Oh, the joys of abuse by someone who exhibits Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is such a delight.
I remember years ago trying to communicate to people what it was like and I always desperately failed to describe it. They flat out don’t get it. They really don’t know how deep or how insanely insidious it really is. It was hard to communicate it, especially when I could hardly really pinpoint it myself. Abuse of this kind leaves the victim utterly confused by the love-hate messages. Your desire to please and love this person into loving you becomes exasperating – but you keep trying. But nothing, and I mean nothing works. Nothing.
I can’t tell you how many times in public she could appear to love me. But then in private, the hate was so apparent in not only the things she’d say, but it was also in her body language. When we were alone, she would ignore. She wouldn’t make eye contact, but would give a cold shoulder. She’d say nasty things that struck me at the core – it was like having bites taken out of your heart bit by bit. Mothers are supposed to love and protect. NPD mothers do not do that – they feed on your misfortune and take delight in your heartbreak. I’d also recall all the times I’d go to hug her and her body would stiffen and her back would arch back as if I had bad breath. She never reciprocated those hugs unless we were in a very public setting because then she had to keep up the facade.
I knew that every time I was around her, there would be a slam, a slur, a smear; a humiliation, degradation, or be shamed. And without a word of a lie, every time – e v e r y t i m e – I was around her, it happened. Every time. And every time, I would drive home crying the whole way home. It was awful.
To others she’d appear loving to me when in reality she was stabbing me in the back every chance she got. It’s like she always had to take me down a couple pegs. Her betrayals were couched in loving concern – it was the only way she could out my secret or confidence while appearing concerned about me. If I did something that threatened her being outed, on came the silent treatment which was unbearable. It forced you to cower to make things right – but things were never right. She never accepted responsibility for her actions. There were never any authentic apologies where she owned her actions. She made me feel that I was incredibly flawed – that everything wrong in our relationship was solely my fault – and I believed her … until I had children of my own. That’s when I became painfully aware that maybe her abuse wasn’t all my fault after all.
People would tell me to ‘just get over it’ or ask me, ‘Why can’t you just let it go?’ When someone would say that, I knew they flat out didn’t get it. Would you tell someone whose been sexually or physically abused to ‘just get over it’?? This kind of abuse by someone exhibiting Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is emotional and psychological abuse – its the same kind of abuse that even the sexually and physically abused get – it is a form of brainwashing. All abuse starts with being emotional and psychological. Some say its even worse because there are no physical evidence of abuse – its hard to prove and hard to believe. This kind of abuse utterly shreds souls and tears hearts … the scars don’t show on the outside – the scars are on our hearts, our souls, and it is so hard to overcome. We get told lies, we are manipulated with lies and false guilt. In more simple terms – its all a mind-screw. They make you, the abused, feel like you’re the crazy one, that its all in your head. Striving to heal from this kind of abuse requires tearing down the lies. Lies have to be recognized and torn down and discarded and replaced with what is truth in order to overcome … and that doesn’t happen over night.
When I’d hear, ‘Just get over it,’ I knew that person missed it – that, or they think I’m the one with the problem. They don’t get it. They probably never will. It’s why I felt so alone in my pain and mental suffering for a whole decade before I shook the sand off my sandals (Matthew 10:14) But once I did this, I finally came across this term, ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder.’ This abuse is real. It is damaging. It gets passed down through the generations seemingly unnoticed until someone says, “Enough!” I was that person who said, “It stops with me.” God was the Light the expelled the darkness when He revealed to me the truth of NPD. It’s literally as though a light was turned on.
Going ‘no contact’ was the only option after I tried everything else I could think of. It wasn’t easy. It was excruciatingly painful – but so necessary. And then, I was surprised with the amazing peace in my soul and a heavy burden lifted, and that was such a blessing. Chains were broken … I was a slave made free.
~ Saoirse Quill