You are not responsible for the pain, dysfunction, and poor decisions of others…
What was that you said? You feel burdened by all that is wrong in the world?
You feel an overwhelming pressure to make things better?
Did I hear you correctly? You even feel guilty or responsible for what’s wrong in other people’s lives?
What a heavy weight we carry when we decide to take on the burden of another person’s choices or life.
Empaths and Codependents feel it’s their obligation to save the world. And when they’re being manipulated by a Narcissist, this sense of obligation becomes their whole identity as the Narc plays the victim to the nth degree.
It’s crucial to acknowledge that a Narcissist is disordered. When we support them, we are either knowingly or unknowingly supporting a lie, as the person we think we’re helping doesn’t really exist. Living a balanced and happy life means accepting this reality, even though the Narcissist cannot. They can’t be healed because in order for that to happen, they’d first need to acknowledge they are wounded. Instead, Narcissists use fear, obligation, and guilt (FOG) to keep their targets perpetually catering to their every whim…and overlooking lies and broken promises.
Empaths and Codependents – What’s the Difference?
Empaths – Empaths are usually very caring and giving of themselves, often to their own detriment. Being particularly perceptive and hypersensitive to the wants and needs of others; going without to bring happiness and nurturing to their partners, hoping to avoid conflict at all costs.
Often, those who exhibit these kinds of behaviors also carry with them a very low self- worth. Because of this, they are prone to periods of depression, isolation, anxiety, and codependency on others.
The problem arises in where codependency can often be expressed through the relationships they develop with other people because they are hypersensitive to hostility and prefer to avoid conflict. Their natural ability to want to keep the peace and make their partners pleased can easily be manipulated by those who are prone toward anger and aggression.
Codependents – Co-dependency involves a pattern of thinking, feeling and/or behavior where one cannot tell where they begin and others end. It is toxic for relationships. Codependency can even be deemed an attempt to control others.
Codependents think and feel responsible for other people’s feelings, actions, wants, needs, and well-being (or lack thereof). They feel compelled, almost forced, to help others solve their problems through offering unwanted advice or trying to fix feelings.
Empaths are born with a sensitive emotional nature. Codependency is learned behavior and a coping mechanism. Not all codependents are Empaths, but most Empaths struggle with codependency. Both typically lose sight of their own lives in the commotion of tending to someone else’s, which make them prime targets for Narcissists. In abusive relationships, the one thing that they have in common is this: they love someone who is unrestrained, and they find themselves taking more accountability for the actions of that person than the person is taking for themselves.
For these issues, Empathy and Codependency, there is only one solution to becoming balanced. And that is the development of one’s self: esteem, worth, and confidence….through acts of self empathy, self- compassion, and self- love.
How do I show compassion and care without falling into codependent behaviors?
The fastest way to clarify if you are helping versus being codependent is to do an intention check. Are you helping this person so you can rescue them? Are you helping them because it seems like your identity rests upon your ability to help others? Are you covering up dysfunctional behaviors? Are you helping this person because you don’t feel strong enough to help yourself – so their problem becomes a distraction from your own challenges? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then chances are co-dependency is the root.
Helping vs. Enabling
When we try to fix another individual, their problems, or influence their path, we are basically allowing them to avoid facing the consequences of their decisions and actions. What’s more, we’re not even helping ourselves out; we’re just taking on extra baggage.
Everyone needs to work out their own journey through life. It is our responsibility to love and respect them enough to give them space to take responsibility for their behavior.
We are disempowering another human being when we try to fix, solve, or make the consequences go away.
We are not responsible for any other human being but ourselves (with the exception of minor children). Focus on yourself and be your own personal best so that you can be a shining example to others. It’s the only way you will make a positive change in someone’s life.
It’s okay to be you and it’s okay to let other people be themselves. If you can support people along their journey without getting entangled in “fixing” or “solving” their problems for them, or covering up for them, then you will have acted with true compassion without enabling.
“Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don’t, do you? And neither does he. You’re turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can’t value you more than you value yourself.” ~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
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In my coaching practice, I work with victims of Narcissistic abuse on an almost daily basis. People from all walks of life reach out to me in hopes of overcoming the emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse that they’ve endured from a Narcissist or other Cluster-B disordered person. Many of my clients see a traditional therapist, but haven’t experienced any great progress in their recovery. In fact, I’ve had a few clients who are themselves licensed counselors.
It’s becoming alarmingly clear that traditional Western medicine and therapy aren’t successful in wholly treating Narcissistic abuse. I do believe they are effective in helping patients deal with clinical conditions such as PTSD, anxieties, phobias, and other similar mood/emotional syndromes, but traditional therapy has no framework for dealing with the suffering that results from Narcissistic abuse. And sadly, most psychiatrists are only interested in masking the symptoms of these disorders with pharmaceuticals that alter the DNA of those who take them.
Why do victims of Narcissistic abuse find such little relief from traditional therapy? Because it doesn’t address the largest underlying factor of what happens in cases of emotional trauma…loss of parts of the soul. In fact, many times a patient is diagnosed with a mental or emotional condition when what’s happened is that parts of their soul have fled in moments of extreme emotional shock. Soul loss is similar to what psychology refers to as “dissociation”.
In indigenous societies, it is largely accepted that when life experiences are traumatic enough, they can result in the fragmenting of our inner spirit, or soul, which is described as ‘soul loss”. It is understood that this loss is temporary, helping the sufferer in dealing with the aftermath of a truly traumatic experience. However, in cases of Narcissistic and emotional abuse, the trauma is ongoing, resulting in serious illness, both psychological and physical. Victims effectually lose some aspects of their personality and life-force, which is why a common complaint is that they don’t know who they are anymore and that they can barely survive day-to-day. It also explains why Narcissistic abuse is often coined “rape of the soul”.
“Beside himself.” Why do we describe a distraught person as being beside himself?
Because the ancients believed that soul and body could part, and that under great emotional stress the soul would actually leave the body.
When this happened a person was “beside himself.” – Dictionary of Word Origins
What soul loss looks like:
- Daily life seems pointless
- Drug and/or alcohol addiction
- Not knowing one’s purpose in life
- Blocking out parts of one’s memories
- Obsessive or ruminating thoughts
- The feeling that something is missing in life
- Suicidal thoughts or fantasies
- The inability to receive or give love
- Persistent feelings of emptiness
- Feelings of helplessness
- One’s belief that they cannot change their circumstances
So how do we go about getting those lost pieces of our soul back? Lissa Rankin, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, states:
“Sometimes the soul needs space in order to heal, and this may require the courage to make some external changes in your life. Perhaps you need to switch careers in order to give the soul more room to breathe. Perhaps an unhealthy relationship is constricting the soul, and it’s time to get into therapy, set boundaries, or even end things. Perhaps you need to find more people to love or relocate to a place that helps your soul come alive. Perhaps you need to give your soul permission to engage in more creative activities. Such eternal changes may be part of the prescription the inner doctor of your soul writes.
But very often, those kinds of major life overhauls are NOT NECESSARY! Reconnecting to the soul allows you to find peace and happiness right where you are in ways that are much simpler and more profound than you might think. It can be astounding to discover that you’ve had what you needed all along and have been looking in all the wrong places. Perhaps all that is needed is to see the life you’re already living in a different way.”
You can find out more about her practical approach to “treating the soul” in her article, 20 Diagnostic Signs That You’re Suffering From “Soul Loss”.
Of the most common searches that lead people to Let Me Reach, a large percentage consists of female readers wondering about the male Narcissist’s Ex-wife or his new girlfriend.
In other words, the new girlfriend is worried about the Ex and the Ex is worried about the new girlfriend. Why? Because Narcissists are cheating slime balls, and the Ex and the new girlfriend have every right to be concerned. And no, that doesn’t make them crazy, as the Narcissist loves to suggest…
It’s not enough that most Narcissists are porn addicts and are constantly busted for surfing online dating sites, but they keep their Ex and the new girlfriend perpetually enmeshed in a crazy love triangle, often promising both of them that he’s on the verge of leaving the other.
The typical low down:
The narc-hole husband gets tired of the chains of matrimony and moves out, leaving his wife and kids like yesterday’s enchiladas. He moves in with his latest mistress or rents his own little love nest because the mistress is too young to have her own mortgage. He resumes crying on the new girl’s shoulder, complaining about how his dinner was late three and a half minutes, thus demonstrating that his wife doesn’t love him anymore.
Or, the wife has turned into a suspicious, bipolar maniac and he just cannot tolerate her craziness another day, pulling out his smashed Rolex as evidence. He further verifies the wife’s psychosis by pointing out the window as the wife drives slowly by in front of his new apartment. Obviously the ex-wife has lost her marbles, right?
Little does the new girlfriend realize that the smashed Rolex was an anniversary gift that was given to him by the wife three days earlier, before she realized her husband was a flaming cheater. And, she’s driving by the new apartment because she wants to confirm her suspicions after her husband’s insistence that he doesn’t have someone else.
But that’s not what he tells the new girlfriend…No, the new girlfriend gets the fabricated version, where her new lover gave a full confession to his poor wife and left as he said he would, with fair warning and full disclosure.
Then, after a few weeks of deceptive bliss, the new girlfriend notices the Narc is gone more than usual. He says he’s been visiting with his kids, taking care of divorce business, and getting ready for his new life with her. When, in reality…
Scenario One: He’s gone back to the wife and has the nerve to complain about the new girlfriend… to the very woman whom he cheated on and devastated! He gives her a sob story of how sorry he is, that he can’t believe he made such a colossal mistake, and is so convincing, that he gets his wife into the bedroom for old time’s sake. He doesn’t do any divorce business, but he’s sure getting into some other business.
Later, after pretending to be remorseful and hinting around about second chances, he again leaves his wife alone, believing the man she loves will return to the family unit any day.
Scenario Two: The narc-hole tells his wife that she’s just not doing it for him anymore and he has a great, attractive new 18-yr old that he robbed from her parents. She’s just so full of life and makes him feel alive again. She does everything without his having to ask, and she’s just so smart and, and, and…you get the drift.
Seriously? This guy has the cerebral capacity of an 8-yr old. In fact, I know 8-yr olds that can handle themselves in a more mature manner. It’s amazing that this man can even put words together to form a coherent sentence. His uselessness is epic…
Triangulation – the Narcissist’s Euphoria
One of the main characteristics of the narcissist is their desire to feel like they are much sought after. They like to feel like they have many options and feel an intense euphoria and sense of power when they can successfully pull off a love triangle. Narcissists will manufacture situations to keep this triangle going, which includes lots of lies and treachery. In a normal relationship, people go out of their way to prove that they are trustworthy—but the narcissist does exactly the opposite. You can never settle down into a feeling of peace. And they will never admit to this, calling you crazy for mentioning it, when in fact, your worst fears are likely very real.
To the New Girlfriend:
Although you may believe the Narcissist’s claims that he has obligations towards his children and has to take care of loose ends, paperwork, etc., he’s not spending that much time with the kids, and you may want to consider that he could still be sleeping with his Ex. This doesn’t happen in all cases, but it does in many.
Further, your new partner, disordered as he is, cannot be happy with anyone, not even with you, his most ardent defender and worshipper. It doesn’t matter how much you love him; what’s most relevant is that he is incapable of real love. In time, he’ll find ways to debase and hurt you as well, as he’s done to every other woman before you. I wish I had better news.
To the Ex Wife:
I wish this wasn’t happening to you, and further, that there was something to make this devastating situation go away.
It’s crucial to remember that your Ex only hoovers (returns) to ensure that you never move on. His aim is to always make sure that you’re in the queue, ready and waiting. It’s a sick game that will steal years from your life. For this reason, No Contact must be enforced in order to succeed in your recovery. Remember, the narcissist is never concerned about what you’re doing while he’s gone or that you’ve found someone because he’s groomed you to react in a certain way. He’s counting on it, based on how you’ve reacted in the past.
It’s time to fight back against hoovering. If you notice subtle signs of the narcissist’s intent to return, ignore them and move on. No one has the right to come and go, while manipulating your feelings and/or your life. It’s time to put on your warrior face and kick that loser to the curb.
Narcissists are convinced that people find them captivating. Their abiding charm is part of their self-imputed supremacy. This frivolous belief is what makes the narcissist a “pathological charmer”.
The somatic narcissist (and/or histrionic) flaunts their sex appeal, sensual prowess, and attractive body. Somatics are almost always in the latest fashion, driving fancy cars, and acting the celebrity.
The cerebral narcissist seeks to captivate and mesmerize his target with a brainy fireworks display, gaining his worth from his intellectual abilities and achievements. His mind is the source of his vanity. He or she would much rather acquire obscure information, use big, complicated words, and write long, drawn out dissertations on their “ground-breaking ideas”. They don’t usually draw attention to themselves, preferring to go into full character by withdrawing from society; going out in public only occasionally…to remind the lowly human race of their deific existence.
Cerebral narcissists will try to impress others by their scholarly intelligence and command of the language, which is used not only to impress, but also to destroy anyone who questions them. They are convinced that they are unique and should only associate with other special or high-status individuals. In fact, when confronted with anything that contradicts their sense of god-like stature, you can bet that their reaction will be explosive and malicious.
Contempt is shown for those they deem inferior. When this narcissist experiences a loss of admiration they will become emotionally and/or verbally abusive. Their verbal sharpness is such that one is left staggering in the aftermath. In spite of these injurious traits, such a person can be charming and exhibit behaviors widely admired in society. There can be the ‘appearance’ of a genuine sense of benevolence towards others–though they’re not sincere in nature.
The Cerebral Narcissist generally operates in the same way as the somatic or overt Narcissist when it comes to securing a source of supply. However, there are subtleties that set them apart, such as:
During the idealization phase: they follow the blue-print when it comes to showering their target with affection and praise. However, the cerebral narcissist goes one step further by exclaiming that the new supply is their intellectual equal. This may very well be the case, but the cerebral narcissist doesn’t believe it because in their mind, no one can match his or her mental prowess. Their pretense is impermeable. Gifts often include poetry, books, and hand-written letters professing their undying love.
As with all Narcissists, this phase is to make you addicted to the constant attention. Once the emotional and chemical cravings set in, thus begins the devaluation phase.
The devaluation phase is very similar to other Narcissists, though manifests in a slightly different way. Instead of direct, snarky remarks meant to chip away at the target’s self-esteem (which is the MO of the less intelligent Narcs), the Cerebral will suddenly blow hot and cold, withdraw their attention, and give you the overall sense of not being as high of a priority as before. They begin to throw out occasional morsels in order to keep you in their loop. But don’t be fooled, underneath the cool demeanor they are secretly cursing your perceived ignorance and mocking you under their breath.
Although it may not come up in discussion, you begin to feel you’re being needy or clingy, so you back off in hopes of recapturing the attention you received in the beginning. It’s about this time that you may begin to question the depth of their feelings for you, trying to make sense of the widening gap that’s forming. They make a virtue out of their emotional truancy by convincing you they’re simply giving you space and freedom, or that they’re preoccupied with some big project.
The discard phase is where everything comes to light. It becomes apparent that the narcissist considers himself a gift to civilization. His intelligent achievements are earth shatteringly paradigm-shifting, forever penetrating and superior. Periodically interacting with objects of conflict sustains his inner turmoil, keeping the narcissist on his toes…this infuses him with euphoric liveliness. Should you demand more – you will become an encumbrance. He will dump you, disengaging quickly and remorselessly. The cerebral narcissist’s discard is often swift because they simply don’t have the endurance to tolerate the bleating morons they call partners.
During the discard phase, the narcissist reveals his or her authentic self. You experience their callous indifference as the relationship ends. You might think this is only a fleeting lapse, but in reality, this is their true nature which has been hidden under a dark cloak.
The scheming charm that existed in the beginning is gone – instead, it is replaced by the genuine contempt that the narcissist felt for you from the beginning. They feel absolutely nothing for you except the excitement of having discarded another unsuspecting target. It’s at this point you must accept that the dreamlike bond that existed in the beginning was an illusion.
How to conduct yourself in the aftermath, according to An Upturned Soul
“Narcissists are very good at finding really nice people. Your niceness is a weakness. They need that niceness because they don’t have it. Their favorite thing is hearing you tell them how wonderful they are, nice people do that, encourage the good in others and give compliments freely. This addiction to nice people is the Narcissist’s weakness. They tell people how wonderful they are, but they don’t believe it, not consciously or subconsciously. They are very aggressive about how wonderful they are, they will fight to the death to prove it… to themselves most of all.
There is always someone else, they discard relationships like we discard trash. They change identities in a similar way, but they never change their pattern of relationship, and they rarely change who they are underneath all of their masks.
One of the most effective ways of ‘winning’ a game with a Narcissist… let them win. If you’ve been in a relationship with a Narcissist for a while, you’ll know that at some point they stop being ‘nice’ to you, it’s an effort for them, and they switch to being mean. They will tell you some awful truth about yourself for your own good, of course, they’re wonderful like that. Don’t try to prove them wrong, that’s what they want, that gives them what they need, all of your passionate attention. Tell them they are right and walk away”.
“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
**This post was written in part with content found on Self-Care Haven and her article, Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Head. Visit her site for more information on Narcissistic behaviors and self-care.
If you follow my blog, allow me to introduce David over at Grace for my Heart. Every Friday he posts articles related to Narcissism. His articles are always encouraging, reassuring…and timely.
Originally posted on Grace for my Heart:
It’s Narcissist Friday!
Why do the narcissists abuse people? Why do they do such things? They hurt. They use. They manipulate. They destroy.
Some have attributed their cruelty to hatred. Some to anger. Others to envy. Perhaps they look at the rest of us and create ways to demolish what we or others have built into our lives. Perhaps they do it for fun, excitement, maybe challenge.
Narcissists can cause a lot of pain. I read the stories people send to me privately and those shared in the comments and I grieve for those who have had to endure so much. Some of the stories are hard to believe, but I know narcissists and I do believe them. And, again, why do they do these things?
I have written about this before, but it seems important to say it again: it isn’t your fault. You are not an inferior…
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I talk with many people regarding their intimate relationships with Narcissists. Narcissists are generally exhibitionists and sex is just another method of getting attention and admiration.
They also watch lots of internet porn.
The narcissist is threatened by a partner’s sexual and emotional needs. Because of this, most narcissists prefer internet pornography and masturbation to emotional, mature, adult sex. Some are into sexual deviancy; some use pornography to become aroused; others become addicted to it.
Narcissists commit adultery and have extramarital affairs or liaisons for a variety of reasons including control, power, attention, and because narcissists get bored easily. This explains why partners of Narcissists almost always catch them on online dating sites, and also why narcissists are often addicted to internet pornography. Research has shown that the more control narcissists have over sex, the more gratifying the experience tends to be.
This addiction (more often than not) leads to porn-induced erectile dysfunction, which they then blame on their partner(s). Affected partners become traumatized, depressed, experience body-image issues, and these issues often spill over into other areas of their lives, like work and child-rearing. They often turn to coping mechanisms such as food, drugs, alcohol, plastic surgery, and/or finding an affair partner or, they completely shut down sexually. In severe cases, affected partners have attempted suicide.
So how does frequent viewing of porn/masturbation result in erectile dysfunction? The mechanics include the following:
- The need for higher thresholds of excitement
- Causes lack of sensation and/or lack of desire
- Lack of intimacy with partner/inability to orgasm (inorgasmia); which is not only caused by lack of sensation, but can be due to “edging”, which is when someone reaches the point of orgasm and stops themselves in order to prolong the porn experience, which then transfers over to sex with their partner
- Persistent viewing of porn causes increased need to view because the dopamine receptors in the brain are stimulated over and over again, causing high tolerance
- Perpetual refractory periods causing less desire to have sex with partner; they have no desire because they’ve been watching porn and masturbating
- The problem isn’t necessarily in the genitalia, but in the mind…desire is rooted in the brain and over time porn/masturbation causes dopamine overloads/short-circuiting/burnout so that sex with a partner doesn’t achieve the same kind of result, even if the porn addict is in love with and attracted to their partner (not all addicts are Narcissists)
- Creation of an idiosyncratic masturbatory style – masturbating uses a different kind of friction and pressure than one would experience with a partner/intercourse, which acclimates the person to a new kind of physical pressure that desensitizes the person during actual sex
- Often can’t be treated with traditional drugs (Viagra, Cialis, etc.) like “traditional ED”. Although they can provide blood flow to the genitalia and cause an erection, the person often cannot achieve orgasm because the main problem is rooted in the brain, which has been desensitized from porn
Again, not all porn addicts are Narcissists, but a high percentage of Narcissists are addicted to porn. If you’re not sure which category your partner falls into, look for their willingness to overcome their addiction with your help. If they blame their condition on you, or refuse to talk about recovery, chances are high that they are a Narcissist. Even if they’re not, you’ll want to consider the possible effects on your mental and emotional health if choosing to stay with a porn-addicted partner who shows no desire to stop.
Besides, porn has humanitarian and ethical implications, including the following:
- Increased demand for porn has caused an increase in human trafficking
- Lower quality of life for people in the sex industry (in general, not in all cases) –cases of violence, emotional abuse, threats, etc. for people wanting to leave the industry
- Causes unrealistic expectations for young teens, first sexual experience is often porn, long-term ramifications for normal relationships
- Virtual infidelity –people begin to prefer porn to their partner(s), cannot be aroused by partner(s), people who watch porn often fake orgasms with their partner and then go watch porn to please themselves; dilutes connection with partner/spouse – often leads to increased real-life infidelity
- Studies have found correlations between pornography use and marital/relationship instability; those who reported being happily married were much less likely to report use of internet porn
- Pornography use has been linked to higher rates of divorce, extramarital affairs, lower rates of happiness in marriage/relationships and with life in general
This article isn’t meant as an argument for or against porn. There are enough debates on the subject centered around sexual autonomy, choice, feminism, and other societal considerations. Further, some older couples report that the mutual viewing of porn has helped spice up their romance in the bedroom…Though, there are very real societal ramifications linked to internet porn.
This article is simply to help traumatized partners understand that if their Narcissistic partner blames their ED on them, there are very real physiological and psychological reasons why this may be happening, which have nothing to do with affected partners. If this describes your situation, please seek professional therapy, and if your partner shows no signs of change, you may want to consider ending the relationship. On the other hand, if your partner is open to learning more about porn-induced ED and how to overcome it, click the link for some great educational videos.
Counter to An Erectile Dysfunction Myth: Scroll down to: “Removing a single variable to heal chronic ED = strong evidence“
Most victims of Narcissistic abuse waste years of their lives not knowing whether they should stay or leave, torturing themselves with self-doubt. The reasons for this vary, but in the end, victims are groomed to not only accept abuse, but to crave the Narcissist when the relationship ends.
If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you suspect your partner of being a Narcissist. It’s also likely that you’ve been emotionally abused for some time now and feel you have to settle for more of the same for the rest of your life. But, the truth is, whether you stay or leave is a choice. Although you might feel powerless to change your situation, all it takes is one decision to turn it all around. People do it every day.
If you’ve been dreaming of a life where you feel hope-FUL instead of hope-LESS, following are the steps needed to turn your abuse into a thing of the past:
Steps to Freedom
1) The first thing you need to do is accept the necessity to leave. Regardless of the years invested and regardless of whether you still love them…(and perhaps ask yourself, do you really love them or love the crazy?)
The Narcissist will never change. As painful as it is, they will never love you the way you want to be loved, nor will they reciprocate the loving care you’ve given them. Everything that transpires inside of the relationship will continue to be for their benefit only. Your only reason for existence is to serve their needs. Narcissists operate solely from ego, which leaves no room for them to reflect on how their actions affect you.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”― Haruki Murakami
2) Do not inform your partner of your intention to leave. The reason for this is because they will begin to love-bomb you and hoover in order to keep you under their control. Hoovering is aptly named because it’s their attempt to SUCK you back into the relationship and re-secure your attachment to them. It takes time and effort for them to find a suitable replacement for you. In order to avoid that, they will morph back into the “loving, caring, concerned” partner you knew from the beginning of the relationship. Save yourself the heartache. The time for mind games and second-guessing is over. Any semblance of love or caring from their part is to fulfill something on their agenda, which doesn’t include you or your feelings. Further, if they have bipolar tendencies, informing them of your decision to leave could cause them to get physically aggressive.
3) If you are single and/or unemployed, think of any friends or family you might be able to move in with until you get on your feet. If you don’t have anyone, contact your local Domestic Violence center and make an appointment. They know that abuse can be emotional and verbal, and it’s considered Domestic Abuse. They may be able to help you with transitional housing, as well as other services that might include job training/placement.
The abuse will never get better. In fact, things will only get worse the longer you stay.
If you are employed, go out at your earliest opportunity and put a deposit on a new apartment. If you don’t have the money… borrow it, sell some stuff at the pawn shop, sell plasma, sell on Ebay. Do whatever is necessary to raise the money for the deposit. Then, ask for a few days off from your employer. When your partner leaves for work, or during one of their Silent Treatments, use the opportunity to get your things and leave. Initiate No Contact and stick with it. If they come around and won’t leave you alone, call the police. Get a restraining order if necessary.
4) If you are married with children, leaving will be hard, but necessary. Staying in an abusive situation is not providing your children with stability. It’s the opposite. Divine Caroline states it eloquently:
“I can tell you personally, your children will be impacted and damaged. They will never know what a normal relationship and home life should look like. Your love and caring efforts to make it more stable and normal WILL GO UNNOTICED. He is always the center of attention, everyone walks on eggshells. He not only conditions you, but your children as well. The moods, temper tantrums, negative unhappy feelings he emits, the inappropriate angry responses to ordinary life problems, rages, unreasonable expectations placed on everyone but the Narcissist, creates an unhealthy environment to raise children. They have to adapt and develop unhealthy survival skills to live through it. They will carry those skills into their life and relationships.
Is it really worth staying in a comfy home if your children need counseling for the rest of their lives, or worse, end up as victims of their own abusive relationship?
Think of all the possibilities in which you can make it work. Again, solicit your friends or family for a temporary residence. If that won’t work, contact your local Domestic Violence center. Tell them your situation and inform them of your desire to leave. They might give you a court advocate, a case manager, and/or help you with transitional housing. They may also be able to assist you with other services such as counseling and support groups. Ask them how you should handle your disordered spouse when they come around pretending to be concerned about the children and claiming you’re violating their rights as a parent.
Many targets of Narcissistic abuse worry how their children will adjust to transitional housing. 99% of the time, they are relieved and will know that you have their best interests at heart. And, according to the forums I’ve read, children think of the transitional housing as an adventure of sorts. Of course, use your best judgment with your children because only you know them well enough to approach the situation in a way that will be comforting to them.
5) Initiate No Contact. This means blocking them from ALL means of communication. If you give them an opportunity, they will commence to hoover. Don’t fall for it. It’s only to get you back under their control so you can serve them.
If you have children, you will need to go with modified contact. Schedule a consultation with an attorney to see how you should handle the situation until custody is finalized through the court. Don’t let the Narcissist intimidate you. They will try. Be prepared.
6) Start the work of healing yourself. You’ve been through a lot. Use your new-found freedom to focus on extreme self-care and try not to think too much about the abuse for a while. Granted, you will have to process all the stages of grief and denial in order to gain closure, but for now, simply breathe, relax, and pamper yourself. Start researching therapists that specialize in Narcissistic and Domestic abuse, learn how to release negative energy, and consider some Reiki massages. Check out the healing tools here on the site.
It will be a journey, but you are now on the path to living true to yourself and you deserve it.
Let Me Reach Coaching Services:
Kim Saeed, B. Ed., provides confidential, fee-for-service, coaching services to help victims of emotional abuse work through their relationship issues via telephone, email, Skype, and Google chat. Her coaching combines practical guidance, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. She can be reached at email@example.com
Having a hard time going No Contact? Told your disordered partner you’re through, yet continue to check your phone and email like Hem and Haw in Who Moved My Cheese, counting on the texts and emails to be constant? Feeling like the world’s biggest loser when you find nothing…or, feeling like you just took a hit of morphine when you find a simple ‘hi’ from the object of your misery?
Almost everyone who’s been in a relationship with a disordered Cluster-B has experienced the special hell of “electronic repetition compulsion”. Some sufferers of this condition have even lost their jobs because they couldn’t get a handle on this destructive, self-defeating behavior.
So what’s one to do? The urge to constantly check texts and emails from an abusive Ex is one of the strongest urges to overcome and has been compared to giving up an addictive substance. For starters, it’s important to realize that this urge is simply a hidden desire to rewrite history and its origin often goes back to one’s difficult childhood, which is usually how we subsequently end up with an emotionally abusive partner. Instead of checking your phone, do this:
- Go No Contact. It’s the only path to true freedom. As long as you leave a crack open, you’ll keep going back to it like a dog to its vomit. If you take away the source, there’s nothing to check.
If you haven’t gone No Contact, here are some simple exercises to put in place until you do:
- Take the battery out of your cell phone. Settle down with a good book for a few hours.
- Instead of checking your messages, eat chocolate. You’ll get a rush of endorphins instead of victim peptides.
- Keep a rubber band around your wrist. Each time you’re tempted to check your phone or email, snap it…hard.
- Start a project. Keep your mind occupied.
- Identify your danger zones. There are times that you’re more inclined to indulge than others. Recognize when those times are, and do something that is incompatible with checking your phone.
On second thought, wouldn’t it be easier to just go No Contact?
The author of this video specializes in relationships, but his video on releasing attachments is one of the best I’ve come across…I hope it will help those of you struggling with No Contact. Namaste.