abuse, abusive relationships, domestic abuse, narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

Overcoming an Abusive Relationship

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.

Another deception.

What is the main thing in the tool box of the devil ?

Yep.

Deception.

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.

 

 

abusive relationships, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, anti-social personality disorder, battered women, domestic abuse, domestic abuse blog, domestic abuse meme, domestic violence, dysfunctional families, emotional abuse, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, leaving an abuser, narcissism, narcissist, Narcissist psychopath, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse meme, narcissistic victim abuse syndrome, no contact, no contact with the narcissist, overcoming narcissistic abuse, Psychopath, Psychopath abusive relationship, psychopathic abuse, scapegoating, Uncategorized, women abuse

You Deserve Better

image chef too good

abuse, abuse red flags, abusive men, abusive relationships, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, narcissism, narcissist, Narcissist psychopath, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse syndrome, narcissistic psychopath, Narcissists, narcopath, overcoming narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized, verbal abuse, women abuse

Trauma Bonding in Narcissistic Abuse

The emotional abuse dished out by a narcissist is malicious. intentional and insidious. The narcissists sizes up his victim from the beginning, to see if she is likely to tolerate his tactics.

During the sizing up period, the narcissist puts on a honeymoon phase act, also known as the idealization phase.

He puts his prey upon a pedestal and tells her she is beautiful, talented, compassionate, or whatever characteristics she desires for someone to admire. He reads her body language and asks lots of questions in order to ascertain which qualities he should complement her about.

The abuser gets into the mind of the victim and pries out lots of important information that he or she will later use against the victim. Valuable information is the victim’s desires, hopes and dreams.

What does the victim want in a perfect mate? What qualities do they find most important about themselves and in others?

But it does not stop there. The predator listens intently as the victim tells them about their childhood, their failures, and their deepest fears.

What buttons can the abuser push that will get the strongest emotional reaction? The unsuspecting victim willingly turns over this information to their enemy, without realizing that they are setting the abuser up for the evil yet to come.

The victim willingly gives the predator all of this information because they seem so trustworthy. They appear to be the perfect friend, partner and lover.

The predator has acting skills that are so honed that the victim never suspects that their entire personality is an act.

The abuser takes the information they gather about the core values of the victim and they mirror those values back to them.

When the prey sees the predator, they do not see a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They see someone who believes in them and shares their most important values and beliefs.

As the predator listens intently to the victim, it seems like he is interested in him or her in a way that no one has ever been.

The victim feels like they are finally being understood, in a way that no one has ever understood them before.

This is highly emotional. The conversations are emotionally charged and bring out the bonding chemicals in the victim’s system. Their entire nervous system in affected in a similar way to addiction to a drug.

There is often a high sexual attraction for the abuser, which is amplified by a feeling of trust. Emotional bonding is stronger when there is a high level of trust, and the predator knows how to make the victim feel completely safe with them.

This chemical bonding is both a science and an art to the predator.

They have honed their skills from many trials and errors from their past victims. Now it is Your turn to be the method of experiment. The more they can deceive and manipulate your mind, the more the predator becomes hooked on deceiving you.

The predator gets a sadistic pleasure from this process and feels godlike and all powerful, as they get inside of your head and you willingly hand over all the information they need to destroy you later on.

This idealization phase is enjoyed by the narcissist but it also drains them. They soon tire of all the effort it takes to please you and make you feel good.

They often do a test at this point. This is a test that they design to see if you are sufficiently bonded with them yet. They will often make up some kind of emergency just to see how you react and respond. They want to see you go out of your way, and inconvenience yourself for them.

This emergency is both a test and also a way of them to train you like a dog. They will reward you with praises for the parts you do “right” and they will scold you for anything they wanted done differently. They will imply that they may not be able to continue a relationship with someone  who cannot perform to their liking during an emergency they are having.

This emergency, or very urgent situation could be of any sort of nature. It might be a fake medical emergency, it could be a crisis with their business or an emotional / mental breakdown. They will demand your full attention and that you drop everything you are doing, no matter how important it is to you. In fact, they may time the emergency, intentionally, to happen at the same time as something important to you.

They want to see that you will prioritize them over yourself.

They know that most normal people will prioritize an emergency over most other things. It is normal to rearrange your schedule when someone you love has an emergency. This is how they lure you into their training.

Now that they have your attention, they hone your “emergency” skills. They nit-pick at everything you do and the things you do not do according to their rules. They teach you exactly how to respond and how fast to respond to them, when they call you for something urgent.

This way, they can continue to call on you and demand your undivided attention, anytime they cry wolf. Imagine that…the wolf crying wolf!

After that, there are more emergencies.

The narcissists seems to live a life of chaos and they always need you to be there. It begins to erode the rest of your life away. Your needs are never as important as theirs are. Whatever is happening with them is always much more urgent and important than what is going on in your life.

If you respond to the training properly, they know they have you bonded to them. Now they can begin to demean you and treat you any way they want to. Suddenly you are knocked off the pedestal and onto the floor, where they will drag you around wherever they want to.

The devaluation phase has begun.

You now will tolerate all manner of abuse and you will believe their lies because of your addiction to the abuser. The more they abuse you, the stronger the addiction becomes. This is trauma bonding.

The abuser alternates between periods of the love bombing stage (the idealization phase) with periods of abuse.

This is designed to confuse the victim and to increase levels of chemicals released in the body.

Cortisol and adrenaline are designed to be released during an emergency or when you are under a threat. The brain soon becomes confused as the frequent need to release these chemicals in alternated with periods of uncertainty.

Your brain learns that a threat could occur at any time and stays on alert for any threat. The abuser screaming at you, threatening you, and changing the rules as they choose, thrown your nervous system out of wack. You long for the periods of reprieve from the abuse.

There are days when the abuse is nice to you and this brings back those feelings from the idealization phase. You are reminded why you fell in love with them in the first place. You want to believe that the person you first met is still under there somewhere.

The brief interludes of the idealization phase, feel like love to you.

It seems like the abuser actually loves you, but that you seem to bring out the angry side of them a lot. If you could just “get it right” then they would return to the person you fell in love with.

The attachment grows stronger during emergency situations and struggles. You feel like you have “been though so much together” and it never occurs to you that it was all a strategy of the narcissist to hook you. It is all so that they can have power over you.

Power and manipulation is the game of the predator.

They know that by alternating the abuse with “being nice” that the trauma bond will keep you coming back for more. You give everything up for them just to keep them happy.

Make no mistake this is all intentional and calculated.

The predator loves to be in control over you. They love to play god because they see themselves as better than you are. You are nothing but another victim for them to scratch out another notch on their bedpost.

 

abuse poetry, dark poetry, domestic abuse, domestic violence, narcissism, Narcissist psychopath, narcissistic abuse, narcopath, poetry, Psychopath abusive relationship, psychopathic abuse

Beauty in the Mist

He sees her from afar

She is untouchable

Unreachable

Isolated by her captor

As if she is lost behind the mist

Of the darkness of a summer evening

Full of ominous clouds

Predicting disaster…

He would revel in her beauty

and femininity

If only

he could have the chance

to hold her

to cherish her

To keep her safe

from the monster she is with..

But she is lost in a maze

where all paths lead to pain..

He knows she has lost her way

He watches her suffering

but to no avail

She cannot see him

or hear his pleas to her

To leave the monster

She does not know

that he would love her

in ways

she cannot imagine she deserves

because she is being suffocated

by the monster…

the psychopath that

keeps her imprisoned

by manipulating her reality

She serves the very monster

That will ultimately destroy her

For no other reason 

Than to see if he can…

The end will come soon

With a bullet to her head

or a beating black and blue

When she finally sees 

That she should have left the monster

Long ago

Before it was too late

abusive relationships, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, psychopathic abuse

After Narcissistic Abuse Article

Here is an excellent article about Narcissistic Abuse.

 Check out this blog by  After Narcissistic Abuse.

Learning is healing and learning is protecting yourself from predators. The more you understand how the narcissist operates, the easier you can recognize them. 

You were not at fault when the relationship ended or about the abuse during the relationship. 

Blessings, 

Annie

domestic abuse, emotional abuse, life, malignant narcissistic personality disorder, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, Narcissist psychopath, Psychopath

Narcissistic Anti-social Darkness

There are narcissists that also have anti-social personality. What the extra element is, if you were dealing up close with psychopathy, is that they get an elevation from being sadistic.

Anti-social personality is what the accepted term now is for psychopath. The other term people mix around and interchange with these is sociopath.

Pick your poison, you are dealing with someone who intentionally inflicts pain, be it physical,  emotional or psychological.

The narcissistic psychopath inflicts pain just to see you suffer. They feel powerful when they can make you suffer with no other reason that to do it.

Narcissists inflict pain in order to make you fear feeling that emotional pain, because this makes you more compliant.  If you suffer through their emotional punishments like silent treatment or dissappearing from your radar for days or weeks on end, then you will do anything to avoid those punishments in the future.

Once the narcissist has trained you by inflicting emotional pain on you, then you become more compliant with what they want, or ask you for. You fear disagreeing with them, joking with them or doing anything but wait to find out what they want.

The narcissist trains you with punishment.  Their training is painful.  They threaten abuse, in order to keep you compliant also.

But the narcissist that is co-morbid with psychopathy will cause you mental injury, emotional pain, because they like to.

If your ex seemed to cause pain to you, or if they broke up with you in a way that was cruel and unusual. ..did all they could to make it as painful for you as possible…even though there was no strategic gain for them..it did not get them any additional narcissistic supply….

Then it is possible that you were with someone who was far darker and more dangerous that you thought.

This should be a very good reason for you to stay no contact.  You very well may be underestimating the danger of the person you were with.

If you are with someone that fits these criteria and has these behaviors,  please find a safe way out. Then stay no contact.  It is not worth the risk you are taking to stay.

These people are insidious and live in the dark world in their minds. I do not want you anywhere near them.

Blessings and wishes for your peace of mind and safety,

Annie

domestic abuse, emotional abuse, life, mental abuse, narcissistic abuse, red flags of a narcissist, red flags of an abusive person, red flags you are dating an abuser

Red Flags You are Dating an Abuser

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)

Need to control your schedule

Never apologizes or does so in a sarcastic,  fake way ( my ex never apologized but when I brought up something that was bothering me he would say “I am always apologizing to you.”…

I would say “you are?” and then he would say “Yes and I am not doing it anymore. I am tired of you making me apologize to me.”  …

And the funny thing was I was not looking for an apology.  He jumped to that conclusion on his own.  I just wanted to work on our communication.)

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

Complaining that the women at work do not treat him with respect

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

domestic abuse, gaslighting, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, narcissist, narcissistic abuse

Narcissists Systematically Strip Your Self Esteem and Sense of Self

These are some of the brainwashing tactics which were used on me, by a very intelligent narcissist. The more intelligent of a person you are dealing with, the more alluring they can be and also more dangerous to your brain.

You could be with someone that has studies brainwashing  techniques and not even know it. The very person that may be telling you that they want you to have high self esteem and to think for yourself, may be carefully undermining your ability to do those things.

He had me conditioned to call him prior to interactions that I could possibly compromise myself , particularly related to my job. He had convinced me over time that I had to check in with him, before asserting myself in situations at work, etc because I might make bad decisions.

He had me convinced that my mental illness was the cause of my saying things that were inappropriate at work. He had me convinced that people did not like me and that they were looking for an excuse to fire me.

He told me I could not trust anyone at work, not even the ones I consider my friends. He said I did not really know them as well as I thought ai did. I should check in with him, prior to speaking to people about things, even my friends.

Then he did the typical narcissist thing, which is to condition someone to having to have contact with them, and then blow them off when help is perceived to be really needed.

There was a double message of…

“Do not talk to anyone before checking with me about your mental state and what you should say” ….and…

”I am too busy to talk to you right now, I will call you back”

and then the calling back turning from 3 hours to 6 hours to 8 hours etc. The talking all about himself and not listening to me anyway.

It was a very calculated behavioral modification . As I slowly dig my way out of the mental pit that I was intentionally placed into, I realize that my capability to deal with situations is not nearly as bad as he made it out to be and that by relying on him, I had lost confidence and developed increased fear of people in general.

The whole time I was thinking he was protecting me from people I should fear, I actually should have been more concerned with my safety with him…not the others.

Sad. and Very sick. I could write a book about all the manipulation tactics he used. He was very intelligent and very insidious to systematically destroy me, the way he did.

domestic abuse, domestic violence, life, mental abuse, mental health

Abused Children and Teenagers Have Trouble Identifying Red Flags of an Abuser

Many people that tend to end up with abusers more than one time, were abused in some way as children. This could have been physical, sexual or mental abuse. It is possible that behaviors that you consider acceptable in your family, are actually abusive and you still do not identify them.

One of my friends puts up with extreme control by his family, as an adult of 45, and he has no idea that it is not normal. He actually feels like they are helping him. They talked him into leaving his career and his house, in order to move back home and live with them.

They promised him that they would financially support the small business he wanted to start, if he moved back home with them. I tried to warn him against this, knowing from past experience that the family does not approve of martial arts, which is the business that he wanted to start.

Also their past track record was that they made false promises, in order to get him to do what they wanted him to do.  But they lured him in and he moved all the way across the country to move in with them. Once he had given up his house and his job, the family “changed their mind” about he;ing him start the business.

These are narcissistic lies that lure the victims in. They will make false promises to get you into a vulnerable position and then they can control you. They want you dependent upon them, so that you have no independence.

Now that he was living in their house, and had no job, he was basically a prisoner to their commands. They forced him to go back to college at 45 years old for the degree that they wanted him to get.

They managed this by  by threatening to throw him out of their house, if he did not follow their new rule that “adult children living in their house must be going to college. Narcissists make up the rules as they go along and change them, as they see fit.

Since he had no job anymore and no where to live, he agreed to what they demanded and went back to school. They also “suggested” that he concentrate on his studies and not get a job.

This only made him more of a prisoner in their house, since he has no income.  He has no money of his own and is basically their narcissistic supply, for when they need something.

This story is actually about my ex husband and his family.  This is the type of narcissistic family that I married into and the reason that I ended up no longer married and living in poverty with my daughters. I have lived with the abuse of this family and unfortunately am still affected by it,

They have  caused us financial devastation, loss of authority over our children, unacceptable living conditions (when forced to live under their roof)  and other more sorted abuses.

I could tell you stories of going without food, money and basic necessities, while living under their roof and while they were living a rich life. The stories are complicated and were calculated and manipulated by them, in order to keep me powerless.

They have taken my transportation away before, and left me with no food, while their son (my husband) was allowed to go travel to California to “sew his oats” or some such crap. It is too much to describe now.

This is the type of narcissistic abuse that kept putting us back into poverty during our entire marriage. Every time we were beginning to get on our feet, they would manipulate him in a similar way to the story I told you. I could not understand why he would believe them every time they lied.

I never had any say about decisions. The lack of having your own voice in any relationship, is always a red flag ! If you see this happening , take a step back and look at what is happening, before you get sucked further in.

The family was and is, always in control. I am still living in poverty because of their narcissistic abuse. They have deliberately interfered with him working many times and this of course ended up affecting my child support…or lack thereof… many times.

But us you asked him about his family, he would tell you that they are not abusive, not overly controlling or narcissistic. He thinks they are just having good intentions and helping him. He does not attribute his parents’ constant boundary crossing of our marriage, as a reason for our inevitable divorce.

He was brought up with this level of controlling narcissistic behavior and was brain washed by two narcissistic  parents who work as a team. One is a somatic narcissist and the other is a cerebral narcissist. This can be a very dangerous combination, when these personalities work together as a team, to get their “supply.”

If you have been drawn to narcissists or other abusers over and over, then there are ways you can review your past to identify the abuse that occurred. Look back at how you were treated.

What things were you made to feel were normal, but you actually felt violated by them. What things were you told not to talk about? What verbal or emotional control tactics made you feel disempowered?

I was also abused growing up and into early adulthood. I will talk more in the next post about my own problems identifying red flags, due to the lack of boundaries growing up.

If you were demeaned and minimized when you expressed your thoughts and opinions about things, then you probably have trouble expressing your thoughts about things in your relationships. You also will tolerate your partner making fun of your ideas, or  arguing with them in a way that demeans you.

If you are in the same patterns of abuse that you have grown up with, then your brain will automatically go into the same mode that it used, when it had to protect you as a child.

If you were denied independent behavior and choices as a young adult, then you may not be used to making your own choices and decisions. Exerting your independence against what the other person agrees with, may cause you extreme anxiety.

Anything that triggers bad memories and feelings for you, is going to something that you are going to try to avoid. We all want to avoid pain.  People that were abused while they were growing up, will try to  protect themselves from feeling the pain that they felt as a child.

If the way to protect yourself from punishment and retaliation growing up was to just go along with what you were told and not to make waves, then you are primed for people to control you.

If you were not allowed to learn independence as a teenager and young adult, then you may feel “normal” being controlled by a partner. Or you may be like my ex husband, and feel “normal” letting your parents interfere with your  major marital decisions.

If we can begin to see what is appropriate and what is not appropriate in how others treat us, then we will begin to understand the red flags of a potential abuser, when the flags wave themselves at us.