For twenty-three years I was married to a pathological narcissist; cerebral to be precise. He demeaned, devalued, humiliated, and punished me throughout the entire marriage, all along telling me that I was "crazy." Sometimes the behaviors toward me were very subtle, where you questioned yourself, "Is it me?"
The macabre dance played to his tune and thus each and every step caused many splinters along the way. I was the girl who loved life! I laughed and saw all the good in people. Empathize? I could feel the pain of others, as if they were all family members. So, why would I end up with a man who could not empathize or show true emotion; a man who was so RUDE to everyone around him? What "was" wrong with me? And so, after a very destructive and almost debilitating divorce, I trudged along and discovered "narcissism" and how projection played into the house of mirrors.
Like an onion, I peeled back all the layers to discover my own inner-core, with honesty and perseverance, I took every measure to gain my "true" self back. Who am I? I honestly didn't know. It was as if my soul was almost lost to a vampire.
There is no set remedy for dealing with the ramifications of narcissism and the affects the mental abuse has had on one's psyche. My body too reflected the result of living this way, from anxiety to real-life aches and pains. For me, it was a true understanding of this disorder and what it means, a good therapist, a lot of self-help books, exercise, and a healthy spiritual life.
Seven years later, with many bumps and bruises along the way, I have found thy true self, and I have forgiven the wolf in man's clothing.