Experts on brainwashing will tell you that once a person has been broken down through deprivation of basic human needs and dignity, their reality is simple to manipulate.
Women that have been in abusive marriages for years can lose touch with what a healthy life would even be like. They lose touch with the reality that they knew before they became imprisoned into the hell they are living in.
Basic needs are denied by the husband. The wife is imprisoned in a way that it does not appear that way to outsiders. The husband puts on an act outside of the house. But inside, behind closed doors, the house is a fortress of whatever illusions he has created.
The prisoner knows her duties, her punishments, and her place. She lives in constant fear of angering the prison master.
Punishments are swift, cruel, and unjustified. The threats that are made to the wife if she dares to refuse compliance, are unthinkable to people who have never been through it.
People criticize women for staying because they are quick to judge, without understanding what really occurs inside the prison walls.
The prison master has been known to threaten the children with harm, should the prisoner try to make plans to escape. Prison masters will threaten to take the children away permanently.
The abuser, if he is a high functioning psychopath, can come up with all manner of punishments, and he has no moral regulation in any part of his brain to stop him from carrying out his retaliations.
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….
Loss of ability to prioritize oneself
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
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.