Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Burned Out

My ex is a narcissist.    

When I left him, I left with the hope of being able to live a better life. I no longer wanted to be controlled by his words. I didn’t want to dread my days or nights with him at home. I didn’t want to worry about when his rage would meet me again. I didn’t want to watch him belittle or hurt our son or his older kids. I didn’t want to smell the stale booze on his breath or watch him stagger in after his long night out, with all of those other people but me.

I left him because of the way he made me feel.

I left him because I had enough of living my life his way.

I left him because I saw the destruction he caused those around him.

My ex is destructive.

I remember who he was before I discovered the person he is. In a few short months, he had managed to completely sweep me off of my feet. He was everything that no one else had ever been. He said things that made me feel good, he made me feel appreciated. He made me fall for him quickly, and he did it easily. He made me believe that I was his missing piece in life. He made me believe everything he told me.

I believed nothing was his fault.

I believed his ex was to blame.

I believed she was a horrible mother.

My ex is a liar.

His ex-wife tried to warn me but I failed to listen. The first time he put his hands on me, I fell apart. I blamed myself. I hated him. I was hurt and confused for days. But he apologized. Promised it would never happen again. He blamed the situation on stress, his divorce, his ex, on me. I believed him. And who he was in the beginning was suddenly back. Whatever it was that had made him do it, I believed it had somehow made us closer. Until it happened again.

He yelled.

He hit a door.

He shoved me down.

My ex is abusive.

I was lying on the floor with him on top of me. His hands were around my neck. He was choking me. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. All I wanted was to be away from him. I wanted air. I wondered if I would live. I wondered what I did wrong. I kicked. I screamed. He was heavy. He was angry. His breath was hot on my face. He wasn’t the same person anymore.

At this point, I had no idea how this happened. I had no idea this was who he was and I had no idea how to make it stop, or how to make this part of him go away. I wanted to fix him. I just wanted him to know what love was. I thought I could love enough for both of us, for all of us. I thought if he could just see life differently, our lives would be different.

He never changed.

Things got worse.

Until the day I left.

My ex is cyclic.

I left him five times before I left him for good. His words hurt often. I lived in seclusion. I hated myself. Life was miserable. His kids were scared. I was scared. The kids were sad. I tried my best but I was sad, too. I believed I was the problem. I always believed what he told me. I tried to be better and I tried to do better. I tried to do it all for him. But nothing I ever did was good enough.

I was called names constantly. I was told how to do everything I did better. I was told if I didn’t like it I could leave. I was reminded that I owned nothing, every single time. He liked to intimidate me, threaten me. I was left at home alone a lot. He did what he wanted. He drank. He drank while the kids were with him and with whomever he wanted. He cheated often. I cried a lot. I left. He apologized. I went back. Life was good. Until life was bad again. It never ended. I noticed a pattern. He lived in cycles. I lived in fear.

I fought back.

I moved out.

I separated my life from his.

My ex is a monster.

I believed for nearly a decade that I was the problem. He hated me and I hated him back eventually. But he hasn’t changed. Since then, I’ve learned that none of it was my fault. He is who he is. He says he is happy now and his life is awesome. I know it’s because he can continue his bullshit with someone new.

And now, he thinks I’m jealous. He can’t stand that I left him. He just wants to control me. He is hurting our son to get to me. He has no limits. He has continually promised and then punished as a father. He doesn’t care. He does what he wants. He thinks no one can stop him. He thinks he can do as he pleases. It happens at home, where no one else can see it.

I wish he would leave us alone.

I wish he would stop hurting our son.

I wish he would just let us go.

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