Let’s call this EXACTLY what it is – emotional and psychological abuse and Domestic Violence from a personality disordered person.
From my Book: From Charm to Harm and everything else in Between with a Narcissist
This abuse doesn’t stop the very day you walk away from a psychologically and emotionally abusive partner or Narcissist. It more than likely may continue to affect you long after you are out of the relationship until you completely educate yourself about this abuse or what psychological and emotional abuse is! It is unfortunate that you and I have had to experience this and are/were left disabled and damaged by our abuser BUT we can’t allow it to affect and destroy the remainder of our life by staying imprisoned with these thoughts that were imprinted on our hearts and minds. You were an amazing person before the abuse and you are going to be more than that when you recover and become a survivor with new boundaries and a new perspective when you get back to life and living again.
Psychological and emotional abuse is any judgement, from ANY source, that humiliates, undermines and paralyses you. People do have a right to react or comment on errors you have made, but they are NEVER justified in suggesting that those errors undermine your human worth or dehumanize you through a personal attack. If you think about your abuse with a Narcissist, this was a slow and insidious day by day and CONSTANT manipulation of your character by the Narcissist. It was mixed with love and you were thrown a little bone now and then, but that was only to pull you back into the abuse and managed down more. It was a horrendous manipulation of your mind, character and integrity by a disordered person. They are the sick one here and not you.
This abuse keeps you hyper focused on the past by only viewing the present and the future through the negative perspective of the abusive relationship or those negative messages that were forced into your head and heart. When you are in an emotionally/psychologically abusive relationship, the Narcissist always reminded you of everything you have ever done wrong and basically told that you will never change. They do this with the constant managing down with something new or old and remind you of it constantly. There was never much that was ever directed at you in a positive manner either, instead everything you did was devalued where you continually strived to do better in response to the devaluation and that became your normal with them. What did this make you feel like? Worthless and always like you had to explain yourself! Basically it is the devaluation stage of the abuse and that is where these negative messages became imprinted on your mind! It is insidious and sadistic or dehumanization of a human being.
Psychological and Emotional abuse basically brainwashes you into accepting whatever negative things your abuser said about you as real or your reality and worth as a person. They make you so vulnerable through the devaluation process that it confuses AND disables your reality which in turns undermines your own opinion of yourself AND then you believe they must be right because they are so relentless and angry about these so called things you do. The Narcissist is HEAVILY invested in their agenda to devalue you so they can maintain their power and control over you! Their attacks are traumatizing.
With psychological and emotional abuse you are never really sure that it is actually abuse, because he/she is not being physically abusive or hitting you where you can say that this was/is an ASSAULT (some Narcissist do get physically violent too though)! You can’t be sure that what your partner says counts as abuse or not. So you defer or justify the situation because you are invested in this relationship because of your emotional bond and you take it all as if the Narcissist is just telling the truth as it concerns these things you do wrong! You go on to justify it by thinking perhaps that you are too sensitive, demanding, jealous, or have issues like he/she may have said or a hundred other things. This happened to me in a manner that I tried to justify and fix these ‘off the wall’ crazy making efforts from my Narcissist because I thought it would somehow change in the future if I worked through this. I even had a perspective that my Narcissist had issues that needed my support and love and made it OK or allowed it to continue and that only enabled more abuse. YES my narcissist had many issues, but none of which I could ever fix and I only ended up coming out of the relationship needing fixed instead! The process involves reversing the negative conditioning and desensitizing the horrendous messages that stole your reality, self-esteem, feeling of worth, and goodness.
I am not weak, foolish, dumb or would allow someone to constantly attack me but the manipulation was such that it slowly but surely got me to where I did blame myself. BUT again remember the mix of that love bombing still lingers on because the Narcissist keeps you attached at the hip with that extreme manipulation as well (the love)! We will go the extra mile for the person we love, because isn’t that what unconditional love is all about? We were kept stuck in this process of wondering ‘is it me or isn’t it me’ and we never reconciled any of it so that it all piled up on us until it became insurmountable and disabled us. So what part of this is abuse? The words in all of those negative messages (and yes to what they also extorted from us)! If your partner, spouse, boss, friend or family member’s words humiliate you, judge you, dehumanize you, make you feel small, worthless or lack total respect for you as an individual with a real voice to respond with dignity, respect, and truth, it is wrong, unacceptable, and abuse!
You will devalue YOURSELF if you accept this behavior and allow other people’s abusive judgements of yourself, until you learn how to identify them and get rid of them once and for all. You will confuse these abusive actions with being realistic as it concerns you and your well-being! Someone’s ill placed and destructive judgement as it concerns you is an aberration of your basic rights as a human being. You cannot make or allow ANY assessment of yourself based on the denial of your ability to speak with the truth/freedom and without the fear of their retribution or loss because of someone’s distorted version of the truth as it concerns you – that is condemning you. We all have the basic rights to speak freely, form and maintain good relationships, and live in peace because these are our basic human rights!
Our entire existence to connect in this life is based on there being sufficient regularities, rules, or even laws in human nature to make healthy as well as sufficiently reliable interactions with other people. This is just a given and part of our belief system so we generally don’t venture out into the world believing everybody is a liar, abusive, or a Narcissist. We will always tend to follow our belief system first and trust it until there is sufficient proof to believe otherwise. These regularities come from various aspects of just being part of the human condition, AND without them the human condition cannot function normally. Well interestingly enough the Narcissist considers this and uses it as bait to trap us. They completely work this reality of life into their façade of lies, as well as their agenda, and it becomes a working part of their personality or that facade. They are just one magnanimous and huge dangerous lie! Unfortunately when you entered into this relationship with a Narcissist you did not know what the future held for you, but with the knowledge you now have you can break the chain and move forward to a healthy and good life. You are an amazing person because you are still here today and fighting to get back to the person you once were. Let that define the real strength that you had that got you through this hideous attack on your love and life! You were too strong and too full of love and empathy and that sent your abuser running – that is the real truth here! No/minimal contact from this point on! Greg