My Story

When I look back on my life now, I can’t help but wonder if I wasn’t on some sort of intensive training program. At just past a half-century of age, I realize that I have IMG_1809personal experience in many areas.

This includes leaving home at a young age, competing at the olympic level in swimming, earning three university degrees, losing loved ones before their time, dealing with a person that was suffering with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder or manic depressive disorder (the diagnosis changed with each doctor) being a single parent of four daughters; dealing with chronic disease in a loved one, narcissism, an alcoholic, a divorce, several job changes and several moves. I have begun to explore my life in more detail, if you would like to read more click here.

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My professional experience, includes working in private practice, industry, academia and government and I am now running a business and writing in addition to my full time job. My diverse experience allows me to see issues from multiple points of view and is beneficial when trying to seek solutions.

Browse the topics, leave comments and enjoy your stay on my website.

Wendy Powell B.Sc., D.V.M., M.Sc.

13 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I read your book, can’t help but wonder how narcissism is really at the root of the abusive mentality. All the same qualities exist, with the addition of violence and intimidation. Had I been more educated on the subject of abuse/narcissism, all I had to do was one simple thing, reverse everything he said, and I would’ve figured out what was wrong with him, not me.
    Linda Gallo

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    1. I’m sorry you went through what you did. The root of abuse in narcissism is their inability to feel empathy. They do not know, or care, if they hurt someone. This means that they see you only for what you can do for them. Since they do not care if they hurt you, they will use whatever means possible to control you and to get you to do what they want.

      Physical and emotional violence is often used to intimidate you so that you won’t question them, to make you comply with their wishes or to simply get what they want. Without empathy, it does not matter to them if this hurts you.

      One of the main goals when writing about narcissism is so that other people will see the pathology as early as possible and protect themselves from it. Many of us blame ourselves first and do not realize that we are being manipulated by a sociopath.

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  2. Where do I start this?
    An apology for the length and raw nature. I’m not much of a writer.
    I still don’t know if I was the victim, abuser or both. research is showing me it is a toss up at this point.
    I met my former spouse while in the Army, but we never actually “got together “until well after that date. I would like to say that I lived a pristine life and was a moral pillar to those around me, but I cannot boast that fine aspiration.
    I was molested as a 13 year old paperboy, my mother never did anything about it and that started my decline. Not the fact mom didn’t do anything, She was frightened and a victim of rape herself. What got me was the confusion and loathing I felt after that incident. Until recently, I couldn’t stand the feeling of someone else’s skin touching mine. I avoided people in general and never really trusted anyone.
    I was married to my first wife as a young soldier. This marriage ended in less than 2 years. The only blame there was that we were young, immature and both, “barely” survivors of sexual abuse as children. I say barely, because I don’t think that either of our families knew what to do about it and we ourselves didn’t either. I will also add that during this period in the Army, I was witness and participant to some things that I couldn’t wrap my head around, some things I reckon our minds rebel against.
    I won’t go into the details, but things just stacked on. I wasn’t a good husband to my first wife. 20+ years after our divorce, she wrote me a character reference for my court issue with my current and final former wife. I would do the same for her.
    I met my second wife in 1988 while serving in the Army, her grand dad was a WW2 hero and my regiment was his regiment back then. We were both married and divorced in between the time we met and the time we actually lived together and were married. By the time 1993 rolled around, I was a hot mess. That is when. “X” moved up here to my state. I was 25 and a total emotional wreck. I gave up my career in the Army, was divorced from my first wife and was carrying a lot of guilt and anger.
    Almost immediately I noticed that she was “a bit off”. She told me this was due to a thyroid issue she had and we set about getting her doctor’s appointments and medications. X liked to go out and party, but I was already past that stage and this caused conflict. My reply to all life’s problems was to go to work. She took this as ignoring her and acted out. She would disappear in the middle of the day and not come back until much later. Years later, she told me she would go and walk down the road and let men pick her up for fun and attention.
    I was angry of course, but I was even guiltier for allowing my wife to think I didn’t care. I tried to show her my love, but I am a pretty simple guy and some small thing I made from wood or leather wasn’t the attention she wanted. She wanted to go out and be seen. Her behavior continued and as years past I finally realized that she was sleeping around, no matter where we moved, she would always find her “fix”. In 2001 I had finally had enough, I worked in a bar and she would hook up in local bars. I got a call one night “dude, your woman is leaving with some guy”. The bar was right across the street. I walked over and found her in the guy’s car making out. Needless to say I went to jail that night. When I pulled her out of the guy’s car, she jerked away from me and said” I know what I’m doing”! I slapped her.
    2 toddlers at the baby sitters and me at work, already knowing what she had been doing for years, when I finally saw it and she spoke those words in that vicious tone…I became a batterer in the eyes of the law and many others.
    In 2003 I started working in the Middle East, from then until 2010 I was on the road 300 or so days out of the year. I didn’t have to address the issue any more. I felt that if I could provide a stable income and leave her in charge of the finances and household, she would forgive me for hitting her. We split up in 2010 after I lost my job, she moved out and got an apartment a few blocks away. Our then teen daughter moved in with her. She told me, “Dad, Mom needs someone”. During this time X was picking up guys from dating sites and craigslist Ads. She even gave one the key to her apartment and he came over very late one school night, alcohol on his breath and woke our daughter who was sleeping in the living room chair as she was sick.
    There were others, but I remember this one because I did check him out with the state patrol database and he had an extensive record. The divorce papers were filed but, we decided to reconcile. There were so many inconsistencies to what X told me. She wasn’t a good liar at all, but she would add just enough truth for me to hope for change. I had worked on my anger for years. Numbness was my answer. Fast forward to 2014…. This time X wanted the divorce. That was fine by me. She moved out on Jan 5th 2014, lived with my sister until June of 2014. My sister had been her friend and confidant for years.
    I have to admit that X and I dallied with each other even after she asked for a divorce and after she moved out. This was at the same time she was seeing other men. I am still trying to figure out what is wrong with me to keep up this behavior. When I finally did stop sleeping with her, I tried to be her friend, I still tried to protect her from predatory men and give her advice. I was in no place to do that at all because I never understood until recently, she wanted that life style.
    I found a lady in December of 2013, or rather she found me. A pen pal actually. One day she told me that she had decided to love me whether I loved her back or not. This started my eyes opening. She came here to the states twice on her own dime. She is a successful lady in her country and doesn’t need me or any man like me. But, she chose to love me. I began to feel again. These events are overlapping so if your readers are getting confused, you can bet I was at the time also. I will call her N, for privacy.
    N argued with me that X was a trouble maker and she only came around to get what she could get. I argued back, “No, she isn’t”. I wasted these rich feelings on X when they were all due to my new love. On August 26 2014, I decided to sever my ties with X. It was the right thing to do and was long overdue. The mutual back and forth had to stop! After a running, text, email and Skype conversation, I was done responding to her and let it go. On August 28 I was cleaning up N’s Facebook page, privatizing it and getting rid of old stuff, This was at her request and I was surprised that she would give me the passcode. I was lazy so I hadn’t done it all in one shot. When I logged on, I went to her messages and noticed a message in her (other) box. The one reserved for spam and not friends mail. I opened it and there were 4 photos of X and 3 of me, hers were pornographic to the xxx extent and the ones of me were shirtless but taken at the same time. The message read “my name”, ruins lives by cheating”. My heart dropped, this message was sent on the 26th. This message was sent via a false FB account and only 2 people would have those photos. I screen shot the message, deleted it and set about finding how to put a no contact order on someone. I told N, about the message and that I was going to get a no contact order. She approved. On the 30th of August I sent X a message to all known emails, Stating I wished to have no further contact with her in any way.

    In the process of telling my family what had happened, my sister said,” I have some things you should know”. She proceeded to tell me about every time X had talked about wanting me dead, planning my death, researching ways to kill me and even soliciting others to do it. She also laid out to me how the cheating never stopped and how proud X was that she had that secret over me. Then the worst part, X had deliberately, over time separated me from my children. She had stolen from them, me. She had robbed us all of a loving relationship. And I had let her do it. The no contact order turned into an order of protection, she counter filed. I asked my sister why she didn’t tell me years ago, her reply stung, I wasn’t exactly approachable. I realized she was being kind in that statement.
    Our son stayed out of it, he said to me “Dad, I have holes in my memory up till my sophomore year”, “I think you are doing the right thing and Mom is just trying to get you in trouble”. Both of my daughters, and my sister wrote detailed statements as to X’s actions and words. X accused me of attempted rape battery and constant abusive behavior in her petition. Only one thing rang true in her statement, I slapped her in 2001 and was prosecuted for it.
    I had corroborating evidence of systematic emotional abuse of the children and myself, death threats and theft of personal items to include medication, clothing and important papers. In the end, her lawyer wanted another continuance, I told him OK, that gives me 2 weeks to pile on more of my own. Or she drops her petition, I drop mine and we get a mutual anti-harassment order. All she has to do is stand in front of the court and admit that she did indeed send those photos and the message to N. She took that offer. I have the video recording from the courtroom.
    20 years of not only my life, but the younger years of my children, wasted. The letters from my sister were the keystone. All the unanswered questions were answered all the blanks were filled. I told the girls to tell the truth, no more no less. Use your own words. My eyes are open to what happened now. My daughters’ words were always there, they warned me and I didn’t hear them.
    I am 46 years old and I have been a fool for the last 20 years. Now I am trying to find out why I allowed myself to be blinded. I know I am a broken person. I have been abused and the abuser, I know that my children suffered while I was gone for the greater part of those 8 years I was working abroad and later. Shame has played a part in all of this, shame for things I did as a young man and shame for things I let myself believe I did to X. Shame for the fact I wasn’t there to protect X as a child when she was raped repeatedly by a former step-father. Even my hope was part, I hoped she and I could change.
    Here is what I know for sure.
    X isn’t just a Narcissist, She is a Sociopath. She preys on broken people and gets the attention she needs. Her current boyfriend is a disabled vet that lost his wife and then his eldest daughter. I am pretty sure he paid for her lawyer. X integrates into someone’s life and adopts everything about that person, even their friends and ways of speaking. She has sex in her van outside of bars and on her way home from work, this she told me herself. My sisters statement explained why X would tell me this, X thought it would hurt me to tell me and even pleased her that she had this secret she could tell at any time to hurt me. Too bad for her that numbness worked so well, even though the sheer volume was unexpected, the actions weren’t.
    Up until the time I severed ties, I was her back up man. I fixed her car, got her out of her fixes and was a shoulder to cry on. X wanted me to do nasty sexual things and I did, only to be blamed later for it. I also know that my children have the capacity to forgive me, even though I failed them so terribly. N loves me and has forgiven me. I will go to her in the spring and we will work together and build on a foundation of trust and respect. I don’t loath the touch of another person anymore, I sleep soundly when N is next to me. I will always see and hear my children from now on. I seek good council instead of closing myself off, lord knows I need it.
    X will continue to lie her way through life, she will seek her comfort in multiple partners and attention from strangers. She has everything of monetary and intrinsic value from our life together. But nothing she made on her own, no family, no long term friends. I don’t need to be a strong man anymore, no need to be a tough unfeeling rock to protect myself. No desire to lash out in rage or even shame. N and my family are who forgave me, they never used me or lied to me. I’m not selfish, I am not a blunt instrument, or a toy! I am used to the smears and blame game, My kids recognized all this well before me.
    As much as I would like to blame X for every crappy thing that happened between us, I can’t. I was at fault for thinking I could handle it all, thinking I could change the character of someone else. I couldn’t even change my own. Being with a person like X and being a broken person to begin with, there isn’t any solution to the relationship. Change yourself first, set a higher standard. Take one step forward at a time. If you are in fear of your life, leave everything and find a safe place to run to. I can’t speak of what to do if you have children, mine are adults. In my state Men don’t do so well in custody battles anyway. Keep a journal, keep text messages, and keep a record! Always learn to love yourself first. Sappy words from a man, but true.
    PS
    When we were sitting in court waiting for the judge to sign the order, X leaned over and said” you sent me that email on the 30th”. “I said yes, what about it”? “That was my birthday” X replied. Even in the face of something as huge as a life changing court order, after all we had said and had done over 20 years, she was focused on what she saw as a personal slight.
    I told her it hadn’t even crossed my mind.

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    1. I’m so sorry that all of this has happened to you. It is a common thread for many of us that we we’re never loved and cared for. Without that experience, we struggle for a basis of comparison. Any affection or attention can fill the void for a while. Best of luck. I hope you find yourself with someone that adores you and treats you well.

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  3. Hi Wendy – nice to find you and your blog. I was matried to a narcissist as well and am likely the child of one as well, so your writing resonates with me. I unfortunately live in Alberta so can’t give any political support other than “You go, girl!” I am also a liberal but that’s not big out here (consider that last part to be a whisper). 🙂

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  4. Hello Wendy,
    Someone posted this blog entry in a FB group about parenting with (or without) Narcissists and I have been doing research on Narcissism for years now and this is the best piece of information anyone should read!
    I have shared it with all my friends, some are starting to see what is going on and I hope your blog entry will be the lightbulb moment that will set them free!
    I am personally Narc free and have never felt so good in my life!!
    I’m a French native living in California.
    Thank you!

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  5. Hello Wendy, my name is also Wendy. I’m in a narcissistic abusive relationship and have been in it for the last 16years. I am getting out, or trying very hard to. My abuser doesn’t bother me as much, but I’m so afraid that this is happening between him and our beautiful, wonderful, talented daughter. Please help! I’m looking for resources, my daughter is beautiful inside and out and I see it happening, this cycle with her! I need to get her help, I don’t want my abuse cycle to happen to her! I’m so desperate for answers. I want to just run and hide, BUT she loves him, she adores him, he is her everything, how can I explain this to an 11yr old, right now she is his supply, and he gives her that abundance of love, until she does something like performing bad in a competitive event like tennis, track and now basketball. I really don’t know what to do.
    Wendy

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  6. Wow! I’m not sure that I can adequately give you all of the info you need in a response. If you are planning on leaving, you need to start now. Separate bank account, credit card and post office box. There are some points on this in the blog: Outsmarting the Narcissist. http://wp.me/p3scpP-7Rw

    My experience, as far as children are concerned would suggest that she will be “fine” until she goes through differentiation. That is the stage young teenagers go through when they try to become young adults. It is a difficult stage for many adolescents. This begins around 14 years of age. She will begin to stand up to him………

    If you do separate, get a third lawyer for your daughter. This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but believe me, if you do not she will be used as a pawn and that will cause too much trauma. The lawyer will represent her in the divorce and make sure her voice is heard. In Canada, the province will pay for this, but I don’t know where you are writing from. Any agency dealing with children should be able to help you find out what is available and at the very least, would know a good lawyer experienced in representing children.

    Finally, it must be said, the next stage of work, after you leave, is to learn about boundaries. No judgement, it is a problem all of us, meaning those who are with narcissists (any relationship) have difficulty with. In order to actually break the cycle, you must learn boundaries. This will help you raise your daughter in a way that she respects her own boundaries. My entire next book is on that, so it is difficult to summarize. Reading about co-dependancy is going to give you a start. I can’t recommend anything to read–that’s why I’m writing the book!!

    Best of luck to you. There is peace and joy on the other side of the mountain you are about to climb.

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