Escape to Slumber

Woman sleeping in bed


Escape to slumber in the darkest night.
Heavy blankets help hide the fear inside.
Moonlight hidden behind thick clouds, contrite.
Their eyes weighed heavy, blurry with bromide.
 
Racing in circles, their thoughts fight and flight.
Replaying the past, like a movie slide.
Still frames, close-ups, emotions amplified.
Escape to slumber in the darkest night.
 
The movie plays on all covered in blight.
Each character struggling to face what died.
She covered them up and tucked them in tight.
Heavy blankets help hide the fear inside.
 
They woke in the morning and grinned, bright-eyed.
But then he broke in and unleashed his might.
She fought to save them and keep them bright-eyed.
Moonlight hidden behind thick clouds, contrite.
 
She schemed and planned and plotted for their flight.
He screamed and yelled and cursed them.  Amplified
by triggers and flashbacks that play despite
their eyes weighed heavy, blurry with bromide.
 
Safe now from him the future should be bright,
but his ghost invades. A demon bestride.
We carry him with us into twilight.
Never without the dead feeling inside.
                     
Escape to slumber.

He Sleeps Soundly

How can you sleep at night, Mr. Narcissist? We hardly sleep at all, yet I suspect you sleep just fine. After all, you never did anything wrong, and these memories we all fight so hard to resolve are an elaborate fabrication.

What a beautiful, fantasy world you in which you dwell. Beware, for it will all crumble down eventually, and when it does, we will be stronger than ever. Relish your memories of when you had full power and control over us because those times are extinct!

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Narcissists Do It On Purpose!

Realizing the narcissists in my life knew very well what they were doing was a revelation for me. They purposefully and knowingly hurt others without regret, empathy, or taking any responsibility. They are in control of their actions at all times. Ultimately, the priority is to impress those who have yet to see behind their masks. Narcissists do it on purpose!

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An Excellent Father

In front of others, the narcissist let the kids do whatever they wanted. They could climb the walls, and he would just sit there with a smile on his face. Once we were alone, the narcissist raged at them, screaming about how they embarrassed him. He launched vile threats at our children to thwart future bad behavior. Some people were wise enough to sense something wasn’t quite right, but they couldn’t know how terrible it actually was when we were alone.

I once thought the narcissist was unable to control himself, but this type of behavior made it clear. He knew what he was doing all along. He managed his rage when people were watching, masking it to preserve his public image, which was always more important than our children. Even now, after the divorce and court-ordered psychiatric exams diagnosing him with narcissistic personality disorder, he presents himself as “an excellent father,” but we know it’s only for show.

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To Answer Your Questions…

After finally mustering up the courage to escape an abusive marriage I sought refuge from my family who was all but erased from my life by the narcissist. The first thing I did was call my mom and let her speak to the grandchildren she hardly knew. When the initial shock and relief wore off the blaming started, “You should have never married him,” they said. “Why did you let things go on for so long?” These were just some of the pointed questions thrown at me. I felt so guilty for what happened already, and I was conditioned over the years to accept any and all negative criticism as the truth.

Let me start by saying my mom and dad have helped me through this life and I can never repay them for all they’ve given me. At the time these questions were posed to me, I was numb and unable to answer. Now I can address them. You’re right. I should have never married him. He is a skilled actor, liar and con artist with a mask that fit seamlessly until it was far too late for me to escape without severe damage. I didn’t let things go on. These things were inflicted upon the children and me without any approval, and at least I found a way, on my own, to escape.

In the end, the questions stopped and I regained some of my strength and self worth enough to address these questions to my family and friends.

Victim blaming serves no helpful purpose.  Those who have managed to escape need support, understanding, and comforting – not more questions.  In time they will be strong enough to talk about it more.  Please be patient not critical.

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Pretend Good

I love this quote because it points out that good is often just a mask people wear.  Masks are designed to project an image other than the one it covers.  Realness is naked and raw.  We are unable to hide our real selves indefinitely because we are all naked underneath.  I want to see the scars and let mine show because real is better than pretend good.

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Pure Fiction

Discovering that I was married to a complete stranger to me after thirteen years was life-changing. The narcissist painted a picture and spun a story specifically tailored to seduce me into believing he was everything I wanted. I was terribly naive for not realizing he could be a narcissist. My sin was believing him and overlooking every sign that would lead me to see the truth until it was much too late. I do not love him, and I never did because narcissists are nothing but pure fiction.

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The Raging Giant

There is no progress in blaming others, but I refuse to feel bad for the narcissist. It is possible, even likely, that he suffered trauma in his childhood, but that does not make his actions acceptable.

Maybe, when he was still a young child, I could feel some empathy towards him, but the narcissist I know is a grown man who stands almost a foot taller than me and outweighs me by over one hundred pounds. His physical stature is intimidating to me, and I shudder to think of the perception my children had of him when they were young.

Regardless of his size advantage, he held nothing back while raging and thundering at us. I may understand part of why he is damaged, but I will not feel sorry for him.

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Rewriting the Movie

Draining boiled pasta water into the sink is a trigger for me. Chopping onions, doing laundry, mopping the floor, planting a garden, and driving are just some of the mundane everyday activities that start a frightening movie playing in my head.

I hear every word and tone of voice, see each expression, smell the scents, and experience all the fear as if it were happening again right now. Even after all these years, the memories still stop me in my tracks, and I must consciously stop the horror movie playing in my head and add a narrative that explains these events are in the past.

Intrusive memories of past events are not my choice, but my reaction to them is something I can work towards controlling. I strive to see the ridiculous, petty, and manipulative behavior of the narcissists who hurt me. This rewriting of the movie makes them seem small, less threatening, and senseless, which helps me keep moving forward.

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Painful Truths

How naive I was to believe the narcissist I married was sincere when he professed his love for me and his desire to have children and live happily ever after. I understand even those with the best intentions are sometimes unable to have lasting love or a successful marriage. The most painful truth I discovered was that everything about the narcissist was lies and manipulation.

The farce began at the very first moment we met and was for the sole purpose of fulfilling his demented ideas. He never loved me, and he is unable to love his children. We were merely another stop on his never-ending journey to make everyone else believe he is a fabulous person.

He has this insatiable drive for admiration because he knows how dark and rotten he is, driving him to spend unlimited amounts of energy building his false self. Truth, as painful as it was, released me from the agony of life with him. It hasn’t been easy to heal, particularly for the children, but we will overcome our encounter with the narcissist.

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