“I’m Still Standin” — & Will Be Post-Coronavirus
Severe depression, gut wrenching anxiety, intense PTSD, lost financial security, difficult health effects, loss of friends, extraordinary grief, devastation of my world. I’ve experienced these and more by my having encountered and loved a Narcissist.
I didn’t know that this man, who became the love of my life, had Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He was a master of deception and I was gaslighted as much as a person could possibly be.
I didn’t know he was leading a double life — one with me and one with a wife tucked behind the scenes. I later learned there were many other women at the same time. He juggled us all.
My life was shattered when I found out who he was underneath it all and what he had done each and every day we were together. The impacts on me have lasted for years.
But despite the horror of it all, of the many despicable things he did to me over such a long time, I’ve survived.
For the longest time I didn’t think I could. As I wrote in my book of the same name, he utterly demolished me and my life (“Demolished: Hit & Run by a Narcissist”). He left me no longer wanting to live, and even missing him after all was said and done. Grieving the loss of the man I knew and loved so completely.
Truth be told, I still miss him. I had more love for him than I knew I was capable of. Truth be told again, I still love him. But I had no choice other than to leave him.
Life without him felt so empty for such a long time. But little by little I’m creating a new life, a new world.
I’ve survived and I intend to keep on doing so. Or as the popular song goes, “I’m Still Standin”.
So many people are coping with hardships and tragedies these days — due to abuse, deceit, manipulation and other terrible behaviors on the part of others. Then comes the Coronavirus and its sweeping destruction across the world. Thanks to the pandemic, people’s lives are being upended in ways they could have never anticipated.
Ironically, the experience with my Narcissist helped prepare me for challenges that the Coronavirus has presented. The pain I experienced over him was so intense that I was forced to isolate myself from people. For a very long time. I couldn’t cope with being around others so I, in effect, quarantined myself. Having to do so now because of the virus has been easy by comparison.
Another song, and saying, rings true as well: “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”. I am a stronger person now because of the excruciating pain I experienced, and what I learned from it. While I’d have gladly forfeited gaining such strength and life lessons if I could have been spared the pain, or at least some of it, I am in fact now stronger and more able for whatever comes my way in the future.
Anything that happens next with the Coronavirus I know I can withstand.
I have beat Depression and PTSD. A gargantuan victory. And I know it’s now part of my responsibility to support others who have had to face such experiences of emotion, body, mind and spirit. Especially those who are doing so as the result of a Narcissist. My next book will be on the subject of How I Demolished PTSD.
In the meantime, for those in pain, know that it is TEMPORARY. You’re going through a process that will not last forever. And each step you take in a positive direction COUNTS. Commit to yourself to take a new step each day, no matter how large or small.
As is being said widely with the Coronavirus, We ARE All in This Together. Commit to take good care of yourself and DECIDE be “Standin” when it’s all said and done.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
April 11, 2020