A Feminist Dream
A Journey of Overcoming Abuse
This week I would like to reach out to the women who feel misunderstood in their lives, after having suffered in a mentally abusive relationship. As one of these women, I have felt that I was judged by other women, who from their own experience did not understand what mental abuse is. To cite one example – the understanding of how abuse can make you do things that you would not normally do, in order to protect yourself. Even now, I am judged for why I choose to live alone in isolation, in order to guard myself from the outside world.
When you have been involved with a narcissistic personality with psychopathic tendencies, your life is no longer yours. People do not always have the capacity to understand or empathize with your pain, especially if they have never experienced this type of pain in their lives. There is a dismissive attitude in our society, one that supports abusive behavior by ignoring it. Psychological and emotional abuse is damaging to the spirit. In my case, abuse has created a wall, with the effect of not being able to trust others, and to disbelieve that love is possible. Most people in my life have rejected any notion of mental abuse, because they do not see the real me. They only see the professional, and then declare that I am just another relationship statistic that “did not work out.”
The difficulty with the violent end of a narcissistic relationship is that it lacks closure for the victim. This type of relationship is completely different from the norm, because the abuse is covert and underhanded. The narcissist is all about making the victim feel wildly crazy, and rejected because of their own faults. In a regular relationship, there is discussion of mutual self-reflection, and a natural level of understanding when a break-up occurs.
Narcissistic relationships involve one person who comes into the joining for the purpose of exploiting the other person, by force and mental cruelty. The relationship begins with an initial phase of idealized love. For me, that period of time lasted only two months. The next stage, when the abuse is first evident, is devaluation of the victim by systematic attempts to destroy the victim’s sense of self. In my case, there was a rash of incidents that were, in hindsight, gaslighting and projecting that my perception of reality was wrong. Many of these instances occurred when valuable items went missing in my home. I was then blamed for the disappearance of things that had been in the same location for years. All of this left me incredibly confused. As a good person with a big heart, I failed to understand how someone else could NOT have the traits of compassion and empathy. I could not for the life of me understand what I had done that was so wrong, for this person to be so cruel, hateful, and rejecting of any of my needs or emotions. How do you cope with tactics used by a narcissist, when the results are painful, disorienting, and brainwashing in their nature? The answer is: you do not deal with this abuse….you leave.
The victim in these relationships is left rejected, on every level of existence. The deceit and lies perpetrated by the narcissist create confusion, with very little outside support available to the victim, due to societal attitudes and the nature of the deception. The women who are mentally abused need compassion and understanding. I currently suffer from post traumatic stress. Recovery is a process, a journey to renewed self-discovery. Luckily, I have found compassion through dedicated friends who have touched my heart, and walked with me every step until I could stand alone. I am still struggling with dysregulated emotions, feelings of sadness, and pain.
My quest, through expressing my story in these words, is to explore the dynamics of mental abuse in order to promote understanding for each other, particularly when you see a person in need. Understanding transforms people, from fear to love. We can do this for each other. Each of us needs to be able to reach out – when people need to know that humanity has not left the planet – especially in abusive situations and the aftermath of healing. We also can teach our sons and daughters that mental abuse is not always obvious, but it is real and never acceptable. The beauty within our souls helps us to overcome the humiliations, and the hurts in life. I believe in the cracks of the spirit that give us room, to receive love and move forward in time and space.
Thank you for the opportunity to allow me to share a small part of my own healing. I share this painful chapter of my life to help other women know they are not alone and that we are here to support each other. My hope, in generations to come, is that women will never teach their daughters to shrink themselves around a man. A woman is never too successful, or limited by what society believes is the proper role for her. Women are socially, politically, and economically equal. This is my hope for our future and #WomenRising one in which patriarchal control will not be necessary, in a peaceful world that I optimistically anticipate for future generations.
Written by @ZenZen2121