Some don’t know that emotional abuse is as damaging as physical abuse. It is an unseen assault on one’s soul. One can experience emotional abuse in a family with a parent, in the workplace with an associate, or in a relationship. Narcissistic abuse is becoming more prevalent in our society, or at least we’re hearing more about it. The disordered individuals who are causing the pain by their unconsciousness are identified as psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists. Their pathology, or unconsciousness, runs on a spectrum. So, each individual who experiences emotional abuse is dealing with a unique pathology, with his or her own unhealed wounds and history. Waking up to what you are up against is enlightening, to say the least.
The hallmark limitation that a narcissist has is a deficit in relating to you. They don’t hear you when you share your needs or feelings because it is perceived as criticism. They have no ability to empathize. This is devastating if you think you are connected or invested in this person. The ugly truth is, you are really only connected to them if you are meeting their needs and making them feel good about themselves. Toxic people need control, power, attention, and admiration. You were targeted as someone who could serve these needs. In a relationship, the narcissist uses tactics like love bombing, intensity, and seduction to hook you – probably at a time when you were vulnerable and trusting. After his mask starts to drop and you question him, then the very hurtful, sometimes subtle, and baffling tactics of gaslighting, blaming, shaming, and the silent treatment begin.
You can become extremely lonely, feel insignificant and doubt yourself and your reality when this continual stress occurring over and over wears you down. The instability that creates cognitive dissonance and the trauma bond is the most difficult to recover from. It is devastating to wake up to the fact that the person you loved that seemed full of love, light, and promises is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The damage affects the “victim” to her core in body, mind, and spirit and deeply in her heart and soul. It is not unusual for the emotionally abused empathic victim to become physically ill due to the stress and can develop C (complex)-PTSD. A relationship like this sucks the energy from you and leaves you feeling a little crazy.
You are not crazy. You are a loving empathic and caring person that was used, abused, and taken advantage of. The journey out of this is rich and grief-filled. Rich in lessons learned, rich in healing your wounds and moving forward with deeper faith, self-love, and dignity.
Thank you, Donna, for sharing your article!
Donna’s calling is to help spiritual women understand if they are involved in the confusion and trauma of a toxic emotionally abusive relationship and to guide them to heal transform and transcend the pain into a meaningful new beginning. She has been a clinical therapist for over 20 years and is a certified holistic wellness coach who specializes in grief and loss, trauma (Brainspotting certified), and emotional narcissistic abuse recovery.