Narcissistic abuse is classified as emotional abuse that can include verbal abuse and manipulation.
Many people who have experienced narcissistic abuse from their partner do not understand what it is and the depth of which they have been subjected to it. They are often left with feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and despair during and after a relationship.
It’s not your fault!
People who have experienced this type of abuse may second guess themselves repeatedly on even the simplest of task and question whether they have been abused at all. They have been manipulated and gaslighted by an intimate partner so often that they believe that everything that went wrong in the relationship is their fault.
They may feel as if a bomb has exploded in their lives and as they begin to pick up the pieces of what remains of their self-esteem, they feel depleted. They may also find it difficult to convince others that their wounds although not visible, are just as damaging if not worse as physical wounds.
Emotional abuse leaves invisible bruises
With physical abuse, there are marks or bruises to remind and show everyone that this has incident has occurred. However, invisible bruises to the soul and spirit that encompass the very essence of who we are cannot be seen by the naked eye. In order to understand this type of abuse lets peel back its layers.
There was once a saying that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me” but words do hurt and can be as damaging in the long run as physical abuse. For narcissistically abused individuals their pain is unique it may not be a punch to the face, a slap or kick but the pain can be just as worse.
Victims of narcissistic abuse protect the abusive partner
Intimate partner violence has been on the rise for a while and most often emotional and verbal abuse are not reported as often as physical abuse. However, we live in a society where how things appear to others are most important. Therefore, victims may be hesitant in coming out and admitting that they are the victims of emotional or verbal abuse.
Victims of narcissistic abuse often protect the abusive partner by painting a picture of perfection to the public. Behind closed door they are subjected to name calling, withholding of affection, the silent treatment, cheating and other forms of emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse kills intimacy
In marriage, emotional abuse can separate couples mentally and physically. After someone has been emotionally abused by their intimate partner they may draw back their intimacy, therefore, leading to distance and eventually complete separation. This lack of intimacy may kill their sex life and they may feel and act as roommates instead of husband and wife. It is very important to recognize emotional abuse and be willing to seek help if this is happening in your relationship.
Complex PTSD, a by-product of narcissistic abuse
Narcissistic abuse can lead to C-PTSD- Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. C-PTSD forms because of continued subjection to trauma or repeating trauma over a period. A narcissistic relationship begins wonderful and over time subtle changes occur to cause doubt and mental anguish. Many victims of narcissistic abuse continue in their relationship hoping that things will get better and when they don’t they are left confused, dazed and emotionally wrecked.
It is important to see the signs of narcissistic abuse in order to not fall victim to its trap as you are made to believe that it is all in your head.