So I’ve decided to start a series on my blog called Breaking The Silence (abbreviated BTS). What BTS is all about is my own life experiences and how I hope that by me sharing what I’ve gone through that it will help, empower and encourage other women.
Before I started my own blog I’d often look at other bloggers (beauty & fashion bloggers mainly) and I’d think: Wow! They have such amazing lives – gorgeous figure, pretty clothes and flawless makeup, sometimes even a professional photographer boyfriend that would help them create beautiful photography for their blogs. Truth is social media has almost forced us into portraying happy perfect lives whereas deep down behind the scenes a lot of us – many of us deal with pretty shitty things in life and that’s okay! Because that’s what makes us human.
By sharing my own personal life lessons hopefully you won’t make the same misconception as I did by thinking people of social media are any better off than you are, because really – they aren’t! I’m veering a bit off topic I know so let’s get back to BTS: Dating A Narcissist.
For 3 and a half years of my life, I dated a narcissist. A narcissist is someone who has a lot of built up resentment towards their significant other. They usually crave variety and easily get bored. They often blame you for tying them down to a mundane lifestyle and they do not respect you because they know you’ll put up with a lot of abuse from them. They blame you for their unhappiness.
For months I’ve contemplated about writing this post, I’ve thought about it for so long and then contemplated some more. I’ve always wondered whether I wanted to open up this part of my life to people and was scared what people would think of me once they knew what type of a person I was in a relationship with. Would they feel sorry for me? Would they think I’m the stupid one for allowing myself to be treated that way? And then I realized, I have a voice, I have an opportunity to break the silence whereas many women who are/were in abusive relationships are too scared to speak up or who didn’t even live to tell the tale because they sadly succumbed to their abusive relationships…
The more women I opened up to about my past relationship the more I was shocked to find out that most of them were in at least 1 abusive relationship in their lifetime – like was this a normal thing?? That women would so conveniently be physically harmed by someone who they loved? Surely this couldn’t be right? But, it was considered “normal”.
To give you an idea of what it was like for me to date a narcissist:
- After our first year of dating I got my first form of physical abuse from my significant other. I got kicked in my ribs. Why? Because he was so intoxicated during the day and didn’t wake up in time for his night out with the boys.
- After 1 and a half years of dating he nearly broke my arm (whilst driving a motor vehicle) by repeatedly punching me. Why? Because I’d made a comment about his ex who committed suicide. The saddest part about this event was that his family and friends saw the bruises on my body and never said a THING.
- After 2 years of dating the sneaking around started. Remember when I said: They usually crave variety and easily get bored? This applies to their partners as well. He started adding random girls on social media accounts because he wanted to make new “friends”. Like who was ever going to fall for that one?
- After that last straw I’ll admit that things started getting better. You know the types of things narcissistic people say: I didn’t mean it, I’m sorry, It won’t happen again, I’ll change yada yada yada… and then we moved in together! (Worst mistake ever)
- It wasn’t even 3 months of living together and I wanted to pull my hair out… Not only was I now living with a narcissist, but I was also living with a slob who struggled to keep a job and who smoked marijuana everyday.
- Many nights he’d go out partying while I stayed at home maintaining the household chores – because hanging out at a sleazy Sea Point pub was a whole lot better than taking your girlfriend out to a place where you didn’t have to use hand sanitizer on everything…
- Those single nights out usually resulted in bad news to a point where my life would be threatened when he came home, sharp objects would be thrown at me and even the neighbors would come to check if everything was okay. Police call outs would be a regular occurrence.
- I also had to start secretly video recording every time he attacked me because people simply wouldn’t believe me when I’d tell them what he’d done to me and in addition to that I honestly feared my life.
Many people would ask not only me, but anyone in a situation like this: Why didn’t you just pack up and leave? In my case it was due to a little thing called a lease agreement. He was too selfish to cut me loose from our lease contract and I couldn’t afford to pay rent at 2 different places so I had to stay… For other people it could be a different kind of financial reason or maybe it’s because children are involved. We don’t always stay because we’re emotionally incapable of letting go, many times we stay because of very valid reasons.
Through all of this, even though the visible bruises have faded, the emotional ones remain. I’m left with a not-so-permanent anxiety disorder for which I take medication and this due to the emotional stress I had to go through. I call it not-so-permanent because I’m hoping in time I’ll be able to fight anxiety and lead a normal life again.
Something else to add about dating a narcissist, I wasn’t the one to end the relationship – he was. And how did he do it? By leaving me for someone else. The poor girl had no idea what she was walking into as he portrayed this amazing guy who took her to fancy restaurants and sent her flowers (something which he never did for me) but hey like I said – we’re dealing with a narcissist here. Even now today I wonder how many women’s lives he’s entering and they have no idea of what he’s capable of, the destruction he has caused…
It was only until after the relationship ended that I realized how wrong things were, how wrong it is for a man, even if its just once, to lift his hand to a woman. So the next time you start dating someone, don’t be afraid to ask the questions about their past relationships, don’t be hesitant to dig a bit deeper. My ex-narcissistic boyfriend is currently running free and his next victim will have no idea about who he really is… I’d have been so grateful if I’d been forewarned about the type of person he was, could have saved me 3 good years and for some women it could save their life! The last thing you want to end up with is a narcissist.
I suppose today I’m just really grateful that I’m still here to tell my story and to share my experience, to show you that you don’t have to be treated so poorly by a man – many women are silenced by fear and in worse cases, death. Just remember, this kind of thing happens more than you know and its never too late to pack up and start over. Its taken me a full 12 months to build up the courage to write about this and even today the wounds still feel fresh.
In South Africa, a woman is killed by her intimate partner every 8 hours. Don’t become a statistic, you’re so much better than that.
You are good enough.
You are worthy.