By the time I knew deep in my gut that there was something very wrong with my marriage, my ex had already stopped being physically violent. I struggled daily with identifying exactly what it was that was really wrong about the entire situation. I believed my ex when he placed all of the blame on me. I thought I wasn’t caring enough, loving enough, trying hard enough.
The very first step in my journey to get out of my marriage to The Narcissist was Google. When I was at work and I knew The Narcissist would never find my browsing history I would search things like:
- I’m always wrong in my marriage
- My husband makes me feel like I’m never good enough
- How do I be a better wife
- I think I might be crazy
- My husband makes me feel crazy
- How to tell if something is wrong with your marriage
- What are the symptoms of depression
- Am I selfish
While this might not seem like the most logical place to start, it shows a pretty good idea of what kind of mental state I was in at the time. The really wonderful thing that happened when I started searching for these things is that I started to find a lot of information about emotional abuse.
Slowly, I would read through the articles, the blogs, the stories of others who had lived through these things. I found more and more similarities. I found words and definitions I had never heard before. I started to finally have a way to explain what was wrong. I started to have the ‘proof’ I felt like I needed to be able to justify leaving.
This is why I feel so strongly about sharing my story of The Narcissist with others. I hope that anyone out there who is wondering, questioning, doubting, self-blaming, and Googling might just end up here and might just recognize some of the signs.
There has been a hashtag trending on Twitter since early May: #maybehedoesnthityou started by Zahira Kelly at http://thebaddominicana.com/ with the intention to spread awareness about emotional abuse. I have spent hours reading these tweets. They have brought me tears, they have given me flashbacks, they have resonated with me on a very deep level. I have spent equal time crafting my own tweets, telling my own stories through those brief 140 characters.
A graphic designer Maya Drozdz made an amazing downloadable kit for schools to use with many of the tweets around #maybehedoesnthityou to spread awareness about what emotional abuse looks like so that teens can identify the signs early on. The kit can be downloaded for free from her website here: #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou Free School Kit … man do I wish I had known these things when I was much younger, it might have been easier to identify and define what I was dealing with when I got older.
So thank you to all of you who are a part of this community in any of the various ways that we are all here, telling our stories. I encourage everyone to be interacting with #maybehedoesnthityou if you are active on social media, and if you know anyone who teaches at a school – please share the download kit with them!
Keep spreading the word, keep telling the stories… you never know who you will be helping along the way. ❤