Why I Stay

Why I Stay

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Submitted by ~ Anonymous~

I dream of the day when the chains are released
When I’ll say with pride, “I’m free from the beast.”
The mind games are over, no longer ignored.
With my head held high, I’ll walk toward the door.

I want it; I need it. I see it so clearly.
But then he strikes again, and it’s suddenly bleary.
He twists and turns things- am I losing my mind?
Did I imagine that slight? Am I stupid or blind?

I am filled with self-loathing, fear and doubt.
I want a better life; I want to get out.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been on my own.
And as hard as this is, it’s all I’ve known.

You get angry with me; you think it’s so easy.
“Just leave him already!” you say feeling queasy.
And “I wouldn’t take that,” you quietly think.
But it shows on your face, and my heart sinks.

In case you don’t know, I’ll share my reasons, dear friend.
One’s 15, one’s 14, the other is 10.
I struggle each day with what they are feeling.
I fear my every move will leave them reeling.

Now its dinners together, every night at the table.
I’ve convinced myself it’s really quite stable.
I pray that the sports, hobbies, and the homework they do
Are enough to distract them from what’s really true.

I lie to myself and pray they don’t see
The transformation that’s taken place within me.
I used to be strong, witty and bold.
Now I’m invisible. I’m tired. I’m old.

I look in the mirror—I’m unrecognizable.
The mountain in front of me is scary and sizeable.
It’s had me paralyzed; frozen with fear.
Can I do it today? This month? This YEAR?

I worry I’ll cause irreparable harm.
Will I break the family? Cause undue alarm?
That’s what he’ll say. I can already hear it.
And I worry they’ll hate me– I dread it. I fear it.

My daughter’s already told me her thoughts on love.
It’s phony and fake, not a gift from above.
Who could blame her, with the example we’ve given?
Feeling shame to my core, I am weak, not driven.

But maybe it’s time. Enough is enough.
Can I channel my anger and finally get tough?
Protecting my babies is all that ever mattered
Even if it causes some dreams to be shattered.

Be patient with me; it might take a while longer.
I need time to heal—time to get stronger.
The fight of my life will be worth it in the end.
So stand by my side- it’ll be worth it, my friend.

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Anonymous says November 7, 2014

Ladies… I am the author and I am humbled by your responses.
I admire your strength; I feel your pain.
I am your sister.
I come close, then retreat. I stand tall, then shrink away.
I know you understand and that in itself gives me power.
Someday I will come back and post that I am out- and I know we will celebrate together.
Thanks and love to you all-

Lisa says October 16, 2014

This post and the comments are so powerful that I have to comment, too. This is my first time posting here.

I, too, stayed… and this decision cost the life of my beloved son. My son was the one beautiful result of my marriage to my narcissist. My narcissist was too occupied with texting his girlfriends that day… 20 months ago… to watch him… he was only 5… and make sure he was safe. As a consequence, our son drowned. My divorce from the narcissist was final four months later and I have had no contact since then and never will again. But I will live every moment of the rest of my life with more sorrow than I could ever put into words. The narcissist took one of the two most precious people in my life. Had I had any idea what my decision to stay would cost me, I would have left and fought with my last dollar and my dying breath to keep my little boy with me all the time and deny the narcissist unsupervised access. If only I had known… I sincerely hope that perhaps my story might help even one woman gather the courage to do what I should have done.

    Anonymous says November 8, 2014

    I read your blog and saw the pictures of your precious, beautiful son. I cannot begin to imagine how deep your pain is. Your story WILL help other women- it will give them courage. You are a very brave soul and you will remain in my thoughts {{hugs}}

      Lisa says November 10, 2014

      Thank you for your very kind comment. The pain is beyond my ability to truly express it. It is complicated grief… complicated by the narcissist and his cruel and heartless actions even after the death of our son. I have no contact with him but just knowing that he moved on quickly to new supply makes it worse. I don’t know, maybe the grief would be just as bad if I knew that he felt the same pain that I feel and that he was suffering as I am. But he isn’t suffering, I am sure of it and when I allow myself to think about it it fills me with a rage that is very dark and destructive and hinders the healing process. Someday when I am much further down the road, I hope to really be able to help other women in tangible way so that others can escape and keep their children safe. Hugs back to you.

Elisabeth says October 4, 2014

I always wondered why it took him so long to get out of the ‘closet’. But something really tricked him, and I will never find out, what it was. it took me 8 years to leave, because I couldn’t understand why he became so differently from the other 23 years. How was it possible that he was so good in hiding himself? Afterwards there were the red flags. But nothing compares to that last 8 years. I think, I am still in schock.

    Helen anderson says October 5, 2014

    Me too. 23 “good” years ( with, as you say, “red flags”) then 6 years of hell where I lost me. In the end I left because I knew if I didn’t do it then I wouldn’t have the strength to. And yes, I am still in shock.

My Inner Chick says October 2, 2014

***I am filled with self-loathing, fear and doubt.
I want a better life; I want to get out.****

Kay said this
all. the. time.

She also said, “He crushed my spirit.”

all. the. time.

I wish she would have gotten out in time. x

    Anonymous says November 8, 2014

    I have chills… I read your blog and saw pictures of your beautiful sister- what a tragic loss. I, too, have had a family member murdered by her spouse. It’s a deep pain that I’m afraid never leaves you but in time will be less… raw. God bless and stay strong XO

Carrie Reimer says October 2, 2014

Reblogged this on Ladywithatruck's Blog and commented:
wow!! I read this with tears streaming down my cheeks. So powerful and true. Although I never had children with my ex I felt the same indecision and self doubt. Unfortunately I didn’t get stronger and the friends faded away. Thank you Kim. Excellent post.

Daisy says October 2, 2014

For me, it was embracing the hard truth that NOTHING would ever get better, until I tried something different. In my case, it was filing for divorce and moving out to a new neighborhood, a different house. Even though I moved to a worse neighborhood than the one I left, I was finally free and I experienced PEACE, something that was foreign to me.

Looking back, the one thing that kept me STUCK, was the false belief that all my efforts, all my love would change him. That he would finally WAKE up and get it. Guess what, he never did! It has been 18 years since my divorce and my LIFE improved dramatically! I remained single for 10 of those years (it took that long to put myself back together again), and I remarried a loving, normal man. Sometimes I still feel the loss of my youth, the years that I worked harder than he to pay the bills and to provide health insurance for my family.

Narcissists PURPOSELY condition you to do their bidding, their “dirty work”, while they live the life of ease and enjoyment. Why would they change, when their trained work horse makes it all possible? Ask yourself one thing: Is my partner FAIR? Do they give me the support that I have given them? If the answer is “Hell No”, then wake up, you are being used and you are allowing yourself this reality. In order to be someone else’s doormat, you first have to lay down all of your rights; respect; and dignity to be “stepped on.” Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and FIGHT for you! NEVER tell them that you will be leaving, but show them through your actions! The best JUSTICE that you can exact, is to let them to FEND for themselves! It won’t be long until they find a new VICTIM to support them, but you will be FREE to work on you!

righteousbruin9 says October 2, 2014

When you are ready, beautiful and awesome soul, you will go forth and take your children with you. Timing varies from one situation to the next.

Helen anderson says October 2, 2014

How did you get in my head? This is EXACTLY how it feels. Thankyou for reminding me I am not alone x

crusadermom1232 says October 1, 2014

THIS is me. These are EXACTLY the words that have played in my mind over and over and over. These are the reasons I’ve stayed. THIS. This is me. This is why I’ve stayed. This is me no more….

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart and very crack and crevice it contains for sharing this. It puts the words, the feelings in my soul into the light. And they aren’t just my thoughts & feelings, they aren’t mine alone. They are the deepest cries of so many others. Voices that have been stifled and lost. I pray that like me, they realize enough is enough. I pray that have did even a small shred of courage and strength that will allow them to stand up and say, “NO more! NO more!”

Erin Stephens

Sent from my iPhone


Lisa says October 1, 2014

Wow, what an amazing post. I was literally reading about my own life. I’m free now. Hopefully this wonderful post will reach others.

ginafantsaez says October 1, 2014

Wow….so incredibly articulate and real… amazing!! Thank you!!!!!!!

Stephanie Nichols says October 1, 2014

He will NEVER change!!! Even after he choked me and I left, I tried to get along and keep the peace for my son. I even let him stay at my house after he had a fire at his place, I did it for my step kids, he knew how to get to me. A year after I helped him I am in a bitter custody case numerous false dcf reports, false police reports against ME! It takes more than hope, I really don’t know what it takes. My great boyfriend who has helped me, my family who knows the truth, even my family doctor who I have confided in. It has taken me 14 years one temporary injuction, a no tresspass order, and finally a year long injunction, which he continues to violate!! I stayed because I wasn’t ready for the fight that I knew would come! I’m fighting for my son and my stepkids so they won’t have to!!!

kinnz03 says October 1, 2014

Hope….people say have hope…..have faith ……hope is our worst enemy …..only if you’ve been with a narc can you understand ……this poem is me except I don’t want out I keep believing the lies, only to crumble each time. I know I live in a fairytale to think he will change …..but my heart has hope thats nothing more than a lie.

kinnz03 says October 1, 2014

I am speechless! One has to break free from them self before they are strong enough to break free from their situation……its self doubt and fear that are our enemies …..I have a clouded view over and over again I believe , I believe for my kids, my marriage only to be fooled by broken promises and lies people say have hope…..that’s all we have and at times hope is our worst enemy.

Stephanie Nichols says October 1, 2014

LEAVE!!! I did it 4 years ago and I’m still fighting for my life and my son in court. I will not stop!! He needs to be stopped!! Eventually the cops the courts and dcf will know him by name. Mine should be in jail soon where he belongs!! Its not easy I’m tired I’m on medication I cry I’m not good company!!! It needs to end!!! Good luck

Anon says October 1, 2014

Wow, I just realized that my kids actually were these ages when I left and was separated (was kicked out, actually) and the older two were stepkids that I loved dearly and hoped to show a happy marriage to. They are older now and see his sickness themselves. I was also pregnant at the time he told me to leave. But I struggled with every thought and feeling you detailed. So eerily similar…

Anon says October 1, 2014

WOW. WOW. WOW. To the woman who wrote this…are you ME? Aside from the ages of our kids…every word rings true. I get it so very deeply. You also have a gift for poetry. ;-). Have you ever asked your kids if they would feel happier if you all did leave him? My son was actually relieved when we left. The silent (and not so silent) torture and walking on eggshells was getting to him in the same way it was me. It was hard to go but you sound like the kind of mother bear I am and knowing that our kids NEED OUT is sometimes all we need to take that step. Sometimes we can’t do it for ourselves but we can do it for them. Just like we ‘stay’ for them. We can also leave for them. I’m not saying to put the burden of the decision on them but just get a sense of how they feel. I can tell you this…I was 15 when my mom finally left my narc father. I helped her do it because she was too beaten down and kept using the “I stay for you kids.” line that only made us all feel horrible. BUT, once I let her know that we wanted out too and we left…wow, what a burden had been lifted! We were finally free! My mom and three kids all sleeping in a one bedroom apartment with my brother on a mattress on the kitchen floor while the narc kept the whole house for himself and we did not care…we were free!! Trust me, I’m not saying I think you use that “I stay for you kids” line to your kids and my sense is that you don’t…that you try to hide your torture. But what your daughter is saying is very telling. Maybe it’s time to teach her that as a woman she deserves more from a man and from life. It’s so hard, I know. I just hope you can find that strength within you!! Use this time to plan carefully and quietly. TELL OTHER PEOPLE in your family so they are not shocked. Abuse happens in secret and if you have never told others then they will not understand. Get some good support from family, quietly, so that when you make your move you have others who will stand by and help and even confront him. They will already know about his lies so they will expect them when they come and still stand by you. This is my hope for you!

theinfiniterally says October 1, 2014

Well said, anonymous!

theinfiniterally says October 1, 2014

Reblogged this on gambolinthegrammar and commented:
This is well done.

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