I was once the room mate of a killer. Yes, you read that right. I was, for a limited time, “sharing digs” with a (soon to be, then) convicted killer. The conviction of this person’s murderous activities didn’t come until a year or two later. That did NOT help me in my complete and utter shock, at being that close to, what some people would think of as a “monster”, I’m sure.
I can not reveal more details than this, simply that; way back in my personal history I, unknowingly, shared accomodation with a murderer. This was for a limited time, more than one night, but less than a month. All the same, this gives me perspective, in retrospect. What if this person had somehow found me “intolerable”? What would have happened to me, then? It gives you pause, I promise you, when you know that you have been sleeping under the same roof as someone that society has deemed hopelessly brutal and to be locked away for, well, basically, the rest of their life. I know this all sounds very mysterious, and I can not share more info on the subject other than, it was completely random that I happened to share lodgings with this person, ie it wasn’t a friend of mine, or anything like that. Nevertheless, I spent time in this person’s company, talked, laughed, made polite comments, got to know a little about the person, etc.
What does this have to do with anything, you might ask? Well. It certainly does give you a perspective on life. So many times, I have been so utterly reckless with my life. So many times, I have walked home in the dark, on lonely roads, where anything could have happened. So many times, (mostly in my youth, alright?! 😉 ), I’ve: followed strangers home for an afterparty, or something similar….
When I was 17, I went along with my then boyfriend, to South America. With no one else but him to trust in. For a month. A few weeks before we went there, a plane had gone down in the Andes, the enormous mountains there. We hit some extreme turbulence with our plane too, in the same place and well, I’ll tell you: When the flight crew are scared, YOU will be scared, too! I wasn’t too cocky at 17, so that fear of flying has stayed with me, ever since. Also, there was some guerrilla drama going on in one of the embassies of the country we were going to. But, I went anyway. I figured, nothing will happen to me, surely. Ah, the immortality idea, reserved for the youth….
Well, nothing has happened to me, in my youth, nor later on. That is, nothing has injured me, physically, from any outside force/person. Does that mean I am alright? Well, if you know my blog… you probably know, that murder isn’t the only horrible thing you can really do to a person. I agree, murder is more horrible, in the way that it is final.
But, what narcissists and other psychological abusers do to us, is just a small step down that ladder of torture and pain. Just think about it; What they do to us, how does it affect us? For me, I know it has: robbed me of my chance to have children, and of being able to have a love life for years and years to come, it has robbed me of all self-esteem and ability to trust people. It has inflicted more pain onto me, than any other sorrows in my life, combined. It has robbed me of the feeling that people are generally good, instead, I now operate from an automatic assumption that people can’t be trusted; everyone has their own agenda, etc. It’s robbed me of so much, rendered me so sad, lonely and dark, that I would compare the things done to me, to a felony; at least comparable to kidnapping and torture.
But the narcissists and other emotional abusers will never get a sentence. We, the victims, live years, sometimes decades, with the damage done to us, unable to heal. Only physical damage “counts”….
I can not help, that I think back sometimes, to that time when I shared living accomodations for a short time, with that (later convicted) murderer. I swear to you, this is NOT to sound condescending, or diminishing of that victim’s suffering in any way. I do understand that “objectively”, it is much worse to have your life physically ended by someone else…. I do understand that.
Yet, sometimes, I can not help to ask myself: That person who got murdered, their agony lasted for, maximum, one day. Mine, on the other hand, has lasted for years and years…. And it will go on for probably a few years more, with the extreme psychological damage done to me….. Just….: I want to know: Is that murderer the only offender worth noticing? Is he really the only one worth punishing, according to society? I mean, of course, his victim got his life cut short by many many years, and the victim got to suffer a lot, at the time of his death. But, if you consider our suffering? The victims of narcissists, who can suffer tremendous, enormous, long bouts of anxiety, depression, (sometimes even suicidiality, for some victims), total loss of confidence, physical diseases and conditions because of severe stress, etc etc etc.
I am just asking myself sometimes: Was I really the lucky one, who got away from that murderer? Objectively: Of course I was! I got to keep my life (yay). However, if you have ever met a true, classic, sadistic narcissist, you won’t be so sure that I was so “lucky” to survive the murderer…. I had 4 years of suffering the narcissist’s abuse instead, plus now another 5 – 10 years probably, to recover from that abuse. If I will ever recover from it; I don’t know.
I sure can tell you, that some days, I definitely wish that the narcissist had just physically killed me, just stabbed me with a knife or something, instead of this horrible mental, emotional, and psychological torture, for years and years…. That’s just how I feel. That is not meant as a disrespect to any victims of a homicide. That is just how I feel right now.
I know I “should” often feel lucky to be alive. I just don’t…. – I just can’t. Not after the narcissist.
Recovery feels like another punishment, another torture from somewhere high above (or below?), that I just have to live through, survive.
And believe me, when all your life has been a story of surviving, fighting against abuse, getting knocked down, getting back up, like you are the friggin’ Muhammad Ali of the entire universe: Then, you begin to feel an extreme exhaustion, eventually.
When will you ever get a break?
As a victim of narcissistic abuse for years and years: You don’t.
You just keep going for survival, every day. You are glad if you make it through, this day. And the next. And the next.
Sometimes, if you’re me, you can’t help but wonder:
Would it have been a mercy, if I had been the victim of that murderer, in the same room as me?
I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.
I want to feel that it was a stroke of luck, that I am SO grateful that I got out alive from that.
I just don’t. I don’t feel that. Ever since that moment: The majority of the 15 – 20 years since then, have been extremely unhappy for me…. With several deaths, countless sorrows and losses, narcissistic abuse over years and years, leaving me crippled and stunted emotionally, and also: ensuing: almost complete loneliness, losing most of my friends, my family of origin suddenly all distancing themselves cause they have new partners/friends, that are more important to them than I am, suddenly, (despite always “needing” me, when they themselves were lonely…..), plus extreme work stress that has affected my health enormously; with heart arythmia, insomnia, memory loss, a beginning of an ulcer, etc etc etc, ad infinitum….
So, I don’t know: Should I feel grateful, that I am alive?
Sometimes, I swear, I just don’t know.
But, I am putting it out there, now: I want to feel grateful….
If there is indeed any force out there in the universe: Please, make me see why I have a reason for hope still, in all my darkness, why I should feel grateful still, for always (physically) making it through any danger and crisis situation…
Thanks in advance, Universe. Will be waiting for your response and appreciate a quick reply…
(Most images are of Dean in the tv series Supernatural).