Tag Archives: isolate
Narcissists love keeping victims to themselves, & will go to any means necessary to accomplish it. Isolating a victim gives an abuser plenty of advantages…
The victim with no support system without caring friends & family, which often makes a victim easier to control. Supportive friends & family give a person strength & help to raise their self-esteem, which are two qualities no abuser wants in a victim.
If a victim doesn’t even realize the situation he or she is in is abusive, caring people in his or her life will recognize it. They will call the victim’s attention to it & convince the victim that he or she deserves better. They also will do their level best to help the victim to escape. Certainly no narcissist wants this scenario!
Lacking that support system also can lead to depression. Depressed people are much easier to control than happy people. They simply don’t care as much about anything, including themselves, so they may go along with all kinds of things. They also won’t talk back or question an abuser like a healthy person would. They don’t think they deserve any better, so they are easy to manipulate which works out very well for abusers.
Also with isolation, this severely limits the information available to a victim. This means a victim is less likely to realize how wrong the abuse is & more likely to tolerate the abuse without question. Isolation also means an abuser can control what information the victim is privy to, which is extremely advantageous to abusers.
Isolation can be accomplished by several different means, & abusers will use any or all of these tactics to get their way.
If a victim already has friends &/or relatives they are close to when the abusive relationship begins, most abusers will sow seeds of doubt in their victims’ minds about those relationships. My ex husband did this. We met just before I turned 17, & even then, he was starting to work on isolating me. It got worse after we were married, though. He began telling me that my best friend wasn’t really a good friend. At the time, her now ex husband was doing the same thing regarding me. As a result, our friendship ended. (Thankfully we got back in touch after our divorces & are now inseparable.) My ex also told me that my grandparents, who I adored, hated me & didn’t believe me that my mother was abusive, so I shouldn’t talk to them anymore. He did it enough that I did sever ties with them for years.
If an abuser isn’t successful at making a victim doubt a person, they have other ways to destroy the relationship. If their victim is with someone, they can call constantly, interrupting that time together & generally being highly annoying. Before getting together with someone, the abuser can create some crisis, forcing the victim to cancel their plans. Bonus for them is if they can make the victim not tell the person they had plans with, to just stand them up, because certainly that person will be angry. Abusers also may keep victims so busy, they simply have no time to spend with anyone but the abuser.
Another way to isolate victims is for an abuser to show their disgust with the victim’s friends or family. Constantly talking about how bad the people the victim cares about are can erode the love the victim feels for them. The victim may begin to see these people as the narcissist does, & the victim ends those relationships voluntarily.
If the victim grows up with an abusive parent, that abuser has a big advantage that a romantic partner lacks. The abusive parent can control the child from birth, & refuse to allow that child to befriend anyone of whom the parent doesn’t approve. The parent can keep the child so close that the child has no opportunity to make friends. A parent can even home school the child or refuse to allow the child to spend time with extended family, & the child must do as he or she is told.
If you’re involved with someone, anyone, who undermines your relationships or tries to separate you from others, it’s a HUGE red flag! If at all possible, don’t let this person isolate you! Maintain your healthy relationships! They are truly invaluable!
One thing I have learned about adult children of narcissistic parents is the majority of us are introverts. Introverts keep to themselves, like quiet activities, are focused & intelligent, prefer deep to superficial relationships & conversation, often have only a few interests but explore those interests deeply, & gain energy from alone time rather than from other people.
Extroverts are the exact opposite, & much more common. As a result, the life of an introvert can come with challenges. Some people think there is something very wrong with introverts, & will try to change them. They may believe the introvert is depressed, & constantly say things like, “Cheer up!” or “You’ll feel better if you come to the party with me.” Society in general seems to push people to be extroverts- you are told you must go to Christmas parties, have a big Thanksgiving dinner or have the whole family come by for your birthday.
These things can make us introverts feel uncomfortable, even flawed, & wondering what is wrong with us. The truth is that there is NOTHING wrong with us! Being an introvert isn’t a disease, some terrible character flaw or a mental disorder. Introversion is simply a personality trait. You would have just as good of luck “curing” yourself of introversion as you would changing your eye color. You were born with your specific eye color just like you were born being an introvert.
I also can’t help but to think that being raised by a narcissistic parent may contribute to introversion. The fact is narcissistic parents are very mentally & emotionally draining. After growing up with that, it seems natural to me to seek out quiet & peace, especially if you naturally are introverted & long for that anyway.
If you’re an introvert, then please don’t think there is something flawed or wrong with you for being this way. You’re in great company. Besides, being an introvert, you’re in great company. Some known introverts are Abraham Lincoln, Elenor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Ghandi, Laura Bush, Rosa Parks & Warren Buffet.
Also, there are many positive traits that introverts often have over extroverts. Introverts are often very good listeners, they often maintain long lasting friendships, they are responsible, analytical, intelligent & creative.
There is one down side to being an introvert that I have found. Naturally, as a die-hard introvert myself, I prefer alone time. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it can be a problem when it comes to hard times. Most people, I think, tend to isolate themselves to a degree when going through a really tough time, but introverts do it on a grander scale. And, if like me you’re an introvert with C-PTSD, it can be really bad. One of the traits of C-PTSD is wanting to isolate. Throw in the introvert trait & when I’m going through a hard time, it’s a miracle if anyone other than hubby & the furkids see me or talk to me for weeks. While isolation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it needs to be balanced. God made people to need Him as well as other people. I have learned with myself when I isolate myself for too long, it contributes to the depression that accompanies C-PTSD. I just want to encourage you to have balance. Isolate yourself when you need to, but if it goes on too long, realize you need to spend time with people you love & who love you. Go & do something fun! It really can make you feel better.
Good afternoon, Dear Readers! I hope this post finds you well.
I am making progress on my new book about narcissistic mothers. As of today, it’s at 38,500 words (needs to be 40-60,000). Gettin’ there! And thank God for that, because this is one very hard book to write! I’m very surprised at just how challenging it is. After writing my autobiography, “Emerging From The Chrysalis,” I was sure everything else I’d ever write would be a walk in the park. Seeing the traumatic events of my life written out in black & white was very hard for me, yet validating at the same time. This book is not the same..not even close!
Devoting an entire book to the topic of maternal narcissism has been a daunting task. I know a lot on the topic, but I was unsure if I had enough to fill up a whole book. I have asked God to help me out- make sure I leave nothing out of this book, & please teach me what I didn’t know that He wanted to be included. He has answered those prayers. I have been learning a lot! Things to include about the book as well as things in my personal life that I never thought of as abusive before.
For example, today I was writing about isolation being the favorite tool of all abusers, why they do it, & how engulfing narcissitic mothers (like mine) excel at isolating their children from others. After writing some on the topic, I decided to research it online, to see if there was anything I forgot. What I read slapped me in the face. Hard. Here is a portion of it:
“The abuser may “assign” the victim numerous domestic duties designed to keep her at home. “
(see the full article here: http://www.abigails.org/Saul&David/control%20&%20isolation.htm)
Wow. I never thought of this as abusive behavior! My ex-husband’s mother used to do this to me during the brief time we lived with his parents. I never understood why I had to work so much for her. I was responsible for all housework, balancing her checkbook, & maintaining paperwork & records for my ex’s father’s trucking business. Other miscellaneous tasks were assigned to me as well. There were three other adults in the house- why was so much on me? I now wonder if was because my ex was very much into isolating me, & if she was “helping” him by keeping me so busy. They were a very dysfunctional family, so that is a distinct possibility. Also the only answer I can come up with at the moment.
Thinking back, she also didn’t like me spending time with friends or having them over to our house. Another isolating behavior.
Whatever the reasoning behind this behavior, this new realization hurts. I loved his mother a great deal- she & I were good friends, & often had a lot of fun together, in spite of the frequent problems in our relationship during the time of living together.
Something else to process. Yay for me.. not.
Sometimes it seems like healing is the most frustrating, never-ending thing in the world, & sometimes I get so tired of new revelations that show me just how abused I have been in my life. Honestly, it gets depressing! I don’t like feeling sorry for myself, but it is hard to avoid 100% of the time. I know it can be healthy to indulge in a bit of self-pity sometimes, but even so, it doesn’t feel nice. Learning these things also makes me wonder what is it about me that makes people think it’s ok to abuse me?! Do I behave in a certain way that says “Go ahead- hurt me. Treat me like dirt. It’s fine!” UGH!
In spite of my lousy mood, though, I’m still glad that God is helping me to heal, learn & grow. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it can be frustrating. However, it also is helping me understand behaviors & people a lot better. It’s answering some questions, like why do I get angry or hurt when people behave a certain way. Like with my ex- mother in-law. Her list of “duties” for me to do every day used to really make me angry at the unfairness of the amount of duties I had to contend with compared to everyone else in the house. But, I never knew why until today. Now, I understand, & feel validated. Angry, but validated, & at least the anger won’t last long- I am usually pretty quick to forgive.
This really lousy mood is telling me that it’s time to relax. Maybe stop working on the book for a little while, too. Relax, turn on some good music or watch a good movie or tv show, do some nurturing behavior that makes me feel good like crafting or snuggling the furkids. & no cooking- hubby is either taking me out tonight or we will have something delivered.