I woke up this morning thinking about how different my life is now compared to three years ago.
Back then, my hair was falling out and I was always on edge. Tears streamed down my face several times a week because no matter what I did to avoid fights, I was constantly doing something wrong in my ex's eyes.
This morning, I thought about how far I've come. Just two years ago when Scott and I weren't back together yet but we were spending time together, I was still experiencing PTSD-like reactions.
The excerpt below (from my upcoming book called TNF: One Woman’s True Story of How Intuition Helped her Survive and Heal From Abuse) illustrates just how much narcissistic abuse affects you subconsciously.
We spent time together as a family and we spent time alone just hanging out without any pressure. He saw me through what I know were PTSD reactions to the abuse I’d endured for so long.
One night, we went down to one of our favorite Italian restaurants in town. As I sat down in the booth, it hit me that I was still unconsciously choosing the side of the booth that didn’t face the door. In an effort to be fully open with him, I shared my revelation.
“Scott, I just realized something,” I started.
“What do you mean?” he replied nonchalantly while looking over the wine menu.
“Well, I didn’t realize I was still conditioned to pick the seat that doesn’t face the door.”
“Wait, that was a thing?” he questioned, putting down the menu. “God, Kiers, I’m so sorry . . . what happened?”
“You know how the eye contact thing was a big deal to him?” I said. “Well, one time, when we were traveling, I took a seat in a Mediterranean restaurant that faced the door. It was during the day so the light was kind of blinding me when the door would open and I would instinctively look up.”
“Don’t tell me . . . he thought you were scoping out other men,” Scott said shaking his head.
“Yes, that’s exactly it,” I went on. “If I wasn’t being accused of checking out other men, then I simply wasn’t present with him. I was too busy looking at the door, apparently.”
He reached over and grabbed my hands and said how sorry he was that I went through that, and that I was still going through that.
“I just can’t believe that I’m still doing it, even though you are not him, and I know that.”
It's been two years and a few months since my recovery started and I'm proud to say I no longer unconsciously pick the seat that doesn't face the door, my hair is growing again, and I haven't cried (aside from when I watched the end of The Notebook this morning) in months.
Life is calm, peaceful, and fun. The way it's meant to be.
If you just left an emotionally abusive relationship, know that it gets so much better. Just give yourself time. <3
For more information on narcissistic/sociopathic abuse, check out these past blog posts:
HOW TO SPOT A WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING
PROCESSING THE EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL AFFECTS OF ABUSE
ADDICTION: BIOCHEMICAL BONDS OF NARCISSISTIC ABUSE