Today’s Survivor Story comes from Claudia, 33, from Massachusetts, USA. Thank you for agreeing to share your story! It will help other women heal and move on with their lives.
Tell us your story. How did you meet? How did you fall in love? What happened between you and your narcissist ex?
I met my ex at Auto Zone when I was 20 years Old. He helped me at the counter and gave my mom his number to give to me. In the beginning he was everything. He was kind, gentle, loving, caring. He did it all for me. I fell in love with him by all the small things he did in the beginning.
What was he like in the beginning and when did his behaviour change?
He was so sweet. He listened to me and inspired me to go after my dreams. He started to change about 6 months in. He quit his job and told me he needed somewhere to stay because he wasn’t going to be able to afford his place. I let him move in with me. BIG MISTAKE! He didn’t want to work, he then confessed to me that he quit his job because he had a son and Child Support was taking his money. I didn’t even know he had a son! And we were 6 months into the relationship. He apologized over and over until I forgave him. Then he told me I needed to get a second job or pick up more hours so that I could buy a car. He had a way with words. I fell for it.
So I would work from 7am until 10pm 7 days a week. I could barely function. When I started to gain weight that’s when everything changed. I was so depressed that he wouldn’t help out with getting a job or keeping up with the apartment. Every time I brought it up it was a fight. At this point I wanted to give up on everything. He made me believe my family didn’t care for me or loved me. I was a fool for believing that. They just didn’t accept him. They saw what he was doing to me. I went on a girls’ trip and he called me and destroyed my vacation. I had to come back early from my trip. He made it seem like it was a life and death situation. He just wanted me home to cook and clean and get back to work. And I did. He had me brainwashed. And then the verbal abuse started.
I had gained 15-20 pounds. And he began cheating. He gave me STDs not once but 3 times! And I was a fool making excuses for him. When I confronted him he said that he was not cheating! And I believed him and thought it was my body. After all his persuasion and words were so believable. One day we got into an altercation and I kicked him out. After a week of not seeing him he began calling me telling me he was sorry and missed me. I stupidly took him back. Then he began telling me it was all my fault and that things wouldn’t be like this if I just did things his way. Then he made me end friendships with friends. He said if I loved him I would do it. And I did. I was isolated from everyone I loved. This went on for 2 years. And all this time he was stealing my identity.
When did you realise that you needed to end the relationship?
I was working a night shift and a girl called me on my phone looking for him. I was so tired and depressed that I just wanted to cry. I didn’t even want to confront him. Then I had not one but 3 bill collectors call me at work. I got into a huge fight with him that night. I finally broke down and told him he won.
How did the relationship affect your physical and mental health?
In the 2 to 3 years we were together I had aged so much. I had gained 40 pounds. I was so depressed that I thought of suicide several times.
How did you get out of the relationship?
One day he called me and I missed the call and when I called back he didn’t answer. When he did he said to me “ You don’t like it do you? Next time I call answer the fucking phone bitch.” That was my last straw. I couldn’t take it. I got down on my knees and prayed fervently to God asking him to take this man out of my life if he was not meant for me. I prayed for what seemed like months but it was a few weeks. This man called me and said he was moving to Colorado and can he borrow money for a plane ticket. I knew this was a sign. I emptied my bank account, bought him a flight and gave him money for his expenses for 4 months. Then I dropped him off at the airport. It took me an official 6 months after that call to completely get rid of him.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
He called me a few times asking me for money after I got rid of him. He played me like a fool. Because he knew that I cared and I am not the type to hold grudges. But I believed in the power of prayer and karma.
What would you like other women to take away from your story?
When you see that first red flag, believe it. No man will change for you. Run as fast as you can and don’t look back. Believe in the power of prayer. God does not like when his children are mistreated or hurt.