It’s hard to wrap your head around, hard to believe it could be true when someone tells you what it’s like. That is, if they can even articulate it. It’s incredibly difficult to believe it ourselves. That’s one of the reasons it takes so long for us who end up in abusive relationships to realize what is going on in the first place, because it’s absolutely shocking to anyone with empathy that other people could act like this.
That’s the thing though, right? We see ourselves in other people. So if you’re naturally empathetic and caring, conscientious, a lover of peace, and compassionate, guess what? You’ll see those qualities in other people as well. We don’t expect people to be able to lie so well, or to have a reason to lie or act like someone they aren’t. We expect out of others what we expect out of ourselves, and the narcissist knows this. So he has to act like the person you would be attracted to, and he spends all of his energy doing so. He wants your energy, your happiness, your empathy and compassion-why? No, not because he admires it, get that out of your head right now. He doesn’t admire anyone but himself. He sees your strengths and thinks, oh it’ll be fun to knock that down a few pegs and get something out of it at the same time. You’re a shiny new toy! Congratulations! Someone wants to play with you!
They’ll disguise themselves in sheep’s clothing and be the best person you’ve ever met. They’ll meet your family and be in love with you in a month. You will be so glad you finally met the right person, the one that you get to spend the rest of your life with. You will think to yourself that you are the most blessed person on this planet-he’ll be that good to you.
How do we get sucked in? Because they’re that damn skillful, no joke! Stop blaming yourself if you’ve been a victim. You don’t blame anyone for getting mugged or slipping and falling do you? No, because you didn’t do it! They did! What do you do, read minds? I don’t think so. You’re not naive or stupid, either. They are to blame for their actions, from the beginning, from the moment they saw you. Even if it was 10 years ago or 20. They had their eye on you, and the moment they could make a move, they did. It’s what a mugger does. It’s what a rapist and serial killer does. They find targets. So no, it is not your fault. Even if no one else understands, it was never and will never be your fault.
When I went through it, I didn’t know there were words to describe what was happening. I didn’t know what Narcissistic Personality Disorder was. I didn’t know what gaslighting or ambient abuse was. I didn’t know what it meant to be brainwashed. Or isolated. Or confused to the point that you don’t know if you can believe yourself anymore, because of the sheer amount of self-doubt he has put into your head over and over again. You begin not to trust yourself at all-or the reality you used to have.
Emotional, mental, and verbal abuse is the way these predators work. Yes, they can and do become physically violent. But that’s not their main skill. It’s all about making someone else feel like less than a person, because then the target has to “worship” whatever values the predator says to notice. He/She does NOT care about you as a person. They need adoration. They need to be put on a pedestal, and they want their target to do it.
Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon!