You wonder if you’ve been abused emotionally. You wonder if the person who just dumped you is actually a narcissist, psychopath, or a sociopath. All you know is that you feel as if your whole life has just come unraveled. You feel empty, hurt, enraged, you can’t believe how you were just treated. And yet, you wonder if it really was your fault!
Breaking up is hard no matter what, but finding the strength to leave an emotional abuser is doubly hard. It takes all your will power to not call or text, to not stalk his/her facebook, to not drive by their workplace, home, or even, new lover’s house. It is so compelling to want to find out, to want to know the truth, to want to tell your side of the story.
How do you heal from this type of relationship abuse? It is very important to have support during this time. This is the time of finding your truth, of realizing it is not your fault, and building your boundaries back up. In this relationship, you have been conditioned to think everything is your fault, yet, deep inside you know the truth that you didn’t do anything wrong.
How do you find support? Here are three suggestions:
- Online support / books
- Helpful and patient friends
- Knowledgeable Therapist
1) APsychopathFree.com is an excellent forum for discussing, venting, finding others who have experienced an emotionally abusive relationship and support to make it through your process. Being able to talk with others who have also experienced emotional abuse is amazingly freeing.
The moderator of this forum, Peace aka Jackson MacKenzie, has written a book: “Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships with Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People”. In the book, the he lists 30 red flags of an emotional abuser, the tactics of and emotional abuser, and outlines the stages of grief a victim of emotional abuse will go through and explains why it is harder to go through this type of loss than it is with a “normal” breakup. In this book there is a resource list for forums, books, websites, and more that support healing from emotional abuse.
As Peace explains, “Relationships with psychopaths take an unusually long time to recover from. Survivors often find themselves frustrated because they haven’t healed as fast as they’d like.”
Other online resources/books:
www.lovefraud.com – blog
Dangerous Liaisons: How to Recognize and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction – this book is on my wishlist on Amazon! Below is the video trailer for this book. Here is the book description:
What do Scott Peterson, Neil Entwistle and timeless literary seducers epitomized by Don Juan and Casanova have in common? They are charismatic, glib and seductive men who also embody the most dangerous human qualities: a breathtaking callousness, shallowness of emotion and the incapacity to love. In other words, these men are psychopaths. Unfortunately, most psychopaths don’t advertise themselves as heartless social predators. They come across as charming, intelligent, romantic and kind. Through their believable mask of sanity, they lure many of us into their dangerous nets. Dangerous Liaisons explains clearly what psychopaths are, why they act the way they do, how they attract us and whom they tend to target. Above all, this book helps victims find the strength to end their toxic relationships with psychopaths and move on, stronger and wiser, with the rest of their lives.
2) Next, it is important to find friends who are willing to listen to your story, over and over if necessary, without judgement. Often times, due to the emotional blackmailing in this type of relationship, friends might find it hard to believe that emotional abuse really happened. Your relationship seemed so good from the outside, the abuser seems so caring, they may wonder why you are so emotionally distraught.
Emotional abusers are masters at schmoozing everyone and through their tactics, imply that you are the crazy one. You are not the crazy one! Find friends who can support your healing.
3) It is important to find a therapist who understands the dynamics of emotional and physical abuse. Many therapists, just like your friends, have never experienced emotional abuse and do not truly understand the dynamics of power and control that happens in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Understanding and believing the client is the first step in a therapeutic relationship. Allowing the client to take as long as is necessary for healing is paramount as is providing a safe space that is confidential and private.
Watch this video for important information about emotional abuse: