When My Abusive Boyfriend Denied His Own Child, I Knew I Had To Leave

In helping women with abuse, I helped myself.

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When something is often invisible, proving its existence can feel beyond a needle in a haystack. That has been the age-old struggle for those who’ve experienced narcissistic abuse, a form of psychological and emotional abuse that is misunderstood, easy to hide, and unwritten in law.

Another major issue: victims of this type of abuse rarely realize they are dealing with narcissists at all. I was one of them.


For years, I was in a relationship with a man who would belittle every fiber of my being. My weight, my skin color, the way I dressed — nothing I did was right.

RELATED: 9 Signs Of Narcissistic Abuse, Explained By A Therapist

Relationships like this were normal where I grew up — the projects of Hope, Arkansas. This is probably why I had my first child with this sorry excuse of a man. I did not understand what a healthy relationship looked like — not even in my household.

He was a criminal, too. Yet, a charming one, who had sly ways of getting his way — a key sign of a narcissist. 

I remember after finding out I was pregnant, I was walking home from my best friend’s house after it had rained and he drove right by me with a bunch of girls in his car, totally discarding or acknowledging the fact that I was pregnant with his child — another indicator of an abusive narcissist. Dumping and discarding is one of their main characteristics too.


I remember always having to care for my baby myself. His lack of empathy and respect made sure of that — more signs of a narcissist, not far from a sociopath.

I remember when I had the baby he completely denied that he was the father and totally ignored us for a while even though she looked so much like him. He later ordered a paternity test after he was facing life imprisonment in jail. Of course, she was 99.999% of his DNA. 

Later on, as an adult, I attracted another narcissist and we married. It was like the same person but a different body. Needless to say, that marriage was short-lived. Once I saw the red flags, I was triggered to get out quickly.

Narcissists come from all walks of life, and there is no one "type" of person who is more likely to be a narcissistic abuser than another. But by recognizing the signs and getting help, the likelihood of realizing their truth will be much easier.


And that’s exactly what I did to get out.

I made a list of everything hurtful he did, and I started reading books, binge-watching YouTube videos about signs of narcissism, and taking courses to learn more about how to identify them. In time, the clarity came — and so did the confidence to leave and never look back.

At the time, I did not have the funds or resources to see a therapist. But this is something I encourage, as there are so many free options now.

Once I escaped the joyless coffin, I was finally able to breathe again and create a new vision for my life.

At the time, I had already been working as a hairstylist. My new goal: Open my own salon.


Hustle became my middle name as I graduated from cosmetology school and built a new life and clientele. I also became enthralled with how to use social media to boost my business. It was a natural skill for me, which increased my bookings by the hundreds.

By doing hair, you meet a lot of people — and they love to share their stories. And if anyone reading this is also a hairstylist, you know we play the role of therapist, too.

By speaking to so many women in my career so far, I’ve learned just how many have experienced the same narcissistic abuse that I have.

Some were not aware that they were being abused while sharing their stories with me, some had already escaped and some were still in denial


I had always wondered how I could help women who’ve gone through the same struggles, and after hearing countless women sharing their abuse stories I lay in bed one night and thought about what I could do.

RELATED: What Being In A Relationship With A Narcissist Really Does To A Person

In 2018, I founded the Narcissistic Abuse Survivors nonprofit, with the goal of providing a safe space for women to share their stories and find support.

Our work includes hosting intimate, informational sessions that focus on healing and recovery; also providing tools to help women rebuild their confidence and move forward from their trauma.

In years past, we’ve hosted 5K walks for World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day, falling on June 1st this year. 


Sharing your story can heal — it did for me. 

Legally, we need to do better. The reality of narcissistic abuse is not only lost on many but especially on the U.S. government. 

RELATED: Two Words That Will Immediately End Narcissistic Abuse

The main reason why this particular type of abuse goes unnoticed is the absence of laws prohibiting manipulation, browbeating, and name-calling. The invisible wounds can’t be traced physically. This type of abuse can happen in any type of relationship, and it can be just as damaging as physical abuse.

My nonprofit also works to spread awareness about the lack of laws to protect us from narcissistic abuse, and what we can do to change those laws.


Remember: narcissistic abuse is not exclusive to any one race or gender. However, studies have shown that Black women are more likely to experience psychological and emotional abuse than their white counterparts.

In fact, a study conducted by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that 43.7% of Black women experience some form of psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime, compared to 32.9% of White women.

This disparity can be attributed to a number of factors, including the intersectionality of race and gender. Black women face a unique set of challenges, including racism, sexism, and poverty, which can all contribute to the likelihood of experiencing narcissistic abuse.


It's important that we acknowledge and address these disparities when it comes to narcissistic abuse.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of ongoing emotional abuse at the hands of a narcissist, you are not alone.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and is not a reflection of who you are or anything you've done wrong.

If you feel as though you may be in danger, there is support available 24/7/365 through the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233. If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474, or log onto thehotline.org.

RELATED: 15 Undeniable (But Often-Overlooked) Warning Signs You're In An Abusive Relationship


Kendall T. Johnson is the author of I Am Not My Circumstance, a beauty entrepreneur, and social media influencer.