Writer. Abuse Survivor. Narcissist Recovery Coach. Bestselling Author of “You’re Still That Girl: Get over Your Abusive Ex for Good!” www.suzannaquintana.com

The importance of knowing who you’re up against

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Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

There is no lack of information out there about narcissists. Unfortunately, some of it can end up hurting us more than helping due to varying beliefs that deflect from the immense damage they do to others, especially those who love them. There is also no lack of information out there about what to do if you are the unlucky one to be in a relationship or having escaped one with a narcissist (using the Gray Rock Method or going no contact, for example).

However, what not to do with a narcissist is just as important if you are trying to…

And why I couldn’t tell the difference.

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Readers please note: this story discusses physical and emotional abuse. If you need help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Love doesn’t hurt. If it does, it’s because you have given your heart to the wrong person. Charles J. Orlando

When it comes to my past marriage to a clinically diagnosed narcissist, a question I am often asked is, “Weren’t there signs he was abusive?”

To which I now answer, Oh hell yeah. Boatloads of them. I just couldn’t see them.

Or rather, what I saw didn’t come across as abuse as I knew it because abuse as I knew…

And why it’s a red flag for future abuse

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Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

I hadn’t known him for more than a month. The ink on the divorce papers from my first husband wasn’t even dry. I was vulnerable because of pain from my past that I’d yet to work through. I was a newly single mom to a young son and had moved to a new city to start over.

And at the age of 29, I was empty, which fed my desperation to rid myself of that emptiness.

Then he stepped in. Well, it was more like he whooshed in. …

And what not to do

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Photo by Ashley Batz on Unsplash

Having traveled that long and difficult road of healing after a narcissist shattered my life as I knew it, I know exactly what it takes to make it to the other side, claim your space in the light, and leave the darkness behind for good.

But the road isn’t an easy one to take. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a road. More like a rollercoaster in a washing machine set on spin. …

At least in his words

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Photo by Camilla Plener on Unsplash

There is a scene toward the end of the movie Private Benjamin where the woman played by Goldie Hawn discovers a necklace that isn’t hers in the bed of her fiancé, played ever so arrogantly by Armand Assante. The necklace belongs to their young housekeeper, a woman who when confronted starts to cry and swears that it fell off while she was making the couple’s bed.

Because of previous red flags in the relationship, Goldie’s character, Judy, angrily confronts her soon-to-be husband, Henri, of cheating. …

And no, you’re not crazy. Nor are you alone.

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Photo by Carlos Arthur M.R on Unsplash

When you first start learning about narcissists and the abuse they inflict it feels like you’re being strapped into a rollercoaster and heading up that first steep climb, totally oblivious to the ride awaiting you on the other side. With each new detail comes a jolt when you realize there is a name for what happened to you and that you’re not alone in your experience.

With each sharp curve the coaster takes you’re met with more information, which seems impossible to process because of the amount overload. Not to mention the misinformation, which is just as prevalent. …

And tell no one…for now

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Whether you are young or young at heart, whether you are of color or white, gay or straight, single or married, religious or spiritual or lacking belief in a higher power, working or middle or upper class, whether you have children or not…

If you identify as a woman, you need to hide your money.

Not all of it. Just as much as you can manage given your current financial situation. Even if that means five bucks a week. Or ten. Or fifty. More if possible.

This isn’t to replace any money you may have in savings or investments, or…

And how to never again lose yourself in one

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Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash

I deliberately used the words “found yourself” in the title due to the manner in which we get into an abusive relationship since it’s important to shatter the myth that somehow a victim knowingly chooses to enter one.

Especially when there is no physical abuse present, a victim can literally wake up one day years into the relationship or even after it’s over when the truth finally hits them.

It’s a devious game of Lost and Found.

We go years, even decades, wondering where we disappeared to, unable to recognize the person in the mirror, believing that somehow we’re at…

And how this tells me there are still a lot of people hurting out there

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Once a writer, always a writer.

As an abuse survivor and successful narcissist recovery coach, I write what I know. Ever since I worked up the courage all those years ago to publish my first piece detailing my experience with abuse at the hands of a diagnosed narcissist (who was also my husband and father of my children), my voice has been the tool that has helped me heal.

Though I’d always been a writer since I was a young girl, I lost my ability to express myself through the written word during the time I spent with two husbands over nearly three decades who did…

Is it love or abuse disguised as love?

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Photo by Katerina Kerdi on Unsplash

Readers please note: this story includes descriptions of domestic abuse. If you need help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

When abuse is physical, the sign that the relationship isn’t a healthy one is pretty clear cut.

But what if a person you love never lays a hand on you? What if you don’t have a black eye or bruises to show for your pain? If there is no physical abuse in the relationship, does that mean it’s not abusive?

And even if we know something’s wrong, even when we’re hurting at the hands of someone we love, if we…

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