She was a den leader in my son’s boy scout troop. A bit younger, fairly pretty, but also six or seven months pregnant and swollen with new life.
When I found out, of course it became my fault. I wasn’t supportive enough when his grandmother passed away. He needed someone softer, kinder in that moment. Not to mention I had my tubes tied after a difficult pregnancy, rendering me incapable of ever again walking around with that beautiful glow. He was into that glow, you see. Attracted to its gravity; lured in by the temptation of it. It was a fetish he just couldn’t escape. The fact that I was sterilized at his request was irrelevant. It was my fault for going through with it.
It was my fault.
I fell to the ground at the sound of those words. Leaning against the bed for support, I sobbed into my hands. Devastated and inconsolable until my chest burned and my head throbbed. He looked at me from across the room, a blank expression that did nothing to hide his annoyance at being forced to deal with my hysteria.
“Are you done?” he asked. So plain and unfeeling, as if he was asking if I was finished eating a meal.
I cursed at him, calling him out on his callous demeanor. That’s when the air changed. His face tensed and his fists balled, and he charged, stopping inches from where I still sat on the bedroom floor. He leaned over me, rage ablaze in his eyes.
“Wah, wah, wah,” he screamed, loud and startling. “It’s not the end of the world. Life goes on. Stop acting like a toddler having a tantrum and get the hell up off the floor.”
By this point, we had been married five years.
My husband was never the kindest. In fact, he’d boasted on our first date about how he’s an ‘asshole with a silver tongue’. I was nineteen at the time, and I found his overbearing confidence endearing back then. In retrospect, there were plenty of signs before we got married, red flags that I chose to ignore. Subtle at first, but growing more obvious every day we were together. A couple years in is when the abuse really started, both emotional and physical with one just as crippling as the other.
But nothing like this. The man in front of me was so cold, so unfeeling that he could blow up our entire marriage because of a fetish, blame it on me, and then become furious when I had the audacity to cry about it.
This was the moment. The one that told me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the man I was married to wasn’t normal. To call him a man was false. He was a monster, and something was terribly wrong with him.
Every person who finds themselves married to or involved with a narcissist has this moment. Its context is unique to each situation, but it always leaves the victim shaken and terrified of the person they’ve decided to share their home with. It’s possible you have recently experienced this yourself, which has motivated you to seek out a better understanding of what you’re dealing with.
I stayed married to my husband six more years after this incident.
Eleven years of my life were wasted trying to convert a monster into humanity. Trying to fix the unfixable and save someone who had no desire to be saved. I tried to leave several times, but found myself persuaded to come back either by empty promises or violent threats.
The day I finally escaped my narcissist was the first day of my healing process. It was a turning point for me and my children, but it was a slow turn. I had to give myself permission to be okay without him because he had me convinced this could never be the case. But, once I was removed the fog was lifted. I could see what he was without question, and more importantly, I could finally see that I didn’t deserve it.
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