Covert Abuse

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  • #555
    Renee Swanson
    Participant

    Covert abuse is hidden from the world. It is often not even detected by the victims for many years. My husband never hit me or the kids. He didn’t drink or do drugs. He was home every night. To the world, he looked like the perfect husband and father.
    But we were living an absolute nightmare!! Mind games, manipulation and verbal abuse every day. He created the environment of an emotional war zone. No one in the home ever felt safe around him! You always felt guarded, checking your words a thousand times before you speak, cautiously entering any conversation. No topic was ever safe!
    Some of you might be thinking, like I did for years, that your situation isn’t all that bad. You read about victims who are literally running for their life, beaten physically and terrified. You read about drug addicts and alcoholics. You think, “Maybe I’m not in an abusive marriage. Maybe this is all in my head.” Listen to me! You found this group for a reason. People in healthy and safe marriages don’t google words like abuse, narcissism, why does my husband/wife hate me, and so on.
    Emotional abuse is real!! It is devastating and crushes the soul of all involved. Do NOT ignore it! Face it and get help! You are not alone!

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #22288
    JamieRN
    Participant

    Thank you for this. Although my husband is a functioning alcoholic and former/occasional drug user it always seemed like it could be worse. He is manipulative and we walk on eggshells. Our home is a constant emotional roller coaster. But he has never hit me. So I have always made excuses for him. He has always swung back from the monster to being overly nice just enough for me to forgive him one more time. I am trying to make a plan and be strong enough not to fall back in every time he begs me to stay. We have been married for almost 18 years and we have 5 kids together. Ages 10,12,13,15 and 17. My 15 year old son has been a type one diabetic for 13 years. I graduated from nursing school this May and I am waiting to take my board exam and start working and saving but it is so hard to still share a home with him knowing I want a divorce. He talks about our future all the time and I see no future with him. I just want to be single and raise our children in a sane home.

    #22289
    JamieRN
    Participant

    I also feel terrible because my youngest daughter feels bad for daddy and does not want him to be left alone. I feel bad about the idea of him being alone also. I am afraid he would do something crazy as he already struggles with depression and substance abuse. He is going to a counselor and psychiatrist and started antidepressant/antianxiety meds a few months ago. It took the edge off of his rage but brought out the passive aggressive behavior. It seems both impossible to stay and impossible to leave.

    #22290
    Renee Swanson
    Participant

    JamieRN, thanks for sharing your story with us. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I shared a home with my ex for quite a few years, knowing that I was going to divorce him. It is hard, for sure.
    A friend of mine made a recommendation to me that helped a lot. Set a date when you will file for divorce if nothing changes between now and then. This date is an “at the latest” date. For me it was when my youngest son graduated from high school. That was the absolute longest that I would wait. If nothing changed between now and then, I was done. Then if between now and then you realize that the date needs to move sooner, then move it. It’s that simple.
    I actually did not make it to my original planned date. When my oldest went to college and my youngest turned 16, I filed for divorce. It was time, and I knew it without a doubt. You don’t have to decide today when divorce will actually happen. You don’t know what the whole path in front of you looks like, and that’s okay. With each step, the next step will become known. Just take things one step at a time.

    #23178
    Sabrina
    Participant

    Mine is the nicest monster anybody’s ever met. He’s even started being nice to me now that he knows I’m done. Several other women, one had two abortions, STDs six different times, and so much more. Why I put up with this? I was sick. I had saline breast implants that had mold in them leaking into my body making me very sick. I was bedbound. There was nothing I could do. Instead of helping me find out why I was sick he was out with his other women and one main woman. I finally got them out and got better and have been slowly getting better. My breaking point after 20 years was a few things. We’d been separated for a couple of years and when he came back I got paranoid about STDs so I’d go get checked all the time and the doctor told me I was fine. Well recently I checked on Quest to get some other results and realized I could look back 10 years. The damn doctor had been lying to me. Two different results showed the truth. How could a doctor lie about something like that? These results were from 2011 and 2013. Along with this he’s turned my teenage kids against me. Looking back I’m sure he’s been grooming them to hate me since they were little. He wants everybody to hate me as much as he does. My 16 year old had me turned into CPS for child abuse because I stopped her from going to Mardi Gras. Thank God they saw through her BS this time. Last time she did this they didn’t and I had to do an eight month program over a bunch of lies. My 15 year old son brought a large puppy home who’s destroying my house. The house was just remodeled and it smells like a kennel. He screams at me and threatens me when I tell him the dog has to go while my husband sits there petting the puppy. Smdh. Husband doesn’t care about the house because I bought it and he’s never paid anything to live here. Once in awhile he gives me $1000 but otherwise I pay for everything. Put into perspective it’s $4000 a month for mortgage and bills. That doesn’t include food. So recently I demanded to see his bank statements to figure out where all his money is going. It took a week for him to finally show them to me. It’s not another woman this time it’s the kids. They are spending several hundred a day on Uber,eating out, clothes, anything they want. I gave him two choices. I either start handling all of the money or we get a divorce. He got mad so I said done it’s divorce. I have to follow through this time. I’m so depressed I don’t even get dressed everyday let alone do anything. I had the flu that turned into a sinus infection while I was out of town in March and his response was, I was going to come down there but I don’t want to get sick. I guess that’s understandable. Then my dog died which he knew was going to hit me hard and his response was a text, we all loved the dog and he never brought it up again. No sorry, no hug, nothing. Three days later my son brought the puppy home and he makes a point to fawn all over the puppy and even has the puppy sleeping on my dogs blanket. I know these seem like little things but they have been continuous and add up. The big stuff is appaling. Like when my father committed suicide while I was seven months pregnant and driving home from a vacation with my three kids in the car and he wouldn’t drive two hours to bring us home. Told me to get myself together and drive home. I became depressed and started sleeping in the trailer and he’d sneak his other woman into our bedroom. He never once came out there to check on me. Too busy I suppose. I hope he wouldn’t kill me but I know for a fact he wouldn’t save me because he’s left me for dead twice. Once I had taken too much of my pain medication and didn’t wake up for 24 hours. I’d like to hope he didn’t slip me the extra but when I finally woke up he told me, you were in a coma. I was shaking you and yelling for you to wake up but you didn’t so I left. What? So a few months later he decided I needed rehab. I’m not sure why I fell for that one but I did and I almost died in rehab. They took me off of OxyContin and 8 mg of klonopin without a taper down. I started having seizures and didn’t sleep for 17 days. It was a a reckless rehab and an old man in there died right in front of me. I’d call him crying and begging him to come get me before I died from seizures but he just left me there. The doctor told me that dying was a risk I took for becoming an addict. I screamed at the doc that I wasn’t an addict and my meds were prescribed and not abused. After 17 days I came up with a plan and told the nurse I was going crazy and needed a psychiatrist. When the psychiatrist got there she was angry about the condition I was in and told the nurse to get me a wheelchair. I couldn’t walk. She then told my husband, what’s happened to your wife is totally unacceptable and I’m going to make sure this never happens to another person here. I remember I wanted to tell her, he doesn’t give a shit he’s in on this but I didn’t have enough energy to say anything. The psychiatrist wouldn’t let me go home for a week because I was that bad off. So he showed up just so he wouldn’t look bad once the psychiatrist was involved but I have no doubt he meant for me to die there. Why? Money. Life insurance and my houses that his name isn’t on. Him and his GF were going to live the good life off my death. After I finally got out of the hospital he put me in a hotel for a week and just left me there. Didn’t come visit me one time. I’m not sure why he did that but looking back maybe one last chance I might die. He convinced me to keep all of it a secret or my trip to rehab would ruin me and my career. I wasn’t an addict and didn’t even belong in rehab but somehow he convinced me. I’m aware of what he’s capable of now do I’m being careful about how I handle things. I’m filing for divorce but I want him out of the house first and getting him out isn’t going to be easy. He’s living for free so he isn’t going to just leave. Idk what to do. I feel so stupid for letting him come back eight years ago after a two year separation. Now my health is a disaster with severe anemia, autoimmune diseas, AS, it’s some sort of arthritis and my stress hormones acth and cortisol are way too high so I’m waiting for the results to find out if I have Cushing’s disease. I’m not looking for pity for the health problems I’m just letting people know that if they don’t kill you directly they can kill you or make you really sick from all the stress involved. I don’t dare tell him about my health or he’ll just use it to his advantage. He’s such a nice guy that nobody would believe any of this and somehow I’d come out looking like the bad guy here. I saw a post about covert Narcissism the other day and couldn’t believe I was reading about my husband. I knew something wasn’t right about him and was actually thinking aspergers due to the lack of empathy. Sorry this was so long if you got this far. I got carried away with more than I had planned on writing. I really do feel bad for anybody else dealing with a covert narcissist and I hope everybody can get their situations settled and live a happy life. I doubt it’s possible to be happy with a narcissist in your life though.

    #23426
    Renee Swanson
    Participant

    Hey Sabrina! I also doubt that it is possible to be happy with a narcissist in your life. I am so glad that you were able to get help from the psychiatrist. Is your health improving at all? I know it is hard to focus on your own health until you are able to get out of the daily stress. I wish you much peace on your journey of healing!

    #23445
    Sabrina
    Participant

    Thank you Renee Swanson. My health has improved a lot since I had the breast implants removed but I finally realize my mental and physical health will never be 100% until he’s 100% out of my life. We’ve been living in the same house but not like a married couple for years now but that’s not even enough distance. Sadly the teens have turned out just like him. My son is explosive and my daughter conniving but both narcissistic just like dad. I feel somewhat responsible for that because he was gone and I let him come back. Maybe they’d be different if they hadn’t spent so much time aro7nd him. Idk. I feel like I’m lucky though that I’ve been through the worst of it and at this point all I want is him outa here. I read other people’s stories and remember those days and feel so bad for them because I remember being stuck just like they are. Even if it’s not financially stuck it’s some weird form of stuck.

    #26658
    Renee Swanson
    Participant

    Hey Sabrina, I am so glad that your health has improved! Keep going in that direction!
    Don’t give up on your kids. They are not destined to be narcissistic. I thought the exact same thing for a while about my boys. So I started researching. The teenage brain continues to develop all the way to age 25. For this reason, professionals will not make any major diagnosis of personality disorders before the age of 25.
    And the pre-frontal cortex develops last, which is the space for empathy and emotion regulation. Most teenagers are narcissistic. It is a normal part of their development. The problem is when they get stuck there and don’t develop past it emotionally. Give them unconditional love as well as a good example of boundary setting and reconciliation. Do some research on the teenage brain. You will find that this is very normal, as well as some information on how to get through it.
    The problem is not that your teens are acting like your husband. The problem is that your husband is acting like a teenager.

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