When It’s So Hard to Let Go

by resdien

I am in my early 30’s and have a 2 year old with an ex N. We were together for 6 years and I recently broke it off several months ago. The first year of our relationship was GREAT! I felt like a queen. We were so in love. We were inseparable.

I started to get insecure with him working with really attractive females. Part of it was my own past insecurities, but the other part was intuition…maybe more. I found out he was hitting on his female coworkers. This was 4 years ago. I confronted him about it and of course, i became the bad person not him.

He eventually apologized. We were already living together at the time. I didn’t want to move back to my parents. From there my self esteem started to go down hill. I was always having thoughts of him doing something. A year goes by, and it comes to my attention he’s hitting on his coworkers again. I confronted him. Again, i was the bad person.

He told me to pack up all my s*it and i did, but i caved in to his pressure to come back, and we were boyfriend and girlfriend the very next day.

Through time, i became overly jealous. I would look through his phone and was always living on edge. Oh, and the emotional and verbal abuse escalated. But I was on medication and I felt like i was the one with the problem and was convinced it was just “my depression.” He said that too.

Anyway, years go by.. we would fight and he would be verbally and emotionally abusive. Once my son was born it got worse. I was called “bitch”, “slut”, “motherfucker”, “stupid”,” etc., in front of my son many times.

When i look back, i realize he was the problem to my depression. But he always made it seem like it was my fault and I kept hoping for us to work out especially now that we had a son together.

It’s been only been a few months since the break up. The first few weeks he cussed me out because we got into a fight about him lying. He countered and said i had a fake disease (relating to my depression). I was at rock bottom. My work and school was affected. I have a degree and a teaching credential. I was VERY successful and loved working with children until I met this man.

I am slowly rebuilding my confidence so that I can be motivated to work. Looking back, I realize how much i loved him through all these years, how it was always about him. He chose the places we’d go to. I was a stay at home mom and we did everything he wanted to do.

When we exchange to see my son, i never know what to expect and my heart is always racing. When i try to resolve something, he turns into this 10 year old kid and i hear “what about me, “it’s always what you want.”

I am still trying to move on but i find myself really sad most of the time. I see families so happy together and i think, this could have been us. If only he got help. He once said to me, even if someone was to put a gun next to his head, he will never get help.

He plays a lot of mind games till this day. He still says things like “it’s your fault that we’re not together” or “you’re not in a relationship because your parents are divorced.”

It breaks my heart that we have a young child together and i keep thinking he will see the light and want to change especially for the sake of his son.

I have also converted to Christianity and have learned that God can do all things. How can God change a mentally sick person? This is where my faith is shaken at times. But I know that i pray for happiness and that God took him out of my life for a reason.

I am slowly realizing that I can do better and deserve someone who will never make me suffer. But I still think about him too much. I think of all the good times when I know there were so many more negative times.

I also wonder, how the hell can this man move on with his life so easily while I’m trying to pick up all the broken pieces of my heart. I am confident to say that i will never take him back. But i still obsess about him. After all the abuse i’ll think of his great qualities — he was a great dad…he was a great bf when he wanted to be …

And I think how he will treat his next girlfriend better…maybe i was just really jealous…maybe i should have let him have his freedom…

How can he be so cruel?…how can he let our family down? And the thought of him with another woman and him charming her keeps running through my head…

But then i realize.. after 6 years of dating. it was all a lie… he never loved me…and he makes me sick.

And i am sick to my stomach EVERYDAY knowing i won’t be able to spend 100% with my son.

How sad it is that he can easily move on and i am still so emotionally attached. I talk about my situation EVERY DAY! I am sure people at work are sick of it, but I can’t seem to just let it go.

Everyone says to let go…and I know I have to, but sometimes I just want to cave in at times and run back…but I know I can’t…and I won’t.

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19 Responses to When It’s So Hard to Let Go

  1. strongwoman2011 says:

    Resdien, You are not alone. I have a Four month old with Narcissistic ex he is on his third or fourth girlfriend now. I still have moments where I obsess about him. Deride my looks, abilities. Why wasn’t I good enough. I am jealous of my married friends. I long for a family. I am thankful for my little boy. I remind myself that my ex is a narcissist. When we were together I was an anxious, nervous wreck. My intuition told me he was cheating. I just tried to be sexier, more accomodating until I gave away all my power. The pain will lessen. I still have bad days but its getting better. Counseling has been a tremendous help

  2. PhoenixRising says:

    You’re right, StrongWoman, it does get better, and as you know it’s not a linear progression. I wish it were. How much easier it would be if our journey got better and better each day.

    But it’s cyclical…maybe more like a spiral climb. Where you think you are going forward, but then it seems like you’re turning back on yourself again. But if you are patient, even with the seeming backtracking, you will find that you are moving forward.

    I understand about giving all your power away. We just keep trying harder and harder don’t we? And we don’t even realize the amount of energy and sustenance we lose in the process.

    Breaking away from a narcissistic does demand a lot of energy out of you…but, in my opinion, not as much as staying.

  3. strongwoman2011 says:

    Spiral Climb is the best anaolgy. I will have three or four great days and then several pain-filled days. Then intensity of those days has decreased. I try to minimize the time I spend with him. When he is being “syrupy sweet” or seductive. I repeat to myself ” he is manipulating you..don’t fall”. He recently broke up with the woman he was sleeping with while I was pregnant. He was coming to see his son every day, preparing meals and calling. Its been a week and he has returned to “clock watching” being critical of my care. I have better boundaries now. I would berate myself for being attracted to him. I remind myself that Narcissists are seductive creatures. I can’t always control how I feel but I can control how I behave. When he comes to see his son. I use that time for self care and limit conversations and interactions. I feel so much more confident. I know that the right man is on his way to right now. I just have to be open to love.

  4. Survivor says:

    When I have the exchanges I am not by myself. It cuts down on the comments. I went through many of the things you did as well. My exNPD had loved internet porn and even had an eharmony account at least for the last 5 years of the marriage. When I confronted, it was always my fault. I had a professional job which I had to leave because he was showing up at work and attempting to find ways to disrupt my job.I felt compromised in my effectiveness due to his actions. I relocated and actually found a better job. The distance from him by relocating allows me to get stronger and feel better.There are some situations that use to leave me in a panic that I can actually laugh about when it happens now. My family didn’t support me when I left the relationship. It made things difficult. I had a couple of friends that saw exactly what was happening and had the guts to support me through the crisis and are still there when things get tough. Not everything worked out. The custody battle was horrible and I do not have sole custody of the kids. NPDs are good at manipulating. The kids and I do the best we can. A good thing is that I got remarried to someone that does not have the same issues but understands as his father was a NPD. This man has gone through hell and back with me dealing with the crazy scenarios I face.The kids have a male role model that is not NPD and hopefully that will help my sons. We all do the best that we can in our lives and sometimes we do not get the magical ending we envisioned. I do know that I deserve a quality of life. Someone told me that I can choose to act like my worth is like a piece of clothing on the clearance rack or I can act like I am worth one on the full price one.

  5. resdien says:

    thanks for feedback. i still find myself sad most of the time but not as sad when i first broke it off with my ex. I am at the stage where i’m more sick of him and realizing how he does not deserve a great girl like me. I have a great heart and never did i want him to suffer. But realizing how many N’s feed off people who suffer, i am trying a different approach with my ex. Instead of being sad when i see him act like he’s never met me, I have to tell myself this is a patter of an N. They lack empathy. I was in tears the other day because when I dropped of my son he was crying for me. He’s only 19 months old. My ex tries to ask me questions or small talk with me but i simply keep it short. I now know that I can NEVER have a relationship with this man because i know he is a liar, manipulator, and simply a cruel human being who does not know how to give love. I wanted to ask you ladies if you knew of any free attorneys that don’t charge because I am a single mom with low income.

  6. resdien says:

    I also forgot to add.. Sometimes i feel like i am a person on the news. “I didnt know my next neighbor was a serial killer.” I feel like this with my ex. How can I be so blinded? For 6 years? Everything i read about N’s is him. But i am slowly realizing that i was very codependent and needed him to make me happy. I am trying to be independent. I now have two jobs and keep busy. When I told my ex that I had a teaching job, he was shocked and didn’t say a word. He despises my success. It’s really sad.

  7. strongwoman2011 says:

    Resdien, It really helped me to read everything I could find on NPD. I asked myself the same questions. “How can he just walk away?” ” Does he have a conscious?” NPD people don’t have a conscious, they can observe your hurt with clinical detachment. I think its great that you are keeping busy. Keep telling yourself that you are worth more than his cruelty. Some family lawyers will work pro bono. Access your local “women-focused” NGO’s non-profit groups for resources. It does get easier. I do struggle with loneliness. I have joined a new moms’s group. Meetup.com has several meet up groups. My heart is with you.

  8. EyeOfTheStorm says:

    Good for you, Residen, for going out and getting meaningful work and keeping busy to help. Becoming emotionally detached can be difficult. I would imagine even more so for someone with a great capacity for emotions. I agree with StrongWoman though. The more you read about narcissists the more you will come to accept that his focus is just on protecting his image, and he cannot realise or care that he is hurting others. Stay strong.

  9. resdien says:

    thank you for all of your responses! i am so grateful to find this website and can relate to many victims. i know my ex N is not healthy for me, and I am trying to convince myself he will never be a great person. Why am i still sad? it’s been 4 months and I should be strong. I am strong for finally leaving him and staying away (in the past i’d run back). I am obsessing about him hitting on girls at work. I have recently got on prozac to help with my obsessive thoughts and depression. I am a young mom who wants to be with her son all the time. I’ve been with him since he was born. And now i have to share him with this devil. This devil takes him away half of the time and my son is crying for me. It breaks my heart. My friends tell me to use this time to do my own thing or relax. But i can’t. I am in tears most nights when i don’t have my son. This is permanent. 17 years of my life, i have to deal with having to split my son’s time. I am having a hard time grasping this. All because of a devil who has wiring problems in his brain because he can’t comprehend how to love and give love to others.

  10. Survivor says:

    I was upset for a long time. We grieve the loss, we grieve the missed time, and we grieve over the lost dreams. It might be good to talk to someone because it is easy for these feelings to turn into a major depression. I saw a therapist for awhile and it helped me sort out my thoughts and eventually get stronger. Places like children and families and domestic violence centers sometimes have resources that don’t cost an arm and a leg. I wish you the best. Hang in there.

  11. resdien says:

    i have been reading everything i can find on narcissism and i also watch youtube videos. It makes me feel better but at times I still feel really sad. This week I decided to look at my ex’s FB (bad idea). He added the girls he used to hit on at work. It breaks my heart that he did this 4 years ago and he stooped that low to add these girls now that were not together. It makes me so sad that we went to counseling about this and I was so depressed when this had happened. My work and school was in jeopardy. For him to do this really made me think this is a very evil man who doesn’t care about me and eventually wants to hurt me. I pray for strength each day and I do find myself stronger. However, I am grieving and I know it’s going to take a while. My other ex of one year took a year to get over and he was also a N. i was with this devil for 6 years and I am having trouble with my grieving. The facts are there. He treated me bad. He was a liar, a controlling person, and a manipulator. I have over 10 traumatic events with this man because of his inappropriate behavior. And I am more sad that he will find another girl and he can easily move on. I don’t get it. Why is it taking me a long time to get over him? Why do i still care?

  12. strongwoman2011 says:

    Hi Resdien, It will take some time to get over this. I am still hurting. My ex NPD was at my house watching the baby so I could go to the gym. When he left . I scrolled through my callers and found numbers I didn’t recognize. I knew they were his women. I still called them, hung up when they answered and felt like crap. I realized that I cannot rush the grieving process. Its intensified because I am home with a newborn all day and I am lonely. I have joined a new moms group, joining a single moms group. I go for walks daily. I limit my contact with him. I also journal. I miss having a partner to snuggle at night. I am giving so much to my son. I wish I had someone nurturing me. I also express gratitude for all the good things in my life. It will get better..you are more resilient than you know. You also are not alone. Narcissists lack empathy. They can cheat, lie and move on because they don’t attach like nonNPD’s. Its a game to see how many people they can tangle in their web. How much attention they can garnish. Its all about their ego. I tell myself every day. His rejection is not a reflection of my importance, attractiveness or worth.

  13. Survivor says:

    There will be those days when we seem alone in this world. I try to focus on the fact that this is just one day and that tomorrow has to be better. Just missing not having the kids on a holiday weekend. I will feel better when I see them again. I breathe so much better when they are with me and I know they are being taken care of.

  14. Lioness says:

    I had to separate from my ex twice before we divorced, and before we got married we broke up several times. After my daughter was born, before the first separation, he would threaten me with being a single mother if I didn’t do what he wanted. He threatened me with divorce for having my tubes tied because my daughter and I almost died when I was pregnant and the doctor said there was a good chance it could happen again. He hit me, kicked me, dragged me by the hair. Before the first separation and after his first in-person affair, he even put me “on trial” for a week where I was supposed to convince him to stay with me. When I was pregnant he nearly got fired for having cybersex at work and he actually convinced me this was my fault, for making him not have cybersex so therefore he “had to” do it at work rather than at home.

    As you can see I put up with more and more abusive, degrading, and humiliating things to try to be with him. Looking back I still don’t quite understand why. I think he must have been really good at manipulation, and really good at just being nice enough once in awhile so that I would keep looking for those glimpses of kindness from him.

    It took my years to quit being jealous of the women he had affairs and cybersex with. Only now that I am married to a wonderful man who adores me and cares for my daughter and I like my ex never did am I grateful to these other women. Without them waiting in the wings I don’t think he would have ever thrown me out, and I’m not sure I ever would have been strong enough to leave on my own.

  15. resdien says:

    I wish they had support groups for victims of Narcissistic abuse.. Survivor- I am seeking therapy now and its been very helpful. I used to think my ex was my security blanket. Whenever I have anxiety, I used to run to him. I am now learning how to deal with anxiety on my own and not think of him. My therapist gave me an analogy of how N’s like to keep their victims in a box. I am finally out of the box. He can’t control me. He can’t emotionally or verbally abuse me. My emotional wounds are slowly healing. I know it will take time and because i am a NORMAL and loving human being- grieving is normal. The power went out in California a few days ago and it was his turn to get my son. I told him it wasn’t a good idea for my son to be in a car especially when traffic lights aren’t working and he lives 40 minutes away. He was so upset that he threatened to call the cops on me. He showed up to where I was at and said “let me at least play with my son.” So i went outside with my son and i already knew it wasn’t a good idea since i don’t trust him. I was tired and wanted my son to finish eating dinner so i was rushing his dad to play with him. Mind you, he already threatened to call the cops- i was already in a bad mood. He got upset and ran off with my son and my son was crying for me. He finally gave me back my son and I rushed in the house while he was chasing me. He called me names and said i needed to grow up. I never stooped so low but I was so fed up with him degrading me. I finally lashed out and said some hurtful things in regards to his dead end job. He used to complain about how he was a loser because he doesn’t have a degree. I was fed up so I said what i said. I actually felt really good but an hour later felt really horrible. I wanted to apologize but then i realized. this is a narcissist… if he was a mature man, then i would of done it but he’s not and he doesn’t deserve for me to even apologize… i have been so independent. Guys have been hitting on me at my second job. I have lost so much weight since we broke up. I was wearing a size 6 and now i’m a size 0. I recently got a new hair cut and color and I am able to buy anything that i want. He always made me feel bad about wanting to buy things in the past. He would convince me to stay home with the baby so he can work full time. If you ever go on youtube, please watch the music video skyscraper by demi lovato. Her lyrics really helps me out alot with the way I felt about my ex. Many people think I look like her too. It’s amazing. God is working in me. I know I am turning to a better person.

  16. resdien says:


    great video to watch especially to those who suffered abuse from a narcissist.

  17. PhoenixRising says:

    Beautiful, resdien. Thanks for sharing this. Music is very powerful…gets you where intellect fails. Knowledge is important, but so is feeling. 🙂

    I understand where you’re coming from. I, too, used to turn to my EX for support. He was the one I turned to, but what a disaster that was. Oh, he could be wonderful when he wanted to, but the thing was you never knew. So if it just wasn’t convenient for him or he was in a snit or something, you could be in a crisis – inner crisis or something like…oh, I don’t know, a death in the family – and you’d be totally on your own.

    Then you’d not only have the situation to deal with but the added betrayal and ensuing hurt and anger on top of that.

    What a mess!

    And don’t feel bad about lashing back. It’s not the best situation, true, because you don’t want them to bring you down to their level BUT it happens, because you’re human and the situation is insane.

    And sometimes it’s called for.

    The thing is to be aware, to become more empowered in the choices you make, to develop the “thick skin” to not respond (because you know that’s the worst thing you can really do to a narcissist anyway 🙂 ) or at least to respond in a way that honors you.

    And be careful not to beat yourself up about it. Just note it and learn from it, and respond in a way that will be better for you. And if you slip up (which you probably will because of what you’re dealing with it, note it again, learn from it and move on.)

    As far as apologizing, I agree with you there, too. There’s no need. Because a narcissist would see it as a concession. Everything is a power play, so real communication, give and take, apologizing to acknowledge the feelings of another person and one’s impact on another doesn’t translate into something people do out of empathy and respect.

    It’s about “I won/You lost”. That’s why it’s so hard if not impossible for narcissists to say “I’m sorry” meaningfully. It doesn’t mean “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings” or “I was out of line”. It means, “I’m sorry I’m such a piece of crap human being who doesn’t deserve the air I breath.”

    If you said you were sorry for saying what you said, he’d only hear you were wrong and he was right…about everything. Period. Never mind what he was doing before you lost it yourself.

    And that’s just sad.

    So glad you’re taking care of yourself. You go girl! 🙂

  18. mrbeenthere says:

    OMG, sounds like me. Get out. It gets worse. I was married to a N for 34 yrs and 46 days. I didn’t know the word. I only knew my wife was volatile abusive, nasty and controlling. And as a dumb ass like you, I leaped the hurdles and jumped through the rings of fire. I’m an achiever and a people pleaser, so I played right in to her hands. I was also a simple country boy who lacked savvy about the ways and evils of the world. And now at the age of 62, I’ve discovered 5 yrs after my father died that my mother is N as well. What an ugly revelation this year. Oh how I now respect and grieve for my dad and the life they lived behind closed doors.

    As a dummy, I justified my x behavior in various ways. I thought it funny I never had a relationship problems with any one else but was told it was me. My details are no different than any one else’s. Only the names and faces differ. It’s so easy to see when not in the heat of battle and finding info online. I wasted my life and that of my kids.

    Good news is I married a beautiful HS classmate after we met at our 40th reunion. I’d dated a few pretenders and wanna be’s for several years. I found real, healthy love and some bonus kids and grand kids.

    Don’t stay, it only gets worse and you and the kids will suffer, perhaps irreparably.

  19. PhoenixRising says:

    Hi MrBeenThere!So sorry it’s taken this long to approve your comment. I haven’t been around for a while.

    I went through one of my “hiding under a rock” periods. Periodic depression is very hard for me to handle sometimes. Sometimes I’m there only a short while, sometimes considerably longer, and then it’s everything I can do to just make it through each day. Unfortunately, triggers are too available in unavoidable contacts with Ex. Most of the time I can let them just roll off my back, but sometimes…

    Anyway, 1) Please don’t be too hard on yourself. You weren’t a dummy or a dumbass. You were a victim, a target of someone’s narcissistic manipulation and abuse. But you escaped! And that’s something to be very proud of.

    And 2)you’ve learned from your experience and used what you knew to make better choices, one that is filling your life with happiness. So congratulations! I’m not as brave as you. I haven’t been with anyone in years, and don’t see that happening any time soon.

    Not interested…too tired…happy to have my freedom and space.

    I feel like I’ve lost so much and am still gathering up pieces of myself that I’m just really leery about letting anyone else in at this time.

    But it’s always nice to hear of someone else finding happiness in a close and healthy relationship. So thank you for sharing, and welcome! 🙂

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