Narcissistic and emotional abuse

Narcissists and bullies are most often attracted to people who are sensitive souls that care and have compassion for others.

My experience has taught me that where there is Emotional abuse, there is doubt in oneself that causes you to second-guess yourself all the time, unsure whether what you feel is right and makes sense, and anxious about what others might think of you. If people compliment you, it feels almost impossible to receive that compliment; instead, you are very hard on yourself, telling yourself things like ”I should have done better” and wondering why for example, you are always there for friends but not yourself.
Tessa (pseudonym), as a young teenager, was repeatedly told that she was too sensitive. Her problems and difficulties were her fault that she was just like her father, who one day told her that she needed to see a psychiatrist because what she was saying and asking for was not making any sense to him. She was asking to be left alone in her own space. Instead of having that respected, as she was assured she would be, by her mother, who she confided in over again, she was hurled a lot of abuse and told she was crazy, cared for nothing and nobody.
This treatment consistently, over time, strips away your identity, flattens your heart and destroys your ability to feel and believe in yourself.
Were you a child whose mother or father was self-absorbed, arrogant, and jealous of you? Embarrassed by you and preoccupied with looking good to influential people? Always talking about themselves and their needs? Then you may have grown up feeling empty, not understanding why and the only way to make sense of these desperate feelings was to blame yourself. Perhaps today, you are an adult who is apprehensive, afraid of abandonment and sadly expecting deceit because you have experienced betrayal.
Tessa grew into a woman unsure of herself on many levels, blaming herself for ‘not being able to love. If you are reading this, chances are you realise you’re in a relationship or have constantly been wondering what to do to improve things, where to give more, feeling bad because your partner says they are broken because you are selfish, for example; find yourself completely exhausted. STOP.

Do you:

  • Find it hard to ask for what you need.
  • Please, others all the time?
  • Suffer from anxiety and depression?
  • Have PTSD?
  • Have low self-esteem and confidence?
  • Self-harm?
  • Have an eating disorder?

Can you consider the possibility of asking yourself,” How can I start to consider myself and listen to my body, take responsibility for my life, feelings and emotions and begin to think about saying NO?”

Often you tell yourself that what this person is saying to you must be right because they repeatedly say it and are unhappy because you are not giving them something they need! Narcissists and bullies are most often attracted to people who are sensitive souls that care and have compassion for others. Nevertheless, this compassionate heart of yours needs to be more challenging so that self-respect and just fairness can co-exist within you; otherwise, it can feel as though depression, shame, and low self-esteem just keep you stuck.
Narcissists and bullies believe nothing is their fault and have others running around feeling like they need to try harder, do more, and behave differently to appease them. Being with someone like this somehow removes your sense of being a separate individual. You must begin to get a new understanding of the ‘natural you by saying No more to being a victim in your relationships and reclaiming your life.

When others are selfish and unkind, it is easy to feel grateful for the times when they happen to be considerate and kind towards you and hold on to this; to value the good moments because they are infrequent. However, think for a moment about your future and staying in a relationship like this; is this what you want?
Healing from this type of abuse and neglect is possible. Part of this journey in healing is cultivating body awareness because, through these experiences, you have lost connection with your body; your nervous system has taken a hammering, and this begins to feel normal, but this is not normal; this is very traumatic.

“Where there has been emotional neglect, you may believe that keeping people at a distance is safer than risking intimacy and friendships. You may be a peacekeeper as avoiding conflict is important to you rather than understanding that healthy conflict is a part of life; it strengthens your ability to speak up and be in the here and now.”

Karen Woodley