Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Run Baby Run...

"... You better keep your head little girl,
Or you won't know where I am...
...You better run for your life if you can, little girl..."
~~ The Beatles, "Run for Your Life"

Narcs DO NOT let go easily if they aren't the ones cutting the cord.

If you are going or have attempted to go NO CONTACT, you learn this lesson quickly. 

It is literally Baby Steps. Breaking the mental and emotional hold your abuser has over you can be one of the biggest battles you may ever fight. 

In the beginning, I was lucky if I made it a matter of hours w/NC. He made it VERY difficult to maintain, but I eventually did it despite his howls of protest and weepy messages vowing he'd changed. Then came the threats and stalking. Yes, stalking. 

From "chance" meetings, NUMEROUS phone calls, voicemails, text messages AND emails to his literally standing outside my window at night, he made it clear he wasn't going to go willingly or quietly. It got fucking CREEPY the way he could seemingly materialize out of nowhere... Or would call and let me know he'd been watching me.

Yeah, ballsy.

Keep in mind, he'd already "acquired" new supply who he was grooming but, until that supply was securely in his possession, he kept one foot in my world. 

What I experienced often goes hand-in-hand with leaving an abusive relationship. I wasn't the first. And I certainly won't be the last. 

According to Colorado State University's Women and Gender Advocacy Center, a 2011 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey revealed: 

~~ Repeatedly receiving unwanted telephone calls, voicemails, or text messages was the most commonly experienced stalking tactic... 78.8 percent for women/75.9 percent for men.

~~ There is a strong correlation b/t stalking and other forms of intimate partner violence... 81 percent of women were physically assaulted; 31 percent of women were also sexually assaulted.

~~ More than 60 percent of women were stalked by a current or former intimate partner.

~~ 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men in the U.S. have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime.

It is sad to say, but you learn to adapt. You adopt a New Normal. A 'normal' of hypervigilance ushered in by the abandonment of any routines you previously embraced. 

When I was finally able to get back out in the World without being too paralyzed by panic attacks, I kept myself surrounded at all times. During the first several months, I don't think I went anywhere that I wasn't in the company of either a friend or a group of friends and acquaintances. There IS safety in numbers.

As I mentioned in my previous post, dealing with a narc is one thing. Dealing with a narc who is also an addict is a whole 'nother situation. The person who was fairly predictable previously presents new challenges when the substances they're using make them feel invincible. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING, is possible.

He would SWEAR I was delusional. I was making a big deal of nothing. He simply wanted to talk.

He'd always ask why I was lying about him to others. He wasn't Abusive. I was just clumsy and confused. Swore he'd never put his hands on a woman. 

In the interim, he'd told Everyone else I was the one stalking HIM. It's a shame they didn't know about the 50+ phone calls and hundreds of text messages he would send in a matter of a few short HOURS.

Everything from, "I'm so sorry.... I know I fucked up. Please, I just want to talk," to "Answer the phone, Bitch..."

There was absolutely NOTHING he could have said that he hadn't said before. It was all bullshit and I had no issue with calling it such. I was exhausted. I was drained. I was done.

But, despite my silence, I felt like I was dying inside. 

Part of me still desperately clung to the hope that maybe... just maybe... This Time he was sincere. 


I began experiencing symptoms of what I would later learn is PTSD and anxiety disorder.

Hypervigilance gave way to heightened startle response, night terrors, nightmares, and a reel of his voice that repeatedly played in the back of my mind reminding me of all my flaws, faults, and the enormous guilt he had projected upon me.

To this day, when I'm in public I sit facing the door and MUST know where all the exits are -- just in case. Loud, unexpected noises still rock me to my core. I still experience nightmares and flashbacks, but they aren't as frequent.

Unfortunately, I've a whole slew of PTSD triggers that are ever-present, but I've learned to cope and keep myself as grounded as I can when they happen.

It is difficult to explain these issues to others. I know what I experience is misunderstood and hard for others to fathom.

"I don't understand. You're a take-no-shit type of lady," they say. "You are so strong."

Yeah, Today. 

Domestic abuse CHANGES YOU. You don't have to be physically abused to find yourself drowning. The emotional scars I carried (and still do to this day) from before he even laid hands on me were enough to make me want to crawl in a hole and die.  

You finally work up the courage to leave. You build this tremendous support system around you to help guide and protect you during what is statistically the most dangerous time for a victim, and yet you still feel alone. You feel like you have somehow betrayed your abuser by simply wanting to Survive. 

Then, stalking gets thrown in the mix.

Understand, you CANNOT control what others do. All you can control is how YOU react.

Remember, the narc and his/her FMs want to get a response from you. DON'T give it to them.  

There aren't enough words I could use to describe how important going and staying NC is. Yeah, the abuser is likely to come unhinged. Yeah, the abuser is likely to lash out in ways you didn't think were possible. But you know what? You are in a better place.

Unlike the world, you have seen the Beast unleashed. You KNOW what you are dealing with, for the most part. 

The more Unresponsive you stay, the better off you are. Keeping silent despite whatever the abuser throws at you demonstrates strength while, at the same time, allows others to see what you have known for far too long. If you give them enough room, they will do a Fine Job showing the unsuspecting world who they really are... Seriously. 

If you are being harassed and/or stalked it is essential that you DOCUMENT EVERYTHING.

Keep track of ALL incidents. Know the time, place, who was present, what took place and make a police report. Over time, those reports add up. And with maintaining NC on your part, the narc has no ammunition to fuel his/her "victimization."

I am no longer the scared little girl I once was.

I lifted the duvet and saw there was no boogeyman under my bed.

I'd met him. I'd loved him. And he had hurt me beyond words. So, yeah, this little girl ran. And ran some more 'til she realized he was not a boogeyman...

He was simply a man... With a BAD problem.

In Peace and Love,
Namaste <3

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