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

And the heartbreak these mistakes bring

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When it comes to making mistakes when dealing with a narcissistic ex, I’m your poster girl for managing to make every single one. And then some.

The reason why is simple: All those years ago when I was drowning in an abusive marriage that grew worse by the year, oblivious to the fact that the man I loved was a full-blown narcissist who would only be clinically diagnosed toward the end of our relationship, I still held tight to the belief everyone was inherently good. …


The importance of knowing who you’re up against

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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 it’s a red flag for future abuse

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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. …


Think your narcissistic ex has found true love with someone else? Think again.

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One of the most painful parts of healing after a narcissist broke your heart (and in many cases, shattered your entire world) is in the discovery of how easily they are able to move on. No matter the time you spent with them — years, decades — no matter how much you invested in the relationship, no matter if you had children, nothing hurts more than watching a narcissistic ex swap you out with someone else as if they’re playing a simple game of musical chairs.

And when that music stopped, you were the one left without a place to…


Where there’s smoke…

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Since the age of sixteen, I was always a normal-pap-smear type of girl. Once I met my first husband at the age of twenty, I would never have a normal anything for our entire time together as a couple.

Because of my young age and over-the-top naivety in pretty much everything, but especially sex and my own body, I never did the math or dug deeper into why every annual exam always ended up being something rather than the nothings I was used to in the past. …


And being the parent I never had

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My father thinks I’m mean. Nasty, he’s said. He believes I have hate in my heart.

The reason? I asked him to stop hurting me. I begged him to stop hurting our family. I stood up to him and protected my mother. I confronted his behavior and called him out when he seemed to take joy out of hurting us.

And the worst sin of all: I wrote about him, spilling the secret our family had always done so well to protect.

That I have an abusive father.

Before I had children of my own, everything I learned about parenting…


When the label and the diagnosis cease to matter

Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi on Unsplash

Narcissism and narcissistic abuse have become all the rage to talk about nowadays. There is a wealth of information available and for those of us who are victims, this is good news.

Until it’s not.

Until the information begins to contradict itself and confuse us even more as we struggle to understand our situation. Until we’re told that no matter how much we learn, no matter how we’re the only ones who witness our partner behind closed doors, our opinion is invalid unless we have a professional diagnosis to back it up.

But what if we can’t drag our partner…


At least in his words

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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.

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 why I couldn’t tell the difference.

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

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…

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