Emotional abuse causes us deep wounds, but will these wounds ever heal?
These wounds will most definitely leave us with scars, and they can either make us stronger or leave us broken.
But is it fair to say that it’s our choice?
Well, It depends if we want to live our whole lives as victims or as survivors.
It’s never simple dealing with emotional abuse at any point of your life.
You go through phases while being abused and even more phases while trying to heal.
The psychology of narcissistic abusers
There are several types of emotional abuse and they all depend on the abuser’s psychological state.
Of course the emotional abuser’s behavioral patterns are individual but narcissists share many traits in common.
Narcissistic abuser traits
The symptoms severity of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) vary, but in general they share these symptoms in common:
Narcissists have a grandiose sense of self-importance besides being preoccupied with fantasies of success, brilliance, power, ideal love and beauty, and having an excessive need for admiration.
Narcissist also believe that they are special, superior to others, and that’s why they have unreasonable expectations for special treatment.
Narcissists are very manipulative and tend to use others for their own benefit, they also lack empathy and are unable to recognize the needs and emotions of others.
They believe they are envied by those around them and have a sense of arrogance that can be seen through their behavior and attitudes, they are also very sensitive towards any type of criticism.
But don’t get fooled narcissistic People secretly feel insecure and have a week sense of self, and they tend to hide it through these behavioral patterns that we mentioned.
Who is your emotional abuser?
Your abuser could be anyone in your close circle, and the closer they are the more devastating the outcome will be.
The Narcissistic parent
Victims of narcissistic parents are the most affected by emotional abuse, as they have to deal with it from a very young age and throughout the most important developmental phases in their lives which are responsible for building a stable and strong sense of self, and differentiating what’s right from wrong.
The narcissistic partner
It doesn’t have to be physical to be considered abuse.
It takes time for the victim to realize that they’re being abused by their partners due to their abuser’s manipulative behaviors, which causes the victim even more harm mentally.
The narcissistic friend
The narcissistic friend can cause as much harm depending on how close you are to them, that’s why you have to be careful if they show any of the previous symptoms that are mentioned above.
Mental health & emotional abuse
Having to deal with narcissistic abusers can have serious outcomes depending on the context of your relationship with them.
Dealing with Narcissists on a daily bases or them occupying a great part of your life can cause mental illness and even personality disorders (most likely narcissistic parents).
Having any of the symptoms mentioned below determine the serious outcomes of toxic narcissistic relationships and the extent of harm that can take place.
Signs of Narcissistic emotional abuse
In order for the narcissistic abuser to be satisfied, they tend to bring others down, nothing you do seems to be enough.
They will never be satisfied no matter what you do or how hard you try and with time you will feel like you are a failure and that you’re not good enough, because neither you nor what you offer is ever enough.
Narcissists see you as a property of their own, they can’t identify your needs and wants therefore, they don’t treat you as a separate person.
You have to do it their way because its how it’s done, and you become another version of them because they believe that they are the best.
That’s why getting exposed to this type of emotional abuse at an early age causes the victims to have a weak sense of self and are unable to have a separate identity.
Extreme need for approval
Narcissists love to be in control, that’s why they take charge of everything and they have a say in whatever you do.
They have to approve of your actions, behavior and even who you are, or you will never be accepted and you’ll never be deserving of love.
With time, the victim tries to meet the expectations of others in order to be loved.
One of the common traits of a narcissist is splitting, they have black and white thinking.
Meaning when you do something they like they will give you the attention that you need but when you do something that they don’t approve of, they will perceive you as undeserving of love.
That causes the victim to have a shifting self image, with time you won’t be able to have a stable self image.
Depression is common in victims of emotional abuse, with the constant fights to be accepted, loved, cared for, and the emotional roller coster your on, you will eventually break down and feel emotionally drained at one point.
There are many types of self destructive behavior and they are all caused by the lack of self love, and the subconscious repetition of the abusive patterns you are used to.
You can reach a point in life where self destruction can become your comfort zone as it’s all you’ve ever known.
Feeling of emptiness
If you have a chronic feeling of emptiness and you feel like you have no purpose in life accompanied by numbness, this is another warning sign that you are on the verge of breaking down.
It’s a common defense mechanism when you are no longer able to endure emotional pain and you are stripped of your rights to have a separate identity of your own.
Fear of abandonment
Due to the emotional roller coaster caused by your abuser and always feeling threatened of being left behind if you don’t meet your abuser’s expectations, being abandoned will become a constant fear.
You will do anything in your power to make everyone stay even if they are toxic, you will give up on everything and even those parts of you that are so important to feel loved and not feel lonely.
You’re being abused for so long, how can you not be angry about it?
That’s your subconscious reaction expressed through anger due to constant emotional abuse.
At one point you won’t be able to control your anger and you might even get unreasonably angry as a reaction to abuse.
This anger might be projected towards anyone and even people that might not deserve it.
Suspicion and paranoia
Being manipulated by a loved one will make you question the intentions of everyone around you, even if it’s unreasonable, and you don’t have any evidence suggesting that these people have bad intensions.
Healing from emotional abuse
Accept that your abuser won’t change
Don’t try to change a narcissist because they won’t.
Narcissism is a serious personality disorder that can only be treated if the patient seeks professional help and it’s not your role to change anyone.
Trying to change your abuser will only cause more harm and will result win more conflict.
Separate yourself from your abuser
If your abuser is your partner you have to know how to end the relationship with minimal damages.
But if your abuser is a family member then you have to learn to keep your distance from them as much as possible and avoid arguments.
Either ways you have to be smart about it, you are the only person that can help you in this situation, you know how your abuser might hurt you if they get triggered and that’s why you have to make a smart plan.
Focus on yourself not your abuser
There’s no use in always trying to solve the problem by focusing on your abuser, instead you should focus on yourself and knowing what you want, need and what you actually deserve.
You can start by separating your identity from your abuser, forget about the rules set by your abuser and the expectations you have to meet.
And always remember that you are a person with rights, you deserve to live a healthy life and make your own choices and decisions.
Take your time to heal
Take your time to find your peace and forget about all the anger and hate.
It’s really important to improve your understanding of yourself as it’s a crucial step in your journey to self love and self acceptance.
Build a life of your own
You can and you should start building your own life away from your abuser, try to think of your present so you can build a better future for yourself.
Start a new life where you can be yourself and not be ashamed of it, do what you love the way that you want without anyone controlling you.
Have your freedom back!
For some abuse survivors it can be so hard dealing with the aftermath of an abusive relationship or upbringing on their own.
As emotional abuse can cause serious mental health issues, you can seek help from a professional.
Psychotherapy can help emotional abuse survivors a lot in the healing process, you will find a safe environment where you can get all the help that you need.
It’s a long journey to healing and recovery but always remember that it’s never too late.