Waking up from the nightmare

Woman Looking at Reflection

So after 28 years of narcissistic abuse I finally felt free. Before, even though there were periods where we hadn’t lived together, I never felt completely free of Michael’s toxic influence. But my daughter Molly and I were quite literally survivors and both of us had psychic wounds that ran deep and would take years to heal, if they could ever be healed at all.

My job (which I still have) doesn’t provide health insurance so I couldn’t afford to pay for a trauma therapist, but I started reading everything I could about NPD and PTSD/C-PTSD (the type of PTSD that’s associated with abuse). Molly still didn’t want to go to therapy but was still getting her meds for Bipolar and she was in a fairly stable relationship and was no longer getting into trouble the way she used to. She was also beginning to understand why I did some of the things I did and acted the way I had, and I learned she too had a lot of anger toward Michael.

But things were not perfect between us either and we did continue to argue from time to time, and when she was angry, she liked to bring up the fact I had given up custody of her to DSS even though at other times she says she understood it was the only thing I could do at the time and it did save her life. So I don’t let those occasional attacks bother me too much. I know it’s manipulation. Sometimes I think she may have NPD herself, but she does have a conscience and empathy so more likely she just has narcissistic traits which are common people with Borderline PD.

So in March I had to go to court and testify against Michael in order to obtain a permanent restraining order (the one that was issued at the magistrate was good for only 1 month). I was working with an organization that helps abused women and their families, and they counseled me on what to say in court. It was ridiculous I had to jump through all these hoops just to obtain a piece of paper to keep a man I wasn’t married to anyway away from me and my property, but it was what it was.

I knew I had a good case and no reason to be worried but I was still terrified of having to face him in court. Michael is very glib and has a lot of charm when he wants something. He can make himself sound like a victim and make the other person sound like the devil himself. He managed to be surviving pretty well in the men’s shelter, although he told Molly when he saw her how much he hated it and wanted to come back. He also made her go buy him things, which she would do. She felt guilty and caught in the middle between the two of us. It wasn’t fair to her.

Ethan came to visit in early March (on his way from Illinois to his new apartment in Florida–he graduated college in January and is is seeking work in film editing or something related). He wanted to make sure Michael was not going to show up. I assured him he wouldn’t. We had a fantastic time, but he said when he tried to call his father, Michael didn’t want to see him. For some reason he thinks Ethan was the one who convince me to kick him out of the house. No matter how much he’s told Ethan had nothing to do with it, he still blames him for brainwashing me. Huh? Talk about blame-shifting.

I had to write everything I wanted to say in court because I knew my mind would go blank when I had to get up at the stand and talk about why the restraining order should be extended. The big day was in mid-March. Several other cases were heard first and I avoided looking behind me because I knew he was there. I could feel his eyes burning holes into my neck. Finally I was called to the stand and presented my case. I didn’t cry (because it’s really hard for me to cry anymore) but I was trembling and my voice was shaking from fear. The judge had to keep asking me to speak up. I studied her expression but it gave nothing away.


Michael was called up after me and gave a ridiculous story about how Molly had hit him first and he gave her a black eye in self defense (which is total BS because he didn’t have one mark on him). He gave some other lame
“reasons” why he needed to move back but since he really didn’t have a good reason, they didn’t fly with the judge. In fact, he was almost laughable and seeing the manipulation from more of a distance now, he seemed so transparent. Although I hated him, I almost felt sorry for him.

I won my case and the restraining order was extended for one year. The counselor from the women’s organization that had been working with me gave me a validating hug. I went home feeling lighter than I had in a long, long time.

Michael wasn’t done with me yet, but since I was no longer supplying his narcissistic goodies, his attempts at revenge were rather lame. He did things like trashing me on Facebook, saying what a horrible wife and mother I was and how he wished he never met me. He threatened suicide over and over again. I was kind of embarrassed for him, but because of it I stopped using Facebook, which I wasn’t using much anymore anyway because my mother and other family members had found me there (even though I had changed my first name a little to throw them off).

I had to adjust to my new life. For several months I just tried to take things easy, not get involved in too many new things. I read a lot of books, mostly about NPD, malignant narcissism and personality disorders in general. I read a lot of other books too, and started researching all these disorders online and reading a lot of blogs and forums.

I started making glass, mirror and ceramic suncatchers on weekends and have tried to sell some of them. Mostly I just make them for pleasure though. They also make great gifts. I have several of them on my porch and I love watching the way they catch the light and send colored prisms everywhere.


But writing has always been the one thing I know I’m best at, yet somehow I couldn’t bring myself to write anything beyond a forum post. It just seemed like too much work, and I was afraid I’d forgotten how. I feared I was no longer as smart as I used to be. I didn’t realize at first these numb and dumb feelings were symptomatic of C-PTSD. I knew if I ever did write again it would be to tell my story, but I had no idea where to begin. It all just seemed overwhelming. I thought about blogging but I was afraid it would be complicated and technical, and I still didn’t know what to write about or where to begin.

I re-read M. Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie,” which I have reviewed in this blog, and realized Michael was not just narcissistic, but was truly evil. Despite it’s medieval connotations, I believe evil and evil people really do exist, and I was very lucky that I survived and both children survived. While most evil people don’t usually murder (they want to maintain their benign appearance), they are murderous and often drive others to suicide or self-destruction. They lie about everything.

I joined a gym and got back in shape. My job is also physical and that keeps me in shape too. I started liking what I saw in the mirror again. I also started meditating, something I started back in the ’90s and then stopped.

About a month ago I revisited the idea of blogging, inspired by some blogs I had seen by other survivors through my readings. On a whim I decided to start one. There’s been no looking back. At first it was meant to be self-therapy, a sort of online journaling, but now it’s turning into so much more and a few people have even said they feel inspired and it’s helping them too. And that makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I still have a purpose in this world and am not just marking time until I die. I want to think that everything that happened to me happened for a reason and that something good can come out of this.

I still have a long way to go, and as soon as I can I want to start seeing a trauma therapist. In the meantime life isn’t unbearable anymore. It’s getting better.

About a month ago Michael was kicked out of the apartment an organization called OctoberRoad was providing for its mental patients. My daughter allowed him to live in her car. He left the windows open during a rainstorm one night and the car was nearly destroyed. She took the car keys away and she hasn’t heard from Michael since, which is very odd, since he would call her up to 10 times a day to demand things.

She has no idea where he is. We think he may have killed himself. She wouldn’t have been notified because she had his wallet in her car and there’d be no way anyone could identify him.

Michael was having his mail sent to the house, which I did allow. After three previous rejections, Michael’s SSI finally came through — and that includes several years of back payments, so he is getting a check for about $30K.

If he is dead, how ironic that it happened just as he finally had a means to be independent and no longer had anyone he could use and abuse. Maybe that was the only reason he stuck around so long–as long as he could use up and destroy others. With that opportunity taken away, and with no real self to fall back on, there was no longer any reason for him to live. Or maybe he was finally forced to look in the mirror and all he could see was an endless black void, and that was just too much to handle. What he has been reduced to is just a shell of what he used to be, but was there ever really anything there?

10 thoughts on “Waking up from the nightmare

  1. I finally got around to reading your story from the beginning. I’ve been reading it on my phone… I’m almost blind now. My God. I relate to so much of what you have gone through. Even the parts that I can’t really relate to, you write them so well that I almost feel like I’ve lived through those things, too.

    What I like best about your blog is your incredible honesty and openness. I’m blown away. You are amazing and I admire you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes, it must have been hard to read all that on a phone! No wonder your eyes are acting weird lol.
      It’s funny — when I wrote all those back right after I started this blog, I still felt pretty disconnected from my emotions and myself. Sometimes while writing my story, I felt like I was writing about a different person. I feel like there isn’t much true emotion in those posts, they’re just lists of what happened. But they’re probably easier to read that way . I’ve been getting much more in touch with my feelings and I bet if I wrote them now, they’d sound a lot more emotional. Thank you for reading those, I would love to read your story sometime. I bet there are lots of similarities!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I lived with a psychopath too for seven years. It was horrific but I think you had it much harder than me. Thank God I never had kids with him. My daughter is by someone else before him and she despises him now though we both thought he was great at first. so did my parents and friends at the time before he pissed them off. My daughter and i are close again and closer than ever now that i have escaped him. He tried to drive a wedge between us but failed. He saw off a lot of friends for years and almost destroyed my support network (work, finances, friend relationships, my self confidence etc etc). I say almost….cos that sucker failed and those friends are getting back in touch saying how relieved they are i left him. He tried to drive me mad (almost did) and to suicide which i refused to do and would rage at me and beat me for not capitulating to his sick will. He told me and at one time convinced me for a few months that i was the sick one. i read that book ‘People Of The Lie’ by M Scott Peck too (thank God) and i believe this man i left is less than human…a demon…EVIL. Now he sends the odd text threatening to kill himself because i dared to leave his sorry, mean spirited, violent, rage full, hateful ass….oh the irony…Other texts declare undying love…as if! (I know when i’m loved) I keep the texts as evidence should i need them as advised by police but do not respond unless it is to do with retrieving my belongings which he is still holding to ransom in his home. i cannot afford to hire a van or driver to get them just yet and i live back in my home town London now where most people i know don’t own a vehicle much less a large van. we have a good bus and tube service and it’s mostly people with money to spare or living on credit who drive a private vehicle. One of my colleagues has a car (still paying for it) but i wouldn’t wanna put her through the drama tho she offered to help bless her. I would like to write my story too one day but don’t know where to start. I am 6 months free now and working full time in a job (i got it three days after leaving him (physically injured). I lived in another city two hours train ride from here for the past 23 years and my daughter is still at Uni there. i went back to my home city where i thankfully have good parents who took me back into the family home with open arms and are supportive though they are in their eighties but very fit and well. All praise to Jesus for that gift) My job is very physical and has gotten me fit though it’s low paid. The managers a bit of a narc bully but nothing i can’t handle after living with satan for most of a decade. I just take each day one at a time. I would like a therapist one day when i can afford it but i know they are just people too and to find the right one would be a job in itself. Maybe i won’t even bother…Lots of therapists are narcs too and reading blogs like yours has been the best therapy ever. That and getting out there and being able to talk to other people and mix socially again after seven years of isolation is really healing. i am making new friends in my new life of freedom from the abuser. I wish you peace and all that you would wish for yourself and your children. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I meant to say my daughter despises the man i left and not her father who she gets on well with. Thanks again for your story Lucky Otter. You are helping many many people. Apologies for my bad writing

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was just going to reply to your first post. First, welcome! I’m glad you are finding the articles helpful and I hope you like the community and decide to stick around.

      Wow, what a story. My ex was much the same as yours, did a lot of the same things yours did–and mine was a gaslighter too, bar none. (trying to make you and others–their flying monkeys–believe YOU are the crazy one. It’s one of the most comon indicators of malignant narcissism. M. Scott Peck wrote of malignant narcissim in “People of the Lie”– he actually used the term. That book was sent to me by my father (a low level narc himself or maybe just very codependent but bascially a good man)right after my divorce, and showed my then-husband for the monster he really was. I never believed there were actually evil people until I read that book and realized what I head been dealing with. I still let the bastard live with me for 7 years but I was onto him.
      “Evil” people include malignant narcissists up to psychopathy/sociopathy.

      Does it sound crazy to you that these people have very strange eyes? They have a very intense stare, their eyes bore into you–they are flat and cold most of the time, but sometimes when in a rage their eyes go all black, like the eyes of demons. I saw that in my mother and my ex, and it scared me to death both times.
      There just ain’t something right with their souls.
      You might be interested in this: https://luckyottershaven.com/2014/12/11/narcissism-and-the-supernatural-is-there-a-connection/

      Oh, and you are not a bad writer at all. I think your writing is very clear.


  4. Hi. I started reading your story yesterday and finished it today. I am 20 years old and for 19 years of my life I endured emotional and physical abuse of my sociopathic so-called father. Now I suffer from severe PTSD and some other things due to what he’d done to me. I’d like to thank you for sharing your story on here. I can imagine how difficult it must have been for you, being that honest and talking about such personal stuff. I’ve never talked about what happened to me because I can’t. But I admire people like you, who are willing to share and help others by doing so. While reading it was very painful for me, I can say it helped a bit. You’ve given me some strenghth to believe that I can survive through all of this and that there’s still hope for me. I’m sorry but I’m not good at writing or expressing my feelings, anyway I want you to know that I am grateful that there are people like you out there and that I found your blog. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A–I’m glad you felt better after reading this. You are not alone! Don’t worry if you can’t talk about it or write about it yet. It’s a lot toprocess and all that takes time. It’s still hard for me to write about what happened to me but I'[m glad I do and it makes me feel good if only one other person can be helped by my words. Thanks again and be patient with yourself. Hugs.


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