“One of the hardest things in life to learn are which bridges to cross and which to burn.” -Oprah Winfrey

It seems like this would be a pretty self-explanatory thing, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not! When we meet somebody new, we engage in a little chatter and then stand together at the crossroads. What’s next? Can I see you as my person or do we go our separate ways now and save a lot of money on awkward dinners, and time you’ll never get back, filled by lackluster conversation? And then…there he was. It was love at first sight and there was no denying it, by either of us. My tall dark and handsome biker with the whitest, sexiest smile I had ever seen. What I felt that day was unexplainable, and over the next 11 years I followed him into the fire where I would be forever choked by the smoke from the bridge he was actively burning by being with me.

2021 was not kind to so many people and I know that my pain and suffering has been nothing compared to many, but it’s up to me to share MY story and for others to share their stories. I say this to acknowledge all of the tragedy that has taken place in the world and I know in the grand scheme of things, my hurting, while still very real, is not as tragic as many others have had to face or are still facing. For these people, I pray. That being said, my world was quite shaken up over the past 18 months and I am entitled to hurt and heal just like everybody else! I’ve dealt with major surgery and am in recovery, I’ve attended way too many funerals, celebrations of life or memorials, and I’ve had my heart shattered, again, to put it mildly. Beyond this gloom and doom, I’ve also had some amazing accomplishments during this time! I bought the house I plan to retire in with room for the whole family and I took a fantastic promotion within my company. I bought my first sports car (can you say mid-life crisis?) as my 50th birthday present and threw myself one hell of a house party! I was blessed with some amazing friends and family surrounding me while I had a major surgery to rid me of the chronic pain I’ve endured for the past several years! (More to come on this in another entry.) When I put it on paper, there are more positives than negatives…and my eyes can read that, but my heart says something else, a piece of me was missing. While I am praising Jesus every single day for all of the blessings, I am hurting inside…every single day and not just a little bit.

How did I end up here, again? I was 6 months out of our most recent break-up when I got sucked back in. Truth be told, I was sad for most of that time, and struggled to do more than get out of bed and get to my desk to work. As the days went on, and he wasn’t part of my world, I was starting to have more good days than bad. I felt like I was coming back to life and as if he could smell my hope, he came back around to tear me back down. I missed him so much it hurt and here he is, again. I missed my partner, my best friend who knew all of my pains and fears. He said it best, it felt comforting to be talking again, it’s like home. (Keep in mind I came from a really fucked up home.) I really didn’t tell anybody we were talking again because I didn’t want to see the faces of disappointment followed by the million dollar question…why am I, once again, standing on the bridge I was supposed to have already burned?! I let him creep back into my heart and out the window went all of what I’d worked on for the past 6 months. I didn’t honor myself or my needs. I didn’t love or trust myself to get thru the hard times on my own. BIG mistake.

I spent 11 years with a narcissist who would gaslight me at every turn. He’d disappear for hours, lie to me about where he was and then blame me for “bitching” at him. Or, to shake it up and keep me on my toes, he would occasionally throw a love bomb my way to see if I would start the fight. He turned everything he did into tit for tat. (Granted, he had to go back 6 or 7 years to even find something that could remotely be seen as bad.) I am no angel, but I was faithful to this man and everybody knows that except him. Sadly, I don’t believe he is capable of being a real, honest, faithful MAN. So true to form he cheated, again, and this time I caught him. I have always suspected cheating but had no proof…if I got the proof, that would be it. I’m done. I’ll be ready to burn that bridge, finally. So guess what! I wasn’t ready to do burn the bridge. WHAT??? WHY??? How stupid can a woman be? I know you’re asking these questions because so did I. I wanted him to explain it away. I wanted him to tell me it isn’t true even though I had an entire conversation with her about it, as well as him. So when he told me lie I wanted to hear, I wanted him to tell me that he was sorry and would never do it again. So he told me the next lie, now what? Create my own web of lies to be with him? NO. I had to shake myself out of the bullshit. I have been trying to will someone into existence that never truly existed and begging to be lied to. Do you have any idea how hard it is to say that? To accept that as my reality? ELEVEN YEARS of my life, a decade. He didn’t truly appreciate me, and he didn’t truly love me. I was his scapegoat. I was a “fat bitch” by his words. He knows every intimate detail of my life and the abuse I endured as a little girl and he used that…he hit me everywhere he knew would leave a mark inside and a few times on the outside. What I got from him was not love. To publicly admit to all of this is so humiliating…it’s devastating. My tall, dark and handsome was not the prince I made him out to be, who I wanted him to be. He lied to me and I believed him, even when I knew better. He showed me who he was and I chose not to believe it. I buried my head in the sand, because I didn’t have proof, but now I do. I was afraid to burn the bridge because what if today is the day he’s going to change? Reality check: He will never change.

So now what? I’ve caught him red handed, I have way too much information. My hurt…my anger…my broken heart…my feelings of worthlessness…loneliness…abandonment, these feelings are mine, nobody else’s. I know that I am responsible for my own happiness! So why is it so hard to come to this conclusion and stay there? When I was growing up, I had many of the same feelings, only from much different situations. I couldn’t get away from that fast enough! So why not now? Why did I allow someone to wreak such havoc in my life instead of running away? Metaphorically of course…I know running away cures nothing! I am not sure what’s next yet…but you can believe that this won’t ever happen to me again!

I have read every self-help book out there, I have studied narcissism and multiple other character “disorders”. I see an energy healer, I meditate, I use essential oils. Shit I’m about to open a crystal farm if I thought it would help me! I’m finally accepting that this is NOT about me. This is on him. I’ve done everything I could possibly do to please him. You can’t please the narcissist and he will never be wrong even when he is caught. His ego is the size of TX and requires a lot of attention and I clearly didn’t supply enough so he found it elsewhere, as in across the street from the townhouse he’s renting with a gal I now know way too well. After my talk with her, he of course now wants to marry me and he will move asap so I can trust that he’s not seeing her. He has blocked her and never speak to her again…until the next night. Last night, he accidentally answered my facetime call with her standing there. Oops, wrong button. Red, not green. Needless to say, I am pushing this man and his toxicity out of my life, effective – already! I can sleep at night with a clear conscience because I know I never betrayed him. I loved this man with everything I had, that I know.

The bottom line is I allowed this behavior, until I didn’t. I will be writing about details and the entire situation because it helps me and I hope it will help somebody else. This isn’t to trash the other parties of the story, even though I’ve been assured he will smear my name and embarrass me, which he already has started. That’s not who I am nor is it who I want to be. I wanted him to be my life partner, be faithful to me, include me in his life and grow old with me. None of that will be happening and I have accepted it but it still hurts beyond what I can express with words.

If you are in a narcissistic relationship, or question if you are, I highly encourage you to do some research and take action before you have wasted some of the best years of your life on them. If one good thing can be that I helped somebody recognize what’s happening to them and give them the strength to get out then sharing my humiliating story with the world it is all worth it. I am raising my vibe and keeping it there! It’s time for me to GROW!! Until next time, friends…eyes open and do not let anybody gaslight or target you!!