Suffering through Narc/Socio Withdrawal after ending 27 years with him

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mar74

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I need help.  I need some support from people who understand.

There was a time when I never thought I'd be able to leave my husband that I've been with a total of 27 years.  The abuse was so, so terrible in just about every form.  The cheating, the lying, the mind games, the gaslighting, the domestic violence, the tearing me down, it just got worse and worse as the years went on. Almost 9 months ago I confessed to one mistake that I truly believed this monster would forgive, after all, I gave him countless chances he didn't deserve, wasn't I worthy of the same mercy? No.  Not with a psychopath for a husband.  I ended up finally having to go into autopilot and buy a plane ticket to move back home 1200 miles from him.

I honestly felt that after I left, he'd see what he lost, realize how wrong he's been and let me come home but I was wrong.  Logically I should be thanking my lucky stars I got away still sane, still alive, safe, but I don't.  I sit and cry and feel depressed and contemplate suicide.  I'm 43 years old and have been with this man through thick and thin since I was 15 years old. As long as I remained smiling, perfect, flawless, I received love that people write about in books.  We spent nearly every waking moment we could together.  His job lately even allowed me to go with him all throughout his workday.  For nearly 26 years we went to bed at the same exact time "together" every single night.  He'd hold me until we fell asleep, he got up before me and pasted my toothbrush every single day and at night before bed, he ran me a million bubble baths over the years, boiling pots of water to warm it up so I could stay in for hours and the list goes on and on.

We had a million special things we did together, date nights, Chinese food and Dexter, handed me chapstick each night before curling up to sleep.  We'd do what he called "matchy matchy" things because he knew i loved it.  It's almost like my whole life was fashioned in a way that if I ever left him, I would never be able to be pain-free because even something as simple as going to Walmart had its romantic ritual with us. I wake up now and look at my empty toothbrush that I now have to paste myself which makes me miss HIM.  He drove me everywhere, I have anxiety and never had to do that either.

I'm out, I'm almost abuse free.  He still gets to me through text and email and we haven't filed for a divorce yet but are about to.  He has everything, our house, our car, almost all my belongings. But all in all, I am safe, but I can't get over him, I feel like I've been gutted.  I had myself convinced this whole 9 month period that we'd get back together, we were like bread and butter, everyone that knows us is shocked at the high school sweetheart lovebirds that are now all the sudden getting a divorce. Last week I had to accept that we never are going to be together again.  He took the one last thing he could from me. 

When we met, he told me that as soon as he saw me he knew he was going to marry me.  He professed this love at first sight lightening bolt like love to me and everyone.  He's told everyone that story with a gleam in his eye all these years.  Now the last thing he said to me was that I am such a stupid person and I should be so embarrassed because when he met "he told me lies to get in my pants and I believed him".  Then he said he only stayed with me because he felt the need to take care of me, again because I'm a stupid person.  He is the same age as me btw.  That was a story we both shared with such pride and happiness and now it made my entire life a lie!  I have heard some really sick abusive things over the years from him but this one takes the cake.  My heart is destroyed and I've contemplated suicide all week.  It's only our two grown adult children and one granddaughter that keep me on this planet.

I know that chaos became my norm and I now have been seeing a therapist that specializes in trauma for months.  I have CPTSD, Severe Depressive Disorder, and Anxiety disorder.  I am an absolute mess from what he has put me through.  His good side was the best, most romantic, caring husband in the world but his other side, was my worst nightmare.  It was like he has multiple personality disorder, scary stuff.   

Regardless of what he's said and done, I love him and I believed with all my heart we would grow old together and never be apart.  I miss him every single second of every day.  Now that I'm trying to accept what I should've started accepting as soon as I left him, I'm going downhill even worse. I pray he'll text, pray he'll get in the car and drive up here and knock on my door and beg for forgiveness and tell me none of those awful things he said were true.  I see a funny movie, I wish he was laughing next to me with it, I see a something beautiful out in nature and I get sad because he's no longer at my side to enjoy it.  Almost nothing gives me joy at all. I go with family and friends and all I do the whole time is wish they were him. I have a burning, aching sensation in my chest that will not go away that only he can take away.  I ache to feel his hand in mine again, I miss how funny he was and how much he made me laugh.  I miss EVERYTHING and it's just not letting up.

None of the things I've been doing to work on myself are helping me now.  Art, animals, classes, coda, inspirational reading, affirmations, meditations, you name it I've been doing it and it helped get me this far along my journey but now I don't feel happy when I do anything. Foods I loved lack luster, things I loved don't make me happy.  I feel like a beaten down soul that is running out of energy, laying on the ground unable to smile, or even lift a finger.

Can anyone please tell me when the heart ache will let up??? Everyone says, oh your a beautiful woman, you'll meet a man that actually treats you the way you deserve to be treated but I do not believe I'll ever be able to love anyone ever again because I am still in love with him and he is the only thing I want.  I don't want another guy, in fact I have too much work to do on myself but does anyone have a similar situation? And if so, when did the pain of the loss of everything start to let up?  When will the heartache lessen?  When will I quit missing him and all the things we did.  He had me beleiving we were best friends who only needed each other and were madly in love and now I'm lost without him. 

Has anyone loved again after something like this down the road and if so did you finally get over the first love that was just fake anyway?  This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I'm hating it worse and worse.  Please tell me when it will start to feel better and if there's any advice you can offer, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for being part of my journey.


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radical

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We spent nearly every waking moment we could together.  His job lately even allowed me to go with him all throughout his workday.  For nearly 26 years we went to bed at the same exact time "together" every single night.  He'd hold me until we fell asleep, he got up before me and pasted my toothbrush every single day and at night before bed, he ran me a million bubble baths over the years, boiling pots of water to warm it up so I could stay in for hours and the list goes on and on.

We had a million special things we did together, date nights, Chinese food and Dexter, handed me chapstick each night before curling up to sleep.


I think I understand a bit.  I was in a relationship like this from when I was very young, but i'm glad I didn't stay 27 years.  I recognise what you are saying about how specially loving your partner was, and how this leads to confusion and severe trauma-bonding.  What no-one much mentions about coercive control is the "loving' parts of the relationship.  if it was just wall to wall abuse, we wouldn't stay a week.

There is so much in what you have written here that I recognise, and it took me years to understand.  I was trapped in thinking the abuse was an aberration due to some psychological problems that I so wanted to be able to help him with, and the "loving" person was the real person.  Truth is, there was no real person, and all those "special", "loving" things were just the gilded part of the cage.  He didn't love me and wasn't capable of loving anyone.  He just wanted to control me, and boy did he control me.  That spending every waking moment together?  Nothing to do with love, just control.  I felt guilty for wanting a few moments to myself.  I wasn't allowed to be me, he even told me what to wear.  He never knew me and wasn't faintly interested in knowing me.  I was a doll.

I recognise the agony of missing someone in this situation.  It feels like it will never end.  I'm so sorry you are going through this.  It seems to me that, at the moment, the person you need to find and to love is yourself.  The future can take care of itself, and doing this is likely to be an urgent need.  I was very vulnerable going into my next disastrous relationship so soon afterwards.  I wish i had concentrated on finding myself.  I would have saved myself a lot of grief.

You are freer than you've been for your entire life.  Freedom is a gift but it can feel like a curse, in this situation.  Can you think about some things you'd like to do?  Can you go out and do some of them, maybe small things first, just because you can?  Forget about enjoyment maybe, but exercising freedom is important.

I couple of years after we split, I met my ex.  I loathed him.  He had a new wife, yet tried to hit in me.  I couldn't believe that the lying, shallow, manipulative creep before my eyes was someone I had felt such love for  I realised I was under a sick spell that it had taken a huge effort to break.  I hadn't been able to see reality.  Everything I thought we were had been a lie.  He was a chameleon, and if I'd been older when we'd gotten together, I woud have seen through him.  The way he talked about his wife appalled me.  He couldn't seem to get through a single sentence without lying.  I was frightened that I had ever trusted him.

You were always worth so much more than this!  Please hold on and be gentle with yourself.

I'm glad you've got a therapist who can help you through this.   We are here for you.  I hope you come back and talk some more.

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Deep Blue

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Truth is, there was no real person, and all those "special", "loving" things were just the gilded part of the cage.  He didn't love me and wasn't capable of loving anyone.  He just wanted to control me, and boy did he control me.  That spending every waking moment together?  Nothing to do with love, just control.  I felt guilty for wanting a few moments to myself.  I wasn't allowed to be me, he even told me what to wear.  He never knew me and wasn't faintly interested in knowing me.  I was a doll.

You are freer than you've been for your entire life.  Freedom is a gift but it can feel like a curse, in this situation.  Can you think about some things you'd like to do?  Can you go out and do some of them, maybe small things first, just because you can?  Forget about enjoyment maybe, but exercising freedom is important.

Radical is so right.  We get sucked in.  When you are under the spell of a sociopath itís a trick.  They really make you believe that the sun rises and sets for you.  It is false.  They only care about themselves and you are their plaything. 

It may seem hard to see it but things get better.  Iíve been where you are.  Foods were bland, the world lacked luster, so broken that I couldnít remember how to make memories without my abuser.  I no longer feel that way.  Iím writing a new narrative for myself.  Iím going to be ok.  It takes awhile... but we are here while you search for your new way.
For those who understand,
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For those who do not understand,
no explanation is possible.

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mar74

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I cannot thank you both enough.  Your words were exactly what I needed to hear.  It's so true, I order my favorite foods and they taste like nothing and I can't finish them.  Nothing, and I mean nothing makes me feel good anymore.  Looking back I can see how he manipulated me.  Every time I was told something bad or inappropriate he did, he made me believe the person either wanted him and was jealous so trying to break us up or they hated him for no reason and he didn't know why they'd say the things they did.

I used to tell him from the day we met that I saw the good guy underneath all this bad boy stuff and I really thought I did from time to time.  Every single person around me wanted to know what I, this sweet, nice girl was doing with HIM!  I ignored everyone, it was like I only believed his words and nobody else's.  I lost friends over the years, family, he moved me 1200 miles away from home with our kids and then proceeded to begin cheating.  I am starting to think that he'd been cheating the entire 27 years of our relationship.

Since leaving him, all I want to do is go back.  On top of losing him, I lost my dream property, a waterfront home with all the nature one could desire in my backyard, dolphins hopping like SeaWorld, manatees etc..  The deepest jacuzzi tub of my dreams for my baths, rainbows at the end of our view, giant moon rise every night, shooting stars above it!  He and I used to joke that this wasn't even real because that's how amazing it was.  We used to laugh wondering when unicorns would be jumping over the rainbow next.  Now I am in a studio apartment, had to drive a dangerous beater car the first few months I was here, no view, no water, snow in the winter etc.

I feel like we were lucky enough to get that property because I was being tested.  Tested to see if in the end I would choose honesty and loving myself over extreme abuse and a view to kill. My heart is still at that property and though I've been told I could fight to be the one to live in it, I can't live there now.  When I left I was terrified for my life and just thinking about living there again is terrifying.  I can't get over not only the loss of him but that house.  I never in my wildest dreams thought a place like that would ever be attainable for he and I.  smh

And it's so true, all I have thought since I left, is "I know he's a loving person under all this anger and hate, and I feel so broken hearted that I can't save him from the darkness".  It's all I do is tell myself, I need to help him change, I need to save him from this life of darkness and evil.  It kills me that I can't but from what you both have said, it's not possible anyway.  I wonder how long it's going to take to get over all this loss, all this abuse for so long I don't even know who I am anymore.  I feel like he took my sparkle, my smile, my everything.

Thank you both for being here to reply, I cannot thank you enough.  I feel so suicidal and I have two grown kids, a 2-year-old granddaughter and two little dogs who need me.  I need all the support I can get.

I'll be coming here constantly to reread your replies to remind me that eventually, it will be ok so I can keep going.

When I told him I'd fight for half of the house and car etc., he says when he's done with me I'll be on medication for the rest of my life.  Says he's going to make me pay in ways that are so painful I've never felt anything like it. :(

Love and Light to you both and anyone else who can come in and offer strength in words.

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Kizzie

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I can't say much more than Deep Blue and Radical have said - it's just deeply painful to be tricked (abused) by someone we love and we think loves us and it will take some time to get over it.  I do hope being here will help you with the healing process.  :hug:

One thing you wrote in your last post caught my eye:

Quote
When I told him I'd fight for half of the house and car etc., he says when he's done with me I'll be on medication for the rest of my life.  Says he's going to make me pay in ways that are so painful I've never felt anything like it.

Domestic violence is a very real and dangerous situation that has taken a lot of women so I encourage you to please consider your safety.  You can google DV helplines/agencies in your location, or start here at Hot Peach which is an international site of DV agencies and abuse info in 110 languages.

Kizzie

« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 10:50:32 AM by Kizzie »
When it comes to trauma, time does NOT heal all wounds. It is deeply embodied in our mind, body & spirit & requires compassionate, knowledgeable treatment & self-care.

If we want more/better trauma informed treatment & services, we must advocate for ourselves when & where we can.

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mar74

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Thank you for the support and information.  I am currently 1200 miles from him but when I left I was dodging things being thrown full speed at my head, getting attacked and just in fear all the time.  I don't think he'll come here because now his ailing elderly father is living with him so leaving to come get me would be very difficult but I worry about him getting someone else to do it for him.  Making it look like a random act of violence but I'm sure if he does, it won't be long before he's found out because of all the threatening texts in my phone.

I have suffered so much unreported domestic violence over the years and looking back I should've had him arrested.  I always felt the need to protect him.


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Deep Blue

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Hey Mar,
What you said about not knowing who you are without him really resonated with me.  I was in that same boat.  It took my abuser 2 years to successfully remove me from all my friends and family.  My abuser had me convinced they were all bad influences.  I even thought turning my back on them was My Idea!  It has taken some time but Iím stronger and healthier and am learning who I am again.  I wish healing and growth for you sweetie :hug: if itís ok
Deep Blue
For those who understand,
no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand,
no explanation is possible.

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radical

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I agree with Kizzie and Deep Blue.
Please keep yourself safe and use every resource necessary to do so.

It's a really tough, confusing, painful time.  When I was going through something similar, I wish I had known how much I needed to find my self.  I lost a lot of time and suffered more than I would have across time, because I've only gotten to that place recently.  It took me years to fully understand the extent of the damage the abuse had caused me.


You matter! Please be kind and gentle with yourself.

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mar74

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Thank you both again! Your words are so helpful to me right now. :)

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mar74

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Hi everyone!

Update,

My husband really got to me emotionally at the beginning of June.  He told me that our high school sweetheart love at first sight story was all lies he told me to get in my pants and I was so stupid I believed him.  He said he only stayed with me all these years because he felt bad for me and felt the need to take care of me.  He said I'm so stupid and I should be so embarrassed that I believe the lies of a 16-year-old boy (even though I myself at the time was also only a 16-year-old girl). 

Considering the story of how we met was very special to me, this crushed me beyond words.  I cried like never before for this and all the other abuse I've endured for so long.  I cried nearly the entire first two weeks of June until I got the most nasty eye infection and had to go to the doctors. 

He has everything, our paid off house, our paid off car,  waterfront property, one of our dogs which I saved myself and nursed back to health from awful abuse, he has all of my personal belongings too.  I can't afford to get them up here 1200 miles away and I only have a studio apartment anyway.

I need a good attorney to fight him with or just to walk away and never look back and take nothing that's tied to him.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 11:07:15 AM by Kizzie »

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Kizzie

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I'm sorry to hear you are in this position Mar but I'm glad you have a T and are safe now.

I assume your children are grown, would they be able to help you with funds for a lawyer?  If not, it may be that a women's organization may know of less expensive or pro bono legal services if you do want to move ahead with taking him to court. 
When it comes to trauma, time does NOT heal all wounds. It is deeply embodied in our mind, body & spirit & requires compassionate, knowledgeable treatment & self-care.

If we want more/better trauma informed treatment & services, we must advocate for ourselves when & where we can.

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mar74

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Re: Suffering through Narc/Socio Withdrawal after ending 27 years with him
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2018, 10:06:47 PM »
Thank you for your kind words.  Yes my boys are 26 and 20 but neither of them are in a position to help me. I'm still helping them truthfully.  All in all, I just wanted to get my video spread around because I believe it can be of inspiration to other women in my shoes.

I believe the universe will continue to take care of me like it has this whole 9 month period of leaving him.