Why I’m Glad I Went Through Hell with a Narcissist

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Years ago, I never would have imagined myself saying those words.  I often PRAYED that I would go to sleep and not wake up.  I was crippled with panic attacks, agoraphobia (from being stalked), anxiety, low self-esteem, and other conditions such as trauma bonding, victim peptides, and C-PTSD. Worse, I was biochemically addicted to my abuser just as a substance abuser is addicted to drugs.

In fact, shutting the door on a Narcissist takes many of the same methods as recovering from drug abuse.

Even after I left my abuser, I was still stalked and harassed by him.  I felt as if I’d never be free from the nightmare. Then, I realized I did have the power to change things, along with the realization that I had been keeping myself a prisoner just as surely as my abuser had. 

I simply chose to stop allowing myself to be abused.

Does that mean I wanted to be abused for eight years?  Does it mean I deserved it?  No.

One can talk good and shower down roses, but it’s the receiver that has to walk through the thorns, and all its false expectations.”
~ Anthony Liccione

It means I finally acknowledged and accepted that I had been manipulated and controlled, used for someone else’s benefit, that I was viewed as a piece of property, and never really loved because people with this disorder cannot experience love.  I finally understood that he would never change and if I wanted a different reality for myself and my children, I had to be the one to make it happen.

My Former Self Slowly Reappeared

Although I moved out of our shared residence during one of his Silent Treatments, it was only the beginning.  I hadn’t fully enforced No Contact, meaning I still gave him access to call or text me.  Big mistake and a story for another day.

I continued to hang onto the fantasy that he would finally realize his error and come back a changed man.  But he never did.  They NEVER do.  Any semblance of it is false.  After all, he’d come back to me a “changed man” hundreds of times…until he took the mask off, sometimes only mere minutes after worming his way back in.

I finally looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Who the hell are you kidding?!”  Ultimately, he knew he wouldn’t change, and I knew he wouldn’t change, yet we both danced around this false outcome, each of us knowing how it would turn out.

Narcissists choose respectable people to serve as punching bags and scapegoats because good people limit the degree of retaliation and harm they’re willing to exact on their abuser.

It was then that I implemented No Contact by changing my phone number and blocking him from emails.  I purchased a landline for him to call our son and I only answered it during the designated times I gave him.  If he called outside of those times, I didn’t answer.

I stopped allowing his sister to come over and harass me.  Mainly because I found out she had past arrests for assault and battery, trespassing, and telephone threats.  Her behavior had been escalating, and I knew she could snap on me, so I had to involve the police.

I had to put up a barricade around myself to keep these people away.  That’s what anyone in my position must do.  And slowly, my former self began to reappear…only, a changed version of my former self.

The Gift in the Curse

There is a gift in what happened to me.  A gift that was there, but needed my acknowledgment to be accepted:

  • I now understand what caused me to stay and tolerate being abused
  • I can heal the broken parts I’ve carried with me most of my life
  • I know exactly what I want and don’t want out of life and plan to make those things happen
  • I know what kind of relationships I want to have and what I will or won’t allow in those relationships.
  • I know that the person who needs to love me, first and foremost,  is myself
  • I know that I will no longer look to someone else to validate me
  • I now love myself with all of my quirky habits and weird inclinations
  • I don’t worry much about outcomes
  • I no longer expend my energy on meaningless friendships, forced interactions, and unnecessary conversation
  • I truly believe everything will work out for my highest good
  • I have faith in God and the Universe that everything I want in life will manifest

The Journey Back to Self

All of us are capable of the journey back to self.  But it’s one we must finish alone.  Granted, there are people who love and support us along the way, but they can’t walk the path for us.  They can’t rescue us.  They can only accompany us so far, and then we must travel the rest of the path with nothing but our own will, determination, and desire.     

Once we decide to take this path, we can’t look back or ruminate over the “what ifs”.  If we can do that, we will reach self-love and appreciation.  We will take care of ourselves and our needs, which will in turn make us a better person for ourselves and those who love us. We will enter into a state of awareness that ensures we will never allow someone to abuse us again. 

It’s a cognitive shift that dictates, “What he did to me was wrong.  Being complacent, submissive, and tolerating abuse is not being loved” and resolving to not let your giving nature be taken advantage of ever again.

It’s not what you have on the outside that glitters in light, it’s what you have on the inside that shines in the dark.”
~ Anthony Liccione

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Shelden Carroll says March 18, 2019

Kim, a really fantastic article and I will most certainly be looking at the steps to recovery more intently. The only thing that I worry about are my children, they are currently living with her, with the environment as toxic as toxic as it was both her sister and herself (both narcissistic) conjured up a plan to get rid of me and needless to say they succeed. I am now living 900miles with my parents. I had a job that I just got but gave it up, to be honest, I probably would lose inevitably anyway. So on top of living with my folks, I am unemployed too. I know I need to get to back to my kids as soon as possible but I have no idea how. I’m also about to divorce her. The pickle I find myself is insane. My boys are (5n7) and knowing what I now know and have experienced how likely are my children going to be affected by her? Me not being in a position to be there has me constantly anxious for them. I don’t know how long it will be until I do eventually see them, and be in a position to go back to near the house so as to have some influence in their lives. I hope I have made a big enough impact on their lives. Until a year ago I was the fun day really hands-on and I played lots of different games with them. Having said all that I do call them almost every day. Fortunately, she hasn’t denied me that. I would love to hear from you re my circumstances but mainly with reference to my children in the middle of all this. Have a lost them to her evil ways? Thanks an exceptionally concerned father.

Jeanne Dana says February 1, 2018

Kim, thank you for your page!!! You responded to me the other day when I asked you what made you finally leave. And the same thing happened to me today. I was in the middle of a very common conversation that we might have but he was talking to me so disrespectfully and making me feel so devalued I just told him the conversation is terminated and I just didn’t want to feel that way from him anymore. Of course, he hung up on me! At this point, I am going to go no contact

    Kim Saeed says February 2, 2018

    Good for you, Jeanne! Wishing you all the best as you navigate the steps towards your freedom!

    Kim XoXo

cathy schaffer says November 20, 2016

I had no idea there were so many people with narcissistic personality.. while married I knew something was “amiss” with my husband but I had hope and love still..
Flash forward to year twenty eight of marriage: he left IBM and bought a business..hoping to finally become a millionaire …two years later lost that business …he was way in over his head financially …but I was there beside him..helping…working in the business and having my own job as well…Then he tells me he lost our home…well I stupidly stuck by him and after two years our house sold and the day after the sold sign went up…he came home and told me he was leaving me. Apparently he had been “arranging” to start a new life with his employee…he used me.
Through out our entire life….he used me. It’s so clear to me now. he blamed me for everything…the failed business…the fact that I had an illness while we were married and said I was STUPID to have had an accident that cost us money in medical bills…. He tried to control me…control LIFE… I have thrived from being away from him… thank you God for this opportunity….

Dakar_girl says June 25, 2015

Kim, your blog is amazing and has been a God-send in my journey to freedom from Narcissistic Abuse. In the past 2 weeks, I have left my abuser and began No Contact. Today, I filed for divorce. The more time I spend away from this abuser, the healthier I feel. I see the change in my own beautiful daughters who left with me. They are more happy and carefree than I’ve ever seen then, despite the fact that we left with barely any of our belongings. Thank you again for the work you are doing. You are truly saving lives and I can’t wait until I am so healthy that I can extend my help to others dealing with this.

    Kim Saeed says July 1, 2015

    Dakar_girl, thank you so much for your warm and encouraging message. It makes me very happy to know my blog has helped you and that now you and your daughters are living a better life free from abuse. Wishing you all the very best in your healing journey *hugs*

finally free says December 8, 2014

Kim, all of what you have written is so true…they come to kill, steal and destroy you.
and they have NO Empathy after doing so..it’s like a drug to them.
but what I don’t understand is if they have a new supply why do they keep wanting to come back to the Ex. and sabotage me..and send mean text message?
I finally after 14 years,,yes 14 years. of divorce I have decided to The NO Contact rule
and have blocked him…the reason is because we have two kids and now there 16 and 20 and have NO Reason to contact me…but, I thank God everyday for a fresh New life without him,,,i’m so much healthier and happier then eve…and remind you I’m a nurse with two business I owe,,,it goes to show you how much our young ladies Need so much
education and show them the experience we live…it was like hell on earth living with him,..the mental and emotional abuse and all the charm he would put on took me a life time of christian couseling and love for myself to get out and Run…..with NO regrets.

I’m glad I went through hell with a narcissist | thelostselflifeafternarcissism says February 23, 2014

[…] I’m glad I went through hell with a narcissist […]

armyofangels2013 says January 30, 2014

Such a powerful post Kim! You have a gift-thank you for sharing it!

    Kim Saeed says January 30, 2014

    Thank you for the lovely sentiment 🙂 I hope my personal experiences might help others who are going through the same thing.

godtisx says January 28, 2014

“…I had been manipulated and controlled, used for someone else’s benefit, that I was viewed as a piece of property, and never really loved because people with this disorder cannot experience love.” This is the hardest part to come to terms with, that and the fact that this person whom you love is ill. It’s hard to come to terms with because we all want to live in an ideal world where mental illness cannot possibly be harmful. Monsters in real life is tough to accept.

But honestly, these people – without damning them to hell – are that.

This in ability is a handicap and also a constant sharp edge that is not healthy for anyone really, up close.

    Kim Saeed says January 30, 2014

    Indeed. I’ve tried to look at the situation objectively because they do have a disorder, but I cannot for the life of me ever recommend someone ever staying with a person like that because of the destruction that happens to the Narcissist’s partner. Kind of in the same way I wouldn’t recommend stepping in front of a fast train…

      godtisx says January 30, 2014

      Yep. But there really needs to be education on this condition because you know, psychology today says we are living in a culture that is going through a narcissism epidemic. So many of us will meet them on the workplace or in potentials we may seek to date, they could be your mom in law or you best friend’s husband. But our natural inclination is to explain the issue away, thinking it’s just a glitch in the person’s social skill.

      Not really. It’s an illness, and an emotional disorder.

emergingfromthedarknight says January 28, 2014

Narcissists choose respectable people to serve as punching bags and scapegoats because good people limit the degree of retaliation and harm they’re willing to exact on their abuser.

That is so true… thank you for pointing it out.. This is such a powerful piece of wisdom and is helping me to understand a critical conflict of recent weeks… bless you….

    Kim Saeed says January 30, 2014

    And thank you for stopping by, again 🙂 Yes, they only choose people who prefer little to no conflict, meaning someone they can try to schmooze and get away with it. People would often tell me I was “too nice’. Now, I try to be fair, but not when it comes to sacrificing my sense of self and/or my dignity.

Girl for Animal Liberation says January 28, 2014

Learning to love myself post-divorce-post discovery that I was married to a Narc has been my greatest journey back to self. Like you, I know what I want and don’t want and what I am wiling and not will to put up with.

    Kim Saeed says January 28, 2014

    I know, it’s so liberating. I feel more free now than even before I met my Ex N.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Girl for Animal Liberation says January 28, 2014

      me too.

      Anna says January 30, 2014

      I feel so much more free now, too. I was really scared at first, but I realize that I have to get away from him if I’m ever going to heal. I have decided to work on myself and recommit to all those things I said I’d never accept and wound up accepting with him.

      An angel with no wings says November 9, 2015

      Kim right now I am in the same situation you were in. I’m bio-chemically addicted, ptsd and its sad but the thought of dying is almost a relief for me. Together 15yrs but the last two have been the worst by far. He began beating me severely. Had a miscarriage, broken back and torn cornea in my left eye. And so on. Don’t mean to disregard the physical but I would rather be beaten to death than to deal with the psychological murder. My mind truly cannot comprehend how a human being can be the love of your life and in the next punch me In the face and bloody my nose because of jealousy over “the other women”. Oh yes, surprise!!! He had an affair in which that has almost always been the topic before the beatings. The worst part is, I still love him deeply. So it’s official…I’m much more sick than he is. Truthfully ,I have became just as much addicted to him as he is with me, if not worse. I used to be so positive and excited about everything . I had hobbies. I laughed a lot ,everything was an adventure, a challenge. Now, I’m just sleepwalking. I cannot remember anything, I cannot be there for the kids. One night he threatened to kill me and then himself. Very calming I said, it doesn’t matter because I’m already dead. NOBODY knows until you’re in it. They sadly look at me with this pathetic look In their eyes. I know they’re thinking…. You re the dumbass that stays. Of course nobody’s really knows even close to everything he has done. He is what they call a stealth narcissist. He appears sweet, shy and caring . Far from the truth. Anyhow, thank you so much for posting your story. And please pray that I one day soon I can grow wings and fly far far away from this nightmare. I guess true evil does exist in this world and all this time I always thought no matter what there was always hope.

Fellow Survivor says January 28, 2014

KIm, indeed a very good message and one that I needed to hear.

Thank you.

    Kim Saeed says January 28, 2014

    🙂 Thank you very much.

navigator1965 says January 28, 2014

A serious candidate for your best post ever, Kim. A life time of wisdom in so few words.

    Kim Saeed says January 30, 2014

    Thank you, Navigator. If it helps even one person through their own Hell, my blog has served its purpose.

      Anonymous says December 29, 2015

      I’m going thru this now and it feels like I’m in literally living in the bowels of hell. I was with an Altruistic Narcissist.

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