An Emotional Abuser Or Narcissist Is Harmful To Your Health
Being in a relationship with an emotional abuser or narcissist is harmful to your physical and mental health.
Why is that?
It happens because an emotionally abusive partner, or narcissist, is hell-bent on creating someone whose world revolves around him – someone needy, codependent, and fearful.
In fact, the (not so hidden) intention of every emotional abuser or narcissist, is to paralyze you by subjecting you to constant fear and worry – about their behaviour, naturally enough. Your world really is meant to revolve around them.
The partners (and victims) of an emotional abuser or narcissist struggle to reconcile the man they fell in love with – who had so much potential – with the man they are thoroughly miserable with. They end up believing that the man who first captured their attention, and their affection, (aka, The Sample) is the real man. Whereas the guy who takes the floor subsequently (aka Mr Nasty) is actually an alien.
Is it too much to ask for The Sample to return?
Err… yes. It absolutely is. The Sample should have been representative of the Whole Man – if only, that is, The Sample had not been designed to mislead.
A lesson from the mousetrap
If you think of the early charm of the emotional abuser or narcissist, you would do well to think in terms of an old-fashioned mousetrap.
In order to get the mouse’s attention, you have to bait the trap. That nice piece of cheese (more – or less -cheesy behavior) looks so toothsome that you can hardly blame the unsuspecting mouse for falling for it. The mouse sees only the promise of the cheese. The person who lays the trap figures that a piece of cheese (which the mouse will hardly get to enjoy, anyway) is the necessary price of his desired outcome.
The moral of the mousetrap is this,
If you don’t know to look out for the mousetrap, you will end up deceived and trapped by a lousy piece of cheese.
First off, a narcissist or abuser will use the cheese to rob you of your freedom. Then, he’ll start deploying the 10 fears that WILL steal your life – for as long as you let them.
Fear #1 “You’re unlovable”.
Mr Incredibly Hard-To-Love tells you how unlovable you are often enough. Plus, he proves it by his actions. Actions really do speak louder than words. You soon get the message loud and clear. So, you hide in the shadows of your life because you don’t feel lovable – especially if you have already heard that message before from a parent or sibling.
Fear #2 “You could never, ever manage on your own”.
If he’s said that to you once, he’s probably said it a thousand times. (Question: how do you tell the difference between an emotionally abusive man and a broken record? Answer: It’s much easier to silence a broken record.) In reality, that kind of damning judgement is no more and no less than what you should expect from an emotional abuser or narcissist. He is hardly likely to validate your strengths and qualities. Still, you managed before you met him. Plus, you’ve survived through the miserable years of being with him. If you could do that, why do you need to believe you couldn’t make it without him?
Fear #3 “You’ll never find anyone as wonderful as him.”
Really??!! Given that he is an Emotionally Abusive Clone, there are thousands and thousands out there who are equally – albeit subtly differently – awful. The question should be not whether you can find someone half as wonderful as him but how you can avoid other ghastly men, more or less like him, in the future.
Fear #4 “Nobody else will ever want you”.
All emotional abusers and narcissists work on the premise that they have been appointed spokesman for the World Federation of Emotional Abusers and Narcissists. The truth is, he is too much of an idiot to see and value you. However, he does not speak for the whole of humanity. He can’t. Humanity is not his middle name.
Fear #5 “It’s too late for you”.
You know that old saying: “Where there is life, there is hope”? In Abuse World, the saying has been modified to: “Where there is abuse, there is Learned Hopelessness”. But here’s the thing, if hopelessness can be learned, it can be unlearned. You just have to find out how to do that.
Fear #6 “I’ll never get over it”.
Some women do get over it, and go on the have wonderful lives, while others don’t. What separates the two groups? Not luck. The difference hinges on being alive to the possibilities for change and growth that exist. The women who get over an emotionally abuser or narcissist, do so because they take action. Without getting support, and taking first one small step, and then another, beyond what you know, you will not discover Life outside Abuse World.
Fear #7 “He’ll be happy with someone else”.
I don’t think so, somehow. If he’s the re-coupling kind of abuser, most likely he’ll make it his mission to tell you that your successor is A-Wonderful-Woman-Who-Makes-Him-Happy. But think about him for a moment. Is he naturally a happy bunny? When was he last a little ray of sunshine?
Fear #8 “There aren’t any decent men out there.”
Out where? If you stay within the confines of Abuse World, that’s absolutely true. Abuse World is people by Abusers. But you don’t have to live in that world. You always have a passport to The Rest of the World. But you have to take that passport, and use it.
Fear #9 “I might regret it, if I walk away.”
Regret W-H-A-T? Mostly, people regret what they did NOT do, rather than what they did do. Why is that? Because when you take action, two things happen: first, taking action validates you and your choices, and second, almost inevitably, it lifts you out of the psychological hole you were stuck in.
Fear #10 “What will people think?”
Insensitive people will think insensitive thoughts. Unkind people will think unkind thoughts. Uncomprehending people will think uncomprehending thoughts. Caring people will think caring thoughts. Do you get the picture? The People Who Think Negative Thoughts are carbon monoxide to you. Why would you choose to be in that environment?
I grew up in a climate of intense fear. Then I married a gifted fear-monger. As a result, I spent years worrying myself sick about things that never happened. I also spent years worrying about things that,
- I never foresaw but, still, managed to cope with adequately when they did happen.
- Happened anyway – and turned out to be blessings in disguise (such as my marriage falling apart).
In every instance, the learned fear served no useful purpose.
If you are struggling with any – or all – of these 10 fears, here’s what you need to do.
- Turn your focus onto the things you have the power to change.
- Forget about trying to change your emotional abuser or narcissist. That will never work. Instead,
- Get the help you need to shrink your fears until they have no further hold on you, so you can
- Get back in the driver’s seat of your own life.
Somewhere along the line, you will decide to shed your emotional abuser, or narcissist. However, you will do so with nary a regret or a backward glance. You’ll be enjoying life too much to care. That is how it should be. Life begins when you finally show your abuser or narcissist the door.
Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.
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