Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following story from an Australian women whom we’ll call Sheila19.
Speaking Up about the mental and physical abuse I endured from my last relationship in South Australia is not easy and has taken me some time to finally put into words.
For several months during 2019 I lived in fear for my safety from a female Narcissist who was also a perpetrator of Domestic Violence towards me and, while I knew her, was a regular methamphetamine drug user.
I had unfortunately been an acquaintance of hers spanning over 3 years.
Due to fears that I would be physically targeted or my home attacked if I spoke up was a scary reality and this is exactly the position my attacker wanted me in.
I was subjected to both physical and mental abuse by this woman and I was left to deal with feelings of deep rooted shame, guilt, remorse and an overwhelming sense of thinking that I was the one who was in the wrong and that I was the one who pushed her too far – resulting with her hands around my throat on more than one occasion.
In the beginning of the relationship, I was being groomed and completely “love bombed.”
I was given gifts and hand written cards with long-winded messages of love. Telling me how perfect I was for her and her children and that she had never felt this way about anyone else and how perfect our little family was.
I remember thinking it was all a bit too much too quickly, but yes, like many victims of Narcissistic Abuse, I had no idea what was happening and how vital this phase is in the whole scheme of the Narcissistic mind games.
Now, after months of reflection about this toxic relationship, I now see that in all my moments of doubt, I should have listened to my intuition. But I, like many other victims, did not. As a result, the abuse was able to escalate, quickly.
Like many abusers, when in public, she came across as charming and delightful, however the person I lived with behind closed doors was the complete opposite.
One of the very first facebook messages I received from her was a lengthy list of personal questions she wanted to know about me.
- What’s your favourite food?
- What’s your favourite colour?
- What’s your favourite drink?
- What’s your favourite music you listen to?
- What do you like to do to relax?
The questions she asked covered every facet of my life, including my spirituality to my best/worst childhood memories.
I was exhausted after answering her questions and although odd (a red flag), I convinced myself that she was really just trying to get to know me.
Little did I know that this was all the beginning of a manipulative set-up that would lead to emotional abuse where I was devalued and disregarded.
In 2017 and during my 1st year of alcohol recovery I naturally needed my own space, however, this woman was insistent that we move in together within the first few months of dating.
In her defence, she did ask me if I was ready to have an instant family and I thought that I was.
The living situation was intolerable, her mood swings were nothing short of demanding and exhausting. The relationship was all about her and the needs of her two children, I was rapidly losing myself within her incessant need to control.
I was given no privacy and towards the end of our relationship she began to triangulate and turn her children against me. It’s then I knew that this was a losing situation.
I had been living in my beach front home in South Australia for over nine years when I met this woman and her proposal to me during the honeymoon phase was that if she and her two children moved in with me and we happened to break up for some reason, that I would have to be the one to vacate my home and allow her and her children to stay on as the new occupants – I was to find other accommodation.
She suggested that I sign my lease over to her name. Despite thinking at the time that this was a peculiar request, I foolishly agreed with her, clinging to the belief that it would never come to that.
Now, looking back, I can see the pattern of behaviour in her other relationships. The woman she was with before me was convinced to buy a home with her with the same conditions should the relationship end however in this case, as they had purchased a house together, the house was to b e kept as an investment to be left to her children at a later time – this is still the case today.
Even though, when I initially heard this story, I felt incredibly sorry for her previous partner and remember thinking to myself, “wow! thank goodness I will never be treated like that.”
Then I cast my mind back to one of the very first times she sent me a message through Facebook.
On the day that she and her two children had landed in South Australia to be with her partner whom she was going to buy a house with, she contacted me!
She told me that she had been watching my Facebook profile for the past 3 years but she never approached me because I always appeared to be in a relationship.
At first I thought that this was sweet but if I’m honest, deep down I knew this was creepy!
Another clue when dealing with narcissists in their ability to groom you even when you may not be attracted to them – that was the case here also.
I was tracked down and targeted, simple as that. The love bombing was something else and I foolishly fell for it.
Now that I’ve educated myself about how Narcissists operate, this is the stage that they gather as much information about you as possible so that when they meet you and engage with you, they simply mirror back to you what all of your likes and dislikes are.
That’s why I was so easily pulled into her mind games and the illusion that we were soul mates or ‘twin flames.’
As is often the case with victims, my self-esteem was at an all-time low when I met her and therefore I was vulnerable. The attention she was showering onto me was accepted immediately.
Her grooming of me had begun and the nightmare ahead was to be revealed slowly. We dated for over 8 months but we had known each other for a few years prior to that and I can safely say that her abuse began from the moment I first received a Facebook message from her. She saw me as an easy target.
Fast Forward … 2019
Recently I had to make the hard decision to leave the new beginnings of my sober life and flee the State of South Australia due to the abuse from this woman.
Her abuse and controlling behaviour not only occurred while we were in a relationship but also escalated after the break-up.
On two occasions she tried to get me fired from my place of work by contacting my Supervisor and making informal complaints about me, thankfully, as these were baseless, they came to nothing.
Her arrogant and self-entitled behaviour of contacting my place of work led me to believe that this woman would stop at nothing and that I would never truly be safe living in the same community as her.
Reflecting now on my ex pushing me up against a wall in her house and putting her hands around my throat, attempting to strangle me, was one of the most horrific and numbing moments of my life; I am still traumatised by it today.
The first time she put her hands around my throat I remember quite well, that angry look in her eyes and the venom spewing forth from her mouth.
Though I threatened to leave the relationship and spoke about how unhappy I was with her and our situation, this didn’t stop her!
The physical abuse occurred on several occasions after this, both in her home and mine. She also physically assaulted me when we went on a trip to and we were parked at a Caravan Park overnight. Her two children were in the next room. She would stop at nothing.
I was scared for my life.
The honeymoon phase was certainly over for me within the 1st month of our relationship and the mask that this person had been wearing the entire 3 years I had known her previously was starting to slip.
The real person I saw was ugly, arrogant, manipulative, insecure, domineering, passive aggressive, controlling and one of the worst cases of Narcissism I’ve ever had to endure.
While this Narcissist and Domestic Violence Abuser and I were in a “relationship” together I suffered at the hands of this abusive woman behind closed doors.
The violence was usually when she was either coming down off the meth drugs she was on or while she was on the drug itself though it makes no difference, DV is DV regardless of your lifestyle choices.
I came to the realisation that I was dealing with someone with real mental health issues and I had to get away from her permanently and I have.
It’s interesting to note that some of her biggest supporters today are women she calls her friends and who have also been victims of Domestic Violence themselves.
She and her friends talk about the rights of Aboriginal Women and the importance of getting a job and forging a better life.
Yet it was one of the Aboriginal Women who led this action group and was pushing to make a complaint about me and wanted me fired, or so I was told.
The ex also told me she sorted the situation out on my behalf – the rescuer!
The ex said, and I quote, “You can thank me later!”
So much for these Aboriginal Sister’s in the Community fighting for a better life for Aboriginal Women, when all they wanted to do was to have me unemployed and isolated and allow my abuser to walk around devoid of any responsibility for her actions.
In turning a blind eye to her behaviour they are sending a very clear message to other Victims of Domestic Violence (and themselves) that you will need to have the full and total approval of all of the abusers’ associates in order to receive support – not exactly the message anyone should be sending.
Narcissists, Drug Use, Porn, and Sexual Dysfunction
After just one month of dating this woman, she introduced methamphetamine drugs into our relationship. I was exposed to her world of drugs and so much more – her porn addiction, BDSM, rape fantasies and desire for public exhibitionism.
I later learned that her frequent use of methamphetamines played a very big part in her over exaggerated sexual fantasies and addiction to pornography.
Narcissists are threatened by a partner’s sexual and emotional needs. Because of this, most narcissists prefer internet pornography and self-gratification to mature, intimate sex.
Narcissists commit adultery and have extramarital liaisons for a variety of reasons including control, power, attention but also because they get bored easily, this one was no exception.
After piecing all the events of our relationship together, this Narcissists infidelity was evident throughout. Including the relationships before and since mine. I was being persuaded to do things I would never normally do. I had never done any hard-core drugs and I was totally unaware of the meth scene.
Why I Want to Share My Story
Even if it seems like there are so many of these stories out there, every one of them matters. When we hear stories about attacks or abuse, we immediately pick apart the actions of the persons involved, usually the victim.
We say if it ever happened to us, we would act differently. But the truth is until you are in that situation yourself, and you’re forced to make a decision that could alter your life in huge ways, you really don’t know how you will act.
There are many reasons for not coming forward and reporting your abuser. Every victim has their reasons and they are allowed to heal at their own pace. No one wants to remember the abuse they suffered under someone else’s power.
No one wants to relive it.
No one wants to face the criticism there will be when you share something like this (victim blaming).
So why come forward at all? Why share our stories if we aren’t going to take action against the abuser who has haunted our sleep?
Because, when we are finally ready to heal, we have lived and learned, and we want to give courage to those who have gone through this and for those who have not, as a warning so they hopefully never will.
It’s easy to fall for a narcissist: they’re charming, polished and quick to get in your good graces with compliments and constant attention.
Once you realize you’ve been duped into a relationship, it’s often too late; they use the same manipulative tactics to talk you into staying.
Narcissists lay it on thick in the beginning, beguiling you with their charm and making you feel as though you’re everything they’ve ever wanted in a partner. It’s a cinch for a narcissist to start a relationship.
Staying in a relationship?
That’s a different story.
Narcissistic individuals often leave behind a trail of wrecked relationships. They won’t take responsibility for this, however, so you will have to do some digging to check out their personal history.
The best way to predict a person’s behaviour is to see what he or she has done in the past.
Whatever it is, it is likely to happen again.
But never again on my watch.
I will not protect my attacker any longer.
This will not be our dirty little secret between her and I.
I owe her nothing and I will no longer hold these truths, protecting the perpetrator of these horrific events that have changed me forever.
What I went through at the hands of this person has forced me to get the healing I need to move forward and create a better life for myself.
My silence protected and condoned the abuse she put me through.
But no longer will I remain silent.
Today, I live a peaceful and sober life and am the happiest I have ever been.
There is no turning back for me now, taking care of me, my Ancestral Country and my family are the greatest accomplishments and joys in my simple but honest life.
This story is dedicated to the men and women who have survived and are still healing from Narcissistic Abuse and Domestic Violence.
Coming out of the Shadows: Giving A Voice to Stop Narcissist & Domestic Violence Abuse.