There are some things you won’t realize until you have the luxury of time and space away from your abuser. That is why they don’t want you to have it. The more you realize you can survive without them, the more their existence in your life becomes endangered.
I think all abusers have a similar train of thought, which is at least he is not hitting me. Let’s take a step back and think of how ridiculous this statement is. Is our standards for a partner SO LOW that what we view as desirable, someone who does not HIT US? That is insane! And the craziest thing is my narc used to say that all the time, as if it was a badge of honor. Why would you want to leave me, I don’t hit you. FUCK THAT SHIT! No man should lay his hand on any woman or child regardless, and that is most certainly not a reason for me to waste my life on you. And while we are at it, a normal decent human would not strive for that to be the reason why they are deserving of your love and affection. In the situation though, I am sure other women and myself actually found it to be a valid point because our reality was so warped and skewed.
I am here to discuss the fact that although the narc may have never laid a hand on you, it does not mean you did not suffer physically. These things take a toll. Internal stress and anguish DO manifest on the outside. It can be headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and in my case, acne and weight gain. I of course blamed it on everything else other than the obvious reason that it was, the cancer of my life, my ex husband. I had always suffered adult acne to some extent but it always flared up in times of huge stress in my life. I associated this flare up to be the stresses of motherhood, which I realize now that it did play a part but was exacerbated by the fact that my useless piece of shit ex got tired of our daughter after the first year and couldn’t be bothered to give her a bath or take her anywhere to give me a break even though we both worked. I also was carrying around 10 extra pounds and I attributed this to not being in my 20s anymore. It seems we can rationalize all things even though our bodies are telling us, get out this relationship is killing you in ways you can’t possibly imagine.
When I did finally leave, a whole bunch of new stressors presented themselves due to how my ex decided to handle the divorce like a victim (which he was not) and decided to abuse the legal system and our daughter through trying to use her as a weapon and alienate her from me at the same time. The peculiar thing is during this time we had no contact. And despite all the things he was doing which were horrendous and vile, I found myself slowly get calmer and heal. It made me realize that although he was satan in real life, being apart and not having to suffer or live in close proximity was starting to heal me in ways I did not know I was injured. I lost 10 pounds and have kept it off for a year. The funny thing about stress is it produces a hormone called cortisol. You can try any diet under the sun but you will notice if you are very stressed, you will have more trouble losing weight and it is because cortisol signals your body is in stress (perhaps in the past this was caused by famine) and you will hold on to your belly fat. How lovely.
For my skin I got sick of looking in the mirror and seeing new breakouts that made me look as miserable as I felt at times. I went to a dermatologist who said my breakouts were hormonal (which also seems like that was a side effect of living with a monster). She prescribed me Spironolactone and lo and behold, my skin started to clear up after 3-4 months. I have been separated for over a year now, no contact for about 9 months. I have never looked or felt better. I can’t even begin to think what it would have been like if I had stayed longer. Ladies, gentlemen, listen to your body. If something feels off, it probably is. They may not strike you but staying with them is killing you, you just might not know it.