Here is a list of red flags that may help you to see early on that you are with an abusive personality. If you are seeing a few of these characteristics then you need to assert some boundaries with them and see how they react.
If they fight you about having simple personal boundaries then you need to realize that you may be in an abusive relationship.
Tell them you have to go sleep early one night because you have a lot to do the next day. If they do not accept this, then there is a problem.
No one should give you guilt or shame you that you are not good to them, when you are doing simple basic things to take care of yourself.
It is not normal for someone to threaten to leave you or call you a bad girlfriend if you want to do things for yourself like take a class, do an extra assignment for school or work, or spend time with family or friends.
You should never feel manipulated by guilt, shame or fear. People that love you do not inflict fear or threats in order to get you to comply.
Here is a list that I have come up with from research and also from personal experience. There may be things that need to be added. Feel free to leave any ideas in the comments.
Keep in mind that narcissists are on their best behavior at the very beginning of the relationship, called the idealization phase.
Many of these red flags will not come up until the “honeymoon phase” is over in a couple of months. The best ones to look for early on are the ones that I put near to the top of this list.
Love Bombing and Pushing to be in a Serious Relationship Right Away
Constant texting, calling, stopping over (calls you the second you get out from work or during work/ calls you while you are trying to get ready for work/ calls you first thing on your day off and wants to be on the phone, texting, or see you all day on every day off you have / calls while you are out with friends and you told them you would be busy with friends/ texts you when you said you would be at the gym….never ending constant contact)
Angry or very upset when you do not respond to texts and voicemails right away
Never taking responsibility for their action – things are always someone else’s fault
Chameleon-like changeable personality – a different personality for different people and situations
They are always right and never make a mistake
They hate to be told they could have done something better or differently
Jealousy and Ownership of You
Isolating you from family and friends (discouraging you from spending time with them/ getting angry when you do/ saying that those people are interfering somehow in your relationship/ telling you that relatives that you have known for years are out to get you and you did not realize it)
They feel the Need to control your schedule
Never apologizes or does so in a sarcastic, fake way
Need to know where you are at all times
Telling you what to wear and how to look
Control of the money ( you need to check with them before you spend your own money/ they question how you spend your money/ shame you or make you feel guilty over spending your money on yourself)
Criticism and disrespect of women (this may not be directed at you at first since they put on their mask and are on their best behavior during the idealization phase – observe how they treat other women who they have nothing to gain from)
Making you account for your whereabouts
Making you ask permission or clear your activities with them
Name calling and demeaning you
Complaining that the women at work do not treat him with respect / also treating employees or people that are performing a service for them (like a waitress, a hotel maid, a taxi driver) with disrespect and contempt
Excessive monitoring and making you check in all the time
Extreme sense of entitlement
Unrealistic, and unreasonable demands
Lack of sympathy and empathy
Not interested in anyone else’s side of things
Accusing you of cheating when you are not
Blaming you for things that do not go his way
Excessive need for control in the house
Manipulating your friends and family to take their side in arguments
Getting angry if you have a different opinion than they do
Making you feel stupid and less intelligent than they are
Being disrespectful to you in front of your family and friends
Mental abuse can be endured for years before you realize that it is abuse at all The first dawning realization that their behaviors are intentional is traumatizing.
After the initial realization that the abuser has been intentionally interfering with our sense of reality and feeding all kind of lies, it is followed by a series of many other light bulbs going off in our heads.
There were so many times that they denied things that we thought might be happening and we believed them. There were so many times when odd things seemed to occur or things that did not make sense and we just ignored them or the narcissist reframed them in such a way that we just took their word for it.
The process of going back over these incidents, with the new found knowledge that we have gained from educating ourselves about narcissistic tactics, can be retraumatizing. Each and every scenario that we now see the truth of, is heartbreaking or angering.
Many of us have gone through this process. This video is to validate you if you are in the midst of this or if you went through it years ago. Sometimes even years later we come to some realization about something that occurred that we believed the abuser about, but the reality of what happened was completely different than the narcissist told us it was.
If you have recently been discarded by a narcissist then this video will give you a heads up about what is going to happen in the next several weeks to you. Be prepared for the memories to come back to you and to see events that you believed to be one way, to have been malicious lies by the narcissist, and even manufactured situations in order to torment you.
The narcissist keeps you in the dark about their other life and about other relationships which they are involved in. They manufacture situations called triangulating just to cause you to feel jealous, threatened, and to lower your self esteem. The lower your self esteem is, the easier they can control you.
As you process what happened to you , it will be shocking and disturbing how many times and how many people they used to manipulate your sense of reality. In many cases, especially with covert narcissists , they intentionally and skillfully put suggestions into your head that you have mental illness.
If you already have some mental disorder, they will play on that and make it the cause of your “not remembering things” properly. They will say it is because of your mental illness that you are paranoid about their activities. They will tell you that your memory is bad and that your memory of things they said, and things they did is not correct.
After you have been abused, you have trouble with trusting your own perceptions about reality. Your sense of reality was so distorted by the abuser that you can fall into a derealization state.
Sometimes the derealization state is a defense mechanism of the brain, right after the relationship ends, in order to protect you from the full onslaught of emotions about what happened.
Sometimes the derealization comes and goes throughout the day and with other people it is constant. You might be driving and suddenly look up and have no idea where you are or where you were trying to go.
You might find yourself cooking dinner and your hands that are cutting vegetables appear to be someone else’s hands. You feel like you are in a dream or watching a movie.
This derealization can last for different amounts of time for different people. There is difficulty feeling attached to your own reality.
This detachment from reality can be frightening and you may feel that you are losing your mind.
This is common for people that havebeenmentally abused. The realization that someone intentionally disturbing your sense of reality is very hard for your brain to process.
The difficulty accepting what happened to you, is part of the cause of this derealization.
The other reason is that your brain is attempting to protect you from further trauma.
Have you ever heard the Red Pill reference? This is a metaphor which was derived from the movie The Matrix.
The red pill represents the sudden and shocking realization that your reality has been interfered with. The things you believed to be real were fed to your brain by an insidious source.
Every time you remember something from the relationship and suddenly a light goes off in your head that it was not what you believed, that is a red pill moment.
Every few days after the breakup a whole new red pill will suddenly force itself down your throat. You will realize something they lied about or something they did to deceive you.
It might be a phone call that seemed to be a mis-dial by their new victim. The woman accidentally called you, but she was trying to call them.
In my case, his new victim called me once. She was working for him and she called my number asking for an electrician.
I told her this was not an office of any electrician. She persisted to insist that it must be, because she was given this number to call.
Then she said the name of my ex…we can refer to him as Ned. She said “Do you know Ned”.
I told her that I did know him. She then went on to tell me that he was very busy in his new offices. She said he had called her with instructions to the electrician and he gave her my number by mistake.
Now there is no way he could possibly make that mistake. The electrician would have had the area code of his state.
Even she would have questioned a phone number with the area code of a different state, if she were calling for work to be done at the office.
It did not make sense to me until the red pill moment. Suddenly I saw her with him in a bedroom. I had been calling him and leaving messages for hours.
The reason I had been worried is because earlier that day, he told me he was having chest pains, but he was still going to move heavy boxes at his new offices.
He was supposed to call me and was four hours late to call. I was worried and he had ignored four calls from me.
So he had this woman “accidentally ” call me, but say she was trying to call the electrician. Then she would not take no for an answer when I told her she had the wrong number.
She just kept insisting that Ned gave her this number and was I sure the electrician was not here.
It was so bizarre and I thought she was crazy. But he had instructed her to call me. And tell me that he was soooooo busy with the new offices at 2 am that he could not call me.
But he took time to call her and tell her to call the electrician.
By the way….does anyone know an electrician that takes calls at 2 am, in order to give an estimate on wiring an office?
So, this derealization protects us from getting all these red pills at one time and detaches us from the reality.
I am not saying the derealization is good. It means you have been severely traumatized.
You have to seek help and support. There are supportive people online…WordPress, YouTube, who have been through narcissistic abuse.
You cannot talk to people that have not been through it. They will not understand.
There are therapists and coaches who can help you but you have to find someone who specializes in narcissistic abuse.
I am currently available for coaching . If you prefer a male coach, I would recommend Richie from Spartan Life Coach .
You can also look for a therapist but ask them ahead of time if they know about C-PTSD and also narcissistic abuse. They will be no good to you unless they understand the type of trauma that is involved in narcissistic abuse.
My thoughts are with you.
You told me tales of your ex
How she abused
your poor little mind…
and Discarded you
Like a chewed up piece of meat
Then you …
Sleep deprived me
Deranged my reality
And otherwise played
Now I am the ex
you are talking about
Who tormented you
And broke you down…
But the one who abuses
Is behind your dead eyes
Your words are all lies…
Your ex was abused
I see through you now
And your predatory ways
You claim to be the victim
While setting up your prey
Twisted shadows of questionable reality
invade my darkest nightmares
The lies you told and realities you denied
Somewhere in my mind
The existence of both true reality and malicious reality
Both pulling on different sides of my sanity
The different masks you wore to deceive
The compassion you manufactured to confuse
Are all tangled in my brain like a spiders web
of lies, truth and insanity
Why is it so common for a victim to leave an abuser and for their friends, coworkers, and loved ones to side with the narcissist?
The narcissist plans the break up way ahead of time. They already know that you are going to tell people that they were abusive to you. They value their “perfect false self” image. They cannot have people thinking they are abusive. How would they be able to get another victim?
So ahead of time they begin to destroy your reputation and tell lies about you. They often tell people that you are mentally ill. If you do have mental illness, then they will make it worse than it is.
They will play the victim and tell people that they are trying so hard to deal with you, but it is hard for them. You are mentally and emotionally abusing them.
They will get to your co-workers, your mutual friends and anyone else that they can. Some of them are able to get the victim’s own family to see you as the abusive one in the relationship.
You have no idea this is going on and by the time you are done with the relationship, your reputation as a mentally abuser precedes you. People do not believe you. They were already told that you were going to blame your poor partner who has tried so hard to put up with your behaviors.
Another reason why people do not believe you is that narcissistic mental abuse is invisible. Unless you got broken bones and bruises that people saw, then no one sees any abuse. Most victims cover up any physical signs while they are still in the relationship for fear of losing the partner or fear of punishment for telling.
Narcissistic abuse is so horrible and disturbing that most people just cannot believe that anyone who seems as normal as your abuser would do that. I mean who would spend time and energy to make someone feel like they are mentally ill and to torment someone by confusing their reality to the point that they become mentally ill?
No one believes this. Even the police , the therapists and the courts have trouble telling who the abuser is. The narcissist is smart. They may even have parts of recorded conversations and emails that are out of context and make you look abusive.
They are going to be calm, cool and collected in any therapists office, while you are crying and making claims about this person that just seem unbelievable.
This is a sad thing and many many people have gone through this. They sometimes have their children taken away based on how they appear to a therapist in comparison to how normal the abuser appears.
The best thing to do is to keep as much documentation of their behaviors as you possibly can. Record conversations, keep emails, keep letters and notes that are abusive. Once you are out of the house, keep communication by email, if you have to communicate due to children you have in common.
If there are no children then go No Contact. You can look up information and support for going no contact. There are some very supportive videos on youtube that explain why to keep no contact and they you can watch to remind you when you feel like breaking it.
There can occur in a life
Such a violation of the mind
Such a raping of the very soul
That it is felt
In every living cell
Turning heaven into hell
When a lover betrays you
not with another
but a much deeper betrayal
of predator to lover
The kind that violates
the core of one’s mind
When such a soul rape occurs
The world is turned black
Perception is honed in
to see mental traps
People become suspect
Intentions are distrusted
The violation of a lover
who was innocent in intent
Wholly trusting in nature
Caring and kind with empathy
Loving the predator
Such a violation,
a soul rape, a mind bend
Distortion of reality
Causes damage to the core
Scars from the inside
Blackens the mind
This abuse of a lover
is so torturous to comprehend
So difficult to consume
Impossible to convey
to anyone who might help
they cannot believe the truth
The victim is left for dead
Suffocated for words
Lost trust in perception
of their very reality
Lost in the psychopath’s nightmare
It happens to most all of us, who have been discarded by a narcissist or a psychopath. We lose hope.. We lose energy. ..We lose our very drive to go on…
The narcissist sucks out our life force. They cause us to see a dark side of humanity that people rarely see up close.
The lengths to which the psychopath will go to twist our reality is staggering. The amount of intention that the narcissist puts into breaking down our identity and forcing us to bow down to their every whim….is unspeakable.
It is unspeakable…and even if we speak of it….no one believes us. It is too surreal. We end up looking we are “playing the victim” and he ends appearing up clean and shiny.
He is absolved of all wrongdoing because he got to everyone before you did. He planned his escape and how he was going to destroy your reputation.
He was 20 steps ahead of you at all times. He set you up.
He has been telling people that you are mentally ill since he met you. He has been whispering tales of your mentally abusing him for months.
He has set the stage for you to appear to be the abuser.
The brain of a compassionate person can hardly contain these realities without breaking down and feeling that all the world is darkness.
Just know. ..it will get better. You won’t forget but your brain can heal.
Your soul was raped and your world has gone dark.
It is a gradual process of slowly and carefully assimilating the new reality. This new reality has been there all along.
It was all around us…even as we looked evil itself in the eyes.
Yet we could not bear the truth. We felt it many times in flickering moments of fear and disgust.
There were moments of red flags. They urked our being. They insulted our soul.
I remember listening to bouts of his screaming that the ghosts of the past were in the hotel room. Dramatic and disturbed moaning about abuse from invisible ghosts that once occupied the room we were supposed to spend a romantic weekend in.
As he yelled and cursed the hotel management, society, and the people who once slept in the room. He yelled out loud…into the room…But not to me…to himself. ..ignoring me…I sat.
I sat on the floor alone. I sat alone in a room with the two of us. I did not know that this was how it would always be.
I missed the irony of the foreshadowing, as he complained of being alone in the world. I never realized that he wanted to leave me alone and broken one day.
I listener to him blaming everyone. Blaming each and every thing that did not go his way…on someone else. Some from his present and some people from his past.
I sat on the floor of that hotel room waiting for the inevitable instruction. The thing that he wanted me to do.
The thing that I would do…in order to avoid hearing more of this screaming which he knew was driving me to near madness.
For there is always something. Always something that they want you to do, to serve them.
The current torment will stop…only when you comply.
“Yes, I will talk to that person for you.”
“Yes, I will fix that problem for you.”
Yes,…I will tell you that you are right…and all the rest of them are wrong….”
Anything to make the punishment stop.
I listened to him blame his employees for the business declining. I listened to him blame his mother for his constant state of misery.
I witnessed him screaming into the night…blaming everyone. ..everyone was abusing him.
His business partners, his ex girlfriends, his best friend….even his brother tortured him in the night, entering his dreams simply to intentionally torment and taunt him….to remind him who the black sheep was….and who was the chosen. ..the Golden Child.
I witnessed him scolding and demeaning taxi drivers, waitresses, and hotel clerks. I witnessed him blaming every mistake or error in judgement upon the nearest person. …many who were bending over forwards and backwards to help him….to save him from himself. ..and his rash, illogical actions.
I heard the mental illness that tortured his mind and made him hateful. ..full of contempt…for..everyone. …even me, but I did not accept it.
No, this cannot be reality of the perfect, sweet person that had told me he loved me…cherished me…
They could not be a cruel and heartless abuser. It is not in your circle of reality.
I heard him threaten to stab scissors through his jugular vein, because I had suggested he try someone new.
I heard him threaten to slam his head into furniture because I suggested that… he might have had an error about something…..that he could improve something he was doing.
He said to me that he needed help with the business. ..guidance.
But did he?
No, it was not advice, nor support, nor empathy that he was seeking. ..even though he claimed that it was.
It was not empathy. Not compassion. Not kindness or love.
No, the narcissist does not want your love. It insults their intelligence.
Love is for normal, day to dsy, boring people, that are beneath the narcissist.
No. What the narcissist wants is simple.
It is so simple that we don’t see it. It is so insidious that we deny the reality of their actions that are right in front of us.
We try to manufacture all manner of excuses for why they are behaving in ways that hurt us. We make up false intentions and project those intentions upon our abuser.
They must be confused. They must be tired. Perhaps frightened or even mistaken in their own perception of our efforts to help them.
It is all an illusion. The vulnerable victim of circumstance that we see before us. The one who claims to be codependent and that he is constantly manipulated by others.
This poor victim that we perceive with our rose colored glasses over blinded eyes…is not a victim at all.
He is not seeking a partnership as he once claimed, when he was setting our trap.
He is only looking for one thing from you.
Unless this is the life for you….get help..get out…go “No Contact! ”
You were not born to give up your life, your comfort, your rights and your dreams in order to be someone’s slave who thinks they are entitled to abuse you.
It is hard to let go of the idealized image we had of the abuser. Letting go of the perfect partner we once believed we had, is a process, not a single act of will.
The narcissist or psychopath that seduced you into their lair, got into your mind in a way that normal people never do.
The narcissist is especially gifted at getting into your head and learning many things about you. They learn what your ideal is of the perfect partner.
They are able to transform themselves, cleverly and accurately, into the partner of your deepest dreams. They play their role of this perfect partner until they have you devoted to them.
They create a constant connection with you, that makes you feel like you are an important, desired, part of their lives.
They get your happy chemicals flowing, like dopamine.
The constant contact creates an increased need for this dopamine high. This is their design.
Once they tire of the false role they are playing for you, the devaluation stage begins.
They intermittently throw you small scraps of the idealized partner, just to keep that addiction to the dopamine live.
Even after they leave us, or we manage to escape from them, there is still a live chemical dependency on the abuser.
This was their design, in case they ever wanted to lure you back…”hoover” you back in, for narcissistic supply.
The realization that we were thought of as “supply” and had no more value to the narcissist than their computer or their cell phone, is hard to take in.
It is a realization that our entire perception of the relationship, and reality itself, was very wrong.
Months after the relationship has ended, we will feel sudden floods of emotion for the narcissist.
Maybe they were not all bad. Maybe some of the beautiful things they said to us were true.
This is only your brain fooling you. Your memories of the past are often inaccurate. We want to see things in a certain way that matches what we want to believe at the time.
Think of a time that your abuser said something nice, flattering, or kind to you. Your memory of this is tainted by your belief at the time that they cared about you.
If you were able to see that memory more realistically, you might pick up on little things that you did not see, but were in plain view.
Perhaps the narcissist gave you these sweet words as a reward for doing something that complied with their wishes.
In which case, the narcissist wss simply modifying your behaviour through simple bahavior modification tactics.
Perhaps the narcissist needed something from you, some favor to be done, and they gave you flattering words to boost your self esteem about your skills in the area that was needed for them.
After flattering your skill, they may have then given a guilt trip about how they are not good at that, but really need something done.
Then you would have felt guilty and of course, used your skill…possibly creativity, people skills, or business skills…in order to do the narcissist this favor.
There were many times that the narcissist said nice things to you, simply in order to manipulate you.
So, when you are remembering the past, keep in mind that our memories are not always truth. They are perceptions and are influenced by our beliefs at the time.