"You are like two different people."
It was something my friend once said to me. It really made me reflect on her statement. And I realized that she was right! I really was like two different people when I was with my Narcissistic-Ex (NX).
In fact, that's how many survivors feel. If you are post-Narc looking back on your relationship, something will click inside of you and you'll realize that you were one person in his presence and an entirely different person when he was literally not around.
I first noticed this difference when my friend and I took our children out for a playdate (her with her son, and me with my two children) at a playground near her apartment on post. While I was pushing my son on a swing, she turned to me and made her observation.
At the time, my NX was deployed. She got to see me live life without him around. Literally. As she and I talked, it became crystal clear....I wasn't on edge or looking over my shoulder. I was able to live how I saw fit. I was without shackles. Nothing to keep me subservient.
After that discussion, my friend had also been witness to how I acted in the presence of my NX. I was meek, agreed to whatever was said, and I rarely if ever made eye contact with anyone. He barked orders, I would comply. If I dared to protest, my friend noticed how my NX gave me an icy stare. If I laughed, he'd want to know why.
However, when it was just myself and my friend spending time together, I would be a completely different person. Like who I was before the NX. I was full of laughter, silly, I wasn't afraid to vocalize my thoughts or opinions on stuff. I didn't have to hide.
You seemed happier while he was away. When I met you I could tell that something was "off" but I couldn't quite place it. Even after I found out that he was deployed, it just didn't make sense. Then when he came home, I watched a person who handled 2 children and a household alone suddenly become timid. You went from being strong and quirky to acting as though you walked on egg shells.
You see, that's the thing. I had to hide who I really was. My NX used to tell me, "Act your age. You're not a child." So, I learned to silence myself when I was in his presence. The more I did that, the more subservient I became. I felt like one of those Avoxes in the Hunger Games movies. You know what I'm talking about. When Katniss meets an Avox and learns that the person has had his or her tongue cut out for being a rebel and going against the Capitol. I felt that exact same way. I felt like I couldn't speak in my NX's presence, for if I did, I would be punished. So, I rarely talked. I felt like an Avox.
But now, I'm with someone who listens, someone who wants to hear my thoughts and opinions, someone who doesn't think my thoughts are ridiculous, someone who loves to laugh and be silly too. I am very grateful for the second chance at life, sort to speak.
Have you felt like two different people when you were with the Narcissist? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your stories with me.
*The name of my friend has been changed to protect her identity.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
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