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:
And perhaps the most disturbing…
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.
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.
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