General terms: An abuser will come out to play and try to start trouble in my lane. They will say things to get me to question my reality. They will plant seeds to get me to question my sanity. They will plant a seed to get me to question who I can trust. Emotional abuse is tricky because it plays on your emotions. It’s someone close to you that tries their best to keep you in an emotional state. If you are in an emotional state then it’s easier to control you. Emotions are not rational. Rational people are typically not emotional. Make sense?
Previous Example. Say for instance, that someone accuses me of being a difficult person. They claim that I am difficult because they are trying to get me to question if my current behaviour is appropriate. Their goal is to control me and by planting a seed that I’m difficult, they want me to take the path of least resistance and comply to whatever it is they are trying to get me to do. They are creating an environment where I’m supposed to be a people pleaser (life in fear) as opposed to a free thinker (life in love).
Previous Recovery Cycle (3-weeks): I listen to the claim. I review my own perception of reality. I scour my mental file cabinet seeking examples to validate that I’m easy going and then acknowledge the times that I could have been viewed as difficult. Then, I reach out to a trusted friend that can either validate the claim that I’m difficult or reinforce that I’m perfectly within my grounds to say NO. After the internal validation AND external validation, I am then informed to either maintain my boundary or surrender to the abuser. This cycle used to take 3 weeks because the people I turned to sometimes would not understand domestic violence. They didn’t understand family abuse. I didn’t know what questions to ask because I didn’t have a label for it other than this doesn’t feel right. I didn’t even know that it was emotional abuse. OR that it was mental abuse. I didn’t understand the terms ‘gaslighting’ ‘conditioning’ or ‘projection’ or fully understand the mantra ‘not my monkey, not my circus’. My ignorance sometimes led me to seek external validation from flying monkeys (people used to reinforce abuse and distort reality). My trauma bond to my abuser led me to seek external validation to people similar to my abuser rather than loving/kind people that had my best interest in mind. I took responsibility for everything, not just my response but I took responsibility for the abuse. I thought they were right and I was crazy. I mean, why would anyone cause harm or go to such great lengths as a way to control another human being? I was trying to apply logic to an abusive situation. This cycle took me 3 weeks to process and accept. This was my life for 13 years. (Again, I should probably do the inner child work but I’m not ready to explore if my abuse started before then. So for discussion and healing purposes, I’m being kind with only acknowledging 13 years of being subject to this dysfunctional behaviour).
Fast forward. I decided it was time to acknowledge, process, and heal from abuse. I had reached a point where I realised I was dating the same type of guy and it’s a direct result of my abuse. I couldn’t ignore it any longer. It was time to address my demons head-on. Accept what happened. Learn about it. Understand it. Then heal. This blog is my healing journey. I feel very grateful because this blog actually saved me. It gave me space to understand various dynamics of abuse. It made me feel connected and my readers have helped point me in the right direction for additional support (THANK YOU READERS). It’s a peaceful and respectful place filled with love and understanding. Yes, lots of pain but it’s easier to heal in a bubble of love than in a bubble of pain. So my blog has been a saving grace for me to understand various layers of myself. It took me about a year to build a solid network of well-wishers and supporters that understand abuse and the perimeters of gross dysfunction. The only way I was able to connect with these people is by sharing my story. The good. The bad. The ugly. Other people are responsible for abusing me but I’m responsible for healing. That said, I share another example and my recovery cycle.
Current Example: A previous abuser is coming out to play. They see that I’m healing and want to disrupt my progress. They know that direct communication (them to me) is being redirected to sources out of their control so they try to control me via 3rd party. My blog post about being raped is absurdly interpreted as me advertising my sexual conquests. Abuse to the 3rd party is intended to isolate me and cause disharmony between me and the 3rd party. This specific emotionally abusive attack lasted for approximately 3 days.
Current Recovery Cycle (18 hours): As part of the healing process, I knew this would happen so I planned for the worst and hoped for the best. I acknowledge that I’m progressing. The simple fact that the abuser has not tried to contact me directly means that I successfully implemented a boundary. They know that crossing my boundary results in consequences – emails from this person to me have been redirected to another source to see the abuse first hand. I am no longer willing to suffer in silence. A small victory. After a moment of gratitude, I reach out to one of my support groups (narcissist abuse, domestic violence, or addiction). I give a heads up on my situation and ask for help. I acknowledge that I have a choice to allow this to make me bitter or better. I want to side with bitter and reach out to my support group for help. They validate my feeling and then help me see various perspectives so I can be informed before making a final decision of bitter or better. Then I acknowledge another truth. The abuser is intending to cause disharmony between me and the 3rd party. I accept this is a possibility. I rationalise that the abuser is trying to isolate me. I remind myself that the abuser does not care about my well being and it’s all a game. The abuser has identified my weak point and a part of my world where I am unable to reduce my exposure/risk. My only recourse is to wait and keep faith that love conquers all (and of course that the 3rd party views me as a human being rather than some powerhouse that is unaffected by abuse).
The worst nightmare for a narcissist is an informed empath. I’m so grateful that the support groups allow me to focus on how to respond. Rather than seek validation on the words being said. The focus was on understanding the desired result of the abuser. Once it’s accepted and I remember it’s all a game, it’s fairly easy to focus on forward movement. That simple shift has been HUGE with my recovery and healing journey. I was being tested and I passed… I no longer seek to validate if a claim is correct. Their opinion of me is none of my business. I focus on the desired outcome.
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