On March 2nd, 2015, I will finally be eligible to be granted a divorce from my narcissist/psychopath “husband” as it will have been one year since he got jailed and the protection order went into place. I remember parts of that night with vivid detail; he was full on exploding and I was dancing on eggshells and trying desperately to mitigate the inevitable fallout from his chaotic rage… and then, it was like a switch flipped somewhere in my head, and I knew I had to make a fast and clean break or I’d lose what little I had left of me. I barely knew myself by that time… brainwashing is an understatement, it felt more like a personality lobotomy.
As I spoke to the police officer, my phone rang with a call from the local ER. The woman at the other end of the line said something about my husband being safe at the hospital where he was receiving treatment for the injuries he sustained during our falling out. She also said she was concerned as he reported that I had overdosed. I knew then that it was going to be even harder to leave him than I thought.
Protection orders only do so much. I found out how little they mean when they kept letting him out on his own recognizance each of the three times he breached in the week following his arrest. They did do three psych evaluations in remand (one was even voluntary on his part – he has no fear) and he passed them all with flying colours… the poor guy was a victim of PTSD, an addict “in recovery” and suffers the impact of trauma having been sexually abused as a child by his father (which incidentally never happened)… and who lies about stuff of that magnitude?! I mean, he fit all the DSM-V criteria for PTSD! A narcissist, that’s who. A narcissist can lie about anything without shame, because he has zero ability to feel empathy. He can fool the psych people (and anyone, really) because he knows exactly what criteria he has to mimic to get the right results. He’s spent his whole life emulating behaviours that indicate and invoke emotion in others, because that’s his ruse, his personality camouflage. He’s a pro.
Now I’m a pro. Well, maybe not a pro, but I’m heavily armed with tools to recognize narcissistic/psychopathic behaviours and to set and maintain healthy boundaries. It’s a work in progress, and it’s insidious the ways in which being the target of a narc effects you. I never thought I’d get out and heal. I never thought I’d get over it. But here I am, living proof that it is possible to get past it, and not just squeak past, but to thrive.
Fuck you, MisterZero (my pet term for him on this blog), because I’ve got my life back and you’re stuck with yourself forever.