narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

Why are Covert Abusers so Dangerous ?

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image from Pexels

 

What is a covert abuser, and why can they be potentially more dangerous than an overt type?

Based on my personal experiences with abusive people, as well as hearing the stories of over 100 clients, I think that people can incur great levels of psychological damage from covert abusers.

Covert types of abusers are more difficult to identify and mentally label as abusers. When I say to “mentally label” them, I mean for the victim to believe in their own minds that this person is an abuser.

The partners and family members of these covert types have a much more difficult time accepting that the person is intentionally harmful and manipulative. The victims tend to rationalize this type of abuser’s behavior, even after they have recognized the behavior itself as abusive.

The victims of these covert types of abusers tend to go back to them, out of guilt, concern and worry over them. They tend to go in and out of their belief that this partner or family member has a personality disorder that is harmful to those around them.

Partners of these types of abusers will have clarity one day, about the behavior of the abuser being intentional. The next day, they will question whether or not the abusive partner is aware of how their behavior is affecting others, or if they are even aware that their behavior is abnormal at all.

Covert abusers are very good at getting their partner or family member to see them as a victim.  They are skilled con artists that are good at using people’s good nature against them.

These types of abusers are pathological liars, just like other abusive, personally disordered people are. They are just as good at lying as the other cluster B personality disorders, if not more so.

As a victim of a covert abuser, you will question your own perception of reality, in relation to the abuser. You will question your own perception and interpretation of events. This will eventually carry over into other areas of your life, and create confusion and brain fog, as you lose your sense of being grounded in reality.

You will lose your confidence in your good judgement and your intuition. The alarms can be going off in your head and in your body about something, but you wont feel as in – touch with those alarms. You won’t trust your own natural alarm system, that is designed to keep you safe.

This is by design of the covert narcissist or sociopath you are entangled with.

The covert abuser will get you to distrust your own brain, body and nervous system. Your body can be screaming at you that something is very wrong, while the abuser is telling you that you are prone to overreacting.

The covert abuser will label and describe your feelings, thoughts and reactions as crazy, unbalanced, selfish or “too sensitive.”

One of the red flags you can look for , that let’s you know that  you are in a dangerous relationship, is when you find yourself continually thinking more about how that person feels, as a priority over how you feel.

You find yourself ruminating and trying to figure out their behavior.  Your thoughts become caught up in what that person might be thinking and feeling. Your decisions become based more on how you think that person will feel and react, than on how you think and feel yourself.

You will feel obligated to cater to this person, but you won’t always recognize that the covert abuser is doing things to cause you to feel this way.

You will feel like something is mentally wrong with you, but you won’t always recognize that this person is doing and  things to make you believe that.

You won’t see how or why the abuser would try to psychologically harm you. In your mind you will rationalize that it would be like sabotaging themselves if they were to disable you.

Why would they harm you, if they need you to be functional, to help them?

At this point you have been pulled down into the sociopath rabbit hole. Your core beliefs about them, and what they may or may not need you for, are being controlled by them. You begin to make your decisions based on false beliefs, that the covert abuser has convinced you are true.

 

abuse, abuse red flags, abusive relationships, emotional abuse, gaslighting, narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

Abusive Partners “Bait and Switch” the Relationship

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One of the reasons I hear from my clients that makes it hard for certain people to to leave an abusive relationship, is that they are not fully sure in their own minds if the partner is abusive them intentionally. 

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Here’s the thing…It doesn’t really matter. 

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If someone is making you feel like you are crazy and interfering with your ability to live and thrive, then it is okay to leave them. 

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But what about the agreement? What about the commitment that I made to that person? 

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A commitment like  a marriage or a partner agreement had two sides to it. You are not the only one who should be accountable for your behaviors. You are not responsible for keeping up your end of a verbal or written contract, when the other person acts as if they have no obligation to that contract. 

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When you ask “What about my commitment?” …what you really should be asking is “What about the partner’s side to that agreement?”

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Have they made a “bait and switch” arrangement with you. You can look up the term bait and switch on google and you will find how it is used in the context of business deals.

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If you see an advertisement for a certain product at a price that you find fair, and then the sales person tries to get you to buy a different product (usually more expensive) , telling you that the original product is no longer available, then this might be a bait and switch.If they advertised the original product with no intention of giving you that product. and with the premeditated plan of talking you into the other one. then it is a bait and switch.

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How does the narcissist or psychopath pull of a bait and switch?

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Well, it is really the same thing as the way this tactic is used in business. Your partner pretended that a certain kind of relationship was available to you. They manufactured a personality that you would like, and then lured you with that persona.

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They had no intention of fulfilling any promises they made you. They had no intention of keeping up that personality during the relationship. They were aware that they had no desire to maintain a fair and balanced relationship.

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Now, we come back to the question of the partner’s behavior being intentional and whether or not the particular person is aware of their behavior being unfair and abusive. 

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Here’s the thing…

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If this is an adult that is unaware when they are being abusive to you, then you do not want to be with them. If this adult is incapable of understanding how adult relationships work, then you will never have a fulfilling relationship with them. 

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So, whether or not they are aware that their behavior is abusive….if this person is abusive to you, then you do not need to feel obligated to stay in the relationship, or to be “a good person” by putting up with a miserable relationship. 

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It is a bait and switch if the person has intentionally mislead you. If they have not intentionally mislead you…then why did their behavior dramatically change after a few months of being in the relationship?

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How could they be thoughtful and kind to you for a few months, and then suddenly change into a completely different person who is cruel and selfish?

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If they were able to maintain a certain persona during the idealization phase. then truly they are probably fully aware that they manipulated you into falling for them by pretending to be someone they are not. 

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But if they acted like a selfless, caring person until they entrapped you, and then changed their behavior in a dramatic way after that…and they are not aware that they did that…then this is a disordered person that you cannot change, and you will not be able to have a loving relationship with. 

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The issue of whether or not the person knows how abusive they are simply cannot be a factor in whether or not you have to feel obligated to continue to tolerate their abuse. You are not “a bad person” if you leave the relationship. 

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In fact, if they suddenly change back into that thoughtful person again, just when you mention wanting to eave them, then that should be your clue as to whether or not they are able to control their behavior. This should be a clue to you, as to whether or not the person is intentionally being selfish and abusive.

 

abuse, abusive relationships, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, anti-social personality disorder, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, narcissism, narcissist, Psychopath, Uncategorized

What are the Traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Here are the nine traits of narcissistic personality disorder.

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1. Grandiosity –  This is an unrealistic view of oneself that they are bigger than life and better than others. They feel that they have a godlike, divine or extremely powerful purpose of being on the earth. Their very being is to be admired and obeyed. Nothing is more important than they are.

2. Arrogant and Domineering – think they are better than everyone else. They know more than anyone else. Controlling of others and dominating. They see others as inferior to them in intelligence, vision, looks, and everything else. They expect other people to admire and be in awe of them.

3. Preoccupation with Success and Power – They have a need to be powerful and have a cult of followers that admire them. They like to have a harem of sorts of people around them, as if they are a king or a queen. Their drive for success and power is due to their need for narcissistic supply and to get into positions where they have manipulate people.

4. Lack of empathy – an inability to care about the feelings of others or put themselves in someone else’s shoes in an emotional way. Actually narcissists and psychopaths have a cold empathy which allows them to understand your fears, weaknesses, hopes and dreams. They can take an inventory of you and then use the your feelings against you.

5. Belief of being unique – They believe that they are very special and that they are better than everyone else. They often think that they have a unique powerful purpose that sets them above everyone else and gives them an excuse to do whatever they want and take whatever they want.

6. Sense of entitlement – They feel that they are entitled to anything and anyone they want.   This includes things that belong to other people. It includes taking over the lives of other people and using people and then throwing them away like trash.  There is no appreciation when people do anything for them because they were entitled to it, in the first place.

7. Requires excessive admiration – they want to be admired and paid attention to all the time. They have no tolerance for anyone else being in the spotlight. Because they need to have their false self validated, they need people to pay attention to, talk about, admire and basically worship their false self. That way the illusion of the false self stays strong.

8. Exploitative – they will take advantage of other people for their own best interest. They will take more than they give, refuse to pay people for their services in a fair way …if at all, and use people up until there is nothing left of them

9. Envious of others – they are resentful when other people have things that they feel entitled to. They become angry when they see that other people have things that they do not.

abuse, abusive relationships, emotional abuse, leaving an abuser, narcissist, narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

Why do Codependents and Narcissists Attract

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.image from pinterest here 

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This is a video interview style conversation between Teal Swan and Ross Rosenberg. 

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They discuss the reasons why codependents and narcissists attract each other, and why they are attracted  to each other. The level of need …the level of the emotional wounds they carry…usually from childhood abuse and neglect…usually matches. 

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The worse the toxic loneliness the codependent has, the farther on the scale of narcissism the partner they are attracted to will be. If someone is very needy to the point of a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, then they are likely to end up with a narcissist who is a 7 on the scale of needing to dominate and control someone. 
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Both partners have old emotional wounds. The severity of the wounds usually  match, with couples that end up attracting and staying together. Although the relationship is very painful to the codependent, they stay because the pathological loneliness that occurs when they are alone feels worse than when they are with the abusive partner. 

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Teal and Rosenberg agree with each other on some points, including that most all narcissist and codependents come from a family with a narcissistic parent, or a psychopathic parent. The children in these families have to learn how to survive. 
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Codependents learn that they have to make their narcissist parent happy by taking care of their needs and worrying about their feelings all the time. It is a “conditional” kind of love. They learn that love is based on how much you sacrifice, care for, and comply with the needs of the other person. 
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It is an interesting chat between the two of them. There are some places where they present different views. I agree with a lot of things that are said here, with some exceptions. 
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I disagree with Ross Rosenberg when he says that the narcissist was the child that was not favored by the parents and that their level of trauma was worse than that of the codependent. He might be seeing things from his personal experience and assuming that it is the same for everyone. 
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From listening to my clients, I know that the narcissists were not all “more abused” than the codependents. I have heard stories of horrific abuse from the clients I have, and these clients came out to be very compassionate and kind people .
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So everyone that experienced terrible abuse does not come out to be a narcissist. People develop based on their own soul and their own natural personality traits , and how that interacted with the atmosphere in the home growing up. 
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Codependents tend to have trouble setting boundaries because they were conditioned to feel selfish when they would ask to be heard, or when they expressed their own needs. Even though the codependent can realize that the narcissist is demanding and overstepping their rights in the relationship…the codependent cannot always tell how to set boundaries for themselves in a way that feels like they deserve it. 

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There is a heavy conditioning in the home with a narcissistic parent. The parent is the focus of the universe in the home. They demand that everything revolves around them and their wants and needs. Children are often punished or shamed for expressing their feelings about anything.

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The narcissist needs to disassociate from the abuse while it is occurring. They create a false reality to endure the abuse. The codependent also may do this, but not in the same way the narcissist does. 
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The narcissist creates a false self that is able to endure the abuse. This false self continues into adulthood and become the mask they live behind. They become demanding and manipulative like their narcissistic parent. 
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The codependent is desensitized to the abuse, because they had to endure so much of it as a child. They often to not recognize abuse for what it is, when it begins in the relationship. By the time they do realize it, the time has passed for easily leaving the relationship, because the addiction is fully kicked in. 

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abusive relationships, aftermath of abuse, domestic abuse, gaslighting, mental abuse, Uncategorized

Narcissistic Victim Abuse Syndrome

The aftermath of an abusive relationship can seem more painful than the abuse we actually withstood during the relationship itself. The darkness of the predator looms over us, both in our conscious minds and in our dreams.

Weird nightmares awaken us in the darkness of the early morning hours. The shadow of the psychopath seems to be palpable and real. It is as if they have burrowed their wau deep into our subconscious brains.

In many ways that is true. The gaslighting has affected our subconscious. Cognitive dissonance has created confusion, as our brains struggle to sort out who we were actually in love with….the false image that never really existed?    or the person that actually inhabits that body that slept next to us at night?

You feel violated….raped…like your emotions and your soul have been violated in a crime.

It is an invisible crime. No one can prove it ever happened. The evidence is left in the form of PTSD, depression, nightmares, anxiety and often times  suicidal thoughts.

It would not surprise me if a good percentage of suicides could be attributed to some form of narcissistic abuse. That is… if anyone knew what they were looking for.

Even the victims often have no idea what has happened to them.. Why their brains are no longer functioning the way they used to. .. Why they have lost their motivation to live.. to work….to socialize. ..  to take care of themselves….

It is a “failure to thrive” syndrome. The narcissistic has stripped their victim of their dignity, their self esteem, their sense of self….and their confidence in their ability to perceive reality properly.

Narcissistic abuse Syndrome is….

PTSD

C-PTSD

Depression

Anxiety

Hopelessness

Confusion

Loss of ability to prioritize oneself

Suicidal thoughts

Nightmares

And difficulty finding anybody….including therapists…who can understand or help at all

Lack of validation of your trauma

Executive function problems

Fight or flight responses

Emotional flashbacks

Desperation.

This is why it is so important to spread awareness and to validate the victims. The tendency to want to self-isolate is strong.

Some level of solitude is needed for introspection, but too much isolation can be destructive.

The psychopath infects the victim with a virus-like program to self destruct. They want to leave you broken and crushed.

You are not alone. None of it was “all in your head.”

Share your experiences with people who will validate you. Having your story disbelieved by people willonly re-traumatize you.