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“He doesn't love you enough!”
I remember it like it was yesterday. My best friend had gone to the airport with me to pick my husband Jay up. Now, Jay had been taking care of his mother in another state for a couple years at this point, and the bestie really didn't know him that well. We met him at the top of the escalators, and by the time we got to baggage claim, that was the bestie's observation.
It set off warning bells.
I have always considered myself a pretty smart person, but I had not put the narcissism label on Jay yet, even though the signs were there. But shortly after the bestie's observations, I started looking and listening a little more closely.
Like many narcissists, things got a lot worse until I dreaded answering the phone after 6:00 at night because I knew he would be drunk and want to scream and threaten and degrade—sometimes for hours on end. Because he was drunk, he did not remember me screaming, “I want a divorce, please just let me go,” every night for months.
When I finally caught him sober to tell him I wanted a divorce and was leaving him, I was informed that I must have had a psychotic break.
Little did he know, I was already gone. Physically. Gone.
I didn't notify him that I was gone until I was at my safe haven destination... 1,000 miles from home. He didn't believe me. When he arrived in Colorado two weeks later on a midnight flight, he went into a house to find no bed (it had been mine before we married), no TV, no computer, no Jeep (mine), no cat, and no me.
I've blocked him because I cannot take anymore verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse.
From what I hear, he still thinks I'm coming to my senses and crawling back to him.
But with a narcissist and their manipulative games, a clean break is the only way to leave if you can pull it off. Many narcissists will threaten you if you leave, but truly leaving is the only way to escape them.
Plan carefully and keep the circle of people with knowledge of your plans as small as possible. You can notify people later. Only those who are going to help you leave or who you are going to need to protect yourself from. It's too easy for information to slip out if too many people are aware of it.
Most importantly though, get out. Get safe. Try to make it so that they can't find your location.
Reinvent yourself. Get a life. Start over.