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part 2 - Getting the help you need - or taking the first step. And more tales from you guys.
20 April 2017

Part Two - Gaslighting , No Contact and Moving on from an Abusive Relationship 

I'm pleased to report that the feedback I've had since last week has been outstanding - and so many people messaged me to thank me for highlighting this important silent menace in our lives - those who bully us in private and seem sweetness and light in public. Some horrendous stories of abuse came through which were painful to read, let alone to have gone through. And more on the topic of this thing called a 'narcissistic psychopath' , read last week's blog called Narcissist here if you haven't done so yet.

Gaslighting.

 

There are lots of sayings like this doing the rounds on the internet - it just shows how prevalent this form of abuse is.

This is also worth watching - click to listen to one woman's experiences.

You really are not alone.

Also watch this to get more clarity on what gaslighting actually is - OMG it's me, you might think!

I have had lots more stories too -

One lady - who I shall call Eve, emailed me this - and it sums up the reason why I'm determined to lift the lid on situations like hers, and bring you lots of resources over the next few weeks. And remember - you may be in a relationship with a narcissist and be co-dependent and you didn't even realise it. Also remember that a true narcissist will always shout loudly that they are not one, they will never recognise themselves and will not ever change. What is more, they will shout and shout until you think it's YOU who is in the wrong, even though you know deep down you are not crazy they will make you think you are. The best thing is to seek help and get out. Eve said -

 

"Hi Debbie,  Ive just read your blog .  As someone who suffered from mental and physically abuse for a while can I just say thank you for bringing this subject up. 

I suffered in silence,  didn't think anyone would believe me even when I was hurt so badly.  
My story is hard to tell but I have started to deal with what happened.  
You're an angel for doing what you do.  X "
 

Note the crucial thing Eve says - 'I didn't think anyone would believe me'. That is a repeat factor I am hearing over and over. One person even told a friend loads of stuff for months, yet later wrote a long diatribe claiming everything they had said was wrong about their narcissist partner. So when were they lying? Before? Or now? Trouble is, some don't even realise that they are in this kind of damaging relationship until it's too late to get out of more easily. Some do realise, and admit that if they'd known how bad it would get, they would never have chosen to stay with that person and would have dumped the partner right at the beginning.

This is an interesting article - more of it is below - do go read it if you can - eg - 

Instead of being addicted to a particular substance, (for instance he has a drink problem and she takes drugs) you or your partner may be hooked on any number of things:

  • One partner is a workaholic and the other one always feels ignored
  • One partner is a drama queen (or king) and the other is always on edge
  • One partner is a control freak, and the other partner can never make decisions
  • One partner is irresponsible and the other is always cleaning up the mess
  • One partner shuts down in conversation and the other one feels abandoned
  • One partner has angry outbursts and the other tries to smooth things over
  • One partner is domineering and the other doesn't speak up

Do you notice a pattern? In a codependent relationship, one person's feelings and needs are repeatedly dismissed or minimized. This is in marked contrast to a healthy, interdependent relationship where neither partner would allow such behaviour to continue. 

co-dependency, is it happening to you? Here's what to do.

 

Zero Contact

The experts agree - the best thing to do is to cut off their oxygen and they will leave you alone eventually - they call it no contact, or zero contact - there are tons of videos using that term on youtube - do go have a look if you are feeling weak. Realise also that it is a form of addiction and the less you indulge, the closer you are to freedom. Please note too that a narcissist will never think about you afterwards, all they think about is what a cheek it is that you are no longer there to fulfill their needs - how dare you have a mind of your own. That's why adopting a series of phrases that are perfect to use on them is vital - ones that imply they are having no effect on you - or on where you place your attention. If they cannot control you they will try to control the way others see you, which includes posting lies on social media, lies which include making themselves out to be the victim. Female Narcissists are particularly good at this. It also includes claiming things that are not true about you. One woman who shouted abuse in a public place later not only denied it, but counter claimed that they had heard something back, which was total fabrication. Be prepared. And know that ultimately the only thing that works with these people is to show them they cannot affect you as you go about your own life and get back to the person you once were. It is possible - there are many many examples of recovery. In fact, often I am hearing stories that involve the person finding their true love and someone who is kind and caring, once they let go of the need for the drama of co-dependency in their lives.

 

I never realised

I also had yet more examples of people who never realised how it related to them till they read about other people's stories and saw they were indeed living with one.

 'Laura' sent this to me -

 "Well I was around 18 when I first met him as always things seem good Looking back there was warning signs he asked me to move in with him He lived with his grandmother. First time he pushed me around can't remember if he hit me but think he did. Said I'm leaving as not putting up with it he threatened to kill himself didn't take any notice but when I went into the room he had a knife and was cutting himself . So  same old , I stayed . B4 long I was pregnant - his choice not mine as he threw my pill away, didn't know about the morning after pill so he finally had me stuck. Again pushed me around when pregnant said he was sorry and so the circle continued He use to beat me up if he didn't know what he wanted to eat.  I was useless , he called me names like I was a reptile as I suffered from a skin condition with lumps that came on the outside Etc Any way cut a long story short the last beating I took lucky enough our daughter was with her grandmother and I knew if I didn't get out that night I was going out in a body bag as they say...

'I had an aha moment.'

So I left him. He continued to harass me at work till I changed jobs. You think 'why didn't I go to the police' well that wouldn't of made any difference, if anything I think it could of made things worse Throughout our relationship he had affairs also. What an idiot I was

 Hope this helps if you need any more info let me know"

 

Plus a lady who wants to be known as 'Lucy' said this - 

"I was in an abusive marriage for several years

The guilt kept me there far too long he is a quadraplegic

But that did not stop him being a psychopath and verbally

And physically abusive, I left him 10 years ago with just the clothes

I was wearing, moved away to no job, no home, no money

Stayed in a women’s refuge for a few months, got a job and a flat

Now have a great job I love, am living on my own but happy and most

Importantly safe

Sometimes I would like someone to come home to, someone to run me

A bath pour me  a glass of wine, but no matter its not important

And you never know whats around the corner

I would never allow anyone to treat me that way again, never not in

Any form

For anyone in the same situation there is a way out, don’t take any

Crap from anyone you deserve much more

Put yourself first and leave, its not easy I wont pretend it is, when you

Leave you will feel sick every day and like me still suffer from the injuries

Ten years later, You may feel scared but you will be safe

You may be poor for a time I lived Without a cooker for five years because I could

not afford one, but possessions are not important self survival and

self respect is you will be rich in your own company"

 

The stories keep coming through. Some from people who tell me they did not properly realise their predicament - or that they were not alone in this. One lady has offered to begin a Facebook group for such people - it will be secret and not searchable, if she does set it up - if so I will put those who get in touch with me by PM on Fbk in touch. And if you know someone - someone who is a shadow of their former self - or who turns down offers to go out with friends, or who no longer sees people they used to see - do pass this info on to them. And think about it for them too - even though you may not be able to get them out yourself, you may help them to have their own 'aha' moment and finally dump the person causing them heartache and abuse.

 

A good test is this one - 

click here to take the test to hear some of the things narcissists say - recognise any? ESPECIALLY number 4, and 6. and 8...

There are going to be more anecdotes below and if it helps you, do read others' stories, some may strike bells with you - alarm bells. 

But more importantly, below there are some extra help links you can go watch or read, to enable you to maybe see how to deal with your situation - or more importantly - pass it on to someone else you know. Don't forget to begin with part one here. Or forward it to someone you think may need it. Or send it to people you think need help believing the narcissist in question IS as bad as their co-dependent, bullied partner claims.

Please note that it is particularly important to remember when dealing with narcissists that they will convincingly tell a different tale when confronted. They will also often assume everything is personal to them, even if it's clearly not when someone else reads it. For instance, anyone who claims my blog is 'all about them' and 'everything in it' is personal - sad to say they are wrong, and they need to be put straight in no uncertain terms. Very important to note that a public apology is not going to be necessary if they don't kick off in the first place. So think on that if you read certain things - often they are not to be believed. Most of the time, in fact. Especially when 'methinks they doth protest too much.'  If it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, and quacks 'I'm not a duck',  well....

 

More Help Links

 to come - here are a few useful links -

9 signs of a secret narcissist - funny and spot on

- are narcissists born or made

- why narcissists need so badly to look good in the eyes of others

co-dependency, is it happening to you? Here's what to do.: - here are some extracts - 

You Could Be In A Codependent Relationship And Not Even Know It

Instead of being addicted to a particular substance, you or your partner may be hooked on any number of things:

  • One partner is a workaholic and the other one always feels ignored
  • One partner is a drama queen (or king) and the other is always on edge
  • One partner is a control freak, and the other partner can never make decisions
  • One partner is irresponsible and the other is always cleaning up the mess
  • One partner shuts down in conversation and the other one feels abandoned
  • One partner has angry outbursts and the other tries to smooth things over
  • One partner is domineering and the other doesn't speak up

Do you notice a pattern? In a codependent relationship, one person's feelings and needs are repeatedly dismissed or minimized. This is in marked contrast to a healthy, interdependent relationship where neither partner would allow such behavior to continue.

In essence, codependents are addicted to each other. If one person stops the destructive behavior, codependency - and the relationship as it is - cannot continue.

Like alcoholism and drug addiction, codependency will suck the life out of you unless you do something about it. In fact, your health and happiness depend on you ending your codependency.

If you are the "enabler" in a codependent relationship, your feelings and needs will perpetually be on the back burner. Then begins a cascade of destruction: you don't take care of yourself, then your health suffers, then you don't even have the resources to care for your partner, and then you become bitter and depressed because of the dark hole you're in as you watch your life slipping away.

The Codependent Knight In Shining Armor

A misconception is that codependency is a "chick thing." This idea also comes from the addiction model of codependency, where the man was usually the addict, and the woman took the role of the enabler.

However, codependency is not related to gender. Male codependents are just as common. We'll give you a very personal example.

Male codependency often shows up as a tendency to be a rescuer, namely of a "damsel in distress." While on the surface it may seem like a heroic move for a man to help a woman in need, a pattern of such rescuing is a hallmark of codependency.

Gay writes:

"When I was a kid, I swore I was brought into this planet to rescue my mother, who suffered from various addictions. I also bugged my grandmother to stop overeating. Later in life - before I met Katie - I was drawn to women who needed rescuing for one reason or another.

Beneath my codependency was a need for control. My mother's fragile state - partly as a result of my father's death while my mother was pregnant with me - was a scary thing for a kid to endure. I felt that my mother could fall apart at any moment, and therefore so could my whole world. In order to cope, I tried to control the people around me. I tried to control them by rescuing them from their own suffering.

And I was a massive failure, as we all are.

Simply put, you have no control over anyone but yourself. The moment you rely on trying to control someone else in order to be happy, you set yourself on a path of misery. And you also set yourself up for addictions of your own. In my case, I became an overeater myself."

The Codependent's Cascade Of Addiction

As we mentioned above, the classic enabler allows his or her partner's addiction to continue by lying or covering up for them (say if they're late to work because they've been drinking all morning), or they make excuses (like justifying behavior to the children). Yet the enabler often becomes the addict.

People don't realize the extent to which one mate excuses another person's addiction by developing an addiction of their own.

For example, we worked with a man who was addicted to outside sexual affairs. His long-suffering wife over-ate in an attempt to deal with her distant husband. Naturally, as the wife ballooned in size, the husband had even more excuses to continue his extramarital activities. Meanwhile, the wife blamed her weight on her dysfunctional relationship.

As we helped them clear up their codependency issues, something miraculous happened: she lost the weight without dieting. With nothing to blame his addiction on, the husband came clean and admitted to several more affairs. Now that they were standing in open, honest truth - without excuses - they were able to embrace a non-addicted way of being with each other.

And we're happy to report that this couple now enjoys a relationship better than either of them ever imagined.

They moved from the shackles of co-dependency to the liberation of co-creativity.

Can You Break A Codependency Pattern On Your Own?

Waiting for the other person to change is a major symptom of codependency. The more you rely on outside circumstances to change before you can be happy, the more you keep handing power away.

The only person you have any control over is yourself. By trying to control another, you are engaged in a fruitless and self-annihilating task.

By trying to rescue them, you are denying their own power to self transform, and you are denying yours. You are telling yourself, "I am denying the only real power I have, which is to affect change in my own life." That's why you will always fail when you try to rescue someone from their unhappiness, and nobody has succeeded in rescuing you from yours.

Here's the good news: while you can be stuck in codependent relationships for years and even decades, it only takes ONE moment to break the pattern.

Oftentimes, one person does "wake up" - by reading a book, going to a seminar, or seeing something on television. (And of course, reading a newsletter like this!)

This awakening then leads the partner to start demanding change from the other partner, but change always has to start with you first.

Fundamentally, codependency is about not taking responsibility for yourself. When you take responsibility, you reclaim your own personal power. And you free your partner to find his or her innate power.

Ending codependency starts with taking responsibility for creating your own life - and allowing your partner to take responsibility for his or her own life. This is how you avoid either becoming a rescuer or a victim that needs rescuing.

And the quickest, most powerful way to start taking responsibility - right now - is to love yourself.

When you ignore your own needs, when you dismiss your own feelings, and when you deny your own personal power, you are not loving yourself.

When you fixate on someone else's needs and ignoring your own, you are abandoningyourself. You wouldn't dream of treating someone you love this way. Yet in a codependent relationship, you're repeatedly demonstrating lack of self love. You've made someone else more important than you.

READ MORE FROM HAY HOUSE HERE - IT'S WORTH A GANDER.

 

More next week including an unusual way of spreading the word.

d

x

Meanwhile if you are reading this and you haven't yet read the originals - go here to - 

part one - narcissus -  emotional bullies  -introduction and some scary tales of abuse from my facebookers and newsletter gang. go here.

part two - getting the help you need or taking the first step and more tales from you guys

part three - why they will never change - it's in the brain and difficult to unlearn - ever. hard hitting truths about the narcissist. This blog.

 Other articles are online, are listed on parts one and two, and include this one -to help you understand if you have been subject to manipulation by a narcissistic personality at some level

Keep in touch with me, email me your story - especially if you too had your 'aha' moment, and broke free - it really can be done in most circumstances, especially with a pure narcissist. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Any story is a valuable story, even if you want to tell just me, just say, as getting it out can be very therapeutic, just as the below was for me. 

 

ANOTHER STORY - LEFT ON MY WEBSITE LAST WEEK -

Jane said -

"I was with a man who on our wedding night, tried to throw me from a third storey window. My family were horrified at his behaviour, but his, in contrast, refused to believe it and somehow I became the person in the wrong. After that it was all downhill. He frequently threatened me, threatened to harm himself and blame me, kicked and punched and terrified me. Oddly enough, the final straw wasn't violence related. I discovered he had enormous debts which he attributed to a drug addiction. I left him as bringing my son up with a drug addict ( and gambler, I latterly discovered) was not an option. Even then, some years later, I was forced to take out a restraining order and eventually press for an arrest warrant to curb the threats and intimidation. Such extreme measures ( although entirely warranted, but unpleasant) seemed to do the trick. I suspect if i had stayed with him, I wouldn't be writing this. He's gone on to remarry and reform ( so I'm told) but I'm grateful I had the strength, out of fear for my young son, to leave when I did."

Feel free to leave your story below, or email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (in confidence unless you give permission. Names and important details are changed.)

 

TEN SIGNS TO HELP YOU IDENTIFY BEING GASLIGHTED IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP - AND NO, IT'S NOT 'NORMAL'...

Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. Gas Lighting relationship stories have surfaced all over the internet. Individuals are sharing their stories of gaslighting abuse in hopes in help others overcome the struggles of this mental abuse, but what does it mean to “Gaslight” someone? The term is fairly new but this behavior is not. 

The term “Gaslight” means to manipulate a person into questioning their own sanity. Though the word is often used to describe romantic relationships, it can describe professional relationships as well. It is also used to describe a certain personality typed held by an individual, usually manipulative. 

In this video we will discuss gaslighing in relationships, gas lighting behavior, gas lighting psychology, and gas lighting abuse symptoms. 

0:13 Gaslight Definition 

Are you being Gaslighted in your own relationship? 

0:56 Using your fears: Gaslighters find your fears and use it against your later on.
1:25 Knowing You: Abusers will claim to know you more than you know yourself.
1:40 Normal Changes: Will tell you something is normal when you know it’s not.
2:13 Questioning your sanity: The person abusing you will question your sanity if he/she does not get their way. 
2:38 Making your doubt yourself: You begin to question your own judgment because of the abusers comments 
2:58 Forgetting: Gaslighters have selective memory and may deny things they have promised or said 
3:16 Making you lie: Will make you lie to avoid stress to come
3:31 Causing you to stay silent: will stop sharing with others due to habit caused by the abuser
3:55 Making you question your sanity
4:22 Making you depressed: this relationship is usually depressive 

Article Referenced: http://www.psych2go.net/10-gaslightin...
More Psych2Go here: http://youtube.com/psych2go


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