Escaping abuse – moving on, looking back

My current (non-abusive) musician husband was struggling over new ways to be inspired. He asked to see my old poetry, and I said yes without much thought.  So he got up on the step stool and unearthed my archives from the storage closets in our bedroom, and I thumbed through a folder from the years I was married to Jerkface.

I hadn’t read those poems in quite some time, and quickly remembered why. They were difficult to read. So full of pain and confusion. Through my decades-old writing, I could discern the timeline of that abusive relationship – from obsessive intoxication, to bewilderment and panic, and finally to the part where I had helped him nearly kill my spirit and my unique self. read more

Death by gaslighting

Last month, someone I follow on Twitter said that narcissists will lie to you about things that happened to you; they’ll lie about things you saw with your own eyes. “Narcissists,” this person tweeted, “will lie to YOU about YOU.”

My eyes stung with tears immediately. I’d never heard it said that way, and it was so much truth – even all these years after leaving Jerkface – that it took my breath away.

Narcissists will lie to YOU about YOU.

My Jerkface ex-husband relied on gaslighting to infect the foundation of my very reality so that for years I was paralyzed by self-doubt. Early in our relationship, my desire to see a friend for dinner without him launched a 3-day emotional torture fest. He insisted that when people really love each other, they do everything together. So because I wanted to do something without him, I didn’t love him and now had to prove my love to him. read more

Being alone is better than being abused

So many movies are about finding love. So much marketing is about getting hitched.  In our society, togetherness is celebrated so much more than being alone. So it’s no wonder that aloneness is seen as a temporary state that we hope to escape quickly on our way toward finding that special someone. 

It’s true that sharing your life with someone special is indeed wonderful. But sharing your life with someone who isn’t wonderful is far worse than being alone.

When you’re with an abuser, you’re more alone in that relationship than you would ever be by yourself. read more

3 Steps for Leaving Jerkface

You’re getting there. You've started to see that Jerkface isn’t a normal person with a normal heart. It feels like their relationship with you is a game, a lie, a selfish arrangement. You wonder if they’ve lied to you just to keep you trapped in their web. And you may finally have had enough.

What “You don’t deserve this” really means

A healthy relationship is not a project. A relationship is something that gives you good things 90% of the time. A relationship adds to your life, instead of bringing you heartache or a lifetime of trying to change who you are, how you talk, or how you dress in the hopes that Jerkface will stop treating you badly.

Stop being nice to Jerkfaces

When you're dealing with a narcissist, you need to set aside your common decency. You need to forget everything you've learned about being a decent human, including that people deserve to understand where you're coming from and that they need to be treated with kindness.