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Support for those in emotionally abusive relationships 3

(1002 Posts)
ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 09:09:08

New thread - will copy our library of links in the following posts

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 09:14:46

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a diagnosable condition on the continuum of Personality Disorders. Few Narcissists are diagnosed, however: a person must either present themselves for treatment or be sectioned to ensure diagnosis. Narcissists are very clever, they generally avoid compulsory referral. Narcissists believe They Are Right & Everybody Else Is Wrong; they will never seek treatment as they find themselves perfectly fine!

Common misconceptions:

[1] You can't call someone NPD if they haven't a diagnosis. Diagnosis is unlikely for the reasons above. Even Narcissists agree it's reasonable to determine a personality type as NPD (see links in first post). If you are in a relationship with a Narc, you don't need to be a clinician to know.

[2] He's got Aspergers or BPD, or is just a bit shit at dealing with people. Really? The obvious question is: why would you want to devote your life to someone like this? On a more technical note: emerging evidence, via biopsychology, suggests that Asperger and NPD brains exhibit similar differences from the average brain. And BPD is the baseline for all other Personality Disorders.

[3] S/He isn't "bad", they're just very hurt. Yes, they are very hurt. The more insight you gain into this spectrum, the more pain you feel for the sufferer. If you have a Narc parent, it's almost a given that you've gained tremendous insight - it was a necessity for your survival. The important thing is, YOU are not the same or you wouldn't be reading this. And understanding does NOT mean you can fix it.

[4] S/He just needs loving care. Yes, they do. They need it like a junkie needs heroin. You can keep on giving, they'll keep on taking and it will never be enough to satisfy them. Never. They'll suck you dry (emotional 'vampire') and then they'll rip you to shreds, just because you 'ran dry'.

[5] I get that s/he's abusive, but why say they've got a Personality Disorder? There's a spectrum of disorders: some are more 'needy'; some more 'domineering'; some are just fucking strange. At bottom, they're no more or less than deviations from the average. Nobody would choose a disordered realtionship unless they suffer from a need to be their partner's therapist. If this is you, try reading some of the links below.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 09:18:12

Am I being abused?:

Verbal Abuse A wonderfully non-hysterical summary. If you're unsure, read the whole page and see if you're on it.
Emotional abuse from the same site as above
Emotional abuse a more heartfelt description
Types of Abuse & Control Simplistic, but could be just what you need!
Wikipedia on Domestic Violence/Abuse Long, but informative.
Women's Aid: "What is Domestic Violence?" This is also, broadly, the Police definition.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 09:22:16


"Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft - The eye-opener.
"The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans
"The Verbally Abusive Man, Can He Change?" by Patricia Evans - Answer: Perhaps - ONLY IF he recognises HIS issues, and if you can be arsed to work through it. She gives explicit guidelines.
"Men who hate women and the women who love them" by Susan Forward. The author is a psychotherapist who realised her own marriage was abusive, so she's invested in helping you understand yourself just as much as helping you understand your abusive partner.
"The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing" by Beverley Engels - The principle is sound, if your partner isn't basically an arse, or disordered.
"Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie
"How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself" - If you a rescuer, you're a co-dependent. It's a form of addiction! This book will help you.

jklikesrowing Sun 24-Jul-11 09:24:44

morning all xx

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 09:30:22

Websites that can help you understand your situation and be the first step in your recovery:

So, you're in love with a narcissist - Snarky, witty, angry, but also highly intelligent: very good for catharsis
Dr Irene's verbal abuse site - motherly advice to readers' write-ins from a caring psychotherapist; can be a pain to navigate
You are not crazy - one woman's experience. She actually has recordings of her and her abusive partner, so you can hear what verbal abuse sounds like. A pain to navigate, but well worth it.
Baggage reclaim - Part advice column, part blog on the many forms of shitty relationships. A UK site, but sounds very American.
Love fraud - another site by one woman burned by an abusive marriage
Out of the fog - and now for the science bit! Clinical, dispassionate, and very informative website on the various forms of personality disorders and how they impact on family and intimate relationships.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 09:32:14

OK, that's all the links I can think of for now. Feel free to add your own!

Morning jk! Hope you're feeling good about your righteous confrontation with dickish neighbour.

notsorted Sun 24-Jul-11 09:37:30

Puppy thanks so much for doing that.
I think I began posting somewhere back on message 200 of the second thread. Still feel like a newbie, but you've been so helpful and it's been weirdly good knowing that there are others out there going through the same crap from partners or exes they had every rightful expectation of sharing a supportive, nurturing, respectful and loving relationship with.

HappyDoll Sun 24-Jul-11 09:47:38

Morning. I've just read the 1st link on verbal abuse and it includes everything I ranted to my mum about yesterday. H has got up this morning pretending everything is fine and the problem is all in my head despite not telking to me for the whole day yesterday except to tell me that my parents couldn't come and stay over (in HIS house) because he thinks we are ganging up on him. I want to leave, but I know he will be awful to DCs if I do. Shit. This has just dawned on me. sad

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 10:00:55


I'm so sorry. Do you want to tell us more?

HappyDoll Sun 24-Jul-11 10:26:25

I don't know what to add really. His drinking was getting out of control (again) a few weeks back and he ended up smashing up my new kitchen. I can't even remember why.
He refused to talk the next day. I asked him to stay with his mum or sister for a few days (my siblings live abroad and my parents are 100 miles away - mum has MS) as I have nowhere I can go and crash. I wanted some space to breathe. He refused - apparently he has advice from his previous relationship that if he leaves me and the DCs it will be classed as abandonement. I've told him that is utter rubbish and he would only be abandoning us if he left us financially unable to live.
He refused to go, so I took the kids on a 'camping holiday'. Basically, we had to live in a tent just to be out of the pressure cooker.
While I was away he was getting furious with me because my phone was off - I had no way of charging. I spoke to him daily though, and on th e3rd day he told me that his mum had been diagnosed with breast cancer and he needed me. We rushed home.
When we got home, he was at his mums with his sisters, drunk. We weren't invited.
Over the last few weeks I have been trying to support her as best I can, I am the one up to date with the chemo dates and doing the research on the drugs, side effects, wig styling e.t.c. I'm just trying to do what I should. He has buried his head in the sand over it (at one point blaming the death of his father 9 years ago as reason why he can't deal with this). I have tried so hard to be reasonable but every day he comes home grumpy, he isn't talking to me, he shouts at me and the children over the tiniest thing and I keep telling myself it's because of his mum.
But it's not. He was like this before. I try and talk and address the problem, he simply says "there isn't one". It's so awful. He shouted at me over pyjama bottoms the other day, really went for me, screaming and swearing. I was trying to show him that his behaviour isn't ok after he said he is dealing with everything and he's fine - I want him to see he's not, so I brought up the pyjama incident and he claims it was a joke.
It is so ridiculous, it should be. But I cried for 4 hours that night.
I'm just so tired sad

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 10:34:49

Oh HappyDoll that is awful. Poor you.

There is so much advice I would like to give you now, but I don't want to rush you, since you say you've only just read one link on verbal abuse today.

So what I will say is: You are not alone. You have so, so many reasons to feel bad; please don't feel guilty about it. And things can get better. What you need first of all is more awareness of your situation, and understanding of what you want and what you deserve.

You do not need to be superwoman and take care of everyone and his mother (literally). You need to take care of yourself first before you can be of use to anyone else (think of the warning they give you in planes about putting on your own oxygen mask before you help someone else with theirs). So take time to breathe, to be good to yourself.

Please read more of the links I posted. Order some of the books I listed too, if you can. Take time to think and to feel all the feelings you have inside; listen to what your body is telling you.


ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 10:38:38

and keep posting here!

There will always be someone to listen, and we really do understand (firsthand) how real your pain and your struggle are.

Much love to you.

AnyFucker Sun 24-Jul-11 10:43:19

< pops into new thread to wish everyone strength, and luck, and lots and lots of understanding >

Happydoll, I am so sorry for your situation. Have you spoken to Women's Aid ?. Your situation includes both emotional and physical abuse. They will totally understand. Stay on this thread, these ladies will support you immensely.

< back to lurking >

MadameOvary Sun 24-Jul-11 10:50:50

Morning all,
Thanks for all your work Puppy
Welcome to the thread HappyDoll, I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. It is exhausting, trying to help someone who a) refuses to take responsibility for his own actions and b)attacks and blames you at the same time.
As Puppy says, we do understand what you are going through.

WhoDidIMarry Sun 24-Jul-11 10:53:37

Hi HappyDoll, so sorry you've found yourself in this situation - its devastating when the penny drops isn't it? I am about four weeks on from where you are now and I would echo what puppy says. Read up on the various links and get yourself a copy of Lundy Bancroft's "Why Does He Do That?". You need to take some time coming to terms with what you've discovered & what your new reality is. I did so much crying in the first few days as the enormity and severity of what had been going on dawned on me. Do you have anyone in RL that you can talk to for support? The girls here are absolutely fantastic and I know more of them will be along shortly, but its always good to have someone on the end of the phone too.

Keep posting. We will all be here to help you through this smile

Misspixietrix Sun 24-Jul-11 10:55:51

Sending a big hug to Happydoll, i'm in a similar situation to you at the moment i want to leave don't have the financial means too and he's refusing to after talking me round one morning, he promised he was going to change, be nicer, more respectful, etc.....think he lasted 24hrs! I've asked him to leave again this morning, to which i got i'm not leaving the dc's (<read i'm not leaving the cushy life i've got set up here). And that 'before he let's me take the kids from him we'll both be fishfood'........

Misspixietrix Sun 24-Jul-11 11:00:44

I get the silent treatment as well. Ordinarily that threat a few months ago would have panicked me but now i'm realising it's his drastic attrempts to re-gain control of me and the situation because he can see it slipping away. Take baby steps hun. Read the links and that at your own leisure and you'll soon start to find some strength to take steps to getting back to being you. I always compare his behaviour with if he wouldn't act to a friend like then it's not right for him to do so to me

HerHissyness Sun 24-Jul-11 11:03:25

Huge hugs to HappyDoll from me too. We'll get you through this. Keep posting, you are not alone.

MadameOvary Sun 24-Jul-11 11:05:47

An update:

X had DD for a few hours yesterday. Was the first time I'd seen him in a fortnight. He was hoping I'd go back on saying it was over, but I confirmed it. He wasn't happy and implied - in front of DD - that there was another [man]. So there followed a volley of texts where I asked him not to do that and he gave lots of twatty replies of the "I dont expect you to admit it" variety.

He then tried to say that I never gave him a chance to tell me about OW which was crap, obv, and then said "I was going to tell you"
"Sure you were" I said.

It was all pretty pointless engagement, as he still doesn't think he's done anything wrong (!) but if nothing else I reinforced that my mind was made up. I actually dont think anything happened between them, but his lying about her visit was just the final straw, after years of crappy abusive behaviour, telling me to shut up in front of DD, calling me an arse, etc.

When he dropped DD off I was sitting out front and so were my nice neighbours, so he couldn't say anything. He left immediately and obviously was not in a good way. Fortunately DD was almost immediately distracted by a crow and I kept her focussed till X had driven off.

Since then, not a peep. Silence is golden!

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 24-Jul-11 11:17:50

HappyDoll, you said:

I was trying to show him that his behaviour isn't ok after he said he is dealing with everything and he's fine - *I want him to see he's not*

If I can bring in my own experience, the most important turning point for me came when I finally accepted that I could not make my H see anything. He needed to be willing to do it himself. And he wasn't.

Abusive men aren't willing to take responsibility for their own actions. Abusive men aren't able to understand that you have feelings and that those feelings are being hurt (or they just don't care).

As a caring, empathic person, it must be very difficult for you to understand that someone else -- someone you love -- just isn't able or willing to hear you when you tell them they are hurting you. Instead they act like they've just been attacked, when all you're trying to do is get through to them. Because in their minds, they are being attacked: in their world, you are not allowed to think poorly of them, not allowed to tell them that they have done wrong.

You're hitting your head against a brick wall trying to get through to someone who has a fundamentally different view of human interactions than you do. You're doing it out of love, and caring, and loyalty, and out of the need all human beings have to love and be loved. But I'm really sorry to say that your love and caring and loyalty won't get you anywhere with an abuser.

You don't deserve this pain and emotional torture. You deserve to be loved and respected. You really do. And the good news is that you can respect yourself if no-one else will.

notsorted Sun 24-Jul-11 11:20:07

Dear Happy,

welcome to the post. I'm a relative newbie, but it's great being here. There are lots of strong women here. They are great and the odd thing too is that you can sometimes gain a lot of strength by giving advice too.
In this mess we can all give each other a hand and ask for a hand from others too.

HerHissyness Sun 24-Jul-11 11:36:35

Here is a post from EA support 2:

Barbie, you have asked him to read which book? is this Lundy? I hope to god it's not, asking an abusive male to read a book such as this is giving an arsonist a petrol pump and a box of matches.

I woke to a 'mis-sent text' this morning, "habibi, I just got back in, kiss" - OK so habibi can be used for a male, but kisses? the fucker.

I texted him 'Moving onto a new victim already?' Then You confused me with your ex -gf's birthday - again - and now this text sent clearly to a woman. Listen, what you are doing is now justifying my decision to end it, I tried for at least 3 years to ask you to stop being mean to me, and STILL I gave you more chances to become the person you pretended to be at the beginning, and to those you want to impress. If you are going to carry on trying to get at me for rejecting you, there will be consequences. I don't and never did deserve this dreadful treatment, so for the sake of what your son will think of you, pack this crappy revenge in now.

Barbie wrote:
Em Hissy, perhaps Habibi is a bloke - you never know. But that doesn't make any difference really does it. Your response would be the same, assertive and right down to the point with no messing about.

I like the "for the sake of what your son will think of you" bit. How can they think nobody else will know?

HerHissyness Sun 24-Jul-11 11:42:05

habibi means my darling/my dear. Habib is dear, adding i on the end means My. bussa is kiss.

It's used sometimes as mate between men, but bussa? kiss? NEVER. Not in macho misogynistic Homo-hating Egypt.

Oh he'll come up with some bollocks I'm sure, that is if I ever speak to him again.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 24-Jul-11 11:43:50

She's getting him to read the Beverley Engel, how to stop abusing. That's the one I bought kind of by mistake so I've read it. It's good for couples who have unhealthy ways of relating to each other, but doesn't help a great deal if one party is not at all interested in interacting more pleasantly. If a reader says to himself "I can see what I'm doing wrong there, and I can see where I might handle it better when she does that", it's very useful. But if he just looks at it as "I can see what ^she's doing wrong^", it becomes just another stick to beat her with. I think Barbie is wise to this though.

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