I Went No Contact – Now What?

Begin to be Now

No Contact.

Words that stir dread and anxiety…

No Contact is serious business.  It’s the final step in detaching from an abusive partner and toxic relationship.  On average, targets of Narcissistic abuse attempt No Contact seven times before finally implementing it in its true form.  Pulling it off successfully takes determination, self-discipline, and the doggedness to see the bigger picture.

As brutal as going No Contact is, what’s even more difficult is the period after applying it.  There are withdrawal symptoms, heartbreak, horrible self-doubt, and the urge to reach out.  After stretches of liquor consumption, binge-eating, and making a fool of oneself at the local club (or worse, contacting the Ex), it’s time to remember what going No Contact is all about – getting your power back and living a life of liberation and joyfulness.

No Contact is not easy to stick to; it challenges your endurance and is one of the hardest steps you will ever take if you have decided that getting over the relationship is the best thing that you can do.  Going into it, it’s crucial to have clear expectations of what No Contact is designed for, and also what to expect in the days that follow

1.  Contrary to popular Google advice, No Contact is NOT meant to bring your Ex back when related to Narcissistic abuse

No Contact is not meant to carry out punishment, exact revenge, or teach your Ex a lesson.  Using it in this way always backfires and lengthens the time spent in despair.  Any efforts made by your Ex to contact you are simply hoovering attempts, and there will be a price to pay for letting him or her back into your life, usually in the form of being ridiculed, discarded, and left in ruin.

No Contact doesn’t make your Narcissistic Ex miss you.  What it does is send them into panic mode once they detect they are losing control over you, and they will use any means necessary to reestablish that control.  This often comes in the form of divinity-inspired epiphanies where the angels touched down and showed them how wrong they’ve been.  Flowers, cards, and perhaps tears will be the theme of the day as they play your heartstrings to the tune of Careless Whisper.  Don’t fall for it; it’s only a matter of time before they revert back to the raging howler monkey that you knew.

What it is:  No Contact is your conscious decision to stop the abuse directed towards you.  It means you recognize the challenges that lie before you, but make the commitment to give yourself the happiness you deserve.  You resolve to break the patterns that kept you in the relationship through self-inquiry and self-care.

Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” -Deborah Reber

 

2.  Is No Contact easy?

It’s easy after you’ve had that eighth glass of Merlot.  It’s easy when you experience a dopamine rush when you see they’ve texted you with “hey”, and you consequently daydream that they’ve been secretly making plans for your wedding in Bora Bora.

Other than that, it’s about as easy as dragging yourself to work in the fashion often associated with one-armed, ground-bound zombies in “The Walking Dead”.

On the bright side:  If you execute No Contact properly, you will slowly feel the weight being lifted from your heart and soul.  You’ll begin to remember what life was like before becoming the target of emotional abuse.  You’ll start to see that you’re not the leprous social reject that your Ex would have you believe.  Instead, if you commit to moving on and healing, you’ll discover the gift in the curse.  A relationship with the Narcissist is a catalyst for spiritual growth.  He or she brings all of your emotional wounds to the surface so you can discover, accept, and heal them.

In order to grow, one must leave their comfort zone. Very often this means that you have to do what you are afraid of in order to find what you didn’t know you were looking for.

You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore” -Christopher Columbus

 

3.  Does No Contact work?

Here is the formula for determining the success of No Contact:

You + Determination = Success

In other words, whether it works depends entirely upon your actions.  Have you really gone No Contact or No Response?

No Contact means they can’t call, text, email, or contact you via any social medial platforms.  Those who implement No Contact in its true form have a much higher chance at detaching, healing, and realizing happiness.

On the other hand, No Response means you didn’t block them.  Instead, you let them call, text, or email, and you decide whether or not to respond.  Those who implement No Response usually stay enmeshed in the hypnotic influence of the Narcissist and are often still stuck in dysfunctional patterns years after the so-called “end” of the relationship.  Typically, this leads to being a secondary source of supply and/or still being miserable five and ten years (or more) down the road.

What to do:  No Contact is hard because it’s acknowledging that the relationship over.  It means admitting it wasn’t based on love, but on control and manipulation.  Accept that the Narcissist will not change.  Let them go, but do so with the understanding that you are no longer rejecting yourself in conjunction with the Narcissist.

Letting go has never been easy, but holding on can be as difficult. Yet strength is measured not by holding on, but by letting go.”-Len Santos

 

4.  Stay off the internet and engage in healing practices instead

By the time one has determined they are with a Narcissist, they’ve typically done tons of research and conversed on numerous forums.  Education and venting are important, but when it’s time for No Contact, it’s best to take a hiatus from the internet, unless you are researching ways to heal.  Resist the urge to visit Narc-land because the more you read about (and think about) your Ex’s disorder, the harder it is to turn the focus onto your healing.

What to do:  Stop looking at the closed door.  In fact, stop clinging to the door knob in a bawling heap, hoping that the door will open again.  Even if it did, you’d want to close it again in no time…get a hammer and nails and make sure that door stays shut.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” -Helen Keller

 

5.  Don’t believe everything you think

In the interim after implementing No Contact, self-esteem is a thing of the past.  At least, that’s one’s experience after enduring emotional and verbal abuse.  Curiously, survivors of Narcissistic abuse admit that their partner was a pathological liar, yet believed them when they threw out insults and engaged in name-calling.

Stop believing the lies.  Understand that the slights about your character, appearance, intelligence, etc., were also deceptions.  But, more importantly, stop believing the negative things you tell yourself.  The very things we fear keep repeating themselves if we continue to focus on them and give them power.   Life will continue to give us lessons until we learn, grow, and move past them.

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou

 

beauty-of-the-butterfly

Do you have a successful No Contact story to share?  Please do so in the comment section below!

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To the Woman Who’s Made to Feel Like She’s Difficult to Love

Woman's Love

~By Mohadesa Najumi~

Dear Woman Who’s Made to Feel Like She’s Difficult to Love,

You beautiful, soft delicate thing.

You intricate thing.

Why do you let the world penetrate you so deep? All their hurt and anger at your eternal fire,

Fire always struggles in the ocean.

He’s done it so many times. Made you feel like you’re difficult to love.

Almost every man has,

All their little idiosyncrasies that dig in like little swords going into your back.

You’re far from difficult to love.

Birds fall in love with you during their migration.

Even tree branches want to wrap around you,

And more importantly, you love yourself.

You’re the sun that gives life whilst expecting nothing in return.

Women are selfless lovers, we love for love, without questions.

How can we ever be difficult to love? We are the lovers.

A world without a woman’s love is unimaginable.

You are not difficult to love.

You are not difficult to love.

No woman on earth is.

Our skin cells are the very fabric of nurturing, of care, of soaking up others pain as if it were our own.

Women are the sponges for spilt blood.

I know that you feel deeply, a lot more than others do.

You think that makes you “too different” and sometimes being “different” hurts because of all the blood there is to soak up.

I love you as if you were my own skin, because I know how it feels to sit in a room,

Filled with people who find you unloveable.

Your strength and mine are one in the same.

You are not a boulder obstructing the path to love.

You are a vessel filling the crater with love,

And you are boundless, a vessel that can pour infinite amounts in loads.

 

*****************************************************

MohadesaMohadesa Najumi is a writer, an aspiring political scientist and intersectional feminist. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, CounterPunch and GreenLeft Weekly. Her research interests include democratic theory, post-representative societies, political power and inclusion, intersectional feminism, women’s rights, existentialism philosophy, gender binaries, secularism, challenging the traditional, liberal paradigm, post-colonialism, development, Latin America, MENA, U.S foreign policy and global social, resistance and revolutionary movements. Mohadesa blogs regularly here and tweets at @mohadesareverie.

 

**Posted with permission from Mohadesa.  Thank you for sharing your beautiful talents!

Find the original here.

LMR Saturday Survivor – Inspirational Stories from the Front Line

 

Victory Woman

One Year Narc Free…

~Submitted by KarinKateriKei – The Eclectic Poet~

This time last year, I was out with my best friend.

My best friend and the one who essentially staged a one-woman intervention to get me away from the Narcissist Predator who had stolen my life and was on track to take it.

I was out without the phone that he’d given me and I was not answering his calls or texts on my phone. Out of the house for the first time in months.

The day was the most bizarre and complex amalgamation of the things I hold most dear and of throwing off the shackles that he’d managed to place on me after nearly two years.

She stayed with me even after he’d been abusive with her, thinking that he’d come around. She stepped in after seeing that I was exhibiting all the classic signs of Battered Wife Syndrome. She literally put herself and reality between him, his abuse and lies and saved my life.

I know more now about Narcissist Predator Abuse than I wanted to but I also know the unwavering love and honour of true friendship.

This shit’s real. Get help. Trust your gut. Trust your friends. Je te remercie, ma sœur d’un autre monsieur.

One year Narc free last weekend…

~ kei

Originally posted on The Eclectic Poet and re-posted here with Kei’s generous consent.

Forgiving the Narcissist – Is Your Ego the Culprit?

 

devil-on-shoulder

Your Ego

There are several factors at play when choosing to remain in a toxic relationship.  But did you know your ego may be the most prevalent?

In fact, your ego is just as convincing as the Narcissist in your life.  But the difference between your ego and your abusive partner is…your ego doesn’t mean to be cruel.  It’s acting out of fear of abandonment and low self-esteem.

Your ego is the reason you obsess about your partner after they discard you.  It’s the reason you invite the Narc back in after a brief stint of No Contact.  It’s the reason you believe…maybe this time he’ll change.

Your logic and intuition know that things will never change with the Narcissist, but we often listen to our ego instead.

To give you an idea of how your ego works, here is an example:

Narcissist:  “I didn’t mean those things I said, I was just angry.  You know I can’t live without you.  You’re my one true love.  I’ve never wanted anyone as much as I want you.  Please give me one more chance.  I’ll prove to you how much I love you.”

Your Logic and Intuition:  “You know from experience this won’t end well.  Did he/she change the last fifty times?  No.  You need to respect yourself and tell him/her it’s over.  He’s lying, don’t fall for it.”

Your Ego: “What if he really means it?  Look at his face…he must be sincere.  Remember that time he brought you flowersWhat if he’s serious this time and you give up on him too soonThen, you’ll be all alone and will have thrown away his love.  Besides, you may never find love again.  You know you need to lose weight.  You know there are pretty women out there.  What if you’re giving up a good thing?  Let’s be realistic.”

Ego is fear-based

Ego is fear-based

Notice how your ego says the same things as your abuser?  It’s almost a no-win situation because you have two voices telling you to stay with the Narcissist.  But…you are forgetting about your logic and intuition.  They are the reason you feel a little sick after forgiving the Narcissist again.

As long as the ego runs your life, most of your thoughts, emotions, and actions arise from fear. In relationships you then either want or fear something from the other person.” ~ Eckharte Tolle

The next time you feel weak and are thinking of caving in to your ego’s demands, simply say to yourself, “Thank you for caring about me, but the fact is I’ll be in more pain from staying than by taking the risk to leave.  I don’t want to live in fear anymore.”

 

The Unbearable Triteness of Being…engaged in conversation with a Narcissist

Frequent, mundane drivel from the disordered that may induce a psychotic break

**Trigger Alert – This post contains possible triggers.  Please proceed with caution.  Also, I use the pronoun “he” for ease of reading.  If your Narc is female, simply replace with “she”.  Feel free also to substitute either pronoun with the nouns cretin, halfwit, or simpleton.

I'm_With_Stupid

Apparel for the Arse-issist in your life…

For those who’ve come to the end of the road with the Narcissist in their lives, they often encounter a conundrum when it comes to analyzing what went wrong.  On occasion, the Narcissist ends the relationship after a painful Devalue and Discard.  Other Narcs will pretend they’re on board with the whole breakup thing, only to have a nuclear meltdown when it becomes obvious their partner is serious.  This second type of Narc is the topic of today’s post.

One of the most common questions I encounter with readers, followers, and clients is, “How can he be so cruel?  I gave and gave to him, and he just used me and took advantage of my good nature.  I don’t understand.” 

It’s crucial to recognize what’s happening when struggling with this quandary.  Most of us who’ve researched Narcissism understand that they project their qualities onto us when “interacting” with us.  Curiously, this is what we do when we wonder why they do what they do and say what they say.  However, we can’t use our rational thinking to analyze the irrational wheedling of the disordered.  After all, can we really be sure there are any synapses going on upstairs with the Narcissist?

Monkey Brain

Inside the Mind of the Narcissist

Allow me to demonstrate via a dialogue:

Narc:  It’s over.  You can never do anything right.  I hate myself for even thinking of giving you a second chance.

You:  What do you mean?  You gave me some areas for improvement, and I’ve worked on them diligently.  I’ve gone to a counselor, tightened up on the budget, and got that second job after you suggested it.  I’ve tried to be a better girlfriend/wife by cooking your favorite meals whenever I can.

Narc:  You didn’t do anything.  You suck, and you’re fat and ugly.

You:  Actually, I’ve lost eight pounds this month, and I’ve made an appointment with an aesthetician to take care of those sun spots you pointed out.  They should be gone in three months or so.

Narc:  Nothing can help you, Medusa.  I’ve been going out with that hot, new secretary at work.  She’s better on her worst day that you are on your best.  She even has breast implants.  I’m moving in with her at the end of the month.  You’ll need to figure out how you’re going to pay all the bills after I leave.

You:  Well, that shouldn’t be a problem, since I’ve been paying all the bills, anyway.  But, more importantly, I thought you said you loved me and wanted to spend your life with me.  What’s changed?

Narc:  You don’t appreciate what I’ve done for you, and you’re no fun.  I’m leaving you for someone who knows a good thing when she’s got it.  Besides, she makes me happy.  We’re soul mates and plan to do things together that will change the world.

The Narcissist and his new Soul Mate

Observe how the Narcissist doesn’t address facts, only throwing out insults in response.  Why?  Because that’s what Arse-issists do.  Everything he says consists of subliminal implanting designed to make you feel unattractive, unworthy, and unacceptable.  And what has he really “done” for you besides exist in the same space, breathing your air?  Regarding his comments about the new girl, which are rather predictable, he’s building her up because he’s found a new source of supply who doesn’t know his epic uselessness. Realize that while he’s laying it on thick about her, he thinks she’s a nincompoop, because that’s what they think of all their targets.

And their plans to “change the world”?  She shared with him some dream she has and he hopped on that like tie dye on a hippie in order to give her a sense of kindredness.  In reality, he dry heaves when he ponders joining her on her mission to help humankind.

A week later…

Narc:  I still love you and am attracted to you.

Translation:  The new girl turned out to be a bigger moron than the Narcissist, and though he will keep her around for some strange, he doesn’t want to lose the control he has over you.  He still has no plans to commit, but saying he loves you and is still attracted will hopefully put you in the role of friends with benefits.

Narc:  I miss you, but you have some anger issues.

Translation:  It’s not his fault you caught him looking at nude pics some bimbo from the bar has been sending him for the past three months.  Nor should he be held accountable for the porn pop-ups on your shared pc, or the fact that you are now getting spam email with promises to enlarge your wanker.

Narc:  I can’t go on without you.

Translation:  You’re the best supply he’s ever had…well, except for the last one who moved across the country to get away from him.

Narc:  Do you really want to break up our family? …followed with a dramatic,Oscar-worthy turn to the children and “Kids, your mother wants to break up the family.”

Translation:  Why don’t you own his crimes and continue hiding his immorality from the children?  In return, he’ll mete out some mind crumbs now and again.  Never mind that the new secretary at work (who turned out to be the bimbo from the bar), is currently preparing to leave her husband so she and the Narc can move into the townhome they put a deposit on last week.

 If a Narcissist speaks, and there’s no one around to hear him…

Notice the one-sided dialogue at the end?  That’s not an oversight.  That’s the sound of the Arse-issist’s target trying to make sense of the senseless, which is pointless.

Don’t be “that target”.  Turn on your heel and leave that cheating and/or lying nut-job to bleat on into oblivion, which is the realm where you’ll end up if you keep lending him your ear.

 

High Five

For comedic purposes only. Do not try this at home…

 

LMR Saturday Survivor – Inspirational Stories from the Front Line

Victory Woman

The Day I Remembered Me

~Submitted by Kim Saeed~

February 11, 2011.  After nearly eight years of marriage to a Narcissist, I remembered me…and left the nightmare of Narcissistic abuse.

Little did I realize I’d been drawn to him partly because of my innate desire to help and heal others.  You see, I am an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), an Empath, and INFJ on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).  I was also an unaware co-dependent, and it took a relationship with a cluster-B disordered personality to bring all those tendencies to the surface.

Like me, individuals who share these traits feel such depth of emotion and love towards other people that we believe we can heal them. Because of our tireless efforts to help others believe in themselves, we are often successful in aiding them in overcoming issues of low self-esteem and disempowerment.  Only, with a Narcissist, it’s never enough.  They are empty inside; virtual bottomless vessels.

By the time I left, the depth of trauma caused by emotional and cruel verbal abuse produced symptoms of PTSD – which developed due to the cruelty of abandonment, betrayal, silent treatments, accusations, and the devaluing and discarding that takes place, not to mention being constantly subjected to crazy making behaviors within the relationship.  I suffered from cripplingly low self-esteem and thought I was never good enough, regardless of my accomplishments.  I was in a constant state of anxiety and depression.  These feelings were intensified due to my being an HSP.

Soon after leaving, I was stalked, harassed, spent a night in jail (for charges which were later dismissed), and lost two jobs.  I’d lost faith in myself, my dreams, and was a mere shell of the person I’d been before I met him.

But those are all things of the past.

I write this as a message of hope for sufferers of Narcissistic abuse.  You may feel you’re worthless, unlovable, and that things will never change.  I’m here to tell you they can, but only for you – and only after you leave.  After my “escape”, I graduated from college, am a certified Teacher, Law of Attraction practitioner, Chakra Healer, completing a program to be a Spiritual Healer, have started a practice to help others detach and move forward from Narcissistic abuse, and am pursuing my dream of being a published author. My children are happy, I’m happy, and life has never been better.

If you or someone you know is in a relationship with a Narcissist, I must tell you that they will never change.  The most constructive thing you can do is stop trying to “fix” them and the relationship.  Turn all of that love and caring onto yourself because your love will never make a difference to them.

In closing, I leave you with this moving song, which for me, is symbolic of the hopelessness of being in a relationship with a Narcissist…

Original link:  The Day I Remembered Me.

When He Tells You the First Time…

“My dear, why must you be shown 29 times before you can see who they really are? Why can’t you get it the first time?” ~ Maya Angelou

Wonderful question, in hindsight.

Another example of history repeating itself.  But, as AnUpturnedSoul states in her latest post, just as we live through what others have already experienced, we did not experience it ourselves so we have to have our own experience…

Why do we have to learn lessons the hard way?  Why do they have to literally smack us, shove us, and rub our noses in harsh reality before we comprehend them?

Stubbornness?  Self-doubt?  Conditioning?  Good girls forgive; turn the other cheek; sacrifice their happiness for that of others; stay small, quiet, submissive…

Do we hold onto hope that our fears will be proven wrong?  Repeat the cycle of pain we’ve experienced since childhood, hoping to re-write history?  “I am not going to change, Mommy, Daddy, until you treat me differently when I was six years old.” 

But that’s not going to happen, is it?  We cannot go back in time.  All we can do is change our circumstances in the present moment.

So if, in your present moment, your abusive partner (as mine did) tells you he doesn’t love you, believe him.  Don’t wait for the 29th, 100th, 1000th, 4067th time.  Believe him…the first time.

If he says he doesn’t think you deserve to be treated respectfully; that you’re a disappointment; that it was a mistake to get involved with you; that he’s seeing someone else; that he has other women waiting for him…believe him.

Not because you DON’T deserve to be treated as a worthy partner, but because he’s showing you, telling you who HE really is.  You may not be able to erase the time you’ve already spent with him, but what you can do is turn the page, grab a pen, and write a new moment, a new beginning, a different ending.

Reclaim yourself.  Put up a barrier, so that when he opens his mouth to desecrate your unique divinity and your specialness, his words fall apart in mid-air and the letters fall scattered to the ground, where they will be trampled upon as you walk away…pushing them into the dirt; a burial.  In the dirt, where his words belong.  Along the dirt path, until you reach the new.

walking 2

 

 

Ray Rice and the Pregnancy of Emotional and Verbal Abuse

 

Pregnancy of Verbal Abuse2

Readers who visit this site typically come here to learn about Narcissistic abuse.  They want to know the reasons their partner acts the way they do.  Why is he/she so cruel?  So dishonest?

Why does it seem he/she wants to destroy me?

What many readers may not realize is that Narcissism often overlaps with other Cluster-B disorders, some of which include extreme and volatile emotions and moods such as hostility and aggression, which can shift rapidly and without warning.

Does that mean Ray Rice has a personality disorder?  I’m not at liberty to say.

But, what I can say with certainty is that for people inclined towards being physically abusive, they typically precipitate it with verbal and emotional abuse.  It’s fairly safe to assume that Ray didn’t begin his relationship with his wife by abusing her in such a manner as we’ve seen on the media over the last few days.

Domestic violence is about the control of one human being by another. This control begins with verbal and emotional abuse and is comparable to mind control. Verbal and emotional abuse attacks one’s spirit and sense of self. It’s goal is to create self -doubt, so that by the time the perpetrator begins physically abusing their target, he or she is groomed to not only take the blame for it, but to believe they did something to deserve it.

Why Do the Abused Stay?  #whyIstayed

Those who haven’t been the target of emotional, verbal, or physical abuse are not in a place to assess why an abused person stays in a toxic relationship.  Unless one has been the recipient of insidious mind control, there is simply no way to comprehend it.  Further, in a domestic violence situation, the perpetrator is unstable enough to inflict grave bodily harm to their partner and any children they may have with him or her.  In some cases, they commit murder.

Aside from the risk of physical injury or death, there are psychological elements that cause the abused to stay.  These include trauma-bonding, Stockholm syndrome, co-dependency, and love addiction, among others.  Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of Crazy Love, addresses the brainwashing tactics used by abusers in her TED Talk on why she stayed.

Others who have survived or are still in the middle of domestic violence took to Twitter to explain their own reasons for staying:

Why I Stayed 2

Why I Stayed 4

And perhaps the most disturbing…

Why I Stayed 3

The mind control involved in emotionally and physically abusive relationships is so powerful, victims are left wondering ten, fifteen, and twenty years down the road if there was something they could have done differently to save the relationship.  If this describes you, please seek a certified therapist in your area if you haven’t done so already.  Alternately, if you have been seeing a therapist, but haven’t gotten relief, it may be time to find a new one.

Making the Decision to Leave   #whyIleft

It would seem to outsiders that leaving an abusive relationship is a no-brainer.  The truth is it takes a lot of courage to leave. Women who leave physical abusers are at a 75% greater chance of being killed by the abuser than those who stay.  Further, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women ages 15-44.

Still skeptical?  Ironically, those who judge an abused person are often the ones who remain indifferent when said abused are trying to reach out.

Truth is stranger than fiction, and even more so in abusive relationships.  By the time the target of abuse makes the decision to leave, they often have no friends or family to support them because they’ve been ostracized, belittled, and rejected not only by their abuser, but also by the very people they depend on for encouragement.  This makes it more difficult to leave because they then have to search local organizations for alternative shelter, and those shelters are often full.  Or, because they’ve never been hit, only verbally abused, some shelters won’t take them in.

Left 1

If you have a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship, the best thing you can do is be patient with them.  Even if they’ve left and gone back multiple times.  If you have extra room in your home, take them in when possible.  You might save a life.

For those of you who are in a relationship with a Narcissist whose behaviors have been escalating, or your partner has already become physically abusive, you may want to devise an exit plan. While I’m sorry for what Janay Rice has been through, and may continue to endure, I’m glad these issues are getting the attention they so desperately deserve.

What’s your story?  Why did/do you choose to stay…or why did you choose to leave?  Share your comments below!

Related Articles:

Can the Narcissist Become Violent?

Rage—Coming Soon From a Narcissist Near You

How-to and Self-help Information for Women

What I Want Those Trapped in Abuse to Know

Military Brainwashing Tactics of the Narcissist

Prisoner in prison cell

If you found yourself a prisoner of war, would you be content?  Would you lie dreamily about in your holding cell and consider yourself lucky?  If you found the gate open one day and no guard on duty, would you stay inside?

Of course not.

Yet, we often allow ourselves to be imprisoned by an abusive partner.

Emotional abuse in a relationship is a covert form of abuse.  In fact, it’s the same psychological warfare that’s used in military prison camps. Guards at POW camps know that physical compliance is difficult.  It requires physical exertion and, besides, it’s messy.  So, they often choose the easier path…one in which the prisoner not only accepts, but complies with every demand.

How do they do this?  Through emotional manipulation and abuse, which is used to control, degrade, humiliate and punish.  It’s meant to cause the victim to question their every thought and behavior. It includes using acts, threats of acts or coercive tactics to cause emotional distress. This is the same method the Narcissist uses.  What does this look like to the unsuspecting victim?  Here are some common tactics used, along with what they look like in real-life application (this is by no means comprehensive):

Isolation from friends and family

Isolation

This tactic is used to deprive the victim of social support, weaken their defenses, and cause the victim to depend on their abuser.  At first, this may seem innocent.  Some common comments by the Narcissist include:  “I get lonely when you’re not here”; “I wish you would spend more time with me”.  “I don’t have a good feeling about your friend, _____.”; “You’re friend, ____, doesn’t seem to like me.”

These comments later turn into:  “Your friends are bi**hes and whor*s”; “You’re a prostitute, just like your friend, ____”; ‘Everyone knows that you and your friends are trash”; “Are you having a lesbian relationship with your friend, ____?”

These aggressive statements usually result in your withdrawing from your circle of friends, or worse, you might begin to believe there is some truth to them.

Humiliation

Verbal Emotional Abuse

Humiliation is when a person uses words, silence, or actions to threaten, belittle, or humiliate another person. The purpose is to instill fear or to intimidate; the goal is to control.  It can happen when you are alone, or in the face of company.  Common phrases used by the Narcissist include:  “I think we need to go on a diet”; “How come you don’t take care of yourself as much as you used to?”; “Why don’t you fix your hair like your friend, ____?”; “Have you ever thought about plastic surgery?”

Later, more hurtful comments will be used, such as:  “You’re fat and I can’t stand to look at you”; “I’m not attracted to you anymore”; “You can’t do anything right”; “I knew you weren’t intelligent”; “You’ll always be a loser”; “Even your own family doesn’t want you”; “People tried to warn me about you”

The purpose of these harsh comments is to destroy your confidence and self-esteem.  It’s a form of conditioning which usually results in the victim believing themselves to be worthless.

Occasional Rewards/Treats

Random Treat

Random crumbs given out by the Narcissist give the false appearance that they are pleased with you and also give the illusion of a normal relationship.  This tactic is used to provide positive motivation for continued compliance.  This may come in the form of praise:  “You look great today”; “That dinner was really nice because I was sitting across from you”; “You’re the only person I want to spend my life with”; “I know I hurt you and I’m sorry”; “Let’s go to that new restaurant downtown”

Later:  “You’re lucky I put up with your crap”; “No one would tolerate you like I do”; “It’s no wonder none of your relationships have been successful”; “The only reason anyone would want you is for sex”; “You owe me because I ____”; “You have no dignity”; “You deserve what happens to you”

Victims of Narcissistic and emotional abuse don’t realize it, but their abuser throws in small moments of kindness and affection in between the chaos for a reason.  In the victim, it creates an unhealthy attachment to the abuser.  It’s called trauma-bonding, and Narcissists are masters at it.

Failing to Meet Emotional or Other Needs (especially if the victim is in a dependent position)

emotional deprivation

Are you a stay-at-home mom?  Does your partner or spouse try to convince you that you don’t need to work and insist on your staying home?  This maneuver is used to make you fully reliant on your abuser and allows him/her to withhold important resources such as a cell phone, gas money and access to transportation, internet/computer access, and other common conveniences.

Silent Treatment

Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is used as a form of punishment when the victim has attempted to establish a boundary.  The intended result of the silent treatment is the managing down of our expectations so that we expect less and less and the abuser gets away with more and more.  It’s message is, “Compliance, or else”. This can last from a few days to several weeks with the Narcissist often leaving the communal home. During this time, they are typically grooming the new supply.

When to Consider Leaving

Emotional abuse robs a person of their self-esteem, the ability to think logically, confidence in themselves and their identity.  If your partner’s actions or words have caused any of the following feelings it is time to consider leaving:

  • Isolation from others, you rarely see friends and family.
  • Excessive dependence on him/her.
  • You constantly think about saying or doing the right thing so that your spouse does not become upset.
  • You simply survive day-to-day, unable to plan escape from the sheer mental exhaustion.   Any action you take is criticized unless it is one of compliance to his/her desires.
  • You’re depressed and anxious most of the time.
  • You tolerate behaviors you that you never imagined you would.
  • You hide your partner’s abuse from friends and family.
  • Anything you do or say is met with anger or indifference. Your feelings and desires just don’t seem to matter to your spouse.
  • You’ve become suicidal.

If you’ve tried therapy and setting boundaries and are still being abused, it’s time to leave the relationship.  At this point, the prison you see is based on the delusion that you need your abuser in your life.  Break all ties with the Narcissist, hire an attorney, contact a Domestic Abuse shelter, and start making plans for your new life without abuse.

LMR Saturday Survivor – Inspirational Stories from the Front Line

 

victory-1

 

Dear Readers,

Each Saturday going forward, I will be posting inspirational stories from people who have been the target of Narcissistic/Psychopathic/Sociopathic abuse, but came out victorious.  It is with great pleasure that I share Let Me Reach’s very first submission by Scott Dougall.  His submission was in response to an article I’d written titled PTSD in the Aftermath of Narcissistic Abuse

~Submitted by Scott Dougall~

In a way it takes a while for you to believe that you suffer from something like this, PTSD feels to be something that you suffer from when something real and horrific happens – like maybe to a soldier in battle or similar – not a middle aged man trying to enjoy flying his hang glider getting bothered by some self-important tosser and his minion followers.

Then when you realize all those revolving thoughts in your mind are the manifestation of cPTSD after years of manipulative underhanded cowardly abuse that resulted in your social disconnectedness and the depressing reality that represents in any person’s life, and then you get angry at the tosser who did this.

Then, eventually, after going NC, whatever the cost that represents to you in the short term, you find your mind becoming clearer of these revolving thoughts evaporating – I have a therapist now too who helps me reconstruct myself and define a way forward, but it is at this stage when you realize you were really suffering from this PTSD thing you could not come to believe before.

This is real, in a deep sense such that it is inescapably real, not something you can brush away – I think all you can do is accept that you have PTSD and cPTSD and not worry how it got there – the cause – the abuser is an irrelevance – no – what you need to do is accept this and then day by day be kind to yourself – seek happy people – happy memories – write about them – take yourself into peaceful places and enjoy the beauty of each moment.. for me this is my days now – seeking peace.

Feeling joy when I realize I am healing.

 

Do you have an inspirational story?  Feel free to submit your victory to letmereach@yahoo.com!