How do you hurt a sociopath

Johanna about her life with a sociopath

Suddenly he needs admiration and power

The beginning of Johanna's relationship with Rolf is exciting and romantic for her. He is active, charming, and she supports him as much as she can, for example with his studies. They get married, have two girls, and everything could be fine. But then the tide turns. Everyday life moves in, and Rolf apparently soon lacks attention. It is becoming increasingly clear that he needs admiration. And makes. To get it, he keeps changing job and place of residence - Johanna has to go with him. Rolf doesn't ask anymore, he demands. She has to organize everything, she has more work to do, she is lazy.

When she was seriously ill, she felt noticed again

Soon she can no longer please him, his demands become more and more absurd. A certain place at the table must always remain free for him, otherwise he will freak out. She's supposed to dig up the big garden, all by herself. Johanna obeys, for the sake of peace, but her strength is not enough, she gets sick more and more often. Eventually, her doctor diagnoses a brain tumor. Paradoxical, but at this moment she feels perceived as a person again for the first time. And this feeling is remembered. Johanna rebels more and more often. She had never confided in anyone before, she always wanted to fight for her dream of a happy family. But nobody is happy - neither they nor the children. She knows: I don't want to go on living like this.

After 20 years she leaves. At last. Now Johanna has written a book about her marriage hell. "If I can use it to sensitize just one woman to the subject, it will be worth it." The Lea editorial team spoke to her.

Why did you accept that? Is that a lack of self-esteem?

“Also, but it can basically happen to anyone when certain personality traits come together in a relationship and you are in some way dependent on one another. I often ask myself this question, but I know that if I had been more self-confident, there would have been a lot more arguments on the way to the bitter finale. "

Now can you name a point where you should have left?

"No, I should have rebelled more now and then, but I think the piece had to be played that way, it needed all the acts."

How did you even manage to maintain confidence?

“Through my children and my work. I am a pretty, safe ‘mother, I have a good feeling for my children, I am strong and clear, they thrived well, if you can put it that way. And my success as an illustrator was like wind beneath wings that I didn't know I had. "

Are you still afraid of your husband today, after a good five years?

“Every letter from the lawyer makes me shiver. The attitude towards one's children is unforgivable and defies any legal basis. He is unpredictable. That scares me."

What is your advice to women who have run into a narcissistic partner?

“Most of the time, you don't know until afterwards ... But if you are afraid that you should read up on the subject, then suddenly you don't feel so helpless anymore and you realize that you are not 'crazy' at all, although he puts you there the whole time. "

Tips and information on the subject: Abuse has many faces

Every third woman has experienced psychological or physical violence. But only 20 percent get help. Here are some points of contact for victims.

Quick help in an emergency:

  • The “Violence against Women” helpline of the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks has been around for a long time. Now a new campaign has started. Title: “From now on I will speak!” With all forms of violence you can reach someone there who listens and can give help. Tel .: 0 80 00/11 60 16,
  • The Federal Association of Women's Advice Centers and Women's Emergency Hotlines (bff for short) also offers Germany-wide help and advice. The offers are free and you can remain anonymous if you wish.
  • Victims of sexual abuse, their relatives and specialists who work in the educational field receive support. The portal is a guide to help on site and to therapy offers.
  • The association “Women helping women” with its headquarters in Constance has plenty of offers on its website, from a safety plan for women to the most important telephone

Our book tip: The author vividly describes her life with a narcissistic husband. She writes under a pseudonym and does not want to give her real name.


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