Living With A Narcissist By Naina Ramavrat

*** Trigger ⚠️ warning ***

“Her once home sweet home, the place she re-treated to for solace, comfort, and serenity soon changed into a pit of chaos, torture, and mental torment. Her soul in chains, her heart fresh and ripe in danger, attacked by a powerful parasite that slowly rotted away at her deep from the core bruising her within. Even burning sage could not cleanse this type of monster”

-Hidden Hurt.

Home sweet home at last I thought after a tough day, I sat watching the news hearing about a landmark case that looked into Georgina Challan’s (known as Sally) murder conviction being overturned under new domestic abuse law.

A woman who killed her husband in a hammer attack after 40 years of being ‘controlled’ and ‘humiliated’ by him. This case has increased our growing understanding of domestic abuse and in particular the mechanism and impact of ‘coercive’ and ‘controlling behaviour’. Emotionally I could relate as I know of a ‘Sally’ who pretty much went through similar experiences. Luckily enough, she managed to escape the clutches of such cruelty and abuse.

However I must admit, it could have been very different if she had not freed herself from bondage, meaning she was on the cusp of either ending her life or that of her perpetrator. I remember speaking to the ‘Sally’ I know after her ordeal, she perfectly picked lines from one of her favourite songs by Sade sung I believe during the 80’s:

“He’s laughing with another girl and playing with another heart,  

Placing high stakes, and making hearts ache. No place for beginners or sensitive hearts.

His eyes are like angels, his heart is cold. He’s a smooth operator.”

I knew exactly what she meant.

Unlike Sally Challan she wasn’t married, neither had children, only in a what she thought was a civil relationship. They were introduced by a mutual friend where things became very serious very quick. He was exceptionally charming, made her laugh, was protective and shared similar views about general facets of life. They both were in their early twenties with so much going for them, both were in employment and had somewhere to live.

They fell in love very quickly, experiencing life to the fullest by making plans amongst themselves without seeing friends. Within 5 months of dating they starting living together.

She was and still is kind hearted always giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, she was vulnerable in many ways she just didn’t know that. She focused greatly on her job that was important to her as well as her home, it was her ‘sanctuary of peace.’

That ‘sanctuary of peace’ soon became a place of hell for her. She would find out that her home would become a torture chamber where the secrets of what happened would remain only behind closed doors.

The cracks started to show, after a hard day at work the routine would be to wind down not having to go out every night nor to have a drink. That was something her partner then enjoyed doing and seemed never to tire from it. He would stroll in at whatever time he wanted banging and clanging around, demanding affection on his terms to the extent of refusing NO as an answer not wanting to understand that it was inappropriate.

Arguments would unfold where she would be blamed for every little thing that went wrong.

He lost his job – it was her fault,

He was stressed- something she did, she was not affectionate enough- as she shouldn’t be tired.  

If she was not compliant, she would face all night torment of questioning and interrogation with no resolve, having to prove her whereabouts through providing access to all her passwords and codes for social networking sites where he would vigilantly monitor her.

This caused great isolation with her privacy being taken she fell victim to shame and guilt. (something many abuse victims feel).

The love that was once felt was lost and she wanted the relationship to terminate. The events that followed after, no one should ever go through. Not everyone knows about domestic abuse, they sometimes are in a trance not really knowing what is happening to them or why – many place blames on themselves as they are conditioned to feel that way. It is paralysing.

The ‘Sally’ I know suffered, as we know that one thing Narcissists loathe is ‘rejection’ .

He followed her to work, threatened to cause scenes wherever she went if she did not agree oncile. Non-stop messaged and called her, sat outside her house waiting. She refused trying desperately to stay strong using many masks to hide her bleeding heart.

Being forced against your will is terrible.

He never was remorseful for his behaviour and lacked empathy. I remember her going to the doctors once for a check-up, as she waited before being called, she looked around the sterile waiting room, her attention fixed on a poster, that described exactly what she was going through – it was ‘the cycle of abuse’ and it listed the following:

. Power & control

. Using Intimidation

. Emotional Abuse

. Humiliation

. Possessiveness

. Threats

. Coercive behaviour

. Manipulation

“I knew then my situation was abuse, I needed to break free, I needed to get out! all of those points were what was happening to me” said my friend ‘Sally’.

She became brave and confided in her doctor thankfully, who reassured her that help was available and to access it.

“I was told to seek help immediately, things won’t get better, they will only get worse”… those words are chilling.

She had supportive friends, even though she had not confided nor kept in contact always making excuses. There was enough evidence to show harassment and controlling behaviour.

On many occasions she reported her perpetrator to the police it made no difference as he still found a way to bother her.

That night she made it clear, she did not want anything to do with him and just wanted to get on with her life, he refused to leave, verbally abused her, threatened her, blocked her way so she could not escape.

She had no choice but to take the punishment the monster had to offer. He was unleashed, she begged and pleaded for him to let her go, she covered her ears, as the screaming and torment was too much, crouched in a foetal position she buried her head, tears flooding her ability to breath properly.

He took her phone so she could not contact the authorities.  This torture went on for what seemed hours, she knew from prior experience he would not stop, there was no one to help, no one heard her plea for help or could hear her cries. She wanted to escape but there was no way out!

Until she gave up “my mind shut off I could no longer take it I wanted out, and I said there is only one way”.

She got up drained and weary walked to the drawer where the knives were, picked one up stood toe to toe with him, her eyes solemn and said “You choose me or you? I cannot take this anymore if you do not let me go and stop, I will finish you, but if you persist, I will finish myself -now let me go!”

“I had never been more serious about anything in my life until that point, I was willing to kill, and willing to die at the same time, not because I wanted to kill or die, I wanted the torment to stop”

The monster released her. He took it up onto himself to leave and reported her to the authorities, she was arrested provided her reasons with proof it was evident she was a victim of domestic abuse, she needed support and the perpetrator needed to be punished. A court order was issued protecting her it has been so precious as it has allowed her to live freely.

“I’ve got my life back, I still have issues with self-confidence, but I am working on being kind to me, I’m doing well and know I will get there. I am happy to feel secure in my own home, it feels amazing to come back to a peaceful calm home again”

Her situation could have easily ended up just as Sally Challan’s. The truth is there are many ‘Sally’s’ out there who are going through domestic abuse usually only receiving help when it becomes too late. Many victims have died by committing suicide, have murdered, or have been murdered by the hands of their perpetrator.

I have read many stories where victims could and should have been saved but their cries were not heard clearly.

Many live with domestic abuse for years just as Sally Challan did as they do not see any way out and are in love so in essence put up with the hurt more so for the sake of their children. We all know that is not right or conducive to one’s health and wellbeing.

Many are afraid of living independently alone as they have developed security by being co-dependant with their abuser.

“ The narcissist creates a dynamic abuser victim relationship through a cycle of abuse resulting in traumatic bonding that makes it hard for their partner to leave the increasingly abusive relationship”.

“What was so disturbing was the fact that he could lie to the extent where he believed his own lies, making others believe him too. He was arrogant, cocky, and so self-assured, he would act one way with others and another with me. As if I didn’t deserve the respect he gave out to others. I’ve have never met anyone who could lie as he did and get away with it, he did that so I would lose myself and be totally dependant on him, his game of control, felling powerless a ‘puppet on strings’.”

Even though she felt free, she still had the dark cloud hanging over her a big contrast to when they first met.

She recalls the early days as, “during that time I use to feel the sun was hung out in the sky only for me, the sky would be the colour of love & happiness. A wonderful feeling and now an unwanted dark cloud just hovers wherever I go.”

“It is not the bruises on the body that hurt. It is the wounds of the heart and the scars on the mind.”

Recovery takes time, it is a slow process.

Knowing that the right support and care is available only speeds up the healing process, your soul can be restored!

Along the way you learn so much as she did, she learned about abuse, love, and self-love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong.”

Along her road to recovery she started learning more about her experience by researching as a form of therapy also to appease her curiosity. She came across a woman based in America; Dr Ramani Durvasula (Ph.D.) is a licensed clinical psychologist who has specialised in the field of narcissism and has published a self-help guide for those who are in abusive relationships, marriages, or who are just wanting to know more.  

It is called ‘Should I stay, or should I go?’ Please recommend to others or have a look.

I read this myself and became hooked on this lady, her videos on YouTube are amazing! She really hits the nail on the head with Narcissistic abusers – please check her out!!

“A relationship with a narcissist is a gradual indoctrination. You slowly become inured to their lack of empathy, their rage, insults, entitlement, lies, and challenges to your reality. Their insulting words slowly become your self-talk and before you know it, your new mantra becomes ‘I am not good enough’ “- Dr Ramani

Good old Dr Ramani really helped with her healing process.

She says “I count myself lucky now, to think there are so many who are going through what I did is unbearable and not only women suffer but men do too, we can unlock the chains that keep us imprisoned especially within our own homes, we have the key, we must be strong we must speak! The more silent we are the more the chains become entangled around us. No one should ever be a prisoner in their own home, we need to speak against abuse.”

“The abhorrent crime has no place in the UK”- Theresa May

The Prime Minister this year has pledged a new legal duty for local authorities to provide secure homes for those affected by domestic abuse/violence. Councils in England are currently under no statutory obligation to house those fleeing violent or abusive relationships, meaning that victims and their families face varying levels of help depending on where they live.

However, in a statement she said “we are ending the postcode lottery by placing on local authorities a legal duty to deliver support, including secure housing, to survivors of domestic abuse and their children.  

‘whoever you are, wherever you live and whatever the abuse you face, you will have access to the services you need to be safe”

The new duty would be backed by government funding to ensure the councils have the resources to deliver.

We need to make sure victims and their families are being supported appropriately. When the ‘Sally’ I know of was going through her horrendous situation she was referred to a charity within her borough that helped women who experienced domestic abuse, they were very accommodating and helpful.

There is more awareness, but we must use that awareness to help properly without many victims falling through the net or becoming lost within loopholes in the system.

Help is available and we must not suffer in silence.

Narcissists are empty hollow individuals hence lack empathy, nothing can or will ever fill that hole they have within.  

Do not suffer in silence remember love doesn’t hurt.

My Domestic Violence Journey By Lola Dean

By Lola Dean

**** Trigger Warning ****

I’ve wanted to blog my journey for a long time but the time has never been right, something always got in the way. 

My journey over the past few years has been sad, it’s been testing and scary. At times it’s been downright frightening and there have been moments of joy, interspersed that eventually lead me back to the fear.

The fear is the violence and abuse I received from a person I loved dearly. 

Someone I trusted and gave my heart to. 

I’ve watched as my once solvent, happy life became one in which I lost who I was. 

I became an expert at lying, covering my tracks. 

I had a book of excuses and explanations remembered in my head. In effect I was a master of disguise. 

Outwardly happy and continuing working, being a Mum. Inside I was a confused, fearful person, consistently feeling out of control, wondering when I would next need to lie, hide from my phone, placate a violent outburst. Wondering how I would diffuse things, protect my daughter and how I would get through the day.

The signs were there in the beginning. 

Over protectiveness that I misread as love. 

Odd comments that I brushed aside. 

Refusing to acknowledge my past but freely telling me of his. 

Jealousy I palmed off as sweet and caring. 

Derogatory remarks about an ex-wife. 

Occasional drunkenness that lasted days…. 

I always excused it until this became my life and suddenly I was pregnant. 

Immediately life became worse. Desperately I assured myself I could change him, it would be better when the baby was here. All his promises would be true. We’d be a family – but it wasn’t.

It was worse than I could ever imagine. 

Controlled and coerced as I protected my daughter.

Anything to keep the peace. 

Anything to stop the name calling, criticism, the theft. 

Anything to end the incessant belittling. 

He took my money, stole my things. Threatened me and abused me. But I had to keep my baby safe so I continued smiling on the outside. I started to try and ready myself to escape. I hid our passports, birth certificates. I had plan after plan of escape. I could never do it though. Fear held me there. Like a frightened little girl not knowing who to turn to. My friends disappearing. They didn’t understand it. 

I pulled away from people- this was his plan though, to ostracise me.

Lies upon lies. It was my fault, everything was my fault. If I hadn’t been so stupid. So useless he wouldn’t have lied or reacted like that. I realised a while ago that he stunted my pleasure. I stopped reading books as he told me they were rubbish. My music was wiped as it was rubbish too.

Now though – I’m out. 

Maybe I had to hit rock bottom.

Maybe I’m lucky. 

But from somewhere I took a step that gave me freedom. 

The Police officers that let me talk for hours and took my statement.

The detective that told me I wasn’t alone. 

My solicitor that got me a non-molestation order, my local woman’s aid, the National Domestic Violence helpline. 

The family liaison officer at school that gave me her personal phone number. 

My counsellor that listened. 

The poster on the toilet door in the hospital that encouraged me to find help. 

My family that were still there for me. 

My best friend that offered me escape abroad. 

And the new friends that didn’t know my past or where I was coming from but opened their arms and took me with them. 

Accepting me and my daughter and helping me find a new path. Allowing me to have times now where I’m not sad, times when I don’t remember what was but look to a new future for my daughter and I

If you or anyone else is affected by the issues discussed here please seek help here:

http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/