Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse is debilitating and it’s harder for people to understand. If he punches her it’s very easy for her to say, ‘That’s violence and it’s not okay.’ It’s easier for her to seek help.

But psychological abuse is sick and twisted, manipulative and subtle.

Want to know how I know the new target has low self esteem? Because they are allowing the narcissist to continue to be in their lives. - After Narcissistic Abuse - There is Light, Life & Love:


Letting Go Of Illness

 I believe the day we are ready to let go of our illness is the day we heal.

Healing comes when you’re ready to let go of the need of your ‘mental illness’ label and step into your power and purpose. Your generational history is the fire that feeds your soul.

~ SilverGirl


Walking on the Ice / Living in Domestic Abuse

Another great post from gentlekindness.


I slipped on the ice today.  Not to worry, I did not injure anything. I was walking to my car. My feet started sliding on the ice and I could not rebalance myself. I could not step forward or backward, so I tried to stay still.

My feet were still sliding and I knew I was going to end up on the ground. There was nothing I could do but keep sliding until I ended up on the ice.

You have all heard the phrase “walking on eggshells.”  People will say, “He is so easy to anger that speaking to him is like walking on eggshells.”

So, you have the image of trying to walk across a floor, covering with egg shells and no matter how gently you walk, you are going to crush the shells.”

Living with someone who is abusive, is not so much like walking on eggshells…

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Covert Abuse

Great post on the subtle characteristics of abuse (covert abuse) from lessonsfromtheendofamarriage

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

I’ve never thought of my ex as abusive.

Then readers tell me they recognize their (very much abusive) spouses in my descriptions of my ex.

And I wonder.

I read a story in the paper about a domestic murder in the county where my ex and I lived and I always half expect to see his name.

And I wonder.

Then I discover that security procedures were altered at my old school during my divorce.

And I wonder.

He certainly was never overtly abusive. There were no strikes or shoves and never any threat of physical harm. He never belittled or yelled or uttered lines designed to wound. I was not discouraged from seeing friends or enjoying excursions without him. He didn’t exhibit excess jealousy and always demonstrated respect. He was the same man in public with me as he was behind closed doors – attentive, affectionate, loving. I never…

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Keeping Yourself Safe

Escaping A Narcissist

The most dangerous time for a abused woman is when she leaves her abuser or threatens to leave.

Do not take this lightly. This is the time when most women are violently attacked or killed. Whether they have ever hit you or not is irrelevent, if he is controlling you and shows the warning signs below, he can be very dangerous.

The sudden fear of abandonment and his losing control of you .. can cause the narcissist to go into a ‘narcissistic rage’.

Have a plan, a strategy, take your time (my escape plan took 6 months of planning). Find a safe house, support, a counsellor who specializes in abuse and trauma – they can help with a plan prior to your escape and emotionally support you, go to a battered women’s shelter, have a talk, get advice, be smart, get into survival mode, save whatever money you can, sell things  – Remember psychological abuse is the same as physical abuse and shelters recognize this..  call an abused women’s support line, they are experts. Find the right help, someone who hears you and supports you. If they don’t take you seriously, find another. If they don’t understand the dangers of psychological abuse and narcissists – keep looking until you do find one that does… Don’t remain passive about your survival. When you have reached the point where leaving terrifies you but staying is a death sentence (your fear of staying is greater than your fear of leaving) – you need to start planning and if this means keeping secrets and hiding money for your own survival – so be it.

Remember baby steps..

You can escape, work on changing yourself and the reasons you attract narcissistic partners and have a better future.

I am happy to answers any questions for anyone in this situation.

If you intuitively know you could be in potential physical danger – watch the movies .. Fear with Reese Witherspoon, Enough with Jennifer Lopez, Sleeping with the Enemy with Julia Roberts. They helped me clearly see the danger I was in, and to be careful.

For some time I had to remove myself physically by getting my own place, but I had to wait until he found someone else before he would detach emotionally.

I never wanted to leave him, l did love him but for my own survival and sanity, leaving him was my only option. I sought professional help for my issues but that was never going to be an option for him.

We can dearly love and attract people who are not good for us, especially if we come from a history of childhood neglect, abuse or trauma. The key to change is to change yourself.

x I agree 100% with this. You may need a safety plan to get help. What this really means in practice is living a life in which you are becoming independant  enough(through education or work, learning to drive, saving a little money, saving clothes and your papers) to take care of yourself so when you leave you are stronger and can take care of your basic needs and that of your family.


Complex PTSD

It took the death of my father to free me from a lifetime of emotional abuse as the daughter of a narcissistic mother. To open my eyes and swim away. To save myself from drowning.At first, I experienced one of those ‘pink cloud’ periods. Out of her sphere of influence, I was liberated. Powerful.  Invincible.  And I sailed on that cloud for a month or so. Until  my first EMDR session. The ensuing flood of memories. The vibrantly real visions of flailing, submerged, for safety, alone in the middle of a pond whose ice was too thin to bear the weight of even the frailest of the fragile.It was then that I realized the true pain had just begun. Pinpointing the root of my problems involved ripping wide open poorly healed wounds. Recracking bones. What emerged was the wreckage of my life.Everything became a trigger. There was no still point. Except in yoga. In meditation. In carrying around the book and studying each day The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  It is this immersion into the spiritual which is saving me. Repairing my wounds. Reconnecting me with my soul.

My light bulb moment first occurred last year, when my new pdoc, just ten minutes into our 15 minute session, said “I knew right away what your problem is. You have PTSD. I saw it the moment you walked in the door.”Imagine that, after over 20 years of treatment for Major Depressive Disorder!

True, I had immersed myself years before in studying narcissistic mothers. I had done all the reading back then. The Gifted Child. Trapped in the Mirror. Codependent No More. I had gone through periods of No Contact. Limited Contact. But years of treating the symptoms with medication, with sliding through life saddled with the stigma MDD had diverted my attention from the true issue. Had kept me ‘coming back for more.’

It was only after that visit with the pDoc that I began researching Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), defined as “a condition that results from chronic or long-term exposure to emotional trauma over which a victim has little or no control and from which there is little or no hope of escape. “PTSD, in contrast, results from single events, or short term exposure to extreme stress or trauma.

For me C-PTSD involved emotional abuse, physical violations of personal boundaries, entrapment , long-term objectification, exposure to gaslighting & false accusations,  long-term exposure to inconsistent, push-pull, splitting or alternating raging & hoovering behaviors.

The consequences? Hypervigilence, hypersensitivity, inability to trust, feeling deformed, defective. Unworthy of being loved. Isolating. Adrenal fatigue. Chronic sleep problems. Battlling and overcoming addictions. Inability to hold onto a job. Incapable of true intimacy. The list goes on. And on. And on. I read the symptoms and there is nary a one I cannot relate to.

My NM succeeded time after time in reeling me back in, keeping me entrapped in an obsessive need to ‘get it right this time,’ to find a way to correct the misconceptions she had about me, to redeem myself for being such a failure.

But I was a failure the moment I was born. How can one correct that?

There were times like this most recent period,  during the last two years, when I thought I had succeeded. When I was able to swoop in and work magic as she and my father battled major illness.  I felt loved. I flew back and forth to the East Coast maybe seven times for extensive stays in hotels near their home. For hospitalizations. Doctors visits. Setting up home health care services. We all thought my mother would die first.

But it was my dad who lost his battle with cancer. Just four days before his death, while I was supervising hospice and home nurses and battling with doctors to issue the right cocktail of meds to relieve my dad of his suffering, she struck out with an attack of such deluded vengeance, I came this close to a psychotic break. When my dad needed me most.

That was the end for me. I told her the next morning I would be staying until he died. And I flew back home the day after his funeral.

My mother’s self absorption, her inability to express love, her preventing me from forming any close friendships, her adeptness at triangulation, her severe punishments which often took the form of weeks of being ignored, the continuous lack of consistency between what she said one day and the next, the radical shifts in reality between when one went to bed in the evening and awoke in the morning. The false accusations.  It was always me causing the problems, the drama, the family rifts.

As I see it, some of the most damaging episodes of dealing with my my mother in my life happened after I ended my first period of no contact. My daughter was perhaps two. I recall phone conversations when my mother said such horrible things I experienced emotional traumas so intense they manifested as inflicted physical wounds.• Feeling like someone had pulled the earth out from under your feet: A short time sober and emerging (unbeknownst to her) out the other end of a psychic break,  she told me she had been disappointed with me since my senior year in high school – I looked down to see if I still had legs.
• Feeling as if the top of my head had exploded: she said I had no right to have a child so soon after getting married when we weren’t financially set –  I reached my hands to see if my head was still there.
• Feeling as if l had been stabbed in the heart: I was the only girl of all 23 cousins who was a failure –  I looked down for the knife, the blood.

In the three months since my dad’s death, I had been in limited contact mode. I was calling her once a week. And then, a few weeks ago, she said something so hurtful and vindictive, I looked down to see if my wrists had been slit. I continued to look down at my wrists, on and off through the day, for a week afterwards.  As I write this I notice I look down again.

Today, I am in my 12th day of “No Contact.” And as much as others may view me as a horrible daughter, for my own survival ‘No Contact’ must define my status until she dies.  To be “No Contact” means to allow no contact from her, either. To avoid all contact with people she may use as messengers of actions she is taking to hurt, discredit and paint false pictures about me.


Healing Through Movies

Understanding the forms of abuse, trauma or control as shown visually through movies. Some movies are helpful to watch in order to understand the more subtle /covert (psychological) forms of abuse that affect your mind rather than your body as compared to the overt forms like physical and sexual abuse.

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One of the first movies I watched regarding abuse that I could relate to was “Fear” with a young Reese Witherspoon. I had been married for 20+ years by this stage and from this movie I realized the extent of control I was under and that I was with a man who was dangerous and was never going to ‘let me go’ and that I was confusing love with fear.

This movie woke me up and started me on the process of escaping, recovery and healing.