Friday, November 17, 2017
Finally Leaving An Abusive Situation With A Narcissist
Someone asked me recently how I finally made the choice to get away from my abusive situation in the workplace. I had put all those memories away for the most part and had not thought about it in a long time, but it turned out to offer a little closure and understanding to myself.
I will share a bit about the day I just could no longer let myself be abused anymore. I was working at the Literacy Alliance in West Nipissing, and honestly loved almost every aspect of my job, and am very good at what I do. This is not a statement of ego or conceit, I am just a very dedicated and loyal employee who has a special kind of love for the clients I was serving because I can truly empathize and understand them well. It was my dream job and at the same time I was being led through the worst anxiety and slow terror of my life.
I would show up early, leave late, take short lunches, and work extra hours anytime without a need(or offer) of money or restitution. I worked hard and diligently for my clients and their successes were my rewards. I was happy to do anything required until I began being taken advantage of as opposed to appreciated for my efforts. And the lies that were told to keep me doing this stuff were amazing when I look upon them in retrospect.
I had been pushed to a low point and the 'triangulation' in my work environment was quickly adding to my feelings of isolation and anxiety, even though I was surrounded by people. I was quietly being fed lies that I would soon start taking over the business and the executive director was going to begin pulling away from the business. These lies, like many before, kept the 'carrot dangling' in front of me so that I would continue to put up with the abuse I was suffering. So many lies!
With the possible exit of the abusive individual, I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, and not just for me but for the other employees who were being slowly terrorized as well. I could see the possibilities of an organization that would thrive and no longer be filled with stress and anxiety each day. Even though I had been pushed to a very low point by the narc, I still had an ounce of hope, and that is what she continued to use against me, until.......
We sat down for a meeting about an upcoming plan at contract time with four of us. As I sat and listened to more lies being spouted by the director, I can still clearly remember every moment, and the darkness that began to fall upon me in that moment. That was when it happened! I got to see clearly that I was being lied to again and again, and the others at the table got to see it too!
She told us that she had just signed a contract for another 3 years with the organization along with another huge raise (and this person already makes more than double the wage of anyone else in the building). That was my 'snapping' point. I knew in that instant that I could not survive another year, let alone 3 more, with this abusive person, it would have literally been the end of me.
All I had to do at that point was to ask a couple of questions that had been plaguing me there for a long time. I asked about where all the money was going in the organization and that is when She flipped out and tried to cover her tracks. And she even lied more trying to explain everything for the benefit of the others I had asked in front of. On top of that, she asked the others to leave at the time and told me I accused her of stealing! I had said nothing of the sorts!
I am very good with numbers and took care of a lot of the number issues in that place, and therefore had access to everything. I kept seeing discrepancies in spending, yet I was always assured that things were all above board. I also knew that once I had asked the questions about the finances that it would drive a wedge between myself and the lies I was being fed. It only took the narc 4 days to push me out of the building, and on top of it, she was able to 'smear' my name and have everyone believing that I had done something wrong, and that I was suffering mental health issues.
The negative causes of my mental health issues at the time were all coming from that same person. She knew exactly what she was doing and still does. Although devastating to me at the time, I am happy all that happened in the end or I may have continued to a point where I could not longer heal. My PNSD or Post Narcissistic Stress Disorder would have gone so deep that even this past year and a half would not have been enough time to heal.
Well, now I have healed and my voice works very well again, it is no longer imbalanced and filled with anxiety/fear. I finally learned that my health and well being was worth more than any carrot being dangled before me, and that is when She lost control of me. Not only does She have no more control over me, but as a problem solver, I can no longer turn a blind eye to what she has done to me, and what she is still doing to others.
Thank God I got out of my abusive situation, and I am thankful for what I have learned along the way, and the immense personal growth I was forced to endure. I suppose the fun part for me is that I know that the narcissist has not grown one bit, and therefore I will be much stronger in this fight now than she will be.
I referred to the game of chess for dealing with issues involving a lot of players in an earlier article, and how to view each person involved like a piece on the board. Although the pieces are important in the game, it only really takes one to win. I am a very good chess player, but it is not the game I am playing because I only hold a piece or two at the moment. I am playing the opponent directly!
All I have to do is protect my couple of pieces and be very patient. I am in no hurry. I am not out to destroy my opponent in any way, I just want the game to be over, but i also won't stop until the 'white' pieces have won. I will continue to play my opponent until She gives up or loses this game. I have lost most of my pieces already and have nothing else to lose, and this is where the game gets very interesting. I get to sit back and watch the pieces fall on the other side, and fall they will!
I will finish with this today; if you want to beat your opponent, (and believe me the narcissist is always your opponent whether you know it or not) then you must first know who your opponent is. Fortunately my opponent has been well assessed as someone with NPD and is therefore easier to understand. There is an abundance of information out there on the tactics and strategies these people use to abuse others, and I have likely read most of it over the past couple of years.
I now know my opponent better than she knows herself, and I have the strength to endure the 'long game'. The game began a long time ago, and I believe she hoped that I would be stuck in a stalemate forever. Well, my king and queen have not given up yet, nor will they.
I have long awaited this spring in regards to this purpose and rather than feeling empty and destroyed as i did when I left the abusive situation, I feel empowered and inspired to drive the change that is required. There is more than one narcissist to deal with now and 'the game is afoot' so to speak. I have cultivated the wisdom and skills needed through the dark times to move from defense to offense. And believe me, I know how to be much more 'offensive' these days.😁