Boiling A Frog

I remember reading once that if you put a frog in boiling water it will jump out. On the other hand, if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and very gradually, turn up the heat the frog will not notice and will just stay there and boil to death.

The theory is that a frog will just continually try to acclimatize to the heat. Because it is only a gradual temperature increase, it will not perceive the danger and just allow itself to be cooked death.

I am not here to say that this is factual but I cannot think of a greater metaphor to what happened to me.

When I first met him, he was the sweetest and most sincere (or so he seemed) man you could ever imagine. All my friends loved him. I of course was on my guard. I never trusted men.

I spent my entire 20’s in short-term relationships.  Sometimes, I think that is what my allure was to men. I enjoyed life and saw no reason to pursue anything serious. From my own personal experiences, I never saw marriage and family in a positive light. I felt women never flourished in marriage. I chose to pursue other things in life, like travel, and that I did. However, after a while that got boring too. So somewhere, after I turned 30, I finally got serious. My first serious relationship was a disaster, but after a year of that dysfunction, I had enough sense to pack up and leave.

So when I met him, I was on my guard and boy did I test him. I was demanding and aloof and still he pursued me. The details of our meeting are too complex to go into now. I just want to state, I was not pursuing him. Eventually my barriers were broken down and we got engaged and then married. We lived together in those blissful days of a new relationship.

He always talked about me in such an admiring way. He put me on a pedestal and even my friends joked that he treated me like a goddess. Never in my life, had I been treated so well. He was too good to be true (!).

As our marriage progressed, and I got pregnant, things slowly changed and his attentiveness started to disappear. I kept thinking that I could fix this and I took responsibility for my faults. As the years passed and our son grew, the attentiveness eventually morphed into neglect and emotional abuse.

For whatever reason, I thought it was important to keep the family together. So everyday I just struggled to maintain harmony in our family. That simple feat consumed me so much for so many years that I evolved into a broken spirit. I was boiling to my death. I did not have enough sense or will to jump out of that boiling pot of water.

I never realized how much I missed his tone of admiration for me. That realization came to me when I finally heard him talking that way again. It dug up memories that I had buried so long ago. Only this time he was not using my name, he was using hers.

I knew then in my heart what was going on. But you have to understand that in spite of what I knew in my heart, I was deceived and played to an unconscionable degree by him. It was not until irrefutable proof was literally put before me, I got perfect clarity.

That clarity awoke my spirit and gave me the sense to jump out of that boiling pot of water, stand up, and fight.  I got an attorney.

Since then, it has been a long and arduous struggle. At least I did not die in that pot of water and I am alive now to fight another day.

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Running Away From The Narcissist

Actually, I never did run away. There were many times I did try, but always the “I love you” and “We can get through this” lines were what drug me back.  I chose to ignore my personal pain for the “greater good”.  We had a son and I always knew that if I left, my son would never know his father. Most of the time, he was not much of a father, but I could still see the adoration in my son’s eyes for him. And luckily, there were occasions when he actually acted like a father. Now I wonder if I did the right thing, only time will tell.

Just about 6 months short of our 20th anniversary, my now Someday to be X told me he no longer wanted to be married.

We had a business actually he still has the business, he just kicked me out of it. Anyway, there was a lot of business back East and he traveled there often but eventually, It became glaringly obvious that it was way more often than necessary. He started to leave with golf clubs and nice clothes. We live on the West coast. I had remembered asking him only a few months previously if he was “disrespecting our marriage” (I always watched my language with him to prevent him playing victim to my “accusations”) I thought I was generously giving him an easy way to open the conversation of the obvious demise of our marriage. Of course, at that time, he vehemently denied everything as he always did. In my heart, I already knew, but like a fool, I accepted his words. He proceeded to tell me how much I meant to him, he really needed me in the business and “how could I ever think of something like that?”

I just let it all go. I did not argue. I just accepted what he said.  Besides, for a long time now, in this so-called marriage I was already so numb. The many years of treading on eggshells, emotional/financial abuse and neglect while trying to do the right thing had taken it’s toll on me physically and mentally.

Believe me, I understand that I am lucky he did this. I have even considered that someday I should write the new girlfriend a thank you letter for releasing me from this horrible prison.

I decided to start this blog for my own therapeutic catharsis. I know there are other blogs about divorce and relationships with Narcissists. I have read many of those horror stories too. I thought my story was a little different so I am starting this new one. I don’t know if anyone will ever read this. I just want to put my voice out there, even if it is only for me to hear.