This abuse traumatizes people to the point that they have lost sight of themselves because every day is always about survival.
Being a victim of narcissistic abuse is a severely traumatic life experience that you are probably dealing with by yourself AND possibly not even realizing that YOU are being abused. If the perpetrator is a person you loved, admired, or looked up to as a role model, or a wife, husband, parent, guardian, friend, relative, etc., you don’t understand the reality because most of the time you cared/loved this person, trusted them and wanted to believe in them – and you have gone many extra miles for them. If your professional life is entangled with a Narcissistic boss, getting out of the abusive relationship may be extremely challenging, especially when this is your livelihood, or your bread and butter.
Normal in my relationship was basically achieving ONE SINGLE DAY without some sort of incident where I was blamed, shamed or punished AND RAGED at for something or other – and usually something delusional or unreal. “Normal” simply meant that my Narcissist was still there, and we achieved a complete day without an incident. What was so hidden behind all of this was the reality of just what was there with me – a lying, betraying, perverted, manipulative, cheating, delusional, disordered, vile, and VOLATILE human being that got off on hurting and punishing me. An argument (out of nowhere) would always end up as 3 days of silence and punishment – and the opportunity for this Narcissist to constantly cheat with anything/everything that said yes. This sounds very crazy, but it is the real truth but unfortunately the truth isn’t apparent when we need it to be because they are PRO’s at this game of emotional manipulation. Add to this that we tend to view the world in a NORMAL or reality-based manner, and within that thought process I NEVER thought another adult was capable of doing the things this person did to me and my family. It is like the iceberg theory – what you see above the water is MINOR compared to what is beneath the water!
It may seem frightening and insurmountable after the time you have invested, and you may be tempted to put up with more abuse, as an attempt to defuse the situation and save what mattered so much to you in any of the relationships you were entangled in with these cruel monsters. BUT there is no such thing as anything near a normal or real relationship with a narcissist, and you can only learn this the hard and painful way. There is no healthy give-and-take relationship with a narcissist, only a manipulative, crippling, subjugating, demanding, exploitative, and insensitive type of taking what the Narcissist wants to fulfil their needs only. People are only objects that a Narcissist uses.
It is especially difficult to accept this when your interactions with them are at the personal, professional, familial or intimate level. But think of about this – how much of yourself, your work, your aspirations, do you have to sacrifice in order to save your life and your psyche from the destructive assaults from your narcissistic abuser? Stop believing in them and take your power back!
Greg – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist.