I think everyone that knows a narcissist can agree that normalcy of any kind just doesn’t exist in their world. A piece of normalcy missing from my old life was having general privacy. It’s something that you don’t really think about until it’s taken from you. In a healthy relationship your things are your own, like your cell phone or your computer. If you want, you can run to the store whenever you feel like it, you don’t have to let someone know hours in advance. “Hey, just wanted to let you know that in 5 hours I’m going to feel like running into Target.” You can do stuff around the house without being questioned at every step. I mean, sometimes you just want to lock the door while you’re using the bathroom without having someone beat on the door and tell you we don’t lock doors in this house. (But it’s my house??) Or maybe you don’t want your work e-mails gone through every night while you are asleep and then waking up to questions at 2 a.m.
My ex-husband would even critique the tv shows and movies he saw that I watched on Netflix. The subject matter would send him into a panic. And we’re not talking pornography here or stories about marital affairs. Just NORMAL shit. He would always try to find a hidden meaning. “Are you watching this Lifetime movie because you think he’s hot? You do don’t you? You think he’s hot.”
These invasions of general privacy build up. You just reach a point where you realize you are no longer a person. You forget what it’s like to receive basic human respect from another person. The constant texts and phone calls asking where you are, even though you’re just grocery shopping, and the long laudry lists of invasions start to wear you down. You get so tired that you stop fighting the nonsense and you give into it. The lack of privacy becomes “normal” to you. It becomes too exhausting to defend yourself over every little thing. Over why you decided to watch Oprah today or why you decided you wanted to stop at TJMaxx after work or why you wanted to call your mom and just talk or why you wanted to go somewhere with a friend. It becomes a neverending list of things you have to defend yourself on.
Now add onto your lack of privacy, the name calling, the unkind words, the looks of disgust and anger, the irritation with every thing you do. It becomes near impossible. Not only are you receiving all those abusive actions, you’re receiving the flip side (I love you, I need you, etc.) You start to lose yourself and become a zombie, a robot. You tell yourself that you don’t want to cause anymore problems, that you just want peace and to be loved, so you don’t call your mom just to talk and you don’t text your friend back. Piece by piece, you disappear.
I stayed a zombie robot for years. It was too hard to deal with the situation, too hard to stand up to him. But one day, at work, after being called 4 or 5 times and having him angry at me for not answering one of his calls (I was in the bathroom), I said to myself FUCK THIS. My soul has been taken from me and I won’t fucking take it anymore. I will take my privacy back, my self-esteem, my soul and my life. I will not spend this one life living it for some asshole.
Today I’m in a healthy relationship, a normal one. He respects my privacy. I mean, it’s pretty exciting when you miss a phone call and don’t get yelled at for missing it. It’s also cool to lock the bathroom door whenever I feel like it.
The time away from my ex, the no contact period, has opened my eyes to normal. I’m still working at becoming a “person” again but I’ve learned that it can happen and that it will because I will make it fucking happen. So don’t let ANYONE take your soul from you. They have no right, no matter if you have made mistakes in the relationship. You were your own person before you met and you should be your own person when you’re together.