If you have experienced severe, ongoing abuse, at the hands of a cluster b personality, then you know what I mean when I say your face was shoved into the dirt over and over again. Everytime you tried to get up, and restart, they knocked you down and shoved your nose and mouth and eyes right back into the filth again. You were choking on it, and getting more and more exhausted each time you tried to get up again.
Eventually, after so many repetitions of the process, part of you has the thought of “why don’t I just keep myself down here? What is the point?”
Getting to that place of “What is the point?” is devastating it leads to despair and feeling worthless. After all, what is the point of living, if we are just here to be crushed underneath a cruel punisher’s foot ?
Life has to have some meaning beyond mere survival, and making though the day physically alive but mentally broken. Humans need meaning, connection and a feeling of purpose in the world. You need to feel like something you are doing counts for something.
The narcissist or psychopath partner or family member wants to crush that out of you. The most severe of abusers, will try to destroy your will to live, or rewire your brain to become a slave to them.
These abusers are dark imdividuals who are sadistic, as well as controlling and entitled. They have malice toward you, and not just a machiavellian method of living. That is to say, they not only will hurt you if it happens to be a side effect of them barrelling through life to take what they want, but they will also hurt you just to hurt you, even when they have no other goal in mind. It is more than just disregarding other people. Narcissists and sociopaths think about ways to hurt you.
One of the worst parts of being a victim of this level of darkness, is the darkness itself . It is the very knowledge that this level of cruelty can be disguised within someone’s mask of being your friend. It is the knowledge that someone could get you to confide your inner most thiughts to them, while they are planning ways to use that infiormation to destroy you.
It is the fact that someone pushed your face into the dirt, over and over again, while they smirked out of the side of their curled lip. Even the thought that someone would have nothing they would rather be doing that posing as someone who cares deeply for you, so they can get to the most vulnerable parts of you.
They play the game of life and love, for maximum damage of you, the one that cared for them, and offered humanity to them.
After it is all said and done, you see them with their current supporters and admirers. They are in their place, as the king or queen of the circle. You are shoved out, discarded, and mocked.
Once you are out, it would seem to other people that you should be able to become unstuck and to move forward. However , there is often a lot of damage that was caused by that repeated crushing and grinding of your face in the dirt.
You had to survive and your brain had to adapt. Some of the adaptations it made, were designed to prevent you from triggering the narcissist into feeling the urge to knock you down, and shove you into the dirt again. These adaptations of your behavior, and your thoughts, carry with you, long after you have left the abuser, or the abuser has left .
For those of you trying to manage ‘low contact’ with your abuser, well……that can be toxic and I’m not sure if it’s any safer than second hand smoke on a regular, ongoing basis . It has the appearance of being less harmful than actually smoking, and yet there is still a high illness and death toll.
We will begin to address these things, and ways to re-train the brain, to reswt it for making decisions in our favor. Too many years, decades in servatude of the narcissist will do some damage.
But the brain has plasticity. Our spirits have resilience. Our hearts have a spark of love and hope.
Check out my new video on YouTube about why you can never please the narcissist. They have another agenda entirely. They would rather make rules that you can’t follow, and have expectations that you can’t possibly meet, that to have an actual happy, healthy relationship with you.
Getting on with your life after existing in a day to day, ongoing altered reality, can be extremely challenging. Narcissists and other abusers influence the way you perceive yourself and the world around you .
Their goal is to control your perceptions, your feelings and your thinking process. This conditioning is a kind of brainwashing and uses similar techniques that cults use to control their flock.
Isolation from others that would support you, and give you a different frame of reality than the narcissiat wants you to have, is a go-to technique used by most abusers. It may not be obvious to you that they were doing it, or are doing this to you.
You may notice that you are unable to spend time with your friends or that you no longer have access to people that would spend time with you. The abuser finds ways to prevent you from inviting people to the house or interacting with them socially outside of the house .
Abusers are often jealous, envious, disruptive of your relationships. They create drama and chaos, in order to cause dissention, and discomfort to you and to others that would otherwise help you.
They may tell you they feel threatened by your friends or that you should not trust certain people.
Sleep deprivation is another go-to technique of abusers, to control you. When you are sleep deprived, you don’t think as clearly, and you don’t have the energy needed to combat the gaslighting and other mind control tactics that are being used on you.
You may not notice that they are intentionally sleep depriving you. There are a variety of ways they can do this and be unaccountable for it .
Gaslighting is often difficult to recognize and it is extremely dangerous psychologically to your mental clarity and mental well – being.
It can be out and out lying about things that have happened, or extremely subtle with no words at all. Conflicting realities can be presented with body language, and non – verbal expressions, or by lack of response when there should normally be a response.
You will start to feel like your ability to understand what is going on , has been altered. You might feel like your memory is not as good as you think it is.
The narcissist will mirror something back to you that does not seem like an accurate version of who you are, what your values are, or what your real personality is. You might feel like they seem to be perceiving you as a completely different person than who you believed you were.
This is because they want you to be confused. They want to break down your self esteem and your sense of who you are.
It is psychologically dangerous. Many of my clients experience depression, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, and even suicidal ideations, after long term, on-going gaslighting.
To not be able to hold onto a reality about your own identity is terrifying. The constant interferance with your perception of reality leaves long term effects after you are no longer in the relationship.
If you are still in a relationship with, or have contact with the abuser that was gaslighting you, please be aware that it takes resilience and constant re-orienting yourself back into reality as you know it is.
The longer you are in a gaslighting situation, the more difficult it can be to re-wire your brain and to reduce the panic attacks.
Anytime something is associated with the gaslighting that your abuser did to you, it will cause an emotional flashback to how it felt at the time. Your fight or flight mode will kick in, because your brain recognizes it as a threat to you.
You will run into narcissists sometimes in your day to day life. You don’t have to be in a relationship with them, for something they say to trigger you. It happens to many people who have been in abusive relationships. Try to limit the length of the interaction and amount of contact you have with anyone who does things that reminds you of the gaslighting that you went through in the abusive relationship.
Abusive relationships can be marriages, romatic or sexual partners, family, friends you lived with, or anyone who targeted your mind with cruel or malicious intentions.
All abusers do not appear to be disordered to others. Many of them appear to be good – hearted people or pillars of the community. They are pastors, therapists, social workers,l doctors , and lots of other roles where they can gain the trust of others.
They do not want to be exposed for who they really are, and that they have no real empathy for others. Posing as a humanitarian, an intellectual, a church member, an honest business man or woman, etc. gives them the cover story that they need. It creates a narrative for who they want people to think they are.
Once you have this realization that this person you trusted, was actually scheming against you, it can be a shock.
Even more so, can be the shock of the realization that there are a percentage of people walking among us, that look and seem like everyone else, but they are manipulators that sadistically target people with the intention of destroying them.
The recovery from on-going abuse is a process. You can get your proper perception back about who you really are. You can gradually reduce the emotional flashbacks, and navigate your life in a positive direction.
It takes time to get back on the right path for you. For many people, it takes re-wiring beliefs in your subconscious that go back to your childhood .
You are an independent, soveriegn individual person, with a unique set of gifts, skills and possibilities.
No one has the right to try to mislead or diminish your life. You have the right to mental clarity and to see things for what they are.
Recovery from gaslighting, verbal abuse, and on-going abuse from a psychopath, a narcissist or a narcissistic borderline takes a while.
It is an on-going, day to day process. Your brain will fall back into the narcissists reality because you were conditioned to be in that reality. It is familiar and what is familiar can seem safer to your brain.
But new realities are out there. New ways of perceiving yourself and your place in the world are possible for you.
Never give up on yourself . If you were not special, and if you did not have significant value, then the narcissist would not have bothered targeting you.
They are looking to take something away from their targets. They want to crush out the light that you have, so you cannot share that light with the world.
Annie – gentlekindnesscoaching.com
Predators like narcissists, and sociopaths / psychopaths are a percentage of the population.
At least 10 percent of the population is toxic and psychologically dangerous to be close to, ad far as I can tell.
While there are beautiful, creative, kind people in every culture, there are also predators in every culture
It is not something new. They go back as far as history does.
You see them described in Greek mythology and mythology from other cultures. There are stories about them in the bible, going back to Genesis .
So yes, we have to survive, or hopefully thrive, amongst predators and personality disordered individuals .
For some reason, it is part of living in this reality on this earth.
Many speculate as to why there is suffering in the world. While not all suffering is due to psychopaths and narcissists, a lot more of it is than people credit to them.
The question as to why is just that. It’s a question that is beyond us to really know.
The priority to me, as q life coach of abuse victims, is to support people to be able to live, create, find joy, and connect with humanity in a way that makes life worth living.
The will to live is often precarious, after years of being attacked by these kinds of dark workers.
I refer to them as dark workers, because they are the opposite of light workers who are people who care about the better side to humanity and try to bring that light to othets
So many victims of cruelty by these toxic individuals are nearly at their end of having the will to go on. The narcissists try to remove any beauty from your life.
They give the illusion of hope to the victim, only to crush it under their feet
They would have you believe that they can’t help their behavior because they were once abused themselves.
The evidence is clearly against this being true, since so many people go through horrors at the hands of these predators and have not turned evil.
Abuse does not turn people evil. Abusers just want you to think they can blame someone else for their lack of humanity.
But man’s inhumanity to man goes way back. It goes back as far as history goes. Man’s inhumanity to man does not describe most people.
It does not describe mos5 abused people. It only describes the dark ones who inflict cruelty on others for their own gain and personal sadistic enjoyment.
Your narrative may have been influenced by one or more cruel indivuduals.
You may have been mislead by someone with no capacity to love and show compassion, that you are solely responsible for the way your narrative turned out.
But every time you had to respond to attacks and danger from a predator, you made the best choice you were able to make at the time. Your choices and decisions were based on what was happening, and who you needed to protect.
Do not attach your identity to the narrative of a life that was interfered witg by one or more cruel, abusive people. They chose to put you into situations, whete there was no good choive. There were just efforts to avoid the lesser of the eviks that a predator was about to dish out to you, or to someone you were trying to protect from more harm.
The less importance you give to that narrative that was your life up until this point, the better you can detach from the narcissist.
All the parts that were written by, or interfered with by a psychopath or a narcissist, are their writing. They wrote those sections of a play that you never consented to being in.
Your narrative is the one you would have created if you had not been spending your time putting fires out all over the place, that some sadistic person was setting.
The way you would like your life to be matters. It says much more about you than the narrative that you have lived up until this point .
Don’t see yourself with eyes of shame, based on things the narcissists fed to you.
Don’t believe the lies you have been told by the people who wanted you to suffer, fail and blame yourself.
These predators have no accountability. They want to blame everyone but themselves for their ridiculous behavior.
Believe in the person within you that would have created an entirely different story. Drink that story in.
You are the one who believes what you know is beauty, and what you know is truth deep down inside.
Let your logic and critical thinking guide you, as you make decisions and take action to make things better for yourself and those who deserve a beautiful life
Listen to your intuitiom about the people you meet, and the things they say. Don’t be conned by the con artists that want to make you feel like there is something wrong with you for knowing to question their intentions.
If someone has alterior motives, questionable intentions or contempt for you, then they deserve to be distrusted by you.
No matter how they manipulate your thoughts around, you do not have to feel guilt or shame for wanting to survive, avoid pain, or to create a beautiful life.
You are not responsible for someone else’s behavior. You are not obligated or responsible to make allowances for another person’s character flaws to your own detriment, or to the detriment of your children.
The predators have no more of a right to survive and live well than you do. They may feel entitled to things that you have or things you do not have, but that is their problem. It does not have to be your problem.
You will be in a better position to offer your gifts to others, when not being destablized by cruel, abusive manipulators
Reserve your love, acceptance and generosity for those people that have compassion, kindness and creativity.
Narcissists and psychopaths / sociopaths are mimics. They imitate normal emotion and they are practiced con artists.
You do not have to disclose your thoughts, feelings or ideas to eveeyone who asks you questions, or pretends to care .
You can take your ability to create your life back. Your right to create your own path never went away.
Remember that abusers, con artists, covert narcissist, and victim – playing predators are grandios in their thoughts about themselves.
They have contempt and envy of you. It is their problem and you cannot fix them.
They choose who they are each and every day.
They don’t have the right to choose who you are, or tell you that they know you better than you know yourself .
You can create your own narrative, both past and present . Your story is what you believed, in regards to beauty, love, creativity and humanity.
Doing the dance with a predator can feel like it contaminates you.
But your mind is highly more intelligent in regards to being a creator, rather than a destroyer.
Your story is not the one that your abusers told you. Even your memories are affected heavily by the gaslighting and the lies they told you.
It’s impossible to actually remember any events exactly the way they were. So if someone has made you feel shame about situations where you were trying to survive abuse, then the chances are the truth is lost in translation anyway.
Your story is you and your humanity. Your story is about the person who still offered kindness to others and struggled to believe in humanity in the midst of being in close personal proximity to a dark worker
Their dark work will go on most especially because they are always twisting the truth, changing the facts and even their own narrative.
Let it be. Protect yourself and your loved ones who have true compassion for others.
Be the light for your own path. The narrative that makes you feel like a failure, or inadequate is lies and gaslighting.
It is something imposed upon you by dark manipulators that had an alterior agenda than it seemed .
Live life creatively. Use your critical thinking. Listen to your intuition.
And most importantly, believe in yourself
Not the self of someone else’s narrarive of you.
The real person that you are. The one that had an entirely different narrative of their life in mind.
Hold onto that narrative as the one that represents you.
Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse is probably not an exactly accurate term. There’s not exactly a finish line or a point that you can say, “There! I did it! I recovered…..I was sick before. But now…well, now I am completely well again.”
The first problem with that is you weren’t completely well to begin with. If you had been, then you would not have been taken in by a predator.
Predators seek out the wounded and vulnerable. They seek out minds that are conditioned to be affected and persuaded by them.
There is a healing process that takes a long time. It’s an up and down process, kind of like going up three stairs and then down one. …then up four and down one.
Don’t worry about the back stepping, or what seems to you is going backwards. It’s part of the recovery process and every client I’ve worked with has described something similar to that experience during their healing process.
As you move up slowly out of the muck, the mud, and the dark pit of sorrow the narcissist left you in, you will find that there are many things to learn. Your progress will feel like it’s going upward sometimes, and forward some times, and backward or downward at other times.
It is the nature of the aftermath of this kind of a predator. The pain after realizing that the person you trusted was completely untrustworthy the entire time you were with them, is extreme.
You will feel deeply betrayed, because they got you to share your deepest , most personal thoughts with them.
It is like the bible quote “do not give your pearls to the swine (pigs).”
But you did. You gave your best pearls and treasured inner emotions and thoughts to the pigs.
It wasn’t your fault. You were conned. You were manipulated by an abusive, dark person that is a good actor.
You wanted to believe they were for real. You needed to believe they were for real.
Because of this need, you overlooked signs that you might have otherwise noticed.
You rationalized their inappropriate behaviors. You made excuses for things they did, and told your self that this person was just diffetent…intense…broken…in pain.
They told you that they had never met anyone like you. ..They said you were special.
You needed to be special to someone. You needed to be seen and heard the way this person seemed to see and hear you.
And they did.
Well…in a way they did.
They used their skill of “cold empathy,” a term coined by Sam Vaknin, the author of Malignant Self Love; Narcissism Revisited.
You can find his book on Amazon and excerpts to read on Google.
Anyway, this abuser could listen and understand you in a way that other people you know cannot. There seemed to be a special closeness that you never had before and you feel like you will never have again.
Part of you misses that aspect of the relationship. But another part of you knows it was never real.
And therein lies the complexity of this recovery. The cognitive dissonance between the person you though you were in a relationship with and the monster they actually turned out to be.
Yes. They did turn out to be a monster. They intentionally hurt you. The entire relationship was a game to them.
It was a campaign of war against your psychological well being.
They guided you onto a path of danger. There were so many losers that you incurred.
These predators will damage every aspect of your life that they can. This can include financial ruin, misguided direction in work or school, emotional breakdown, physical illness, and suicidal ideations.
This person that seemed so safe, turned out to be the vampire that you had to invite into your house before they could enter. Once inside, they would eventually remind you that you were the one that invited them in. …as If this implies some unwritten obligation you have to them.
That is an illusion too.
Your entire reality was messed with. The way you grew to doubt your own perception of the world around you…that was their intention too.
They systematically drive you nearly insane. They wanted you to question whether or not you could accurately assess things, or tell which way you should go.
You were conditioned to distrust your own intuition.
Somewhere inside you, there were alarms that told you that something was not normal about them. The narcissist explained those alarms away for you, as if they were helping you.
You thought you knew who you were , going into the relationship….or at least that you had an idea who you were.
They made you doubt that too. Eventually, over time, you believed that they knew you better than you know yourself.
What is the main thing in the tool box of the devil ?
These are deceivers of the worst kind. They seek out the vulnerable. Then they hunt you down like an animal.
Hunters never have good intentions for the prey they hunt. The hunter treads gently at first, so as not to scare the prey off. Then they attack it with all they’ve got.
The game is to take down the prey. To overcome it. To trick it. To outmatch it. Then to destroy it.
This is a huge undertaking to overcome. There are many levels of complexity, including the old emotional wounds from your childhood that the narcissist instinctually tore open.
You won’t really recover and go back to the person you were before the abuse.
You will incorporate the things that happened to you into the stronger, wiser person that you are becoming.
There is no finish line you are trying to reach. It’s just living each day, as you grow and learn to live again.
At some point you may have felt that you would never love again..that you would never open yourself up to be vulnerable again by ever trusting anyone.
That is part of the recovery too. It’s a day by day process of living. Life is about connections with others.
You can define what those relationships are to the best of your ability. You can set boundaries.
You can learn the red flags of narcissists and psychopaths.
But in the end, there are no guarantees in life. Not for anyone.
Life is about both the known and the unknown.
Part of your recover process is to learn to embrace the unknown. You will learn to be okay with not being able to control everything.
And you will be okay. Tomorrow is another day. There are amazing people to meet and experiences to have.
You must walk the path you create. You’ll hope for the best. You will find those worthy of your time, love and energy.
And occasionally….hopefully not too often….You will cross paths with one of them…The dark intentioned ones.
You’ll know them by their eyes. You have to look. If you feel that urge to look away, then either run or look right in and see what is there to see.
You crossed paths with an abuser and you will always carry the scars.
But your future awaits you. And the unexpected can be good as well as bad.
It’s okay to be vulnerable at times. And it’s okay not to always know the right thing to do.
After all, you’re only human.