One very common tactic of narcissistic abusers, parents in particular it seems, is called grooming.
Grooming is a two fold process….
Narcissists work very hard to groom their victims. In other words, they convince the victim that he or she is to blame for all of the problems in the relationship. If the victim would just do *fill in the blank* then the narcissistic abuser wouldn’t do whatever it is that upsets the victim. So many of us have heard such ridiculous statements from our abusers as, “You made me hit you!” or, “If you wouldn’t have done what you did, I wouldn’t have had to do what I did.” On my seventeenth birthday, my mother destroyed the gifts my now ex husband gave me. She blamed me for making her do it because, according to her, I was “acting snotty.” The fact is, I knew she hated him & would be angry he gave me gifts. I didn’t want to take those gifts home, but I had no other choice. I was quiet when I got in her car after school that day, because I was blindly terrified of my mother’s rage. In her mind, my fear was “acting snotty” & an excuse to do what she did.
Grooming victims also means that the victim will feel guilt & even shame for making the relationship with the narcissist so incredibly unhealthy. They will do their best to fix this relationship & please the narcissist. Grooming makes victims very easy to manipulate & abuse. After all, if someone truly believes that they are the problem, they will do whatever they can to make the relationship better. They also will listen to whoever has convinced them that they are the problem, because obviously, in their mind anyway, this person knows better than they do how to fix things.
Narcissists also do their best to groom other people. This means that they convince other people that the victim is the real problem in the relationship. This works well for narcissists, because so long as other people believe this lie, they will never believe that the victim is anything but a problem. The victim is the reason the narcissist acts the way she does. The victim provokes the narcissist, or lies about the narcissist, or at least that is what is told to other people. This insures that the victim is not believed when he or she decides to speak up about the narcissist. These people always believe the victim to be nothing but trouble, so they won’t believe anything this person has to say about the narcissist. The narcissistic abuser can do whatever they want & no one will believe the victim about how awful this person is.
In either case, the victim is not believed, so the abuser can continue their reign of terror without fear of anyone believing that she is the evil monster that she is.
Unfortunately, no victim of narcissistic abuse can avoid grooming or convince others that the narcissist is lying about the situation. The only ways that I have learned to deal with this awful behavior are as follows..
Ignore those who believe the narcissist over you. Yes, it hurts. Yes, you’re going to lose people you thought were on your side. However, one good thing is that you will learn who truly loves you.
Anyone who does not blindly believe what the narcissist in your life says about you is on your side. Normal people question things, & do not blindly believe anything, in particular stories told of people they are close to.
Anyone who gets angry upon hearing the lies the narcissist says about you is also on your side. Loving people are protective of those they care about, & also have no patience for people lying about them.
If someone is willing to share anything you say with the narcissist or tell you why what you feel is completely wrong, these are also red flags. These red flags are signs of a flying monkey, someone who cares only about the narcissist, & nothing about you.
And, never forget to stand strong in the truth. You know what has happened. You also know what the narcissist in your life has said happened. Stick to the truth, what really happened. Remember narcissists lie a LOT, & do not believe the lies!