You can’t kill me.

It has been a week long meditation on mortality, sovereignty, service and the permanently great significance of each of these notions. What is freedom to me? Do I feel free? If I were to take my last breath on this day, would I be at peace with my final words, moments, decisions? Could I say to myself that I stood in my power and made it count? What purpose would I be attaching to my existence if tomorrow wasn’t guaranteed? Am I doing enough? Am I doing okay? How is my heart? How clear is the path that I’m on? Where is it going? Do I have the altitude, latitude and longitude that I require to further expand? If not, can I actually make space for my becoming? Will I? How far along am I in my healing journey? How much weight am I still carrying on my shoulders? Is it pulling me down? Is it keeping me stuck? Is it even mine? Do I find it hard to put the weight down? Can I revisit the past without being triggered? Am I a prisoner of my story? Can I freely talk about it? Is there pervasive anger or sadness inhabiting me? Are recurring thoughts disrupting my flow? Am I free flowing? Is there residual fear surrounding these thoughts? What are these thoughts revealing to me? Are they grounded in reality? Am I still still operating from a fear based conditioning paradigm? Am I standing my ground? Am I moving with purpose? Am I “too” identified with my trauma? Am I struggling to let go of it? If so, why is that? Could I let go? Is it that simple? Am I safe? Am I supported? Am I going in circles? What needs of mine aren’t being met? How do I address them? Is my integrity being preserved? Is my story being told? What is it about and who is telling it? It’s a carousel and it won’t stop… So many questions have been running through my mind, leaving me with no choice but to soak them up and answer them the best I can. 

I’ve said this before and I still hold the belief that my involvement with a malignant narcissist was both the darkest curse and the greatest illumination ever bestowed upon me. My marriage inflicted monumental sorrow and pain but the depth of knowledge I’ve gained about myself and others is just as great… That, I believe, is a wonderful blessing. I’ll have plenty of opportunity to elaborate on that in the future. For now, I’d rather focus on the above questions and dive deeper into my feelings about them. It’s been roughly seven months since I walked away and never looked back. I thought breaking the spell I had been under was in and of itself the light at the end of the tunnel but I was clearly wrong about that; I had no idea what was ahead of me. Navigating the aftermath of years spent in survival mode has been a maddening rollercoaster ride. With no option to hop off, and nowhere to go but within, I sure did lose my mind a few times on the way home to myself. Tremendous amounts of energy were exhausted in rationalizing senseless pernicious abuse on my quest for a miracle cure that would solve my marital issues, only to realize in the end that all my efforts had been in vain. Such outcome was neither realistic nor achievable given the circumstances I was in. As it pertains to cluster B personality disorders, things do not get better. I repeat: things do no AND CAN NOT get better. It is complex matter, but it also that simple. I’ve found that only other NPD abuse survivors can effectively relate and empathize with the degree of confusion, chaos and destruction experienced within the context of intimate relationships with disordered predatory individuals. Unless it has happened to you, it’s virtually impossible to fathom just how murky, corrupt and damaging a union of this kind can morph into. It can not get better but, with time, it’ll surely get worse. There is no getting out of it unscathed. Fatalities are not uncommon endings in cases that have gone too far. Towards the end of my marriage, and throughout the discard + smear campaign phase, I set out to decipher exactly what had happened and how. I reviewed thousands of pages of material on behavioral psychology and personality disorders. I watched all of the experts videos and podcasts I could find. I absorbed all that was shared on public forums by therapists, clinicians, counselors, attorneys and survivors. I went through all of the comments and testimonials I came across. If only I had known… Same profile. Same aberrations. Same triangulations. Same punishments. Same compulsive behaviors and manipulation tactics. Same patterns. Same cycle. Once you’ve mapped out the psychodynamics of a narcissist, you can reasonably expect the same kinds of abnormalities, discrepancies and acute dysfunctions from any other narcissist - their modus operandi is astonishingly repetitive. It is also bone chilling. 

I married a sociopathic criminal with multiple identities and an unregistered weapon. He knows where I reside and has kept tabs on me ever since we called it quits but here I am, about to shed this weight anyway. I do not care anymore. I can’t afford to. I feel I’ve been tethered in between worlds for way too long, trying to detach from my old self and lean into the being, the woman, that I am blossoming into. Although I’ve dedicated myself to turning the page I feel as though invisible energetic cords are still binding me to my past. Every move I’ve made since leaving my abuser’s grip has been watched from afar. He’s had

access to my phone and bank records. Multiple fake profiles have been created to track my location and monitor my posts on social media. Imposters were tasked to make contact with me, passing as potential tenants for the spare bedrooms I have in my current unit. Upon relocating to the other side of town, I had posted ads on several web platforms that were fairly easy for my abuser to find. A con man was sent to my open house to tour my unit and record every inch of it. Intimidating text messages were addressed to my mentor and current business partner from a burner phone. An individual posing as a police officer attempted to get in touch with me to collect further “information” on my “case”. Both my pets were chipped without my consent and false accusations were actively allowed to proliferate surrounding the cause of our split. It isn’t enough that I incurred permanent damage to my left hand, or that he fractured my tooth, as well as my jaw, to name only a few of the injuries I’ve sustained, my determination to move forward with my life is now perceived as a threat by my abuser who feels entitled to my peace, my wellbeing, my opportunities and my sense of agency. He cannot rest and I know it - I know why. 

I’m still processing and healing from the repressed memories that have popped out of random closets, drawers, and pockets I didn’t even realize existed in my psyche. It’s been quite overwhelming. My mind seems to have found ways to cope but my body doesn’t know the difference between past and present. Every once in a while, these trapped emotions weigh me down to the point of inertia. I cannot move and lose momentum. I cannot operate as I normally would, due to sheer exhaustion. I could write chapters on top of chapters about what I’ve experienced at the hands of my abuser but I’m often too tired from rehashing events in my head. Making sense of what I’ve gone through and contemplating my own role in my enslavement has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire life. At times it takes me a day or two to physically and emotionally recover from a journal entry. Every singe day, I have to practice letting it go so I can redirect my attention towards the things that nourish me. How long is that going to take? I can’t say for sure. Nevertheless, I remain steadfast in my convictions. Healing hasn’t been easy. Speaking up hasn’t been easy. What I’ll say though is that I’m most concerned with something happening to me before I could get this off my chest. I have seriously considered the fact that my ex husband could very well plot to make an attempt on my life. Knowing what I know, it isn’t the least bit far-fetched. As disturbing as it may sound, it is rational thinking. It is very plausible in fact. It is a reality I have to live with. Nevertheless, there is no fear in me as it relates to my mortality. I’ve experienced deaths in many forms. My spiritual essence is everlasting and untouchable. I know who I am. From that perspective, I feel free

At first I thought that I was scared of my abuser tasking someone to violently assault me when I least expect it; an unknown third party - someone who “owed” him a favor. I then realized that what I was most terrified of was a scenario in which I would conveniently pass away with the truth about our demise - perhaps resulting from a tragic “accident”, a staged overdose or an alleged suicide. Whatever it was, it wasn’t meant to leave any loose end. I know he has thought about devising a plan to silence me. I also know that he knows that I know, which is why he cannot rest. Things have been said and done that can not be forgotten or discounted. Things were undoubtedly set in motion to neutralize me. After going my own way, these things kept me up at night for a while. I didn’t have much time to plan my escape as it all came crashing down at a dizzying pace. I didn’t have savings or a strong support system. I was completely lost. I initially wanted to drift away quietly so that I could focus on rebuilding but my abuser wouldn’t let me do so - or let’s put it this way: his severe paranoia and need for control wouldn’t allow for that to happen. Muted interferences paired with sustained covert intimidation became my new normal. Always disturbing but often difficult to prove. Taking this to my grave and never getting the chance to tell my survival story has become my living nightmare. I feel I cannot let that happen, nor should I. I feel I need to speak it, or else I’ll die of the worst kind of death - spiritual death.

I never seem to know how much to say, when to say it or who to say it to. I strongly desire to fully unpack and discuss what has transpired over the course of my marriage, as well as what unfolded afterwards, but I tend to feel unsure of which aspects to bring up or conceal. What I usually end up with is this big dark secret that’s clouding my head space and doesn’t belong to me. I cannot fully exhale. I cannot truly move on. I cannot unplug myself from it. Without the ability to share my story - the full story - I cannot heal my core wounds or be. To a certain extent, I also feel powerless when it comes to helping other women make it to the other side. How can I fully show up to embrace the work I now feel called to do? How can I play my role if I have to hide my truth? How can I be an advocate for abuse victims who, just like me, are struggling to reclaim their lives. In keeping silent, I feel I cannot be of service to other women wading through similar trials and tribulations. Yet, who am I protecting? Not I. In keeping silent, I am once again betraying and abandoning myself. Fear isn’t my maker - I cannot be ruled by it. So who then, who am I protecting? I continuously think of my abuser’s mother whom I love dearly. Will she be able to cope with the truth about her son? Does she have any clue? Is she going to be alright? What about the others? Are excuses being consciously made for his behavior or has everyone in my abuser’s circle been hoodwinked? Is the script being flipped on his victims to cover up for the perpetrator? What about the next woman who enters his sphere? What then? I also used to wonder about his safety and livelihood. Not that he cares about mine but, all along, I’ve prayed for things not to get out of hands. Countless times, I questioned myself about the ripple effect of laying it all out. Would speaking up jeopardize his freedom? Would it compromise his ability to survive? Could I really blow the lid off knowing what he is involved with? Who else would be affected if his misdeeds were exposed? I used to bite my tongue. I would filter my words because I was preoccupied with who would be impacted by them. That, I can say, was not a fear based decision on my part - it is simply how I felt. Although publicly coming forward with the abuse appeared to be the best way for me to guarantee my safety, I didn’t want to go in depth. The outside world was only reckoning with a fraction of what was happening behind the scenes but I saw no way around that. So long as I got to cut ties with my abuser, I was willing to play the part of the deranged spouse. I accepted it as collateral damage. Still, none of it has induced rationality, fairness or decency. At this point, I no longer worry about how he’ll deal with being unmasked. I do not have any vested interest in protecting the person that he is, in any way, shape or form. What he does or doesn’t do is none of my concern. Either way, my integrity and boundaries won’t be trampled. If he wants to retaliate, he can. He can do whatever he wants - I’m okay with that. After all, he knows exactly where to find me. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.

I do not wish harm on my abuser. His suffering wouldn’t offer me relief or satisfaction. If only he could heal, I’d hope that he would. It isn’t my place to judge how he gets by in life. However, as stated above, I can no longer afford to care about my abuser’s interests more than mine, nor can I place his wellbeing above my own. I’ve done that long enough and it has cost me plenty - I’m done paying the tax. My allegiance is to myself now and decisions will be made based on this premise. There’s always the option of picking up another trade, which he can figure out for himself. I have places to go, you see. I cannot carry this load. If we wants to stop me, he’d have to kill me. I have to move. It is time. His influence over me and what I can say or do has been terminated. I’ve accepted that my marriage was a sham in which I was perceived as an object. A temporarily useful object. Now that it’s all done, I can go on and be useful to myself and all those around me who value my presence. Coming to grip with the fact that our relationship was a deceitful orchestration with no viable future has set me free. I feel nothing for my abuser. No hatred. No anger. No contempt. He is a clinical case to me and that’s all there is to it. There is no confusion surrounding him specifically. Individuals with cluster B personality disorders do not function like the norm. That isn’t my fault. That is nobody else’s fault. I see him for what he is and that is all - I know all that I need to know. If you are going through the same ordeal I went through, please be aware that there is nothing you could have done to remedy the situation other than choosing yourself and setting firm boundaries. No cure exists for malignant narcissists. There is massive amounts of literature on the subject and I strongly advise you to do your own research. Empower yourself with knowledge so that you can be shielded from parasitic havoc. Focus on the parts of you that need healing. Redefine your sense of self. Reaffirm your values. Speak your truth if you need to. Learn to regulate your nervous system. Tend to your health. Ask for support. Trust your intuition. Last but not least, express gratitude for all that you are and for pushing through no matter what life throws at you. If you’re still involved with a narcissist, leave. I’m not here to tell you what to do with your life or your time but please do not waste it - choose yourself. 

On that note, here comes my story. The letter below was written in response to a bogus restraining order and addressed to my attorneys upon petitioning for a marriage dissolution. It was meant for them to draw information from in case we were forced to litigate the matter in court. It took me over a week to flush all of that out and I was sick all the way through. Revisiting past events triggered violent physical reactions. My digestive system collapsed. Once more, I dropped a lot of weight. My immune system was impaired. I contracted Covid 19 for the second time during the holiday season and was symptomatic. I was so weakened by chronic stress that my body could hardly fight the infection. It took close to two weeks to fully recover from it. It was brutal - raw. Back then, I was in shambles. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t eating. I was knee deep in the insanity of my situation and had little time to recount the chain of events that had taken place. I was being plowed through by memories and felt I needed to establish a record with as much detail as possible while it was still fresh. It is likely to be convoluted and plagued with redundancy but it is what it is and that it is how it came out of me. I got through the second half of it without proofreading therefore you can expect lots of typos. Frankly, I haven’t really looked at this text since January and I probably won’t read it now. I have no interest in doing so. Emotions were running high, as I’m sure you’ll be able to sense, but no modifications have been made; it is just how my attorneys received it. The last time I opened up this document was on my mother’s birthday. I was deleting files from my cellphone, as I regularly do, and parts of me badly wanted to make these records go away. I couldn’t though. As much as I wanted to erase it from my cellphone and my laptop, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t digitally and emotionally let go of it. I knew I probably wouldn’t have the strength or desire to write this all over again. I had literally made myself sick in order to produce this report. It was days of non stop drafting, elaborating, editing, through sleepless nights, tears, nausea, stomach cramps and body aches. It was fucking intense… How could I delete it as if it hadn’t happened? Although I couldn’t bear reading them, I felt fused to these words. This letter is my testimony. What’s your story?

If you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse or recovering from it, I’d be glad to hear from you. Either way, take care of yourself - protect your energy. You are more powerful and resilient than you can imagine. I promise it gets better.

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