I was just 24 years old when I thought I had it all figured out. I had a good steady job, new and exciting yet serious relationship with a boy. (I say boy because he doesn’t deserve to be called a man.) I had friends, a social life… I was having fun! Everything suddenly fell into place and I could see the start of a faint sketch of what my life could look like. A decent blueprint. Or at least I thought.
It started with him telling me my friends weren’t “good for me” and that I shouldn’t spend so much time with them. He was very convincing. Slowly but surely, one by one, my friends stopped calling or texting to the point I stopped going out or doing anything but stay at home with him. Before I knew it, I didn’t really have any friends to turn to when me and my ex had a fight and I had no one to talk to.
Then somewhere along the line, whilst I was building him up, helping him do better in work and getting a new job (higher paid than mine, I might add) he started making small digs at me and my life. He kept calling me crazy when we had arguments, he sat and looked at me in disgust when he was supposed to love me. He told me over and over that my “skirt was too short” or that my “tits are on show” when they clearly weren’t and although none of it was true, he was making me feel self conscious and exposed and unworthy.
Then, when I managed to bag myself a job in the same office, doing what he was doing (the job I encouraged him to get) he clearly just couldn’t handle that and used it as another platform to abuse me from. He would walk past my desk making snide remarks about the way I looked, or the way I was dressed. Nothing so obvious that I could pick him up on it without causing an unwanted argument, but he slowly but surely chipped away at my confidence and self esteem.
I hate to say it but I was blind. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there.
We moved into a new flat together, a flat which was miles and miles away from any of my family (who had been totally immunised with his narcissistic charm) or my friends (what was left of them). Granted, we had a bit of a drug problem together (something he also liked to blame entirely on me) so we did argue a lot and things got quite bad. I was starting to get depressed and anxious and started doubting myself so much I was basically an empty shell. A shadow of my former self. But we still spoke of a future together; we talked about marriage and having children together. There was still hope.
Then, like a punch to the face, he turned around to me one day and said “I’m not doing this anymore” and left. Just like that. He packed up his things, barely shed a tear and walked out on me and the life I thought we had been building together. Just. Like. That. We had only been in the flat a month or so, which my mum had bought as an investment for her property business. I had also just got a brand new car on finance which was in my name as the main owner. He was a coward.
And the worst thing? I STILL had to work with him.
Less than a week later after he had broken up with me, I went into work feeling like I had just been to my own funeral. I sat down at my desk, nothing was in focus. I felt weak. Suddenly I couldn’t breathe, my whole body was shaking. This is it I thought, I’m dying. I’m having a heart attack. And that my friends, is the first time I experienced a panic attack. It was brutal. This was the beginning of a dark and lonely journey into the discovery of who I was.
But in hindsight? I had a lucky escape. I could have had it worse. His behaviour shows common traits of a physical abuser too. I’m not saying his words didn’t physically hurt me, because they did. But I came out of it alive. I am now healthy, happy, and drug free.
In the end, I have to say I learnt a valuable lesson, in love and in life. And in a weird and slightly bitter way, I have him to thank for it all. Who knows he might be reading this now, relishing at the fact I’ve sat here and written about him, his narcissistic ego getting a fucking hard on. If he is then all I have to say is: “You didn’t break me, in the end you saved me.” I was given a new lease of life, a blank canvas in which I painted whatever the hell I wanted. And my life is beautiful.
These are the things I learnt from my emotionally abusive & narcissistic ex. Luckily, I got out. If you or someone you know has been or is currently being affected by emotional or physical abuse the hotline for victim support is 0808 168 9111 or go to http://www.victimsupport.org.uk.
- I am worthy
- I am good enough
- I’m not “crazy”
- I am independent
- I built you up and you tore me down
- You will most likely do it again…and again
- I am not a victim
- I was lucky
- It could have been worse
- Thank you