Tag Archives: secret

When The Narcissist Learns You’re Telling Others About The Abuse

When you first start to open up about the abusive behavior the narcissist in your life has inflicted on you, it can be very hard.  You were told to keep everything a secret.  My mother used to tell me, “Don’t air our dirty laundry!” as a way to keep me quiet.  It didn’t work though.  At that time I was only 17, living through sheer hell due to her abuse & didn’t know what to do.  I told others in the hopes of finding someone who could give me advice on how to cope or make my mother treat me better.  Obviously that didn’t work.  I did learn about what happens when a victim starts to open up about narcissistic abuse though.

When you begin to divulge what the narcissist has done to you, the narcissist will be horrified.  After all, you’re not supposed to tell anyone anything!  The abuse is supposed to remain a secret between the two of you, no one else.  Naturally, the narcissist is going to be angry with you, because that is what they think.  They don’t think about the fact that you are a human being with feelings & needs & even the right to discuss your own life with whoever you wish.

The narcissist also is going to be very angry at you for making him or her look bad when you talk about the abuse.  Narcissists clearly don’t think like normal people, so they won’t consider their actions are what make them look bad.  Instead, they’ll lump all the blame on you for making them look bad.

Narcissists feel betrayed when victims tell others about their abhorrent behavior.  They all seem to think victims will tolerate their abuse indefinitely, never protesting it, & are shocked & horrified when that isn’t the case.  This so called betrayal can trigger their rage.

It also can trigger a myriad of unhealthy coping skills.  One of which is reinventing the past.  Many narcissists convince themselves that they are awesome people, & never would abuse anyone.  After my mother’s death, I learned she knew what I write about in spite of my efforts to prevent that from happening.  I also learned she must have convinced herself that I was lying & she didn’t do anything I said she did.

When the narcissist becomes enraged & acts in this way, it can be scary.  Some scream.  Some harass or stalk.  All engage in a smear campaign & are often successful at turning those you love against you or at least damaging some of your relationships.  This is a terribly painful place to be, I know.  It may even make you think you’re wrong for opening up.  Life seemed easier when no one knew what the narcissist did to you.  I can tell you something though.. although it may seem easier, it isn’t.

In some ways, not discussing the abuse is easier because the narcissist is appeased.  When they’re appeased, they aren’t ruining your relationships or at least your reputation.  No one is telling you what a terrible person you are.  But, you are unhappy.  You’re trying to do everything perfectly so as not to upset the narcissist, which means you’re under intense stress & utterly miserable.  Everyone is happy except you, & the people who are happy clearly have no concern for your mental health.

Tell your story.  John 8:32 says the truth will set you free.  Let it!  The more you discuss the abuse, the more you’ll heal.  If the narcissist doesn’t approve, that isn’t your problem.  Besides, think about this: if what he or she did was truly ok, if it was all your fault & their abusive actions were totally justified, why are they so determined to keep it a secret?

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Why Victims Should Tell Their Stories

Before I write one word on this topic, let me just say that I don’t believe every single person who has experienced abuse must write books or a blog about their experiences.  It’s a very good thing to do of course, but it also isn’t every person’s calling in life.  If you’re reading this & immediately felt badly because you have yet to write publicly about your experiences, then please stop.  You have no reason to feel badly!  That may not be what God has planned for you, & there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

That being said….

I firmly believe that everyone who has suffered narcissistic abuse needs to be open about their experiences.  No victim has a reason to feel shame for being abused, so why hide it?  Why pretend it didn’t happen?  Instead, be open about your story.  The Bible says in  Proverbs 31:8-9:

“Speak up for the people who have no voice,
for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speak out for justice!
Stand up for the poor and destitute!”  (MSG)

By being open about your story, you can help other people!  Sharing your story in any capacity can let people know that they aren’t alone.  There are so many victims who don’t understand their pain & your story can help them.  There also are those who don’t know anything but abuse, & when they hear your similar story to theirs, their eyes open.  Suddenly they see how wrong the things that were done to them were.  Your story can give them the courage to walk away.

If you speak openly & without shame about your awful experiences, you can do more good than you realize.  You can help people in so many ways by doing nothing more than talking.

And, if you think this is only about other people, you’re wrong.  By being willing to discuss your own experiences, you can help yourself as well.

Do you know anything about the legends of vampires?  I read quite a bit about them when I was a kid.  I learned that vampires were very powerful, supernaturally powerful in fact, unless they were exposed to the sunlight.  The sun would utterly destroy  these impossibly strong, immortal beings by turning them into dust.  That same principle applies to issues stemming from abuse.  So long as they remain in the dark, in other words, they aren’t discussed, are ignored or hidden, they have a great deal of power.  They control your life.  Once you discuss them however, they lose that power like a vampire in the sunlight.  Discussing your issues helps to release you from their hold over you somehow.  It’s incredibly healing to be open about abusive experiences.

In my younger days, even though I knew something was very wrong, I still didn’t want to discuss the abusive situations I experienced.  I felt like if I did so, I was betraying my abusive parents & ex husband.  It seemed wrong to do anything other than hide what they did to me.  Not that they told me I shouldn’t tell anyone what they were doing, but it was as if it was some unwritten rule that I shouldn’t tell anyone what they did.  Many victims of abuse feel much the same as I did, that they shouldn’t “tattle” on their abuser.

I want to tell you today that this thinking is wrong.  This is your story too, not only that of the abuser!  You have every right to share as much or as little as you want to.  Abusers aren’t the only ones who can talk about whatever they want!  You have that right as well!

I do want you to know that if you opt to discuss your experiences freely either verbally or in writing, you need to be aware of the laws against libel & slander in your state.  While you are free to discuss your situation, you also need to use wisdom when it comes to protecting yourself in any capacity from your abuser.  Even with these limitations in place, you can say an awful lot, & help many people!  I wish you the best in doing so!  xoxo

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Are You Being Abused?

John 3:20-21  “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (NKJV)
The question in the title of this article may sound like it should have an obvious answer, but it doesn’t.  Sometimes, people don’t realize they are being abused, especially if they aren’t being physically abused.  As I’ve mentioned before, covert narcissists in particular are extremely good at hiding their actions from everyone, even sometimes their victims who think this “good person” couldn’t possibly be abusive.
One of the best ways to tell if you are being abused by someone is how do they act in public verses in private.  Abusive people behave entirely differently in public verses private settings.  Granted, most people act a bit different in public & private, but it’s not a huge difference.  With abusers, the differences are night & day.
In my late teen years, I saw this especially clearly with my mother.  I remember one day in particular, she had been screaming at me for whatever awful thing she thought I did that day.  She finally stopped, & a few minutes later, the phone rang.  I answered.  It was her friend, the former principal of my elementary school.  She told me how lucky I was to have such a good, loving mother, & how I needed to stop misbehaving so much.  I really didn’t feel lucky at all!  But, a few minutes later when I handed my mother the phone, all evidence of the screaming maniac was completely gone.  She was friendly & chatted with this person as if nothing had happened just a few minutes before.
My ex husband was the same way.  Everyone, even his parents, thought he was a great guy who loved me deeply.  In private, however, he was incredibly critical & cruel.
With both of them, I knew if I said anything to anyone about what was done behind closed doors, I would’ve had to pay dearly.  It’s taken me many years to feel free enough to write about the things I have experienced at the hands of narcissists in my life because of how deeply in me they ingrained this sick need to hide their cruelty.
Normal people don’t behave this way!  Normal, safe people don’t feel the need to hide things or behave very differently in public & private.  They aren’t concerned about most things they do being known by other people.  They aren’t doing bad things, so why would they feel they have something to hide?
Also, if someone is hiding their actions, then this is a sign that they know these things are wrong.  I know, many people say they think abusers, mainly narcissists, must not know what they’re doing is wrong.  They were raised by abusive parents- abuse is all they know.  But, think about this: if they truly didn’t know these things were wrong, why would they work so hard to keep them hidden?  Wouldn’t they abuse you no matter who is around instead of only when you’re alone?

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism