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She used to stay up late at night to clean the house and have peace. She could move about the house and touch things late at night, in a way she was not able to during the day.
If she touched things during the day, she was bound to do it in a way that displeased him. If she displeased him, or if he felt disrespected by the tiniest thing, she would pay for it.
She felt terrified of him. He liked the house to be clean and neat, so she had to take care to be sure things were done to his liking. But truthfully, no matter how long she cleaned, or how much she tried, it was never right for him.
After cleaning until 4 am, she laid down on the couch, with the television on quietly, so as not to disturb him. He was asleep on the next floor up, in the queen size bed. She did not dare slide into the bed next to him.
At 7 am he would awaken her by swatting her repeatedly with something….usually his coat. She would awaken mid-swatting, and react with a normal startle reflex to being swatted while you sleep.
He would scold her and ask her how many times he told her not to jump like that when he woke her up. She was so stupid to keep forgetting how he hated it.
Then he would throw her purse on top of her and demand 3 dollars, so he could go down to the store and buy a tall boy. Beer was the only alcohol available for sale before 11 am. He would settle for that until the vodka could be purchased.
She knew better than to argue about needing the money for milk or bread. She still had bruises on her jaw, from doing that last week.
She handed him the money and he snatched it without saying anything more. But as he walked out the door, he grumbled something about her being fat and lazy for sleeping all day.
I still jump and cover my face by reflex, when someone startles me in my sleep.
This writing is for the Flash Fiction challenge from The Secret Keeper blog. You can see the details of the challenge HERE. The five words that had to be included in the writing are | COMFORT | HEAD | SPACE | MELT | WICKED |
A decision had to be made as to whether to accept his words as the truth, or to confront him with the facts. She had always taken comfort in his honesty and openness with her.
She gazed into his eyes as he talked, but in her head she was playing out the events of the last few hours before she met him at the restaurant. As he reached over and touched her hand, she remembered how this used to make her heart melt.
The evidence said that he was lying to her right now. The female voice on the phone….the airline tickets….
She knew if she accepted what the facts pointed to that she would also have to question all of the other times he told her he was going away on business.
If he were lying to her now, while looking into her eyes, then it would mean that he was not the person he portrayed to her. It would mean he had a more sinister and wicked nature than she had ever considered.
If she were to accept the facts, then she would be forced to re-write her entire reality, for entire time they had been together.
There was no space in between his words, as his continuous talking continued. It was almost as if he was doing this intentionally. So she took another sip of her wine to dull her senses. Then, rather than going over the facts as they were, she began to mentally re-write them and the meaning behind them.
It was less painful to re-frame the facts to fit what she wanted to believe, than to have to change her belief to fit the facts.
Violence of an abusive partner escalates. There is no excuse for someone threatening you or controlling you with fear.
If they are making excuses for violence then you can be sure it will happen again. Excuses like drinking too much, they had a bad day or you made them angry are not acceptable. All of these reasons are things that will occur again and next time they will go further.
Living with violence damages you psychologically and breaks down your self esteem. People that control you with fear will intentionally alter your perceptions about reality, in order to make you think you have to tolerate their abuse…or that you caused it.
You do not do anything that calls for violence or even psychological violence like corruption of your identity and self worth.
Most people think that psychopaths are only in the movies or that they are in prison for serial killing sprees. This is not true. Psychopaths are around you and you have interacted with them.
No, this does not mean you are in danger or that they will be physically violent if they do target you for “special attention” as a particular favorite victim. It does not mean they will target you at all.
What is does mean is that 3 out of 100 people you ineract with is a psychopath. They can appear charming, they may take great care to look attractive and they often hold positions of respect within the community.
Psychopaths are teaching, giving therapy sessions, leading churches, contributing to charities and giving you medical treatment. They make up 3 to 4 percent of the population and you have exchanged words with one of them.
Being in the presense, even daily, with a psychopath does not meam they will ever harm you. They may just be using you to help maintain or promote their image, which is their “false self.”
Psychopaths will only specifically target certain people, usually ones that are predisposed to abuse. Other people are used as tools, proxies and pawn pieces in their games.
Narcissists , sociopaths and psychopaths are one and the same but they are on a spectrum. You can look up Nine Traits of Narcissism on google or YouTube.
The term sociopath is not any different than a psychpath. There was once a desire to make a strong distnction between narcissists and psychopaths and to create a label of in-between the two ends of the spectrum.
Make no mistake, someone with 9 traits narcissism is potentially dangerous and someone with 7 or 8 traits ( a sociopath) is also very dangerous. They may not choose to be physically violent but they are a danger the mental health, and ability to thrive of their victims.
If you are working with one then you may find yourself harrassed, bullied and feel your job is in jeapordy due to them. It probably is.
If your landlord is one then you may feel the same level of harrassment, threats, and manipulation from them as the one at work.
If they are in your life and you are not providing them with narcissistic supply, making them look good, feeding their ego and listening in awe of their stories of grandeur, then you might be tormented by them. They may torment and bully you to get things to go the way they want or just for sadistic pleasure…it depends where they fall on the narcissim/ psychopath spectrum.
None of the people who have malignant narcissistic personality disorder have any feelings of compassion, emapthy, love or remore. Although they can emulate the words and gestures of people that do have these feelings.
Narcissists will woo you in order to lure you into trusting them. They can appear normal, even charming, for short periods of time. It takes extended interaction with them in order to see their mask slip.
If something seems inconsistent or “off” about someone and you find yourself recounting conversations to try to make sense of what seemed to be perfectly rational but later did not fit, then be wary.
Narcissists use “word salad”, re-framing, pre-supposition and other neuro linguistic programming (NLP) techniques to manipulate and confuse you. You can look these techniques up on google to learn more about them.
Some people spend years learning NLP techniques in order to use them for good purposes like helping clients lose weight or overcome a phobia.
Narcissists naturally use these techniques …but with insidious intentions. If you feel like you are being dominated in every conversation, even when you are in the right, just be wary.
If you feel like someone is always dominant in conversations about topics you are more trained and skilled in, that is anothercred flag.
If someone knows better about every single topic you have ever discussed with them, that is a red flag. Who knows better than you about everthing? Probably only someone with such a huge ego that they pretend to know things they don’t, just to put you under their foot.
Someone who is a “pathological lier” is probably a narcissist. They can lie right to your face with eye contact, and sound very sincere or even offended and indignant.
If you feel your will power being sucked out of you and your identity and self worth leaving the room, every time they are in it, that is not normal.
Normal people do not have that effect on others. They do not feel the need to push others down in order to appear bigger and better.
You have interacted with these people without knowing it and you never knew why you felt bad everytime you were around them…or you wondered what it was about you that made “dominating manipulative people” seem to intimidate you.
Intimidation is a game to them and it is also a way of survival for them. They do not want you close enough to see through their games so they will keep you at a distance.
As long as you are struggling to deal with their games, you are too focused on what is happening to you to really look at them and see who they are. They are deceiptful, bullying, “all knowing” people who always have a hidden agenda.
Their behaviors are often confusing because you are unaware of their agenda, which always has to do with them.
Even when they seem to be doing benevolent acts of service their is a hidden agenda behind it.
You might want to consider doing some research on narcissism and psychopathy, just to protect yourself. In this case knowledge is empowerment. These people want to disempower you by starting with your self confidence and distorting your perception of reality.
Some study of neuro linguistic programming will also help you to protect yourself from tactics being used against you that you have never heard of. There are some great videos on NLP hypnosis by David Snyder on YouTube.
You can research NLP techniques of “re-framing”, “presupposition”, “word salad” and others.
You can look up “gaslighting” and you will find written information and videos. I am going to post some videos about gaslighting in the next few weeks and I will put the links for you here.
There is no reason to have parts of your life miserable because of not knowing the tactics of narcissists or how to identify them. You can also look up “red flags” of a narcissist or “red flags” of an abuser and you will get some information.
Trust you gut and do not trust people that make you question your own perception. If something seems off…it probably is.
“Women who have experienced domestic abuse may also be drawn to men who appear strong enough to ‘protect’ them from their abusive ex – only to wind up in another destructive relationship.”
I got this quote from Avalanche of the Soul blog. This is something that I have experienced but it never occurred to me that other domestic abuse victims also had this happen to them.
You escape from an abusive relationship and you are broken and psychologically injured. You have nightmares. and PTSD and you jump when someone touches you. There is a feeling of danger and threat all around you. You do not know if you are safe yet..
You wonder if the abuser will come after you. You wonder if they will retaliate by coming after your children while you are at work. You feel vulnerable and afraid.
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You are not used to making your own decisions because the abuser always made them for you. Your self confidence about making decisions and knowing what to do has been crushed down by the abuser.
You feel like you have lost your self worth. Nights are long and the pathological loneliness eats at your emotions and your soul.
You wonder if you are lovable and you are not sure because the abuser told you that you were not lovable.
The abuser drilled into you that no one would ever want you and that you were very lucky that they put up with you at all. They told you that you were dumb, too sensitive, too illogical, too naggy, too needy and mentally unbalanced. They cause you to develop mental illness like depression, anxiety disorders. phobias etc and then they used that against you.
You were disrespected and treated like an abused child. There is no one you can talk yo because people who have not been through abuse have no idea what it is like. They think your stories are exaggerated or made up.
So when you meet a guy that seems strong and also sensitive, you are lured in. He talks about how he hates abusers and that men like that have no balls. He says that men who pick on women are not real men. He tells you that women should be respected and cherished.
He will be your protector from the ex, in case he comes after you or the kids. He will be a comforter because he understand what you went through. He is a real man because he thinks that abusive men are weak and just overcompensating for small dicks.
So you get into a relationship with the new guy and you do not even notice that he is ;love bombing you and pushing the relationship to be too serious , too soon.
image from pinterest
You miss the red flags when he is impatient with the waitress and the taxi driver. You do not notice that he expects special VIP treatment wherever he goes. He tells you that he is doing it in order to help you. You have been through so much and you deserve to be treated special.
You miss the red flags when he insists that he right about everything. Your opinions are pushed aside and he has to let you know how things really are. He says he is just making sure that you are seeing things the proper way. He wants to protect you from your confusion.
He says that you were very damaged in the last relationship an that sometimes you mis-interpret things, especially his words and actions. But never fear…he is here to interpret your reality for you and to make sure that you see things in the proper perspective.
Little by little he isolates you from friends and family. Little by little you are wearing the make up and the clothes that he suggests. After all…he says that you look really fat in that pair of jeans….
He has combined the bank accounts and taken over the money. He has possibly made you quit your job or otherwise done things to entrap you.
He has made you dependent upon him to survive. He controls the car and your ride to work. You must comply with his whims if you do not want to lose your job and further entrap yourself.
This is the abusive man who steps in after you have gotten out of an abusive relationship. He is the one that knows you were abused and he knows exactly what you want to hear. He claims to hate abusers and sees them as less than manly.
He lies and manipulates you. He puts on a false self…a mask of “the good guy”. You believe him and you are lured into the web of lies.
Soon the love bombing stops. The idealization phase is over. The devaluation begins and you never saw it coming.
image from pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/228557749810757629/
I just read this excellent article about emotional abuse on the Live Bold and Bloom web site. It is called 30 Signs of Emotional Abuse.
image from http://www.pinmart.com/pins-domestic-violence-awareness-purple-ribbon-pin-url/
If you have ever been in an abusive relationship or if you are in one now, you may recognize some of the things on the list.
Some of the most common are :
Making you feel that they are always right and you are always wrong
Having to ask permission to go places and do things
Feeling like you need permission to make decisions
Isolation from family and friends
They control you or treat you like a child
Humiliate you or put you down in front of other people
Sarcasm or teasing to lower your self esteem
Accusing you of being “too sensitive”
This last one which is “accusing you of being too sensitive” is a typical and very powerful tactic that abusers use. They do this to minimize and invalidate your feelings. It keeps them from having to be accountable for their behavior and treatment of you.
It is easy to feel shame when an abuser accuses you of being too sensitive. They are saying that they are emotionally stronger that you. You cannot “take a joke” or handle any criticism. But at the same time any tiny amount of criticism of their behavior is not allowed.
This is the double standard tactic, which abusers use. There is one set of behavior rules for you but they can act any way they want to. Their rules are subject to change at anytime. You are expected to follow the new rules even if they do not tell you the rules have changed.
image from pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/228557749810757603/
Abuse can occur at any socioeconomic level. It can occur in families between any combination of family members. The most well known abuse is that of husbands to their wives, but this is not the only way abuse occurs. Wives can be abused by their in-laws. Parents can be abused by their teenage or adult children.
Mental and emotional abuse can destroy someone’s independence and feeling of self worth.
Financial abuse can be hidden but can cause devastation in people’s lives. Psychological abuse can be in the form of systematic brainwashing by people who appear in public to be benevolent and altruistic.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Victims are afraid to come forward because they fear retaliation and because the abusers control all of the money and the victim’s ability to leave and support themselves. There are hidden threats and implications that outsiders of the situation do not know and many would not believe.
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Abusers are generally people with narcissistic personality disorder or anti-social personality disorder. These people are very good at creating a facade in the world of being wonderful. charming people. The closest relatives and friends to the victim and the family often would never believe the victim even if they did say something.
The victim themselves becomes confused about reality and their own ability to be able to leave the abuser. The abuser is often many steps ahead of the victim and has set up punishments for the victim and ways to block them from being able to live independently.
Awareness is important if victim’s of abuse are to be able to reach out for help. You can visit the National Network for Domestic Violence HERE.
image from http://www.pinmart.com/purple-ribbon-survivor-pin/
There are some pins, ribbons and other Domestic Violence Awareness products HERE if you are interested in wearing or displaying them. There are probably other sites as well. This is just the one I happened to come across.
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