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Narcissists are by nature - emotional manipulators - to get what THEY WANT and have “their way” the holly f*cking gospel. Manipulator's are selfish and controlling, at the root of which is their own damaged self esteem and self corrupted life/psychological outlook, including – a cornucopia of fallacies masked as St Mary’s values. Manipulators and energy leeches can be extremely paranoid and self-righteous. Beware!
Never go into combatative mode with a manipulator, knowing what they are should be enough, and you can once again concentrate on you and your own goals. By doing so, you show more strength than a manipulator ever can, and at the end of the day the only person a true manipulator will be left with is themselves and their agenda's.
Borderline Personality Disorder isn’t as mainstream in public awareness as other psychiatric diagnoses, but it’s a very real problem that affects many individuals and the people who are in ongoing relationships with them or trying to end relationships with them. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a kissing cousin of BPD. There is usually some overlap between the two. Most people think being a narcissist means that you’re conceited or vain–there’s a lot more to it.
Being emotionally abused by the person you love, who supposedly loves you, is experienced as betrayal and a fundamental violation of trust. ‘Betrayal trauma’ is caused by emotionally abusive behaviors like gaslighting, mood swings, verbal attacks, rages, alienating you, your family, or anyone who gets in the way or is a perceived threat to their distorted mental outlook and emotional insecurities... being nice to you only to lure you in closer for another emotional sucker punch and/or physical abuse.
You may seek to protect yourself, by blocking out and forgetting the abuses (a form of psychogenic amnesia) in order to maintain the relationship. It’s a sort of “functional forgetting” or selective memory to protect you from the cognitive dissonance of being with this person. However, there are psychological and physical consequences to ignoring the painfully obvious. So, DONT! NOT EVER!
To begin, here is a three step (critical) study to aid clarity and lend valuable insight.
I. Smoke and Mirrors
The Invalidating - Gaslighting Abuser
Here is a definition of gaslighting from the Urban Dictionary:
"A form of intimidation or psychological abuse, sometimes called Ambient Abuse where false information is presented to the victim, making them doubt their own memory, perception and quite often, their sanity. The classic example of gaslighting is to switch something around on someone that you know they're sure to notice, but then deny knowing anything about it, and to explain that they "must be imagining things" when they challenge these changes."
If someone you know is rewriting history, telling you what you always think, pretending not to understand what you are saying, and the more you try to clarify things, the crazier you feel, you are most likely being gaslighted. Pay close attention to everything they say, and if necessary start writing it down, so you do not doubt your own veracity. If your thoughts and feelings are constantly being questioned or ignored, take time for yourself to meditate and be clear about them. Make sure you validate yourself and do not give anyone the power to tell you what you think.
II. Cry Me a River
Throw Me a Pity Party - The Poor Me Emotional Abuser
These people know how to manipulate your good intentions. Poor man, the reason why he is verbally abusive, is because his father was emotionally distant as a child. Poor girl she has "daddy issues", and that is the reason she is unstable. They can't control their tempers because they were abused as children, be faithful because dad ran out on mom, or can't raise their kids because they were abandoned and have no parenting skills. They are never responsible for themselves and have you excusing them for everything, while trying to get them therapy and loaning them a hundred bucks. They feel they have to drunk dial you at three in the morning, because their boyfriend number twenty dumped them, and bewail why they always pick losers. There are people with issues that need support, but these professional misery artists never show any signs of trying to gain personal accountability. In general they drain you emotionally and take all your time. You may need to change your phone number.
III. Wolves in Sheeps Clothing
The Passive Aggressive Abuser
This person smiles when they are furious. You did something to offend them a hundred years ago and they bide their time to get you back with the tenacity of the undead. A fan of the Machiavellian proverb, "revenge is a dish best eaten cold", they are perfectly charming while taking note of everything you love, so they can destroy it, or what you want so you don't get it. They have a talent for secret seething, while having the acting skills of Lawrence Oliver. Watch out for syrupy voices and one liners that betray an ice cold hatred. They like to insult you without you knowing it. Know them by their smirks, especially when they think nobody is looking. Often their resentment is based on a twisted delusion, so reasoning with them is not productive. They will hate you for questioning their cherished beliefs of being wronged. Run downwind so they can't track you.
Warning: Being involved with an abusive Borderline Parasite or Narcissist May Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health
Here are some common side effects of being in an abusive relationship, whether the abusive individual has a classified personality disorder or not:
*note – valid/appropriate to both sexes!!
1) Censoring your thoughts and feelings. You edit it yourself because you’re afraid of her reactions. Swallowing the lump in your throat and your hurt and anger is easier than dealing with another fight or hurt feelings. In fact, you may have stuffed your own emotions for so long that you no longer know what you think or feel.
2) Everything is your fault. You’re blamed for everything that goes wrong in the relationship and in general, even if it has no basis in reality. You're subjected to random childish tantrums.
3) Constant criticism. She criticizes nearly everything you do and nothing is ever good enough. No matter how hard you try, there’s no pleasing her or, if you do, it’s few and far between.
4) Control freak. She engages in manipulative behaviors, gross exaggerations, even lying, in an effort to control you, and/or subjugate your own perspectives to fit her distortions and agendas.
5) Dr Jekyll and Ms Hyde. One moment she’s kind and loving; the next she’s flipping out on you. She becomes so vicious, you wonder if she’s the same person. The first time it happens, you write it off. Now, it’s a regular pattern of behavior that induces feelings of depression, anxiety, helplessness and/or despair within you.
6) Your feelings don’t count. Your needs and feelings, if you’re brave enough to express them, are ignored, ridiculed, minimized and/or dismissed. You’re told that you’re too demanding, that there’s something wrong with you and that you need to be in therapy. You’re denied the right to your feelings.
7) Questioning your own sanity. You’ve begun to wonder if you’re crazy because she puts down your point of view and/or denies things she says or does. If you actually confide these things to a friend or family member, they don’t believe you because she usually behaves herself around other people.
8) Say what? “But I didn’t say that. I didn’t do that.” Sure you did. Well, you did in her highly distorted version of reality. Her accusations run the gamut from infidelity to cruelty to being un-supportive (even when you’re the one paying all the bills) to repressing her and holding her back. It’s usually baseless, which leaves you feeling defensive and misunderstood.
9) Isolating yourself from friends and family. You distance yourself from your loved ones and colleagues because of her erratic behavior, moodiness and instability. You make excuses for her inexcusable behaviors to others in an effort to convince yourself that it’s normal. Do not attempt to sell yourself out.. stay true to you... Remember - you deserve better!
10) Walking on landmines. One misstep and you could set her off. Some people refer to this as “walking on eggshells,” but eggs emit only a dull crunch when you step on them. Setting off a landmine is a far more descriptive simile.
11) What goes up, must come down. She places you on a pedestal only to knock it out from under your feet. You’re the greatest thing since sliced bread one minute and the next minute, you’re the devil incarnate.
12) Un-level playing field. Borderlines and Narcissists make the rules; they break the rules and they change the rules at will. Just when you think you’ve figured out how to give her what she wants, she changes her expectations and demands without warning. This sets you up for failure in no-win situations, leaving you feeling helpless and trapped.
13) You’re a loser, but don’t leave me. “You’re a jerk. You’re a creep. You’re a bastard. I love you. Don’t leave me.” When you finally reach the point where you just can’t take it anymore, the tears, bargaining and threats begin. She insists she really does love you. She can’t live without you. She promises to change. She promises it will get better, but things never change and they never get better.
>When that doesn’t work, she blames you and anything and anyone else she can think of, never once taking responsibility for her own behaviors. They are incapable of showing compassion, remorse or guilt. She may even resort to threats. Threatens to bad mouth you to your friends and family.
Does she blatantly blame you for her bad behavior.. LOL without even feigning an empty apology? There’s no gray area here. She’s an abusive personality and you should probably walk away and not look back.
Taking responsibility for her choices and holding herself accountable is a good indication that you’re probably dealing with a grown-up. If that’s the case, you can surmise there will be a facility of sensible reasoning which can be tooled for good benefit and resolution. Anything less, and you might as well subtract yourself from the trash heap and stay energetically and spiritually clean.
Remember, the dark side of human emotional architecture, applies to both men and women. Mind-fucking emotional terrorism does not discriminate. In the worst case scenario, people with these types of mental disorders are called clinical psychopaths. They are untreatable and will never respond to therapy (or even seek it in the first place). The clinical psychopath is the most dangerous of all. I’ll go into that another time.
Dealing with emotional vampires and manipulators is very treacherous... They famously offer a relationship a house with no foundation and will suck you into a cataclysm of toxic filth and mental torture... And they will do anything to keep themselves propped up in their own delusions of grandeur and you invalidated if you become entangled with one.... Look for the warning signs, because they are UNLIKELY TO CHANGE. Ego maniacs only get worse!
Some would say it is possible with time, a great deal of honesty and communication to work through emotional manipulation. Personally I think life is short and precious - the only worthwhile thing to do when confronted with an emotional vampire is to BROOM THEIR ASS TO THE CURB! A Relationship with emotionally manipulative person is similar to re-exposing yourself over and over and over to a highly toxic and potentially fatal virus. Each brush with it reduces your immunity and weakens your defenses. It can take more time for someone that has been in an emotionally manipulative relationship to recover than it does for someone that leaves a physically abusive one. At least you can name that punch that hit you. Emotional abuse is subtle. It is insidious. It is dangerous. If you are in it - walk away and never look back. Make it a rule!
There’s only two proven ways to deal with such emotional pestilence:
I advise most strongly that number two is the best option!
1. If you absolutely must say anything at all in response or defense > Only by repeating yourself over and over eg: “that statement is not correct” keep saying it like a parrot until they are forced to acknowledge it - engage civilized dialogue - and can’t swindle you with another hook of baloney. Keep it simple, give them nothing more.
2. Ultimately! and most critically - be non-participant to their horseshit, do that and they have no compass, no mechanism or standing upon which to react or assault. They are frozen dead in their tracks.
by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD