I had written all this down previously, and just read through it again and thought it was worth sharing. Originally I wanted to write a book with my story… but I found that letting out these stories through my blog felt like I was actually getting it off my chest… letting go of the weight, versus holding it all in and waiting until I had a complete book to share. So here is the craziness that took place on the day I moved out.
The Narcissist came home from a business trip on that Thursday evening. It had been four days since we saw each other last. We had spoken sporadically throughout the trip, but mostly via text. He left his license at home and the TSA let him though the airport with a strip search and an expired military ID. I drove home from work on lunch break and found his license sitting on the kitchen table under a pile of mail. I wrote a sweet note, and sent it FedEx overnight to his hotel so that he could fly home without hassle. I didn’t hear from him much after he received the ID except for a quick phone call where he told me how many girls were hitting on him, how everyone loved him, and that management wanted him to stay an extra day because they loved him so much. (I realized later on that all those girls hitting on him included some hooking up, but whatever.)
The nights he was gone, I could feel the energy difference in the house, it felt like I could breathe. I had just enjoyed 4 blissful days of alone time with the dog… laughing, giggling, watching my tv shows, eating nachos for dinner. Enjoying the real simple pleasures of life. I was literally sitting there and he walked through the door. The Narcissist didn’t call me, he didn’t text me, I had no idea he was coming home at all. Before he even reached the top of the stairs I could immediately feel it… the feeling in the air right before a rainstorm hits when all of the leaves start to turn upward and the air has a charged and uneasy feel about it. The Narcissist instantly launched into a conversation about how we needed to go to the courthouse at 9:00 am the next morning (the day I was moving out) and sign our divorce papers. He said that he felt like I was putting off the divorce and holding up the process and he couldn’t be in the middle anymore. If I was moving out, he wanted to be divorced immediately. (I think the reality is that he felt guilty about hooking up with other women and wanted the divorce final so he could do so without a guilty conscious!)
All of my triggers were getting revved up so quickly my mouth couldn’t keep up with my brain. I asked the Narcissist “seriously? I have so much to do tomorrow, it is not the day to try to fit that in. I have movers coming, I have to finish packing, I was planning to wear sweatpants all day.. seriously?!?” The Narcissist explained that I could get dressed, or I could go to the courthouse in sweatpants but that we were going at 9:00am. I started to feel like I couldn’t breathe, like my chest was squeezing in and my throat was closing up… that feeling that comes along anytime that I feel controlled by the Narcissist these days. It feels like ropes tightening around my body and I just want to explode outward in every direction… resist the control… break free. I control the anger the best that I can and I just start crying. I explain that I am having a hard time emotionally and that I really can’t handle the added emotions of going to the courthouse and signing the papers on the day I move out of our home.
With that glimpse of my weakness, something somewhere in the Narcissist’s complex mind begins to open up. I think when I am weak he feels safe again… he feels in control again. He tries to comfort me with his words, he thanks me for communicating my feelings and I tell him I need some time to calm down so I go upstairs to pack. At some point he comes up and insists that I need to take a break to eat. I hadn’t eaten all day long, and he wants to “take care of me.” The Narcissist cooks me scrambled eggs. It’s complicated and it’s hard because in my life with him, I am so deprived… that letting him take care of me in this way feels so very good. At some point while I am eating them he says “this will probably be the last time I ever cook you eggs.” We are watching a TV show while eating, and I start to doze off from the mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion as soon as my belly is full. He brings me a pillow, sets an alarm, and promises to get up early with me to pack the rest of my belongings.
I wake up at 4:00am with a racing heartbeat that echoes from the center of my chest and pulses outwards to the tips of my fingers and toes. It’s like my body is aware, before my brain, that my entire life as I know it is about to change. I can’t really fall back to sleep… especially when the Narcissist’s snoring starts up. His snoring always reminds me of his nose surgery… of the care and love and compassion that I poured into him.. and what a raging asshole he was to me the entire time (but thats a story for another day.) I feel the anger rise up as I think about it and I want to violently shake him and say “wake up! you are snoring again! you are making it so that I can’t sleep” I hope you are enjoying your slumber because I can’t!!” I don’t wake him though.. I lie there until I cant take it any longer, and I get up around 6:00 am to start packing.
He sleeps through 3 alarm clocks, my shower, the rolling noise of packing tape, me lugging boxes around the house, for 3 hours. He finally wakes up while I am packing my last box in the office and shouts sleepily.. “why didn’t you wake me up?!” The Narcissist has asked me this question almost every morning for as long as I can remember. The answer is typically because I can’t actually wake him up. The Narcissist could sleep through a typhoon or an earthquake… and in fact, he has slept through both of those occurrences while we lived overseas. But today, I didn’t even try. I was scared of having him awake… I was scared that it would complicate everything, that it would make the process harder, that I would end up crying and feeling defeated and drained of all my energy.
I told him that I was going to pack up my vehicle with my personal items and go get a few things I needed at the store, then I would drop off everything at my new place and be back in time for the moving appointment at 11:00 am. This news sent him down the rabbit hole at a rapid speed. He wanted to talk… and he wanted to talk now. All of my worst fears were coming true in this moment, all of my gut instincts were saying no, just leave, you can’t talk to him. He began demanding that I explain to him why we were getting divorced. I told him that we had been over it a hundred times, that I had a small time window and wanted to get things done, that we could talk about things another time… none of that worked. The conversation quickly escalated to the point of yelling. He said he deserved love and kindness and respect and that either I didn’t care enough to give it to him, or I didn’t think he deserved it. I told him that I didn’t want to talk and began to head to the door to get the few bags and suitcases I had already left at the top of the stairs. He came over immediately and blocked the doorway. He said he was not going to let me leave without an explanation. He stood in the doorway with his arms crossed.
I begged the Narcissist to please just let me take my things. He grabbed the suitcase out of my hand and said “I am not letting you leave the house with OUR personal things. You don’t get to decide which of our things you can take.” I asked what the heck he was talking about, because the bag in his hand was full of my bras and underwear, socks and stockings. He then informed me that he looked in our sex toy box last night after his shower and noticed that I took things. That those were our things and I shouldn’t have gone through them without him. I looked at him in amazement and said.. “I took the things that are designed for my body parts!” The Narcissist didn’t care. He said that those items were our intimate things.. and also threw my lingerie into that grouping. At that point I ripped open the suitcase and threw the group of vibrators and kegel balls on the floor and said “Fine, keep them.. I don’t want them anymore.”
When I tried to maneuver around him to get through the doorway the Narcissist would move to block me. I felt like a trapped bird and my fight or flight response was on high, I just wanted out so badly. When I pushed on his chest or arms he would say “ouch you are hurting me!” Eventually I started to crumble to the floor hysterically crying and asking the Narcissist to please just let me go. When that didn’t work I ran into the bathroom, hoping to gain some space away from him with a door in-between us. The Narcissist came in behind me and put his leg through the door so I couldn’t close it. He got right in my personal space and I curled down into a fetal position on the floor crying my eyes out and begging him to leave me alone. When my breathing started to slow he would say… “there, yes, calm down, thats good.”
I felt like I couldn’t even believe that this was where I was at.. on my very last day in our home… here I was crouched in the corner of a bathroom with snot and tears dripping from my face while he stood over me instructing me to calm down. This was a position I knew all too well… this was a scene that had played out over and over and over again in our marriage. At some point I got up, I blew my nose, and I started desperately trying to talk some sense into crazy. The conversation with the Narcissist spun me around and spit me out upside down and backwards.. just like every other time. I wound up apologizing, accepting my wrong-doings, and taking all the blame… per usual. Eventually we made our way back to the top of the stairs and I started to pick up the bags again, pleading with him that this “conversation” had now taken up an hour of my limited time that morning and that I really needed to get things done.
The only way I was able to convince the Narcissist to let me go was to tell him that I would take that time to calm down and control my anger and when I came back to the house I would be ready to talk. I loaded everything into the car (minus the vibrators of course) as quickly as my feet would move me, and pulled out of the parking spot just as quick. As I was finally pulling out of the neighborhood I felt like I could breathe again. I glanced into the rearview mirror and saw my face streaked with mascara… my eyes red… and I put on my big sunglasses to hide the mess. I was tired in every sense of the word. I was shaking from the adrenaline coming back down… and I was now all of sudden starving. I stopped and indulged in a ice coffee and a bagel. I shoved big bites into my mouth in the parking lot… feeling like the hole in my stomach would never feel full. It still felt like a shameful event to eat a bagel.. like I was hiding out doing drugs in the car where no one could see me.
I took my time with all of my tasks hoping that I could perfectly time my return with the timing of the movers showing up. When I came back to the house he was in full-on nice guy mode, but he framed everything as “he was glad that I calmed down” and “since I finally chose to calm down he could actually help me.” The Narcissist actually did help me then. We took the TV off the wall, we found the misc. parts I was looking for, and we took care of a few final things together before the movers showed up. Aside from getting upset that the movers didn’t take their shoes off before coming into the house, he was relatively helpful and calm.
I successfully moved out. I got out. The craziest part of re-reading all of this is that the events of that day were “normal” to me… they were part of the reality of loving and living and being married to the Narcissist. I was so stuck inside it all that I could not even see how messed up everything was. It’s been almost 3 months, and the clarity from this side of the situation sure is eye opening.