All day I’ve been going back and forth about if I would address this topic, but I feel a strong desire to do so. I think for the most part, we all can identify when someone is physically, verbally or even sexually abusive. But emotional abuse is not always easily recognizable. It is extremely important to know the signs of emotional abuse and I will speak on it from a dating perspective.
Have you heard any of the following terms; gaslighting, manipulation, love bombing, narcissist (narc) use, empath, or self gaslighting (just learned about this today) Well all of these words can be either a sign of abuse, the label of the abuser (narcissist) or the label of the victim (empath). These are just a few examples. If you are unaware of what the terms mean, I urge you to do your research. Please!
So the thing about emotional abuse or being in a relationship with a narc is they are extremely toxic and unhealthy. The relationships and the abuse you experience is part of a cycle, one that I have broken down into 3 phrases:
Phase 1- The Honeymoon.
Here the narc seems to be the most amazing, caring, supportive, attentive person you’ve ever met. They learn all about you, what you’re passionate about, your family dynamics, your dreams & goals, your wounds, flaws, what you’re vulnerable about etc. It will be disguised as attentive and you will be flattered that they listen so well and want to know so much about you. However, they are attaining all of this information so that they can get you to fall in love with them and most importantly TRUST them! It’s their opportunity to groom you and later trap you.
Phase 2- Idealizing or Falling in Love.
Here is something I need you to understand. While this whole time the victim is falling in love with the narc, the narc is absolutely incapable of falling in love at all. There is no falling in love to a narc, they are simply infatuated because you are the “new shiny toy” they’re playing with. This is why they are able to jump from relationship to relationship with no problem. They will tell you in the early stages of your dating how perfect and amazing you are. RED FLAG! Narcs feed into your wound (remember they found out whatever it is that you are lacking in phase 1 so now they will give you just that.) This is even worse for people who are codependent or have low self-esteem!! They are only looking for the narc use which is to get whatever it is they need/want from you. Once they got you hooked, they will be able to get whatever they want from you whenever they feel like it. But, once you catch on to their game plan and stop the “supply” they will discard you!
Phase 3- Devalue and Discard You.
Welp, the narc groomed you, you’ve fell in love and now here you are in this last and final stage of the toxic abusive cycle. They’ve hooked you in such a way that you are now totally dependent on them. If you are the type of person who is extremely loyal and don’t easily give up in relationships and the narc KNOWS this, they have you exactly where they want you because they know you aren’t gonna walk away no matter what they do. They see that you will deal with their abuse or manipulation and stay. Often people think that if they get upset or yell at the narc expressing their hurt on how they’ve been treated that the person will change but newsflash, you’ve cried wolf too may times so now they don’t care at all. The kind, empathetic, attentive person you “fell in love with” has taken off their mask and can now walk around confidently! THIS phase is where the abuse lives!! And not just emotional abuse; it can be any type. The narc will now shame you, manipulate you, make you feel bad for how you feel, get others to side with them and tell you about your “issues” and make you question everything about your self/feelings/experiences (gaslighting)! Not only that, but now the narc who was so understanding in phases 1 and 2 will have NO empathy or willingness to compromise. You will express how something is an issue for you and they will simply state directly or indirectly that it’s their way or the highway and will say things such as “You’re too sensitive or insecure.” They will continue to make you doubt who you are until you have no confidence left! The more they beat you down, the more you will stay. You’ll stay because you’ll start to wonder constantly about where is the person from phase 1. The person that was so amazing… you know they’re deep down in there somewhere so you take the bait and start to believe that you are the problem. You will start to believe you are too insecure, too sensitive, constantly doubt yourself, etc. (self-gas lighting). So now you attempt to work on yourself or fix yourself so that the narc will change back to the person they pretended to be in phase 1. Get this straight, they will NEVER change. As a matter of fact, at this point you will be discarded. Thrown away like trash. Why? Because you’re no longer the shiny new toy you used to be. You’re beaten down and they’ve sucked all of the life/ confidence out of you. But don’t get it twisted while they were using and abusing you in phase 3, they were already in phase 1 and 2 with SOMEONE ELSE. Remember it’s all about getting their “supply.” This is why it’s easy to discard you because the narc has their next victim(s) lined up.
Being discarded is the most painful thing ever. Especially, if you truly loved this person. It hurts to look back and realize that you were only in love with a fantasy because now you understand and realize that the narc is 100% incapable of truly loving anyone. Although being discarded is painful, I need you to understand that it has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU!
It is so important to give a relationship time, so that you can see who a person truly is. One thing is for sure, a person will reveal who they are in due time!! So wait on introducing them to your family, children and friends. Wait on sleeping with them (soul ties are real!) And whatever you do, wait on getting too emotionally involved. This is simply MY perspective on one topic. Please do not be paranoid when dating and think that if someone is attentive that means they will use it against you later. If you have been emotionally abused in any way then you understand that it is hard NOT to be paranoid, but you also know that everyone is not the same. I wanted to write this blog simply to bring awareness to the topic. Be blessed!