Broadening the perspective of Narcissistic abuse by including it right alongside every other abuse. Let’s call it what it is Emotional and Psychological abuse that can occur in any life situation be it romantic, friendship, family, work, etc. Let’s also include and define it in terms that are recognizable to personal relationships OR Domestic Violence. So a little insight into how this perpetrator abuses!
What makes this abuse so damaging is that emotional/psychological abuse doesn’t stop the day you walk away from an emotionally abusive partner, loved one, friend, career or any relationship. Unfortunately, it will probably continue to affect you long after your abusive partner, relationship, or whatever connection is gone and REMAIN unless you discover what emotional/psychological abuse really is and how to STOP it and recover from it. It is unfortunate that this type of abuse is hard to identify and many if not all of these abusers walk among us unrecognized AND in every aspect of our lives (personal and professional.) What is NOT hard to recognize is the damage these abusers have inflicted onto their targets/victims and the huge loss and struggle associated with this abuse. Unfortunately the perpetrators of this abuse walk away unscathed and abuse a new target/victim.
Emotional/psychological abuse is any judgement, in ANY interpersonal relationship, from any source that humiliates, undermines, paralyses, makes you fearful, controls you or harms you. The Department of Justice defines this same pattern of abusive behavior as Domestic Violence as in an intimate relationship! In their words and definition it is any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic Violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological actions, or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Abuse is abuse in any situation!
So some descriptors and definitions that apply to emotional and psychological abusers and how their toxicity is administered to all people and all relationships.
- Emotional and psychological abusers are controllers that ALWAYS run the show – think of them as dictators with an iron fist!
- The abuse and manipulation can come in either a physical form (actions) or at a deep emotional level in order to break the psyche to meet the abusers desires and needs.
- They create an omnipotent but FALSE façade as it concerns themselves where they are always portrayed as having a pristine, moralistic, and flawless lifestyle. They always have supporters to provide social proof of their magnanimous virtues to back them up – people they have manipulated with charm and lies. These supporters are basically their body guards to protect them from exposure of the truth or how disordered they are with their lies, betrayal, and how the extort life and people.
- Emotional and psychological abusers manipulate people that are in any sort of relationship with them to believe or submit to the feeling that they have NO value outside the value THEY are given or are assigned to them by the abuser – PERIOD.
- Emotional and psychological abusers manipulate people into a position of believing that submission, compliance and obedience are respect and even love.
- They DEMAND that their authority is ALWAYS respected, but they don’t model or reciprocate with ANY type of respect! What they really want is obedience!
- They do not live by their own professed teachings, values, rules, standards, or even laws – better yet they live by double standards.
- They misrepresent and DISTORT “right from wrong” and morality as it serves THEIR purpose or needs. They teach, imply, or present false truths that reinforce their agenda and personal desire to control.
- They make you jump through constant hoops in life making EVRYTHING so difficult to impossible! They back up their words with punishing actions.
- They lie, embellish, and CREATE false situations or cover ups with the tiniest bit of the truth to always misrepresent facts and avoid accountability as it concerns the truth about THEM.
- They instigate situations between people or triangulate, isolate, or divide and conquer. Then ask for your loyalty and respect as a factor in keeping their secret concerns about the person they are overtaking and isolating to hide their real motives and made up or false truths to put wedges in between people. This keeps the spotlight off of them and opposition between everyone around them.
- Emotional and psychological abusers misuse and manipulate their power in order to get what THEY want and to have things the way THEY want them. Many abusive bosses are quite adept at using this control over employees! Sometimes threatening is the adequate word to describe their persuasion.
- Emotional and psychological abusers can and will resort to cruelty. They will use jokes to poke fun at you or something you did, perhaps embarrass you and hope you react so they can make you wrong saying you are too sensitive or always overreact to things!
- Emotional and psychological abusers DEMAND that we don’t question them and manipulate you into believing that doing so is disrespectful. They reinforce their manipulation with rage that produces fear of their retribution. They will also isolate you with the silent treatment to invalidate your presence in their world!
- They are always right, they are always the expert that knows best PERIOD.
- The manipulative power they exert over you is always presented “for YOUR own good” as if it is valuable information to help you prosper and grow to be better than what you are – as in a person in need of their help. They just assume the role of superiority over people!
- They don’t respect or encourage individuality because that would limit their control over others. So they constantly exert their control and power to stay on top of their game.
- Emotional and psychological abusers do not live by their own definitions of “respect” “love” or “truth.” They completely betray people with a wide variety of actions.
- You are never a viable person with feelings, a voice, a presence, or allowed to have any positive validation or worth. You are ASSIGNED a submissive role and you must NEVER step out of that role!
- They DENY any accountability or wrongdoing as it concerns how they dehumanize people. They will always put the blame back onto the person they are abusing and even destroy their integrity. Sadistic describes the abuser perfectly.
The above description of emotional abuse and the abuse tactics applies to ANYONE that acts out against people in the manner described with the intent to control another person. It is abuse pure and simple, be it spouses, partners, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, siblings, friends, professionals (therapists, clergy, law enforcement, bosses, etc.) This abuse is NOT just limited to romantic relationships! These abusive actions are based on the abusers judgmental beliefs and sadistic actions that harm people and based on the grandiose view of themselves or the superiority, power, AND control they exert over their targets/victims. Abuse and control is made easier when the self-esteem is damaged or destroyed and that is the power abusers exert over their targets through devaluation, dehumanization, and betrayal!
Emotional/psychological abuse keeps you focused on the past and seeing the future only through the negative perspective of the manipulative and abusive relationship and the negative messages from them (the abusive person.) When you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, the abuser will always remind you of everything that you may have ever done wrong and re-visit these wrongs constantly in a manner to make you BELIEVE that you will NEVER change for the better. Everything has a negative spin attached to it. This is managing down and devaluation to make you feel worthless in their eyes!
Emotional abuse may not leave any outward scars, but it can cause pain and fear for much longer than physical harm to the body. Many people believe that just because they do not suffer from physical abuse by their spouse, partner, relative, friend, boss, etc., that they are safe and it is not abuse. However, this is not the case because the scars are internal and the damage is psychological and can cause grief, fear, anxiety, depression and trauma for an entire lifetime! This type of abuse is like an odorless and tasteless poison to people’s minds! Both woman, men AND children suffer from emotional and psychological abuse or mental torture from abusers.
Psychological or emotional abuse happens when the other party erodes your sense of self-esteem or self-worth and literally has a hold over your mind. Your sense of self-worth becomes destroyed in the process so much so that you no longer dare to challenge what is being said to you or about you. Basically is it fear of their retribution. The abuser exerts their power over you in degrees of punishment, or isolation, depending on your reaction to them or if you don’t acquiesce to their demands. You believe in the stories, words, and negative actions against you and most of them are not even true to begin with. Your abuser spins a web of lies to control your behavior and for his/her own selfish motives or to control you. Control and power are tools and the technique that the abuser asserts over people that are in their personal life! In reality it is the ABUSER that is probably right down there with the other lower forms in society, but those dark secrets are well hidden under a cloak or façade of superiority and morality. The abuser actually projects their faulty parts and weaknesses onto you in a manner to take the shame away from them.
Emotional abusers do what they do to gain power over you. Consequently, you feel like you are being controlled and every single movement you make is being watched, OR the feeling that you are walking on eggshells. You fear making decisions, in fact, you find it difficult to make one without consulting your ‘abusing’ partner. You are ALWAYS explaining yourself! You end up losing your confidence in your own abilities, incapable of rational thinking. Your reality has been distorted by constant manipulation, devaluation and managing down. In time your self-esteem and self-worth are held completely captive by the gravity of your abuser!
The minute you make “a mistake” or do something that your abuser or controller decides is “wrong”, they purposely became inflamed and basically reprimand you with the proof that you are a failure, a liar, crazy, a misfit, just like they have said all along. Abusers will often do this publically, twisting the truth and making sure that others agree that you are the crazy one. Usually they will do this so eloquently and behind your back. The abusive controller/manipulator will always make sure that the blame never falls on them to avoid being exposed as the psycho bully they really are. This is a very big part of how emotional and psychological abuse works. No matter what the real truth is, it never comes into the equation because the final thoughts, words, and actions are always the abusers spin to reinforce their agenda! They have a powerful and direct voice that they use to command and bark out their carefully cloaked lies and manipulations to always get their way. The emotional and psychological abuse surrounds the target/victim with such uncertainty that it isolates them from reality.
Abusers will essentially mentor and shape you with their delusional propaganda and agenda to control you, then they will mistreat and devalue you, and then take your voice away. This is all part of the agenda to BREAK YOU! Then they will reject you because you are broken and add more blame/shame and wrong to the many layers that they have already created. This is the cycle of devaluation or abuse! They recreate you, then break you, then blame you, then comfort you and start the process over and over again creating a dizzying and confusing circle and endless maze.
Basically they are labeling and BRANDING you with THEIR own emotionally and psychologically abusive actions as not good enough, not lovable, not the way that “they” want you to be and YOU are a disappointment and a failure. This is how they ‘play’ love! BUT they are manipulating you into believing and even convincing you that YOU are completely responsible for their negative reactions toward you AND it is YOUR fault that you are not lovable or good enough. You even become compliant because they are relentless and constantly trying to make you explain or prove yourself to them! You become so confused in believing that you are not good enough and so brainwashed that you finally believe them. Usually there is a bond of love that keeps you attached to the abuser’s hip or it could be a relationship that you MUST have or cannot avoid with your abuser! They will trick you once in a while with a little bit of reinforcement or love but it short lived and there to keep you in the cycle of abuse OR they want something. They break your spirit to make you dependent on them because they cannot have a healthy relationship that allows the other person to be an individual or to grow with them in ANY healthy manner so they create a trap to keep you chained to them. They are not wired to relate with care and empathy or to grow with love so instead they control you to keep you there with them until they are done with you or bored and then they move on to the next target/victim to extort completely and use up.
They constantly define you through their abusive connection or bond and you MUST realize that it is up to you to take your identity and power back! You MUST redefine yourself by purging the abuse and negative messages out of your head and life and see that THEY are disordered and have only manipulated and dehumanized you to make you believe that you are worthless. That is where they acquire their power over you and you must shut it off completely. This is how they manage people because they are totally defective and damaged inside! They cannot internalize any sort of a connection with a person that would allow individuality because they fear that they will lose control. Unfortunately they take control to a destructive level and imprison your thoughts and life and you basically become their servant. They are dangerous to people and life and destroy families, organizations, careers, or basically any part of life they become enmeshed in!
When you are in the thick of an abusive entanglement it becomes so difficult to even know HOW to define yourself because you become so lost in the control, manipulation and that fog that they encased you in. You probably even doubt that you HAVE the strength to take your life back because you are so beaten down, BUT you do. You MUST break the cycle of the manipulative controller and take a complete stand against being falsely accused, blamed, and shamed for EVRYTHING. You must not surrender to anything that this abuser does or says and realize that you are NOTHING of who or what they made you believe you were. You must see that they are the sick person here to dehumanize people in the manner they do. You must walk completely away from them and NEVER return! They are seriously disordered and have become sadistic and destructive to somehow compensate for their own inferiority and failures. They will not seek help or even see that they have a severe problem.
Emotional and psychological abusers have to keep us in a distorted spin because if we break through the cycle of their abuse or that ‘fog’ for one second, we might realize that they are wrong or better yet that they ARE sadistic abusers! They know we will recognize how very pathetic they are so controllers and abusers quickly defer to a statement or event that proves their delusional points over and over again – that is why you never feel a balance with them or achieve closure. They are relentless with their pursuit of control so don’t look to fixing anything about them or getting into their head to understand them! They have had an entire life to fix themselves and they have always chosen to deny their reality and continue abusing people. You are/were just the next person in a long line of people they have damaged and they are already onto a new target/victim.
You may get a tiny little bit of encouragement now and then but it will be met with more manipulation and control to keep you under their spell AND control! What they say in their deliverance of an attack usually has nothing to do with reality or any current situation. Psychological and emotional abusers create diversions and confusion, or again that heavy fog that will distort your reality and put you right back into blame, shame, and under their control. You have no real identity or a voice with a psychological or emotionally abusive person because you are merely an object. If you resist they will only step their game up to destroy what they can of you until you comply. They are destructive psycho bullies and their words, so called truths, and proof is ALWAYS designed to take you down. You don’t resist because of this negative and debilitating conditioning, but you are glued to them because you care, love or respect them (emotional bond.) You have to break that bond and you must respect the truth that YOU deserve more than their dehumanizing and sadistic treatment!
AGAIN – Psychological and emotional abuse brainwashes you into taking whatever bad or negative things your abuser says about you as the gospel truth. They spin you into such a web of confusion and deceit that the very confusion they put you in undermines your reality and then you believe they must be right and it becomes a way of life for you! You will even end up looking like the ‘crazy one’ that they have made you out to be to the outside world. The abuser is invested in this managing down and devaluation and THEY need you to believe it too so they can maintain that control and power over you! JUST SAY NO!
They will also try to convince you that it is just you being too sensitive, or maybe too demanding, angry, insubordinate, or too unreasonable. If you EVER respond to them with a question concerning their words, they try to convince you that this is for YOUR own good or out of concern and they are only trying to help you out, BUT they never help, and they only make you more wrong or HINDER. So again you end up thinking that it is you! Then because it is just words you don’t often define it as abuse! We all make mistakes and do things wrong, but when a person keeps you locked up in a negative pattern that constantly defines you as wrong, always making mistakes, worthless, unlikeable, unlovable, LESS THAN THEM, etc., and you have no way of ever changing this, that is psychological or emotional abuse and DOMESTIC VIOLENCE as it concerns a relationship!
Until you understand this completely and become adept at recognizing the verbal, emotional and psychological abuse you will continue to suffer from it in your life. Be it someone you are in a relationship with, family, friends, a boss, acquaintances and even strangers that behave in ways that are consistently hurtful or careless of your feelings THEY ARE ABUSIVE. You will allow and internalize other people’s abusive judgements of yourself and even become that description of you until you discover how to identify them and get rid of them by getting them out of your life once and for all. You will confuse abuse with ‘being realistic’ as it concerns your reality. If you assign or internalize these negative messages from abusive people that PRETEND they care, you will believe that you are damaged and it will hinder and disable your life. You will begin to believe that your happiness or success in life is defined through these distorted people AND those negative messages will become internalized and find a home in your head and heart.
Realize that only you hold the power and you are the only person who has power over yourself. As simple as this sounds after being in a horrendous and abusive relationship, it is just the truth. YOU must STOP the abuser and take their power away. You must become confident in the fact that YOU are good enough and even amazing. You have to realize that you have been subjected to the abusive behaviors of a seriously disordered person PERIOD. One reason why you have been subjected to emotional and psychological abuse is that you have handed your power over to this person. Be it fear, manipulation, or whatever tactic this person exerted over you can also be broken by you. You have recognized the truth of your situation, so now you can move forward into a healthy place to heal.
The time will come when you will know that enough is enough and refuse to be held hostage by the mental torture and you will WANT to move on AND possibly the reason why you are here today. It is completely possible to overcome psychological and emotional abuse and regain the confidence and control that you may have lost to an abusive partner. By protecting ourselves from being manipulated at the emotional level, we are able to free ourselves once and for all from the dehumanization and violation of our free will. It will also shift your consciousness from the state of fear and intimidation which is a byproduct of the abuse imposed on us by these emotional manipulators and vampires. THEN we can shift away from any debilitating mind state – call it deprograming, or desensitizing the negative messages or the abuse but it HAS to be done by completely breaking the bond with them.
You must lock up those doors that allow negative people to get at your real goodness. It means change, but it doesn’t mean changing the person you ARE, it means adjusting boundaries and healing weak spots that exist deep down inside of you. This is understanding and accepting that this horrible abuse has happened into your life and getting past it and to your healing. Your abuser is a lost cause and destructive to you. Leave them behind, and don’t put your energy into helping or healing THEM because they are what made you unhealthy in a manner that is a crime. What you invested in them is just a huge loss, so you have to accept that so that you will reinvest in YOUR own future. You can’t possibly get into their head to understand what they are and what they do – BUT they are quite adept at getting back into your head and starting the abuse right back up. So remove the coefficient that damaged you or the abusive person and replace them with positive healing and healthy thoughts and people. Recreate your boundaries to protect yourself from these negative and destructive people. No/minimal contact is where you start!
An important note: The Narcissist is never going to give up their secrets or that they are disordered. It is up to the targets/victims to define this abuse with their voices and knowledge to bring about awareness and viable help to other victims of this abuse. The Narcissist would only provide lies and manipulate if they were ever in a position to have to define their actions. So it is up to us to define it through our experiences and share them with the world. This will enable therapists and the behavioral sciences to understand the debilitating aspects of this abuse and help them treat the real trauma from this abuse and not just symptoms. Greg