Our stories about this abuse are so incredulous to anybody that hears them that more than often they may turn away instead of offering support.
Our stories about this abuse are so incredulous to anybody that hears them that more than often they may turn away instead of offering support. OUR RESPONSE SHOULD BE: Hear us out and believe us! We are NOT talking about simple disagreements we are talking about emotional and psychological ABUSE at such a destructive level that it destroys victims of this abuse! If a person has NEVER experienced this abuse, they can NEVER understand what we have gone through for them to offer a perspective that will help.
From my Book – Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
MOST PEOPLE have no knowledge or understanding of the emotional and psychological abuse or of a Narcissist as well as the effects of the trauma. It is akin to a prisoner of war being released back into captivity to assume life as usual when that is not even near a possibility or reality as it concerns being a prisoner of this abuse! If you do speak out about the abuse it seems more like you stand in judgment from most of the people nearest and dearest to you.
To the victim of this abuse, everything is one huge confusing blur. It is like someone has wrapped you up in layer upon layer of darkness, fear, angst, confusion, depression, anxiety, pain, sleeplessness, and many things you have never experienced before. You feel like you are completely disabled. You are forgetful and just do not seem to care. ALL OF THIS IS TRAUMA from being abused. You probably do not sleep well and if you do you have nightmares. How do you fix this? How do you get them out of your mind? How do you move forward? Who do you turn to? People listen but they do not see the severity of the situation! You are reaching out to a world that does not understand how debilitating this abuse is because they don’t see a black and blue mark on your body or a broken arm so you become lost in all of this searching and wondering who you can turn to for HELP! You have been injured but the scars are on the inside where nobody can see them, so your abuse is INVISIBLE to everyone but yourself. So is it real or what the heck is going on? IT IS REAL – enough said!
Emotionally or psychologically abused people tend to be cast off or even judged harshly. The chronically abused person is shrouded with a cloud of helplessness, hopelessness, and passivity from the entrapment of the abuse in their past. There seems to be no viable or safe place for them to secure acceptance or the help that they need. There is anxiety and depression that has surfaced, physical ailments and complaints, subdued anger, extreme frustration, isolation, and loneliness from the people closest to them because of the extreme need to express themselves over and over again to get answers or the validation to understand this – so the target/victim is subject to more condemnation as well. We seem like we are crazy, but it is from the trauma and the vulnerability of being abused. You are reaching out for help, but it seems like everyone is turning away.
This type of abuse has exposed you to horrible manipulation, betrayal, resounding fear and terror because of the coercive methods from the Narcissist as well as dehumanizing control. Most people just presume that THEY would show greater courage, strength, and resistance if THEY were the victim and in similar circumstances. They will just tell the target/victim to move on and allow time to heal the wounds. What does this message say or do to the target/victim? It makes them BELIEVE that they ARE the source of their own problems and again isolated and damaged just like the Narcissist said they were. Time alone does not heal these wounds! Unfortunately for the target/victim there is the tendency where people account for the target/victim’s behavior as flaws in THEIR personality as if they gave into or deserved the abuse because they did not leave the Narcissist. Nobody is listening or better yet HEARING the truth of your situation because it sounds so incredulous so the pleas for help are lost with the misinterpretation of your situation. Once AGAIN, the target/victim is left with more isolation, damage, vulnerable AND alone to figure this out on their own. This is a very lonely and scary place to be!
It is not the target/victim JUST grieving the loss of love, it is the grieving of the dehumanization and subjugation from their perpetrator or the Narcissist. The target/victim bundles everything up and somehow even blames themselves as if they created everything they are feeling as well as deserve it. There may be biological children involved, financial ruin and character assassination waiting for the target/victim as well from the Narcissist’s smear campaign. This is probably the darkest time of the target/victim’s life having to deal with the total devaluation, discard, and devastation from someone that they BELIEVED loved them and cared for them! This is betrayal so hideous that a person that has never experienced this abuse could never even start to realize the damage that is done to a target/victim. Hideous
Psychology even has tendency to blame the victim because researchers/clinicians seem to seek an explanation for the perpetrator’s (Narcissist’s) crimes by trying to define this abuse through the (target/victims) supposed personality defects and missing the mark completely especially as it concerns the trauma from this abuse that needs immediate attention and clarity. This is abuse by a personality disordered individual and that is where the blame belongs and NOT on the victim.
When victims are entrapped by manipulative persuasion or brainwashing rather than physical abuse, it always seems that the target/victim is PREDISPOSED to ALLOWING themselves to be abused. THERE IS NO CONSISTENT PROFILE out there that supports any evidence that any target/victim is predisposed to enter exploitive and abusive relationships. There are reasons we may have gotten involved because of a temporary life crisis or recent loss, when we are feeling unhappy, alienated, or lonely, but it was not because we were looking to be abused.
I do want to clarify one point that children that have been raised by Narcissistic parents have a propensity to end up in relationships with Narcissists but not because they want to but more because they have been raised in this type of negative environment and it is familiar to them – but it does not mean that they look for it or are predisposed to seek out ABUSE – they are the product of it! That is a crime or blaming the wrong person in the case of Narcissistic abuse. Children that are born into this abuse are true victims of this abuse and so undeserving of the losses they experience throughout their life. It seems to be forgotten that a Narcissist’s abuse is THEIR own disordered behavior PERIOD!
Loved ones, family and friends who have never experienced prolonged terror have no understanding of the coercive methods or control from a Narcissist, so they presume that they would show greater courage and resistance than the target/victim showed. This is a bad and harsh judgment that invalidates the reality of this abuse for the target/victim. This has unfortunately become a common tendency to account for the victim’s behavior by seeking flaws in their personality or character. This is NOT about a target/victim’s passivity or complicity. This is psychological terrorism but without a cage or prison walls around the victim that defines what was more like being a brain-washed prisoner of war. With this abuse victims are judged lovingly but harshly by the very people they need! Loving, healthy, normal, and psychologically sound people can indeed be coerced, extorted, and abused in subliminal and dehumanizing ways by an abusive Narcissist and many victims are proof to that.
With emotional and psychological battering victims are entrapped by extreme manipulative and psychological persuasion over a lengthy period of time and that needs to be desensitized for them to move forward. What was the nature of our perpetrator when we met them? Did they have us at gunpoint forcing us into this psychological terrorism or did they offer us something so awfully familiar, normal, trustworthy and welcoming called LOVE? Yes, they did and if that doesn’t define a predator, I don’t know what does! I have met very many wonderful friends from all over the world since I started writing about this abuse that I interact with daily. They are some of the strongest people I have ever encountered. There isn’t anything about them that shouts out to me that they allowed or wanted their abuse! They are full of love, empathy, and high functioning individuals!
Well let us go to the source of your abuse, a Narcissist. Now let us define this Narcissist. They are mentally unbalanced and unhealthy and basically not a fully functioning human being so with that thought in mind they are quite capable of poisoning our minds and harming our reality – JUST FACT. Whether they have a disdain for all things human or they are cruel, evil, despicable or whatever THEY ARE TOXIC and destructive to us. If you educate yourself and understand what we lovingly call their ‘arsenal of tools’ it will spell out their agenda and a definite pattern of what all Narcissists do to ALL of their targets/victims. The key words that describe the whole cycle of abuse is love-bombing, devaluation, discard and I always add DESTROY! In a nutshell they are the reason that our reality has been so distorted and disabled.
The journey to recovery is now a process because we were unconsciously living and dealing with all the destructive messages we internalized and validated as our reality. We must seek out education about this abuse and the truth about our situation as a key to unlock the door to our recovery. Yes, those messages are going to be in our head for a good while BUT we have to create a healthy balance and desensitize them. What this means is that we have to move into a place where it is possible for us to recognize that a person HAS betrayed us in a manner to control us through mental abuse. We must think about it in terms to validate the truth of the situation, but not to try to dissect the Narcissist and put our energy into trying to get into their heads. We spent a great deal of time trying to fix or basically heal them and we gave away too much of ourselves. Turn this around and accept the truth that they are completely disordered and put that healing power back into yourself.
The recovery process is so multi-dimensional that it means that there are really no simple answers to the question “how do I stop the pain and what do I do to move forward with my recovery?” There are answers that we need to have in the beginning of our recovery, but they are basically concerning the educational process and a tried-and-true direction so we are ‘in the know’ about this disorder and can get our ‘ah ha’ moment or the truth that this is ABUSE then moving forward from there and looking deep inside to heal the many levels of this extreme betrayal as well as the damage to our mental well-being. Recovery is a process that requires grieving the love, the loss of much of our life, the acceptance of the truth that is so foreign to us, and then a reprocessing or a rebirthing to enter the world once more with our trust intact after this horrible attack on our life. That can be accomplished by setting up strong boundaries that now include the knowledge that there are people out there that are so disordered that they will intentionally walk into our lives and create this type of horrendous damage that can destroy our life from such a disordered person that will lie with such veracity just to control another person so they can extort what they can.
Once you have experienced this type of abuse you will know the signs of this abuse and NEVER allow yourself to ever maintain any type of relationship with a toxic person again. This abuse traumatizes the victim, and that trauma will lock a victim up and keep them from trusting the world and that is a huge part of recovery or desensitizing this trauma. You can and will recover from this abuse because you are resilient. You are that strong and amazing but in the process of healing there will be pain and vulnerability from this horrendous loss, but you recover from this day by day. Define each of those days NOT by the pain but by the strength that you have made it to another day and one day closer to recovery. NEVER turn back to look at the Narcissist for answers or make them a constant part of your recovery – put the energy ONLY into yourself and not reliving and victimizing yourself by reprocessing the abuse repeatedly. No/Minimal contact is the ONLY path to a real recovery! Greg