I had a dream...I lived a nightmare...and now I'm awake

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I had a dream last week that I was being raped, but I had agreed to it.
I think I know what that represents.
I think it represents the way I felt and believed that I had no say in what my body experienced; like it was made for the use and pleasure of others, men especially.

When I was younger, I felt I was being raped on many occasions, but I believed that was my role in life. My purpose was to be used and abused. And so I agreed to go along with what others wanted.
I didn't think saying 'no' was an option that was available to me. I didn't think it was my right. It wasn't an option open to me.
Consent wasn't a word I was aware of. That word didn't exist in my vocabulary.

The one time I felt genuine love - not like the romantic love that we are sold by society, but a mutual respect kind of love - and effortless pleasure - again, not the idea of pleasure that is sold to us but genuine 'I want to be here and connect with this person' pleasure.
A pleasure that I didn't have to force and fake.

That love and pleasure that I never felt with my narc ex.
I think that says a lot, don't you?

The one time that I felt that love and pleasure was in Candybar, in Soho. With Maria.

She messaged me the day after. Wanting to meet up - coffee?

But I felt that meeting her could lead to me dating her. I felt a connection.
And dating a woman was not my right; it was against the law or something.
Because my purpose was to satisfy men. or at least make them believe they were satisfying me.

I'm sorry to myself for not letting myself follow my intuition, my wants, my needs, my calling.
I'm sorry for treating me that way, for denying myself happiness.
It would have been perfectly fine to date Maria, my darling girl. And to experience passion and joy with her.
And to feel safe.
I felt safe with Maria. I only knew her for one night a few hours one night years ago, but time doesn't make anything special - it's what you feel and experience that makes something special.

I forgive myself.
I can't go back and follow my intuition,
but I can do it now and change my present and my future.
At least I woke up, and now I know my truth.

I'm awake.

"When people show you their true colours, believe them"

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"When people show you their true colours, believe them"
Dolly Parton

And trust your instincts. your intuition. your gut feeling. I'm not talking about the voice in your head that's been conditioned by society, but your own voice; your intuition.

What does it say?

My intuition told me to run, avoid and stay away from him (I'll later refer to 'him' as the narc later in this post - narc as in short for narcissistic bastard).

I did my best to get away from him, but he was so persistent. The narc harassed me for almost two years. And I have an issue with unjustified guilt, so I struggled with that persistence; my people pleasing self blamed me for not giving him what he wanted. I felt guilty that he persisted so much for me to date him, like "it's my fault he won't leave me alone. He's in pain, so I need to help him by giving in to his wishes". 

I think he worked that out quite early on - I don't know if he worked that out consciously or not, but he knew how to play me with a good guilt trip. He dedicated The Kooks' "Naive" to me after all. I was naive & vulnerable, and he knew it.

Sometimes when I look back at the shit I allowed and how vulnerable I was, and how much I tried to see the good in people, and how much I tried to please people, I feel nauseated.

He was right. I was naive.

Fuck's sake.

I didn't even like him. I definitely didn't love him. It was a very sick & toxic relationship. I felt like I had no choice. I gave in. And then I stayed. I stayed for over a decade. I made attempts to get away a few times throughout the years, but I never managed to. he always clawed his way back into my life.

I wish I could at least say "I loved him so much! That's why I stayed!" but I didn't. I actually think I hated him. from day one. I didn't respect the person he was. from day one. He was arrogant, racist, sexist, homophobic, rude, disrespectful, self-centred, aggressive. Definitely not a kind person, but a wounded & dangerous soul.

I never wanted people like him in my life. Actually, I spent years trying to get rid of those people, like my narcissistic father, my abusive uncle, toxic friends. So what the fuck happened!?

Was it a case of you stick to what's familiar? I believe so. I'm very familiar with narcissistic abuse, I've known it my whole life. So it fits. And a pinch of Stockholm Syndrome.

When we first met, I was actually with someone else. But it got to a point in our relationship where I felt overwhelmed, and I just needed to be single, to be alone. to think. to be selfish. to figure out what was going on in my head (undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder is what was going on in my head - I found that out a decade later!)

I needed and wanted to be single. But when I found myself single, the narc started harassing me even more. He didn't care that I was with someone else when he first started harassing me, and he definitely didn't care that I wanted to be single after that relationship.

To cope with this narc, I kept telling myself lies about him; I "repainted" the evil that wouldn't let me go, so many times. for so many years. Stockholm Syndrome, seriously.

Illustration by Amanda Oleandar 

I don't have one reason for why I gave this person so much of my time. of my life. But I need to forgive myself for doing so.

It was familiar.
He didn't leave me alone.
I was a people pleaser who struggled with unjustified guilt,
and not pleasing people triggered my guilt.
Stockholm Syndrome makes a lot of sense to me - I wasn't physically captive, but emotionally, yes, and everything else fits.

Whatever it was, I'm just so sorry past me. I'm so sorry that I didn't prioritise you over others. You needed me more than anyone else ever did or ever will.

I eventually did break away from the narc. Didn't take too long for him to hunt me down though, the harassment started to take off again.

But this time I reported him to the police. He just wouldn't leave me alone, again. he wouldn't leave my family alone. And I needed him to disappear. I needed to continue to move on with my life.

I was starting to heal, and I was feeling stronger.
I could really escape this time.

So I went to the police.

The police officers I met with were helpful. At first, I had to tell a summary of my history with the narc to a police officer, and this was then passed on, to a detective. A few days later, the detective contacted me and I then had to go into more detail. It was distressing, difficult, upsetting, triggering. Telling someone else about the abuse you lived with for a decade is fucking hard, man. But for me, it was worth it.

The detective asked me to provide proof of harassment, which I did. Going to court was mentioned - the narc had another harassment warning from another previous partner, which supported my case - but I really didn't want to go to court; as much as I would have loved to lock him up so he can't harm anyone else, I just couldn't see his face again or relive a decade of abuse in court.

So, it was agreed they'd bring the narc in and warn him. And if he contacted me after that, the case would be escalated. I shuddered at the thought.

I was surprised at how useful going to the police was.

They brought him in, warned him.

The detective called me to give me an update: "we've spoken to him, we have him on record saying he will leave you alone. If he contacts you or approaches you ever again, call us and we will escalate this."

Fuck. it's done.

I was emotional for weeks: "The narc is really gone?" It felt too good for that to be true.

I was still scared of going to places where the narc might pop up, but the more I went out and didn't see him, the safer I felt. The more time went by and I didn't hear from him, the more liberated I felt.

The bastard narc really is gone.

I've only grown more confident and more at peace since he's been out of my life. It's like I've reclaimed my life, day by day.

It's coming up to a year since I reported the narc to the police.
It's been a year of freedom and healing. and peace. Oh the blissful peace. And Joy, so much Joy! (yes, with a capital 'J'!)

I'm free.
My life is mine again.
I can heal.
I am healing.
I can live the life I have always wanted to live.
I am living the life I've always dreamed of.

Fuck. it's real. it's really real.

And I'm learning to forgive myself. I need to forgive myself for not knowing what I didn't know. And I'm proud of myself for learning.

To those in a similar situation; stuck with a narcissist in your life - whether it be a partner, a friend, or a family member - ask for help. Please. Scream, shout, fight for the help you have a right to. Narcissistic abusive is very serious, and it claims lives. Please take care of you the best you can.

"Relationship with a Narcissist in a nutshell:
You will go from being the perfect love of their life to nothing you do is ever good enough.
You will give your everything and they will take it all and give you less and less in return.
You will end up depleted emotionally, mentally, spiritually and probably financially, and then get blamed for it"
Bree Bonchay

If this sounds familiar, it shouldn't be this way. Please ask for help.

To those that say "But why didn't you leave sooner?!" I have a quote for you: 

"When people talk about emotional abuse they've been on the receiving end of, they talk about it with the clarity that comes when you realise what it was. When you're living it, you don't see it for what it is. So stop asking why people don't just leave"
Alexandria Neonakis

Finally Found

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I lost myself for a while.
Actually, I was lost for a long, long, fucking time.
But I'm finally found.
And I'm lucky, and so grateful, to have found me.
The darkness and the limbo were going to kill me.
It really was.
And it was almost successful.

Sometimes I have to stop.
And really feel my body, my mind, and ask myself:
Am I really here?
Did I really survive?
Do I really continue to survive?
Am I actually beginning to thrive?

It's so surreal.

I didn't know the soul could feel such pain.

And now I'm feeling such inner peace. and joy.
And love. and kidness.

I didn't know the soul could feel such peace. such joy.

I didn't think I could heal. I didn't think I was capable of healing.

But here I am. Loving, forgiving, self-caring, thriving, healing despite it all.

“Let It Enfold You” by Charles Bukowski

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“Let It Enfold You” by Charles Bukowski

Either peace or happiness,
let it enfold you

when I was a young man
I felt these things were
dumb, unsophisticated.
I had bad blood, a twisted
mind, a precarious

I was hard as granite, I
leered at the
I trusted no man and
especially no

I was living a hell in
small rooms, I broke
things, smashed things,
walked through glass,
I challenged everything,
was continually being
evicted, jailed, in and
out of fights, in and out
of my mind.
women were something
to screw and rail
at, I had no male

I changed jobs and
cities, I hated holidays,
babies, history,
newspapers, museums,
marriage, movies,
spiders, garbagemen,
English accents, Spain,
France, Italy, walnuts and
the colour
algebra angered me,
opera sickened me,
Charlie Chaplin was a
and flowers were for

peace and happiness to me
were signs of
tenants of the weak

but as I went on with
my alley fights,
my suicidal years,
my passage through
any number of
women-it gradually
began to occur to
that I wasn’t different

from the
others, I was the same,

they were all fulsome
with hatred,
glossed over with petty
the men I fought in
alleys had hearts of stone.
everybody was nudging,
inching, cheating for
some insignificant
the lie was the
weapon and the
plot was
darkness was the

cautiously, I allowed
myself to feel good
at times.
I found moments of
peace in cheap
just staring at the
knobs of some
or listening to the
rain in the
the less I needed
the better I

maybe the other life had worn me
I no longer found
in topping somebody
in conversation.
or in mounting the
body of some poor
drunken female
whose life had
slipped away into

I could never accept
life as it was,
i could never gobble
down all its
but there were parts,
tenuous magic parts
open for the

I re formulated
I don’t know when,
date, time, all
but the change
something in me
relaxed, smoothed
i no longer had to
prove that I was a

I didn’t have to prove

I began to see things:
coffee cups lined up
behind a counter in a
or a dog walking along
a sidewalk.
or the way the mouse
on my dresser top
stopped there
with its body,
its ears,
its nose,
it was fixed,
a bit of life
caught within itself
and its eyes looked
at me
and they were
then- it was

I began to feel good,
I began to feel good
in the worst situations
and there were plenty
of those.
like say, the boss
behind his desk,
he is going to have
to fire me.

I’ve missed too many
he is dressed in a
suit, necktie, glasses,
he says, ‘I am going
to have to let you go’

‘it’s all right’ I tell

He must do what he
must do, he has a
wife, a house, children,
expenses, most probably
a girlfriend.

I am sorry for him
he is caught.

I walk onto the blazing
the whole day is

(the whole world is at the
throat of the world,
everybody feels angry,
short-changed, cheated,
everybody is despondent,

I welcomed shots of
peace, tattered shards of

I embraced that stuff
like the hottest number,
like high heels, breasts,
singing, the

(don’t get me wrong,
there is such a thing as cockeyed optimism
that overlooks all
basic problems just for
the sake of
this is a shield and a

The knife got near my
throat again,
I almost turned on the
but when the good
moments arrived
I didn’t fight them off
like an alley
I let them take me,
I luxuriated in them,
I made them welcome
I even looked into
the mirror
once having thought
myself to be
I now liked what
I saw, almost
handsome, yes,
a bit ripped and
scares, lumps,
odd turns,
but all in all,
not too bad,
almost handsome,
better at least than
some of those movie
star faces
like the cheeks of
a baby’s

and finally I discovered
real feelings of
like lately,
like this morning,
as I was leaving,
for the track,
i saw my wife in bed,
just the
shape of
her head there
(not forgetting
centuries of the living
and the dead and
the dying,
the pyramids,
Mozart dead
but his music still
there in the
room, weeds growing,
the earth turning,
the tote board waiting for
I saw the shape of my
wife’s head,
she so still,
I ached for her life,
just being there
under the

I kissed her in the
got down the stairway,
got outside,
got into my marvellous
fixed the seatbelt,
backed out the
feeling warm to
the fingertips,
down to my
foot on the gas
I entered the world
drove down the
past the houses
full and empty
I saw the mailman,
he waved
at me.

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