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    • #144132

      I’ve come to conclude that my ex is an overt n********t but I don’t see it much on this website the overts are very blunt and do a lot of things in front of your face so they don’t hide it the cheating the calls the disrespect everything!
      This week I didn’t have my usual respite it really affected me I had feelings of hate anger and jealousy .to the point he was asking if I’m in love.I knew this is just part of the abuse he asked.
      I have even been confronting these n********t they don’t seem to care about confrontation they feed of it!
      But my mental health keeps spiralling I didn’t know I was in this relationship because I come to realise my parent was like this so I took it as normal the shouting and walking on egg shells I thought was normal it’s not

    • #144150

      Dr Ramani does some fantastic YouTube videos about narcissism. My normal was to always be in fear of my Dad, not physical abuse but fear of the verbal or emotional stuff. Always walking on eggshells and people pleasing, never being myself and always hoping he would love me for who I am. Big mistake. I actually wish I had never met or had anything to do with him, I regret that my Mother let him continue a relationship with him after she left him. But of course I understand why women do because they don’t want to stop the child from having a relationship just because they’ve left. The problem is it does more harm than good when it’s a toxic abuser you’re dealing with. Better off cutting all ties. I’ve suffered as a result and ended up walking into a relationship with a narc who shares lots of traits with my Dad. I didn’t ever see it coming. Years later I’m still stuck and struggling to see a way out because I’m so conditioned to feel responsible and guilty.
      What I’ve seemed to learn is confronting them doesn’t help anything. They refuse to listen and will simply twist and gaslight to turn it back onto you. I know sometimes you can just lose it and not care about confronting them though.
      I hope you manage to break free as well x

    • #144152

      Dear Mellow and getting tired, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve both been through such horrendous experiences. No one should have to live with the confusion, fear, obligation and guilt that abuse brings. Dr Ramani is really good – I think she explains things really clearly. I especially like the technique called grey rock which is basically where you don’t give them any emotion or reaction. It’s hard, you scream into your pillow or talk it over with someone, but don’t let them see you’re emotions if you can. That’s how they control us.

      Have you tried talking to people about it? Even just telling people I’ve been in an abusive relationship has been really helpful. And also sad to hear that about 50% of people I’ve told have known or known someone who has been in an abusive relationship. We’re not alone. You’re not alone.

      Wishing you love and kindness xx

      • #144176
        Twisted Sister

        HI…I was worried about what you said about practising stonewalling (grey rock) with an abuser, it can and has caused massive escalation of abuse. Each survivor has to play their own abuser for the best of their safety. Narcissism isn’t the same as domestic abuse. They are different.

        If you advised me to stonewall the abuser I would be putting myself at great danger! This is not a good tactic, its a highly risky strategy to operate with an abuser and being confrontational to an abuser is a very ill advised tactic because of heightened risks of harm to women and any children in the home.

        This is why it matters to not mix psychiatric diagnosis with domestic abuse, it can be dangerous.

      • #144271

        Yes I have to be careful doing this. Personally I try to grey rock where and when I can but sometimes things can escalate if I’m not giving him enough ‘supply’, shall we say. I have however, learnt to keep many of my thoughts and feelings to myself. Even if it’s meant I have to become a bit of an actress at times like pretending I’m not feeling so well or am very tired etc. However, although this can almost keep him happy sometimes, other times I may end up being accused of ‘always being tired’ or told I’m being boring or something. Or that I never want to do anything. So it just depends on the situation. This is why it feels like a full time job in itself having to deal with these men.
        I guess although there are many running themes, our situations are all different in different ways so we need to play accordingly. It’s certainly not easy.
        I understand what you’re saying TS and I’m trying to stick to just describing his personality as ‘narcisssistic’ rather than trying to diagnose NPD, although I do believe he would score enough points shall we say, to be diagnosed but that’s another story. Dr Ramani talks about this in one of her videos from what I remember, about whether it even matters if someone is given a label or a diagnosis. A lot of us do want this because we’re almost desperately seeking some sort of explanation. But the diagnosis or label doesn’t really change anything because they’ve still behaved that way (repeatedly), still abused, still berated or controlled us.
        I’m reading a book called ‘the Sociopath next door’ and one of the author’s rules of dealing with people in society is to practise the ‘Rule of Threes’; ‘One lie, one broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding instead. Two may involve a serious mistake. But three lies says you’re dealing with a liar, and deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behaviour. Cut your losses and get out as soon as you can. Leaving, though it may be hard, will be easier now than later, and less costly. Do not give your money, your work, your secrets or your affection to a three-timer. Your valuable gifts will be wasted’. This is the sort of stuff I wish I’d learnt about in school! X

    • #144160
      Twisted Sister

      HI Mellow

      There’s probably good reason you won’t see any kind of mental health condition being blamed for abuse on this site, because, as Lisa has said recently, mental conditions/disorders are a very different thing to abue.

      Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing trend of lay people deciding they know how to diagnose mental health disorders.

      However, on this forum we talk about abuse, and that whatever medical condition, be it mental or physical, or addiction, whether alcohol or drug, or whatever else abusers blame and excuse their abuse on, its not true.

      There is no excuse for abuse, and I think you may have been on the threat when Lisa previously has stated this.

      We all have narcissistic traits. Its part of human nature to centre ourselves in our world, which makes armchair diagnosis very dangerous and unfair on others who don’t have a diagnosis of NPD.

      There is no out, its abuse, and its based on power and control.

      So, no, noone can really answer that question can they, as we all live with a level of narcissism in ourselves and others.

      I hope this helps you to understand the nature of the abuse you suffer. It is complex. Also, I highly recommend the freedom programme, which does highlight the traits that you have described on here.

      Also the recommendation that keeps popping up here is misleading as it does focus on dealing with someone with a mental health condition, instead of abuse.

      There are online, and zoom, as well as in person sessions for the Freedom Programme, they will tell you all you need to know, and also, you will be in a group of women all suffering the same/similar, which can help enormously. Do learn all you can, it will help immensely with moving you on and understanding the true dynamic of the dominator in your home.

      warmest wishes


      • #144181

        Oh I see @twistedsister. You make a good point. I probably am confusing narcissism with abuse, or maybe I’m confusing taking back control with what Dr Ramani says about grey rock. I’m definitely not an expert and just trying to learn about how to get stronger after decades of abuse.


    • #144185

      I understand how it is tempting to try to diagnose the abusers. I did the same for a long time. I read every book I could find about personality disorders and loved highlighting all the parts that fit.

      BUT I soon learnt that it really doesn’t matter why they do what they do and focusing on them is just another way of handing over your power.

      I tried grey rock (it was safe for me) but all it did was depress me as it is so out of character….I am just not a grey rock kinda gal lol.

      I did the freedom programme though that @twistedsister has recommended to you. It was incredible as is the accompanying book. It really clarifies what is abuse. There were so many things that my husband did which I thought were normal until discussing it all during the programme. I had a better idea of what I was dealing with, how to set boundaries and how to trust my gut.

      I wish you luck. Look after yourself.

    • #144197

      Thanks the reason is I’ve looked it up a lot and no one on the forum seems to describe the same sort of behaviour and after research I’ve found it but as you said it’s abuse and not been medically diagnosed but I do think mine is a different kettle of fish because it’s like he has no empathy or understanding what I’m feeling it’s so difficult for me I don’t even know how to explain it and haven’t done for years constant has lighting aswell and feel like I’m dating a toddler

      • #144199

        Haha I have many times said mine is like an extremely large toddler. The kids refer to him as a man child because of his tantrums and how ridiculously unreasonable he is.

        I used to excuse his lack of empathy by saying I thought he was autistic. My son nearly drowned once afterwards my husband just stood and stared stonefaced at me while I fell apart…sobbing shaking barely able to stand. A random man ended up walking round my husband and pulled me into a massive hug until I calmed down. It was at that point that I realised this wasn’t normal.

        If I try to discuss my work or anything that doesn’t include him he literally walks out of the room and shuts the door in my face.

        You are not alone. I promise you x

      • #144202
        Twisted Sister

        The thing is about being in this power dynamic, its all about him, not you. You will never be able to successfully diagnose him, so it will be a lot easier on you to spot the abusive tactics, and yes, they are exactly like having a massive tantrumming toddler in the house, only toddlers are excused their trantrums as they are learning to grow up!

        You can spend years trying to diagnose as a means to deny what he’s doing to you. At the end of the day, he’ abusing you, and trying to ‘understand’ it won’t change anything in him as there are only safe ways to go about your survival in abuse, as safe as you can, whilst you think through whether this is what you really want for your life.

        Abuse is not love, love is not abuse.

        warmest wishes


    • #144255
      Main Moderator

      Dear All,

      I just wanted to add our stance to this discussion. Women’s Aid believes that domestic abuse is a gendered crime and is about power and control.

      A lot of women believe that abuse is caused by their partner’s mental health condition (for example, their partner might have bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), narcissistic personality, borderline personality or antisocial personality). While these are serious mental health conditions, they do not cause abuse.

      If the abuse were caused by mental illness, a perpetrator would also be abusive to family, friends and co-workers.

      Abuse and mental illness can happen at the same time. There are people who have a mental illness and are also abusive to their partners. There are also people who have a mental illness and are healthy and supportive

      If your partner has a mental illness and is abusive towards you, it’s important to keep in mind that the mental illness and the abusive behaviours need to be handled separately by the abusive partner. It is the
      abusive partner’s responsibility to seek out support and create their own plan for managing their mental illness and be accountable for their abusive behaviour.

      If your partner is not owning up to their actions, is not admitting to how much they’re hurting you, and is not seeking out professional help then that’s a sign that your partner isn’t willing to change. If that’s the case, then the abuse in the relationship tends to continue and escalate over time.

      Whilst I acknowledge that it is natural to try to ‘work out’ an abusive partner, I suggest exercising caution and critical thinking when considering mental health conditions and domestic abuse. One does not cause the other.
      Abuse is a choice someone makes in order to maintain power and control over a partner. Even if your partner does have a mental illness, there is NEVER an excuse for abuse.

      Keep Posting,


    • #144280

      I’ve never seen much people talk of the bluntness of my partner or another person on here it’s all done and in my face all the cheating and disrespect and when I confront him knowingly he just has lights me and ignores denies even when evidence is there or says it’s not bad or what I’m thinking it’s so upsetting that someone is so heartless to someone they used t say they loved

      • #144292
        Twisted Sister

        He’s treating you disrespectfully, harshly and without concern for you. This is to punish and control.

        By and large, perpetrators follow surprisingly similar tactics, and your partner’s bluntness I am sure is something recognised by many on here, although they might not have mentioned it specifically. I can confirm the same rough treatment verbally. Abuse is verbal as well as the psychological gaslighting you speak of, and often the basis of everything else they do in order to maintain dominator status, so that you don’t for a minute think that you have any control or can relax. They keep you continually tip-toeing around and walking on eggshells, to the point that you no longer even recognise that you are doing that.

        Yes, what you say about ignoring, denying etc. All in the Freedom programme about the dominator, such things as deny and blaming, turning the situation onto you.

        Sounds like the freedom programme would be perfect for you to see, it does help work things out, exactly the things you are struggling with and commenting on here.

        warmest wishes


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