Over a year ago our marriage counselor gave me a few materials to read. She told me she believed I was experiencing narcissistic abuse from my husband who she has diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. Now there is a large spectrum to the degree in which a person has NPD. My husband is not a sociopath or psychopath. This disorder does not affect his day to day life with his friends, coworkers, family, or strangers. I am his target. I am the one who endures his wrath. Ahh his wrath, I should just leave. That is what many will think, heck it is what I say most of the time, but it isn’t that simple. It would have been a little more simple for me a little less than a year ago, if I could have just been smart enough not to move across the country and uproot my financial security, but I guess hindsight is 20/20.
I’m currently in a downward spiral of when things go bad. I’ve noticed a pattern. When I am completely self sufficient and I need nothing of him. When I’m taking care of all my duties without bothering him, life can move on fairly easily. I don’t mean we can have a fulfilling relationship where I feel loved and cared for, but the day to day life can be okay. What always kills me is in my own mind I see the possibility of a great life. We have two beautiful children, we both take care of ourselves, we are both intelligent people, my husband makes a good living and I contribute solidly. None of that seems to matter though, because we live in a world of competition, hurt and neglect.
This move has been very hard on me. Honestly I feel like a fool. I know why I wanted to move, but I wish I would have been in a better headspace to make the decision not to move. I’m not busy here yet with work. I had worked really hard to get myself in a great financial position to leave, now it will truly be quite sometime before we can actually afford to divorce or separate without drowning financially. I have to regrow my business or find a new career. I’ve started applying for jobs, but we are quite remote and the fact that I don’t speak Spanish, even though I have a degree makes a job right around here next to impossible. I have some physical ailments that I’ve learned come from abuse that would make commuting daily 2-3 hours roundtrip a major hardship. I do have to put in a great deal of effort to stay well in this environment.
I have been very nervous about getting my business back up and running. We are remote, and people will have to drive a little ways to reach me. I’ve also been struggling with being lonely and when you work alone, it is much harder to make friends. Basically all of the things I use to do weekly are too far or don’t even exist here, so I’m having a rough go of this move. I miss many things I didn’t realize how much I would miss. I truly feel like I’m on the verge of depression and struggling to keep myself well physically.
Feeling like I’m at my worst I reached out to my husband about how I was feeling he said “when aren’t you at your worst? I’m so over dealing with you.” Honestly, I don’t know what he has had to “deal with.” I never talk to him about my health, because if I do, then I’m a complainer. I live with three debilitating illnesses, and I wonder if there is something wrong with me for wanting him or someone to notice how much I do even though it is often very difficult for me. I know people with one of my illnesses who see themselves as a warrior. I would love to be seen that way. I never let my illnesses keep me from doing anything. Lately though I’ve felt like I’m on the verge of depression, but I’ve been trying to work through it. I have not neglected any duties or stopped working on the house we gutted and are remodeling. I haven’t asked him to help me with any housework or “my duties.”
This is where it gets tricky. Even though I can sit here and try to rationalize the truth, his words break me. It’s been 13 years of this, and I honestly think dealing with the completely irrational yelling and name calling was easier. He’s gotten smarter on how to hurt me. I guess as I’ve gotten older calling me a crass word doesn’t effect me as much anymore, and he knows it, so he goes for the more psychological wounds.
I don’t know if anyone will read this, or if it is complete rubbish to you, but I just needed to start sharing and hopefully healing while I try to figure all this out.