Left: 2012 Right: 2022

The girl on the left was just a child. Her innocence, adventurous spirit, loving heart, incredible attitude and extreme desire to pursue her career was stolen from her.

I don’t talk about it much, mostly because I feel like sharing my story makes people think they have to feel sorry for me. Or even worse, no one believes me. Actually, I’ve never shared details about the relationship. Until now. I was stuck for 3 years with a mentally manipulative narcissistic ‘recovering’ addict. (Don’t come at me for putting ‘recovering’ because he used when I would try to leave and he was addicted to other things while we were together).

They say it takes an average of 8 attempts before a woman actually leaves the abuse. I finally got out the 8th time. One of those times I filed a restraining order. We were about to go in front of a judge! At this point, I had no friends to call to come with me to keep my head straight. I HATE that I never went through with it.

I had just separated from my husband. About to get a divorce. Then I met him. He had that wild side and sarcastic Jersey attitude I craved. My career was just starting. I had huge goals and such an extreme desire to learn. All I wanted was to flourish in my career in hospitality. My desire got cut short. And holy shit was it hard to get that fire burning again.

Being with a narcissist is not for the weak. They are extremely manipulative and in my case, he was scary good at it. I won’t speak of his addiction to heroin because I didnt know him at that time in his life. BUT I will say, he learned a lot of his manipulation tactics from that time in his life. And so I got stuck with his gambling addiction instead!

He had me believe that my family didn’t love me, my friends didn’t care about me, my coworkers hated me. I was convinced he was the only person that cared about me and loved me. Seems pathetic huh? That’s how good he was. He knew how vulnerable I was and took full advantage.

But oh man, he had THE NASTIEST attitude. He never once put his hands on me. I honestly think because he knew I wouldn’t let him physically abuse me. He was small, I would have kicked his ass. There was a close call one time. I had locked myself in the bathroom. I still don’t know how the door didn’t come down.

I still have screen shots of his threatening text messages, just in case he ever finds me.

How did I know it was the last straw? My grandmother passed away and at the viewing he asked if he could leave and go to the casino (okay okay, he had a gambling addiction). He didn’t like how it felt being there with my family so he wanted to leave. Because you know, they didn’t like him and didn’t approve of him, so they didn’t love me. I gave him money (as I always did when he demanded it) and off he went.

I have stories. So many stories. So much hard earned money gone to his gambling. So many friendships destroyed. So much time lost that I will never get back. Just wasted on him. I was at such an imperative stage in my life, and it was damaged.

If you or anyone you know may be a victim of domestic violence, please do not hesitate to reach out. For anonymous help, go to this website: https://www.thehotline.org/ or call 1(800) 799-7233 or text “START” to 88788

Remember, domestic abuse is not just physical. It’s an abusive behavior as part of a pattern of power and control from one partner against another. Including physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse. No one deserves to be abused. It is not your fault. YOU ARE NOT ALONE ❤