"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

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