When you live long enough with a narcissist, especially when they’re someone you love, someone who has convinced you that they love you back, eventually their presence creeps into the corners of your mind. Their whispers begin to crawl through the little cracks and grow into the center of your consciousness. Every once in a while the whispers laugh and startle you or they bark and frighten you. But they continue to grow into one, ever-present, all-consuming, insistent voice; a voice that cannot be ignored or willed away, a voice that demands your constant and unfailing attention. It somehow becomes a part of you and you start to wonder if you really are going crazy and the voice is there to remind you…”Yes. Who else talks to the voice in their head that is actually a real person? Yes, yes…you are crazy and no one else…no one can help you. No one…but me.”
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this very real occurrence that happens to many people who have been victims of abuse with a narcissist. It is sometimes called “cognitive dissonance” and it is terrifying. The best way I can describe it, is that it’s like having another person living in your brain, criticising your every move, scrutinizing your every decision, disagreeing with every thought, questioning your every motive. For me, it became a full time job appeasing that ever present voice in addition to trying to keep the person it belonged to happy. It became a never-ending battle where right seemed wrong and I never quite knew if wrong was right only because he said so.
The reason I’ve been thinking about this, is because I’m getting close to the year anniversary date when I knew that he was finally out of my head… for good. It has taken me about five YEARS of struggle to get to this point. And what a sweet sense of VICTORY AND FREEDOM it is!!! Nearly 2 years after the divorce and I no longer live in fear of what he thinks about me, about what I say, do, eat, wear, feel, think. He no longer controls me from the inside out and it is wonderful! I thank God for it every day. But it is a victory that not many can understand and even fewer experience because the battle to get there is usually a long and difficult one. Below is a link to a very good article on cognitive dissonance, how it works and how to break free from it. I hope you will read it and continue your fight to getting your abuser out of your head. Or maybe you can refer it to someone you know who is in an abusive relationship. Either way, know that there is a path to victory and freedom.