Your abuser wants to matter to you. He wants you to be miserable, scared and heartbroken forever. He wants the scars to never heal. The ultimate revenge? Be happy. Seriously, that’s all you need to do, and he’d be so horrified if he knew; but fortunately you’ll be too busy living an awesome life without him to even care what he thinks.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably angry, traumatised, and horrified since realising you’ve been taken for a ride by a narcissistic abuser who screwed you over six ways to Sunday and has probably never really loved anyone but themselves. You dreamed of raising a happy family with them just to have them break every promise they ever made, and maybe you’re not just mad at them, you’re mad at yourself for being duped.
Whether he left you for the latest of his long list of affairs, or you finally caught on to the now-obvious fakeness of the “I’m so sorry, I love you, I’ll change!” mantra, either way, you are so much better off without him in your life, but the scars of what he’s put you – and probably your kids – through will take a long time to heal. If you’re unlucky, he may even try to use the kids as a weapon, in which case you’ve got many years of a small little man trying to make himself feel big by bullying you.
“I’ll make him pay!”
Your first instinct is to do something to cause them to feel even a tiny bit of what they’ve put you through, to teach them a lesson, etc. It’s human nature to feel this way, to want some sort of justice.
Bad news; in the narcissist’s mind, nothing they’ve done to you could ever be wrong, and any attempt to play the game by their rules will just confirm in their mind that you’re an evil witch and that everything they’ve done to you was justified. If by some miracle they ever actually learned a lesson in their life, you can’t be the one to teach it to them.
So, how can you actually get revenge on your abuser? Do you key their car and set fire to all their clothes? (I do actually know someone who did that, incidentally.) Do you stand outside their office with an "XXX is a lying, thieving jerk who can't keep it in his pants" sign? (Tempting, but no.) If you have kids together, taking the low road with them is going to be something that's hard to explain later, and also could make you look very bad in court; don't take the bait.
How does a victim truly get revenge?
Darn, that's frustrating. What's a girl to do? Well, here's how I got my sweet, sweet revenge: I pick flowers with my totally adorable two-year old girl, who is the light of my life (and who wouldn't be here if I hadn't made the mistakes I'd made, so I regret nothing). We dance to cheesy early-90s pink-leotard jazzercise videos every morning. Instead of spending time with a guy who told me I was worthless and stupid, I spend time with people who love and care about me, and I don't base my self-worth on others. And I've learned that I deserve real love, not empty words, and respect, not hurt.