The Day God Freed Me From A Narcissist

Some might think that title is scandalous.  I know that my own fear of divorce kept me from escaping a narcissistic abuser for fourteen years.  Now, seventeen years out from that disaster, my regrets center around not leaving far earlier.  I lived in a lot of denial for years.  One has to cultivate denial in order to survive, much less stay, in a marriage that was as abusive as mine.  And just how abusive it was did not fully dawn on me until I disclosed, ten years later, details of the torment to my counselor.

The look of horror and grief on her face showed me just how far from normal my first marriage had strayed.

But this story is about how the Lord intervened and rescued me and my four daughters from a man who dedicated  himself daily to our destruction.  I had spent a year really committed to praying for my husband.  I literally prayed for him day and night.  I knew there was something terrible wrong with him, but at that time, I really did not understand what a narcissist was.  I had recently read the book, Changes that Heal, by Henry Cloud.  Most people know him by his book, Boundaries.  In it, he spoke about how we cannot hold ourselves responsible for another’s happiness.  I realized that both my ex and I held me solely responsible for his happiness.  And of course, I was doomed to fail.

However, the Lord really strengthened me through that time of prayer.  All the spiritual books I read were mentors.  The more I was freed on the inside from my fear of John and the more I depended on the Lord for my emotional needs, the stronger I became.  John could see the difference, and the change only made his behavior worse.  I fully believe he was resisting the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  When I caught him burning his Bible in the trash bin, I knew that he was quickly reaching a point of no return. Narcissist

I had fled a couple of times before with my daughters.  Each time he would go through an elaborate courtship to get me back.  Things would be barely tolerable for a month or two and then the moods and the abuse would creep back in.  A narcissist does not change. It was late March of 2000 and I came home from work to see that my ex had thrown away all of my seedlings I was nurturing until I could plant them after the last frost.  Every single one was gone.  At that moment, the Lord said as clearly as I have ever heard Him in my spirit.

“Everything you plant, he will uproot,” God spoke to my heart.

A bit shocked, I ran upstairs to my little prayer closet.  I could feel physically the Lord releasing me from my fear.

The shame issue remained.  “Lord,” I said, “If I divorce him, then I will have failed.  I will be divorced.”  “John 8:11,” the Lord said to me.  I didn’t know what verse that was, so I opened my Bible.  It read, “And neither do I condemn you.”  That verse is the end of the story woman who was going to be stoned for adultery.  Honestly, I have never been embarrassed since about being divorced.  There are some who judge me, but the Lord freed me from any sense of shame about it.  That alone is a miracle because for a long time, I feared divorce more than I feared God or my own destruction.

One word from the Lord toppled what was really an idol.

Even then I worried about what would happen to John.  Even though I did not understand the nature of mental illness at the time, I knew that he was somehow very sick in his mind and spirit. And soul ties are strong after fourteen years of marriage. Immediately on the screen of my mind, the words, “2 Titus 3:5” appeared.  I turned to that verse and all I could see were the words, “Let these men go.”  I understood at that moment as well, that the Lord wanted me to have nothing to do with John or his extremely wealthy father with whom he was enmeshed.  At that moment, I resolved to leave.  I left within the week.  The difference this time was I did not flee in fear.  I left under the direction and blessing of the Holy Spirit.  And this time John did not come after me.

At the time, I worked at a small Baptist university.  They kindly gifted me with a check for $200.  I took out a credit card, and together, my four daughters and I put together a modest house that for the first time in fourteen years, felt like a home.  Our first night in our little rented home in Kentucky, we sat around the table and my oldest and I looked at each other.  We knew what the other was thinking.  We didn’t have to lie anymore to survive.  We didn’t have to live in fear.  Suddenly possibilities opened up.  The whole world seemed new.  And this time, my father, who had spent time researching domestic violence, came out.  He stayed until he knew I would not go back.  That blessing alone gave me the strength to face the rest of my family.

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I lived as a single mom for nearly five years before I remarried.  Of course, difficulties emerged.  However, the Lord was so faithful to meet my needs.  I found that He is close to the widow (or the divorce’).  I didn’t mourn the marriage at all.  My mourning came during the marriage, as my hopes for love and bonding within that relationship died.  That first night, though, the Lord turned my attention to the book of Joel.

 

“I will repay you,” He said to me, “I will repay you for the years the locust has eaten.” 

And praise God.  He has done that and more.

 

6 Replies to “The Day God Freed Me From A Narcissist”

  1. Thank you for sharing your story with us!!! I love your honesty 🙂

  2. He is a loving and faithful God. He will deliver us from those who harm us. I’m glad you’ve found freedom and peace.

  3. Alice, your story is heart-breakingly beautiful. I thank God that you left your narcissistic abusive marriage. I’m so proud of you for seeking God during the stormy trial you endured. I felt like crying for joy when I read about how you finally felt at home in your new little house with your four daughters! My breath caught in my throats when I readabout yourseedlings. For that is exactly how it is to live life with a narcissist. My mother undid every good thing I planted, and is still trying to destroy my life and reputation to this day. But what these narcissists do not understand is the POWER and AUTHORITY of The Holy Spirit! Weareorotectedandsecireas God’s children, and we are meant to be free and heal and have joy! I know the freedom that comes from escaping a narcissistic, self-centered, toxic relationship. For me, it was going no-contact with my mom. It’s been six years, and I’ve never been more free, protected, and joyful. I feel like I’m slowly finding myself under all the layers of pain and lies she piled on top of me. I don’t know if you ever considered this, but you actually followed God’s commandment when you left your husband. For the Bible says, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matt. 19:29). Wow! That’s what YOU did! Your ex-husband burned his Bible, and you chose to leave your house for Jesus! Your reward is going to be huge! Imagine that mansion waiting for you in Heaven! May God bless you immensely, in Jesus’ name! 💙

    For anyone that would like more knowledge, support, and encouragement as a present or past victim of narcissistic abuse; which is presented in a godly way with Christ at the center, please visit me at The Silver Lining, and click on the topic NARCISSISM. Here is a link, and the posts have just gotten started. https://angelaslittleattic.com/?s=Narcissism. I also have a ministry page where you can find daily encouragement, at http://www.facebook.com/angelaslittleattic. God is leading me to do even more ministry in teaching others about narcissistic abuse. One way, I have been being led, is in the sharing of others’ experiences. It lets people know they are not alone, that narcissism is an evil and real problem, disguised as ordinary “nice” people: wolves in sheep’s clothing. I would love to share this post on my blog; it would be an honor. Thank you for writing it. I know it took a lot of courage! 💙💙

  4. Great testimony!

  5. God is so faithful! I’ve walked your journey. Very difficult time in life & yet the growth from leaning on the Lord is priceless! We can always trust the Lord – even when it doesn’t make sense! Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve wondered how to share mine without getting in trouble with “him”.

  6. I’m so glad that God helped you and got you out of a very difficult time!

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