Yes, It IS Abuse

In talking to others who have lived with abusive narcissists, I’ve learned that I was not alone in one area – failing to acknowledge the abuse. Pretty much everyone is familiar with physical abuse, recognizing it for what it is. Of course, many stay with their physically abusive narcissists even so for various reasons, often simply as a result of the abusers’ “gift” for convincing their victims they brought the abuse on themselves.

Gaslighting. It’s a terrible thing. And yes, I fell for that too. There’s one area in particular…one very uncomfortable area, I feel I need to talk about even though I’d rather avoid the topic entirely. Frankly, it’s too common to ignore.

Not surprisingly, his “having” to find other women was my fault because I wasn’t “taking care of him” sexually. Women deal with this one a lot. As is true in most cases, anything that goes wrong, or anything he or she does wrong, is NOT the fault of the narcissist. But the sex thing? Seriously, how did I not…?

This is going to sound ridiculous; I know it is.
Just, if you have no experience with narcissism, please
understand these people are good at what they do.
They’re incredibly skilled at making wrong seem right.

I tried to be the good wife. I tried to satisfy his needs. But he stacked the deck against me.

He was a night owl our whole marriage, living on maybe three hours of sleep for years. When we got married, I was an “in bed by 8:00” girl, but he “cured” me of that and eventually my bedtime, such as it was, moved back to 10PM. When I was ready to go to bed I’d let him know I was heading that way.

You know what I mean: I was saying, without saying it, “If you want any attention, now’s the time.” Then I would make my way to the bedroom knowing full well I couldn’t go to sleep right away because he wasn’t about to follow me. Most nights, no matter how hard I tried not to, I would fall asleep before he came to bed and then, sometimes an hour later, sometimes four hours later, he would either wake me up or attempt to wake me, fail, and get ticked off.

THAT is how I “wasn’t taking care of him.” And it wasn’t until after he passed away that it dawned on me this was intentional. It wasn’t him being so involved in what he was doing that he lost track of time. It was that he wanted what he wanted on his terms. He wanted to call the shots – always. He also wanted to solidify the fact that I was refusing to meet his needs like a godly wife should. Even though I knew in my heart of hearts that his attitude was way wrong, I spent years feeling like a terrible wife because I wasn’t able to stay awake until he was ready.

You’re shaking your head at the idiocy. Yep, I get it.

But, again, that’s the way it is with narcissism and gaslighting. Everything is someone else’s fault, and that someone else is usually convinced of this untruth with disgusting ease. I honestly wonder if there’s not something spiritual, like demonic, going on even beyond the unnatural ability these people possess.

When I say he abused me pretty much every way but physically, I really do mean it. For instance, financially. He would go out and blow all of our money on things like baseball cards, comic books, and eating expensive lunches every day at work. At the same time, he would leave bills unpaid (or hit up his mother for money to pay them – he worked her too), buy snacks instead of real food (because he did the grocery shopping instead of me doing it and being yelled at), and have to be talked into important purchases like new clothes for the kids or myself. 

This is slightly off topic for this particular post, but I want to say it anyway. While Jack was a stinking, rotten, lousy provider, God wasn’t. Through me, as I was doing my best to walk close to Him, God brought in many utility payments, groceries, etc. He also arranged for me to work, every summer, to earn the homeschool curriculum Jack insisted he had no money for. Too, God provided me with a part time job that paid in clothing, so while I was in a highly visible ministry at church I was well dressed regardless of my husband’s refusal to clothe me. Through everything, God was always faithful!

I could keep going, but hopefully you get the point. Some things aren’t really abuse, but when it comes to narcissists… Yeah, if you think it might be abuse, it probably is. Recognizing the fact, and refusing to accept blame that doesn’t belong on your shoulders, will help you keep your head above water.

Again (I’ll probably say this in every post.), if you’re a child of God and you need out of a narcissistic relationship, God can make a way of escape. I am totally responsible for the fact that my boys and I didn’t exit stage left decades ago. God offered me more than one opportunity to leave, and I didn’t take them; that’s on me.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

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