Coming out of the fog of abuse – our first steps to recovery
Coming out of the fog of abuse – our first steps to recovery. Some general information to hopefully guide you through the chaos, destruction, and discard so that you have a small advantage that may help you understand the confusion and negative feelings you are experiencing NOW and go from there.
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto- Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
This abuse in itself confounds or confuses us in so many ways that our thoughts are never centered on any one issue as it concerns US – that is the TRAUMA associated with this abuse. More than likely the negativity that surrounds you is ever present, consuming, and preoccupying your every thought process. It surfaces as anxiety, depression, shock, fear, isolation, grief, or the whole nine yards. These are actually the first tiny steps that start us out on our journey to recovery and that is unraveling the confusion and sorting it out. We KNOW something is just not quite right. We have to acknowledge the confusion to know it, and then we process it. There is not anything unusual about these experiences as confounding as our thought processes are, but we have to understand that it is a part of the process we have to go through first and that is unraveling all of the confusion. It is what you hear described as the ‘fog’ that we are in. From this your voice becomes the tool to externalize those confusing thoughts to help you put some order to the disorder. Believe me it will come, but like everything else you have to start someplace.
When you actualize the situation, it isn’t just grieving the emotional connection that we felt for this person, but a new reality that they were there and actually extorting our life, our connection with them, and even our emotions and trying to destroy us – just the reality of this abuse. The truth about them now becomes a huge influence on our thoughts and feelings and it confounds the situation even more as far as clarity. It is clinically called ‘cognitive dissonance’ where we have two conflicting realities. We believed we were in love (or had a connection with them), but we also know that it wasn’t real love/connection but instead a huge betrayal of our love/connection from an abusive person. Not easy to have to believe the truth because they are so far apart and polar opposites. Nor is it us ignoring the facts that this abuse was staring us in the face. Sure we were aware that there were problems because this Narcissist was acting out in cruel ways that we personally understand from our experiences, but we were trying to be real WHERE THERE WAS NO REAL. We were being manipulated in the cruelest way by someone (a Narcissist) that was monopolizing on their deceptive ability to manipulate and manage down our healthy thoughts. This is subjugation of a human being pure and simple or denying the human rights we all deserve. This is our new reality and we have to explore this so that we can actualize the truth.
It doesn’t make us weak it was brainwashing, control, and extreme betrayal that created the confusion that blinded our ability to move forward in the positive direction we wanted. Everyone tells us we should have seen these flags or signs, but it is not JUST THAT, it was also about the manipulative influence that kept us believing – BUT we did get it eventually. I heard the same things, and I did get what they were saying. Repeatedly I was asked how I missed the obvious signs that my Narcissist was “off” in so many ways, AND supposedly they saw it. But I was ALSO off my game in many ways after the many years of this abuse and just too vulnerable! Narcissists break people with emotional and verbal beatings because they are just that sadistic.
What it really boils down to is the reality of the WHOLE situation that built up to this. We didn’t take on a Narcissist knowing they were damaged and destructive. We took on the possibility of a shared partnership (so to say), or the possibility of starting on a journey that could be that “love of our life” and that is absolutely normal to every person. Yes, we were swept up in a whirlwind romance/connection and sure that was a red flag, but really other people have experienced the same and made it work (in the normal world,) so why would this be different for us? The red flags came later and AFTER we fell into our fake love/connection BUT we believed it was REAL love/connection and were controlled to believe this.
The extreme charm and attention they gave us or ‘love bombing’ was just the trap that started us on our journey and what imprisoned us in their dysfunctional world. we bent so much so that we almost snapped. But little by little we were managed down to bend more and more until we got to that breaking point. But where was that rule book, supportive person, or Narcissist cop that should have been patrolling and arresting all these Narcissists. Just some dry humor but the truth is that nobody really knew that this person was very damaged and meant to harm or destroy us. Yes, friends were there for brief comments, but they didn’t know the actual danger that we were in because in reality we didn’t know this either. Abusers wear many masks that hide their true nature and defective parts because they have to in order to abuse as they do.
Lastly, how many people have experienced or dealt with these two conflicting realities in their past – being made to believe in love/connection but it was all a con job to harm us or them! I had no reference in my life that alerted me to any of this and why would I? This is why it is nearly impossible to go to our loved ones or day to day friends for the actual support to help us through this. We need REAL insight from experienced people, positive solutions, and sometimes help from professionals – BUT we can do it and become a survivor and even thrive! Greg