Tag Archives: violence

About Coercive Control

Narcissists clearly are experts in the area of controlling.  One lesser known tactic they use is called coercive control.  It is most commonly known to happen in romantic relationships, but it also can happen in parent/child relationships.

Coercive control doesn’t always involve physical violence, yet victims wonder if they don’t obey the narcissist, will it turn violent one day?  Fear is a great weapon, & those who use coercive control are well aware of that fact.  Often without so much as touching their victim, they instill a deep fear in them.

There are other signs of coercive control that people need to be aware of abusers using.

Intimidation is a big red flag.  Towards the end of my first marriage, my ex was trying to intimidate me by punching things other than me.  After, he would tell me how lucky I was he was hitting the walls instead of me.  Other forms of intimidation can include showing weapons, blocking you from leaving the room or standing over you in a way as to make themselves look much bigger than you.

“Minor” violent acts.  I hate to use the word minor with violent acts because it sounds like it’s trivializing violence.  That isn’t my intention.  What I mean is acts like pushing, holding you in place or even pinching hard.  These are so called minor violent acts.

Using threats to control.  Threatening to leave you, to commit suicide or hurt your child or pet in order to get what they want fall into the category of coercive control.

Micromanaging a victim.  When someone controls things like how you dress or how you wash the dishes, it makes you easy to control because in time, you feel as if you must ask your partner for permission to do everything.   Some parents continue treating their adult child as if they were young children in need of their guidance well into adulthood.  This is known as infantilization.

Financial abuse.  An abusive partner will keep their mate in the relationship by destroying their credit, spending all of their paychecks or refusing them all access to the couple’s finances.

Isolation is another form of coercive control.  It’s no secret that abusers isolate their victims.  Isolation makes victims easy to control by limiting the information & support they can receive from outside sources.  Abusers may claim their victims’ friends or family aren’t good for them as one way to isolate their victims.

Sex is a very commonly used method of coercive control.  Abusers may violently rape their victims of course, but that isn’t always the case.  Many use shame, saying things like, “Any other woman in the world would do this one little thing for me…” or, “If you loved me, you would do this for me.”  They also may be very good lovers at first to get you hooked on sex with them, then in time, they suddenly lose interest in having sex with you.  When you practically beg them is when they have power over you.  They use the opportunity to tell you what they want from you that will make them regain interest in sex.

When things like this happen, it’s not easy to identify these behaviors as abusive at first.  Abusers get worse gradually, to build a victim’s tolerance to abuse.  This is probably why so many victims stay… it happened so gradually, they didn’t even realize it was happening.  By the time they did, they felt unable to escape.

If this describes you or someone you know, please get out NOW!!!  These behaviors are all signs of a potentially violent person!  Protect yourself & stay safe!  xoxo

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

When Narcissistic Rage Turns Especially Vicious

As open as I try to be about my experience with narcissists, I have kept a few things private, partly due to the fact I haven’t felt the timing was right to discuss them.  One of those things I feel it’s time to discuss it in the hopes this story will help some of you.

 

Several years ago, I was pretty close with someone.  As time wore on, I began to see some signs that she was a narcissist.  I wasn’t sure how to deal with the situation.  We knew many of the same people, & every single one thought so well of her.  I knew it’d be miserable for me when I went no contact with her because of them telling me what a great person she is, etc.  I also knew her well enough to know if I went no contact, she would do her best to make my life miserable.

 

I began to pull away some, to help me think of how to handle things & to implement the Gray Rock method (basically, providing her no narcissistic supply so she got bored with me).  During this time, something happened that ended our friendship.

 

I did something she didn’t approve of & she felt I tried to make her look bad when that wasn’t the case.  She immediately unfriended me on Facebook, then tried to re-friend me.  We exchanged a couple of messages, then I refused her friend’s request & blocked her.  She tried contacting me via other means.  She emailed, texted & tried reaching me via all sorts of social media.  She left bad reviews for two of my books on amazon & on my website.  When I blocked her from accessing my website, she used another person’s computer to access it.  She copied an article I wrote on forgiveness & pasted it into an email she sent me.  It gave me the chills.. I felt she was saying not only that I needed to forgive her, but also that I couldn’t stop her from accessing me if she wanted to.  NOT normal behavior!

 

During the early stages of this, I only told my husband & one other person we both knew about the situation.  I was sure if I told others who told her what I said about her, she would get even angrier at me.  I could imagine her saying I was lying or trying to ruin her relationships or something like that.  I finally talked to the police, & unfortunately in my state, she didn’t technically break the law with her harassment.  That meant there was nothing I could do legally.

 

Meanwhile, I was afraid she’d show up at my home one day, even though she lived about three hours away.  She seemed clearly mentally unbalanced to me, judging by her behavior.  My husband said she wouldn’t go that far.  The mutual friend of ours said the same, & that she’s just hurt- she’ll get bored & leave me be soon.

 

This harassment went on constantly for well over a year, then died down gradually.  It’s been four years since it started.  Recently, this person did more things.

 

Unfortunately, this type of behavior is very common among narcissists.

 

When you decide to go no contact or have an argument with a narcissist, you too may be on the receiving end of a narcissistic rage.  If this happens, you need to be prepared for it.

 

Possibly the most common tool used by narcissists in a rage is flying monkeys.   (If you click on the link in the previous sentence, it’ll take you to a helpful post I wrote on the topic.)  Sometimes though, when the narcissist knows she’s wrong, she won’t use them, like in my situation.  There really wasn’t a way to spin the situation I was in around to where she looked like the victim, so people might not be on her side.  She had to handle the situation herself.  When this happens, it can be really bad, as you saw from my story.

 

If you’re in a situation similar to mine, you need to protect yourself.  Talk to your local police.  Stalking laws vary from place to place, & you need to find out if your narcissist has broken the law.

 

Document every single thing.  Save voicemail messages.  Take screenshots.  Save emails & texts, preferably by emailing them to yourself & save them on your ISP or cloud storage to protect yourself against computer or phone crashes.  Even if your narcissist hasn’t broken the law, she may at some point.  Then, you will have evidence of her bad behavior to show the police & that can help your case.  Personally I have TONS of evidence in case it’s ever needed.

 

Ignore, ignore, ignore!  I know this is hard.  I wanted to confront my narcissist & tell her to leave me alone countless times.  However, a narcissist will take confronting as proof that she is scaring or upsetting you- that will encourage her to do what she’s doing even more.  Never let her know if you feel afraid or upset.  Ignore her completely whenever possible.  If she knocks on your door, don’t answer even if she knows you’re home.  Post “no trespassing” signs on your land. Don’t take her calls or respond to emails or texts.

 

Think about the people you have in common.  If you’re not 1,000% sure they will be on your side & keep what you say to themselves, don’t tell them about her actions.  The last thing you need is someone telling the narcissist you’re talking about her.  That will be a narcissistic injury.  She’ll take it as you talking badly about her & for no reason.  That will add to her rage & make her behavior even worse.

 

Narcissists can be very dangerous people, so never, ever underestimate them.  They may present themselves as harmless, but they’re not.  I never expected the one in my story capable of harassing me for so long.  Look how wrong I was!

 

Most of all, pray.  As God for wisdom on how to handle this difficult situation.  Ask Him for strength & courage, as well as protection for you, your family, your home, your job.. anything & everything you can think of.  Trust in Him to keep you safe & help you to survive this situation.  He truly will!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism