; I was afraid to take him to anything involving educated people.
At first, he was so happy about me being educated. Then he accused me of being condescending toward him. All the positives he expressed in the beginning were soon turned around by the end. He said I was stupid, fat, disgusting, condescending and all about money and food. He emptied my bank accounts and never paid me back.
I kept thinking if I did what he wanted then he would love me more. If I talked to my friends and family less and did all his activities and agreed with whatever he said, it would all be fine. We did not go to counselling, but we broke up three times. It was his begging that brought us back together. Each time we broke up, I detached a little more.
He often asked me about situations that I found repulsive and if I would do them and then berate me if not. For example, he wanted to be a sniper for the military, because he could kill people and not care knowing it was for the better of the people. I was appalled by this logic. Once, he asked me to use a paintball gun to kill a seagull, because he hated them. I refused. Instead, I took the gun and shot him in the ass. That was one of the moments I had clarity.
To escape the pain and his criticisms, I exercised and worked a lot, but he still called me fat
My biggest challenge has been completely letting go of my anger and resentment for allowing him to almost bankrupt me. I struggle with forgiving myself for letting him into my life.
To heal and recover, I surrounded myself with the friends that stood by me. I also blog about narcissistic personality disorder and meet others online with similar stories and struggles. I am rebuilding my life. I now have an amazing partner who understands and works with me through the PTSD and just loves me.
If you know someone who is struggling, listen and support them as they go back through their past. Gently help them see beyond the facade of their partner. When they see it for themselves, they will see the truth.
Each day during the month of October, column author Paula Carrasquillo will feature a story written by a survivor of domestic violence. At the end of October, a compilation of all stories will be available for free as an e-book.
*All names have been changed to protect the survivor and the survivor’s family and friends.