I got married at the age of 28 to a narcissist. I never knew that there was even such a thing. I was mentally, physically and emotionally abused. I was poisoned and constantly sick and eventually landed up on ICU first 10 days on deaths door without the doctors being able to reach a diagnosis. He wouldn't allow me to work. He wouldn't touch me in the year and two months we were married we never had any physical contact. He made sure I was isolated at every opportunity. He had affairs and led an entirely separate life. On Christmas Eve when he put his hands around my throat for the last time I knew if I didn't leave I was going to die . The moment I walked out was the single most brave thing I have ever done. I still do not know where I got the courage from but I knew if I didn't leave right then I wouldn't live.
He was still screaming at me when I ran out the door . He had his back to me and didn't even see me leave. I ran. I had the clothes on my back and nothing else. I left absolutely everything behind. I filed for divorce two days later. Things got worse after I left. I sank into a bad depression. I was so stressed out my body was producing cortisol at a dangerous rate and even though I was not eating a thing I blew up and that made me feel even worse. After two weeks of lying in bed not being able to move, I couldn't talk or function my parents decided to have everything admitted into a rehabilitation centre. I was diagnosed with extreme anxiety , social anxiety and PTSD and they put me on suicide watch. I had flashbacks constantly of things he had done and said. Anything familiar was a trigger. I couldn't watch TV or even listen to music. I couldn't handle any noise at all. I was too afraid to sleep because of the night terrors and nightmares. Every single night I relived every moment I had suffered at his hands. I couldn't cope. How could I live the rest of my life with the fear he was going to find me and make me pay.
It took 21 days of extreme therapy , psychologists, physiatrist, group therapy, equine therapy to get to the point where I could talk and eat and sleep (with a lot of medication and being forced fed by the staff ). On the 21st day I was allowed to go home. After no contact with the outside world, no cell phones, I couldn't even chat to my parents. But it was the one place I knew he would never find me, and for the first time in so long I felt safe. In rehab therapy helped because my therapist did most of the talking and really pushed it into my brain that this wasn't my fault and after it being drilled into your brain for so long that I was a horrible person and everything was my fault, I felt like I could breathe for the first time in so long.
Healing didn't happen over night it's been a very long and painful process. He still refuses to sign the divorce papers butyl lawyer can deal with that. What's important is that I never ever have to see him again. He can never hurt me again. My parents have stood by me every step of the way. My mom has walked this painful path with me since I got married and had to experience the worst pain of watching her child suffer . I just couldn't leave. I was scared.
After leaving rehab therapy I didn't really work. Every time I spoke about what had happened I would battle to sleep and have night terrors and flashbacks. So my mom and I made the decision to stop and I would deal with it in your own time and my own way.
And then something amazing happened and I hope that this encourages you and gives you hope.
I met a man. A man who healed my heart. A man who sat up with me and held me through every nightmare and flashback. A man who has had patience and stuck by my side no matter how hard things got or how angry and stubborn I was. When I fought with him for no reason or broke down and cried and couldn't explain why. He was there. He didn't question it. He was just there. I truly do believe that this special person was a gift from God and an answer to the endless prayers I had prayed for so long. I found my person.
I began to laugh. I smiled again. I found myself again. So don't give up. Don't stay. Find that strength inside yourself. It will take everything you have left to do it but you can. Maybe reading this was the final push or the confirmation you needed. Life is too short to be so unhappy and there is never any excuse for abuse of any sort. It will get worse before it gets better, but I promise you that you will smile again, you will laugh again and you will find yourself and love yourself again
* We have agreed to keep the identity of this brave woman hidden for her own safety and due to legal reasons*