Are you being abused? You may not know how to tell, but even worse, you may be thinking that you are the crazy one.
Abusers work hard to distort our reality to make their reality feel safer.
So what is abuse? Is it someone who hits you emotionally or mentally hurts you to get what they want? Sometimes, mostly not! Ask yourself this: does your partner hurt you repeatedly in any of those ways? Does he or she do it to satisfy their own emotional needs, or because they’re out of control?
Does she or he use the situation to lock you in so you have to tolerate it, or make a huge sacrifice to get away? If you see this dynamic in your relationship, you are being abused. The hurt of abuse can come in many ways, including physical attacks, mental attacks, verbal attacks, sexual attacks, or contact with friends and family.
You’re not Crazy
For many of us, struggling to live with this kind of abusive partner, the first handhold we need to grasp is that we are not crazy. Abusive behaviour isn’t normal. It is caused by an underlying disorder.
Most often, the disorders are borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, or sociopath – technically called antisocial personality disorder. People who suffer from these disorders have extreme emotions, which lead them to actions that can range from puzzling to brutal. Living with them is painful and confusing.
Personality disorders are aptly named, because the minds of people who suffer from these disorders work differently than healthy people.
They Spin our Reality
Disordered people can’t deal with the reality of their behaviours. On some level they realise how hurtful they are, yet accepting this major flaw in themselves is just too painful. So disordered abusers spin our reality to make theirs less painful. One of the most common defence mechanism they use is projection.
In projection, a characteristic of themselves that they find just too painful to accept is projected onto us. And the most frequently projected characteristic is mental illness. “I’m not a narcissist. You’re the crazy one.” Another common and difficult defence mechanism is blame shifting. It’s your fault this happened because blah, blah blah blah…
After a while it becomes hard to distinguish what is real from what is being projected and what is being distorted. We begin to doubt our reality and question whether we’re the crazy ones, or whether our disordered SO’s (significant others) are really right about what they say.
The truth is, THEY’RE NOT RIGHT. But they feel better when they can get us to carry the burden of their illness and their behaviour.
What’s more, disordered people hide their problems very effectively. People with all of these personality disorders – narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder – have serious maladjustments in coping with life. Thus, they live in emotional turmoil.
They seek to present a very together appearance, hiding their disease from most people. It is only when we get into a close and private relationship with someone else these personality disorders that the abusive behaviour comes out. And because their lives are wracked with emotional turmoil, there is a lot of pent-up emotion that can be focused on us. Yet those around us don’t see it, causing us further confusion and pain.
Dealing with this situation is complex, and people need some idea of how bad it could get ” For most people, there are important obligations that have to be carefully thought about to move away. Because abuse is so damaging significant decisions have to be faced to be resolved in an even manner.
Because abusive partners constantly work to distort our perception of what is happening and what is right and wrong, until we doubt our own judgement so much we can’t make decisions the process of detaching to find safe space and to regain a sense of right and wrong, and searching to understand what we, as people, need in our lives can become very difficult.
Those who need it the most – the traumatized victims – are locked out by the jargon and the lack of practical advice. Recently, survivors and victims have taken matters into their own hands and have published their own books, replete with first hand experiences and tips.
It has to be known that Healing is not easy and will take time No matter the outcome. if getting professional help is Not a financial option, there are many web sites that can assist with self-help. local libraries Have books that can also assist on the journey to healing.