Triangulation is a narcissist’s indirect form of communication where one person (the narcissist) acts as a conduit to prevent direct contact between two or more people.   It can be used as a way to draw a third party/parties to gang up on their chosen target to benefit their own agenda, as a way to keep secrets, to make individuals suspicious of each other by making false claims about what the other said about them, gas light or to blame others for unpleasant things that they did or said about a victim of their abuse

It is employed by the narcissist specifically to control, dominate, demote and hurt their targets.  Those targets can be anyone they come in contact with ranging from their children, partners, friends, co-workers and other family members.  It is a predatorily tactic and is done by exploiting other people’s vulnerabilities and trust.

If you come from a narcissistic family of origin your parent(s) will have almost certainly used this technique as a means to control and frighten their children.  As every politician knows, frightened people are easier to control than confident ones, a child who comes from a family like this knows that absolute obedience is the safest way of survival, as a small child’s life is at stake if the parent threatens to abandon or hurt them.

The most popular way that narcissistic parents control their children is by splitting/dividing and conquering this involves pitching the siblings against each other so that they don’t trust one another and find it difficult to be in one another’s company.  It is done for two reasons:

  • So the children won’t get together and gang up on the parent
  • So that the children will not compare and contrast the things that the narcissistic parent says and there by expose the lies that they have been telling.

Once the narcissists achieves this goal, all trust will be lost between siblings.

They will do a character assassination on anyone who poses a threat, disagrees with them or dares to disobey them.  They will often invent cruel comments and attribute them to other people to further hurt and lower the self-esteem of their victims. When they have created this dysfunctional non direct communication between the people around them, they can play a pivotal role in the control of information that is supplied within the family unit, group of friends, work colleagues or clubs, filtering and censoring the flow of information to fit their own agenda.  Since most people are unaware of the concept of this deliberate feed of misinformation by narcissists they frequently believe the lies that they are told, they trust their and since they have not had any experience of such deliberate deception.  Narcissists are pathological liars so they will lie about tiny/unimportant things at first to see if they “get away with it” and if they do, like a small child, they will just push the boundaries further the next time.  If they get pulled up on a lie, they will make a petty excuse and realise that it will be too much trouble for them to convince their target of their lies and will move on to the next source of supply.  Children of narcissists will have only had experience of this type of “communication” so it will feel normal that no one talks directly to each other and that they are always told what other siblings/parent or people said about them.  Narcissists do not talk to people they talk at them with the specific goal of control/power.

That is not where the dysfunctionality of triangulation stops.  The narcissist will not talk openly and frankly with anyone including their children as they do not want that level of intimacy or indeed to have their projected image damaged/questioned in any way.  Instead the narcissist will ask one person about another.  So they will say “what is X up to these days”, “Y seemed upset at dinner the other night, what is going on with them”.  To get people to open up to them they will trade other people’s secrets or will invent something unkind that “someone else” said about them to provoke a reaction. This indirect form of communication leaves it wide open for people to shaft each other and create disharmony with in a family or a group as it isolates each individual and increases the levels of insecurity and lack of trust between family members, friends, colleagues etc.  Which in turn makes it much easier for the narcissist to control the people around them.

Another form of triangulation used by narcissists is to be immensely impressed by the success of other people in a specific field – real or imaginary.  They will compare the accomplishments/talents of others and will imply that the person who they are targeting is substandard.  They will do this by undermining the other person by saying things like “of course you dropped out of college”, “it is a shame that your business venture failed”, “well of course you have been divorced twice”, “of course you cannot have children so you wouldn’t know” they will aim to shame their target (including their own children) with the things that they know they feel insecure about. They will imply that just about everyone they know is superior to you and that you will never be able to measure up to (because if you achieve something, that achievement will be dismissed as unimportant and the bar will be raised higher). Even if the target the performance of others is exaggerated/fictional the implications are not lost on you, there is a clear and unambiguous message that simply says “you are not good enough (try harder to please me”, “you are substandard (I am such a good and interesting person to put up with you who are flop as a person”.

This technique is employed by adult narcissists to control their partners and they do it to a pathological level to feed the needs of their disordered agenda.  Any new relationship with a narcissist will start with love bombing.  It doesn’t make any difference how confident you are at the beginning of the relationship the constant attention, flattery and faux declarations of love will blow your mind (literally), you were manipulated into falling in “love” with them and being in “love” with them makes us vulnerable to them and we trust them.

Once they have you hooked they will start slowly with the abuse with a gentle drip drip of deceit, betrayal, disparagement and rage all done with the aim of destroying us.  Because hurting others makes them feel good and more powerful.  They do this by bringing in a third party, this could be constant reference to an ex-lover, the implication that they are having an affair, talking-up the people who you know in common/work colleauges and being disparaging about everything that you do, or simply by spending too much time on a hobby that they exclude you from.

Another way that they use triangulation is to punish or treat a third party badly.  This is done explicitly to let you know that if you do not conform to their control, they will do exactly the same to you.  It can be in the form of making an “example” of someone such as a child or a co-worker and insist that the others bear witness or it can be in the form of openly going on a smear campaign on someone to let others know that if they step out of line the same thing could happen to them.

There is another way in which narcissists use triangulation and it is what I call the Triple Whammy (which means a situation that is bad in three different ways: a situation in which three bad conditions exist at the same time or three bad things happen one after another).

For example, a narcissist could tell their partner that a member of their family, a friend or acquaintance made an incredibly cruel comment about them, the partner will reel with shock, hurt and surprise because they always thought that they had a good relationship with that person.  The narcissist will then expand on the story and say how they jumped to the defence of their partner denying the validity of everything that the “wicked” other person said about them.  The result for the narcissist is 1) delighted by the hurt inflicted on their partner, 2) look like they are a protective, loyal and honourable partner 3) they will also make you think that the people closest to you are talking behind your back and this will be presented as concern about the authenticity of the relationships that you have with these people and as such wedge a gap between you and the people that are closest to you, they will display faux concern about your well-being and so their language will be couched in unchallengeable caring terminology.  It is designed to destroy you and your relationships, to isolate so that they can garner more control.

A final thing that is alarming if you are in an adult relationship with a narcissist is that the narcissist can threaten to “tell Mummy on you” if you don’t do what they say (seriously!).   This is a result of a narcissistic mother who has over cossetted her child, so s/he always considers her his “go to place” when anything goes wrong.  The threat of “telling Mummy” usually comes in the throws of a narcissistic rage when the have completely lost control over themselves, it is however, always difficult to believe that you just heard that comment from an adult.  Basically if you are in a “relationship” with a narcissist you have just been calculatedly manipulated into a baby sitting role and that is why they feel justified in telling Mummy if the “hired help” isn’t doing his or her job properly.




Narcissists use constant manipulation to devalue their victims to the extent that a victim will feel worthless extremely anxious and sometimes suicidal.  The “point” of this manipulation is twofold, to push their victim down so low that they (the narcissist) feels better about themselves, and someone who has been chronically abused will have a damaged spirit and will be much easier to control.  They use threats to cultivate fear, anxiety and despair in their victims and their victims can be anyone who they feel that they can get away with bullying.  This can include their own children, family members, co-workers and friends, they usually do it where they have the “upper hand” such as a parent, an elder sibling a boss or someone like a church leader or person in position of authority.

Manipulation is very hard to understand because they will always imply that you have done something to deserve them being cruel to you but they won’t tell you what it is, that is because there is no reason, they just categorically refuse to take responsibility for their own nasty behaviour.  Their behaviour bares the same scars as physical abuse, except that they are invisible and resonate within a victim’s body in the same way except that in general this type of abuse is not recognised in the same way, not even by many mental health care workers.

A narcissist will manipulate in many different ways but the main ones are:

  • Unpredictable reactions, they keep changing their reaction to the same stimuli. One day something is no problem, the next day (or hour) they will react in a completely different way such as rage, sulking or the silent treatment leaving their victim constantly on edge, trying to second guess the narcissists reactions all of the time and can never relax
  • Unreasonable demands on their victim such as attention, sex or money. No matter how much is done for the narcissist they will always let the victim know that it is not enough and they need to try harder.   They start will constant trivial demands to “train” their victim to obey them.
  • Creating arguments amongst friends or family members, being rude to people to watch and feed off their emotional reaction.
  • Violating boundaries by telling the victim who and what they are. They do this in an inoffensive way to begin with but eventually they will name call, demean and tell they victim that they know what they are thinking, their motivation behind certain actions, or how they would behave in any given situation.  This they feel entitled to do without asking any questions of their victim about how they feel or what they want.  Narcissists are only in a relationship for what they can get out of it, they are not interested in the other person per se.
  • They speak in very vague and general terms to avoid responsibility but will want to have precise details of what their victim did, said or who they saw at all times. They may well check their victims phone or phone the person the victim said they were with, just to make sure.
  • The narcissist will not tell much about themselves, will know little on the details of their family life or be able to express any genuine feelings. They are pathologically secretive, they live in terror that someone will see them for what they really are, they are closed minded “it is my way or the high way”, they bristle with self-righteous indignation at all times.  Yet they will ask outrageously personal questions of others even when they have only recently met

Narcissistic abusers can attack at any time using sarcasm, name calling, sneering and blame shifting whenever they perceive a threat or are just simply bored and want a bit of “action”.

Narcissistic siblings

If you have grown up in a narcissistic family of origin, it is likely that you will have one or more narcissistic sibling.  The hallmark of a narcissistic sibling is that they will be a bully (they don’t have to be an older sibling), and they will do as much as they can to hurt you, make you feel unwelcome in the family home, ridicule and deride you whenever they can.  They do this because “love” and attention from emotionally unavailable parents is a limited/non-existent resource.  It can seem like “love” sometimes, (although it is never genuine love) and the narcissistic sibling will want to make sure that whatever is put out will be coming to them and not you.  Narcissistic siblings will work on making you feel like you are not entitled to be part of the family and that you do not deserve the same as they do.  Narcissistic parents are so self-absorbed that they might not notice the bullying, they might encourage it as it makes the victim of protracted bullying is much easier to control without having to do the “work” themselves, or they might notice it if you bring it to their attention and say something like “well what do you want ME to do about it”, “I don’t get involved with other people’s fights” or “you must have done something to deserve it”

What you can expect from your narcissistic sibling is:

  • They will betray you, whenever and how ever they can
  • They will abuse you emotionally, physically, verbally, financially and sometimes sexually
  • They will lie to you
  • The will keep family information that you are entitled to know about a secret from you
  • They will be extremely judgemental of you with little or no self-awareness
  • They will bristle with hostility around you within the family, but seem all nice to you around non family members
  • They will be singularly disinterested in what is going on in your life such as exams passed, your jobs and relationship status
  • They will correct almost everything that you say, so that very often you just converse in totally superficial topics

It is normal for all of us to want to feel like part of a family, but if you come from a narcissist family of origin and are the scapegoat in your family, they will not let you in, none of the off spring feel genuinely welcome but some are given more privileges than others and so the privileged siblings will fight to maintain their “special status”.  It does not matter how hard you try to conform, how nice, kind or generous you are to them, it won’t make any difference.  They will take whatever you offer them and will try to extract more from you than you want to give, but they will always keep you out in the cold.

If you come from a narcissistic family of origin, the best thing that you can do is drop the “Happy Families” myth, it doesn’t exist in your family.  They do not want what is best for you.  They want to feel “better than you” and will use some pretty cruel manipulation so that they can feel this way.  It is not about you, it never was and never will be.  They are just narcissists and that is what narcissists do.

To survive your siblings, you have to employ the same tactics as with any narcissist.

  • Set boundaries and stick to them rigidly
  • Communicate clearly (in writing if necessary)
  • Be aware that they will try to taunt you like they did when you were children
  • Only tell them things about yourself on a need to know basis. The more they know about you the more ammunition they will have to provoke a reaction from you.
  • Keep them away from your friends and colleagues, because they will come on all charming and lovely towards to them. This is a type of passive smear campaign to discredit anything negative that you might have said or will say about them in the future.
  • You are not obliged to them in any way, it is important to learn to say “no” to them.
  • Do not expect your sibling to change only you can change.
  • Detach from the need to be loved by them. It isn’t going to happen (pretend that they are someone else’s awkward brother or sister).
  • Remember that when they say “you are…” they are projecting what they feel about themselves on to you
  • Severing your attachment to them is not disloyal or an act of betrayal just because they are your sibling. Narcissists do not care about anybody but themselves.  To remain loyal to them will only set you up for more hurt and pain.

It is important to note that you may very well feel uncomfortable around your sibling(s), a bit edgy an unsafe.  This is because your body is probably experiencing an emotional flashback.  This is when your body still holds emotional fear from when you were abused by your sibling in childhood and didn’t have the emotional maturity to be able to understand why “those people” were being so completely mean and why they threatened and acted on genuinely trying to hurt you, by pushing you down a flight of stairs or throwing side plates at your neck (Frisbee style).  All of this trauma gets stuck or blocked, and held as a physical memory in your body.  You may not be conscious of it, but your body feels afraid and your mind will tell you to move away from this person, even if there is no immediate threat. You might well feel physically sick around them or just want to run out the nearest door, or at least busy yourself with the washing up at a family gathering. Your sibling in adulthood may try to behave in a more civilised way towards you but this is an act and will wreak with insincerity and total lack of authenticity.  This is a completely “normal” response to an encounter with an abuser (not just siblings).  It will feel like they have put a very thin veneer of civility over what was or felt like naked aggression and hatred when you were young.

The thing about all abusers is that they can get very aggressive again if you do not want to play their “nothing happened” or it certainly wasn’t anything more than a little horseplay game, they will accuse you of being “over sensitive” or unable to “take a joke/play a game”, however, to them it is a game but not for mutual enjoyment.  They play to win and their goal is to hurt, bully and demoralise.

It is natural for sibling relationships to have some level of rivalry because they are vying for the same limited resources such as toys, treats and the love, attention and affection of their parents. Narcissistic parent(s) will escalate this competition to the extent that one or more child in a family can be badly bullied by their sibling(s) and they can be pushed out of the family unit as much as possible while maintaining a gloss of family life.  For a lot of people this animosity can last a lifetime very often with the bullying siblings being oblivious to the fact that they are doing anything wrong because they were brought up to know that it was fine to pick on one of their siblings, in fact it pleased the narcissistic parent, it was a good thing for them to do and they were entitled to treat their brother or sister in any way they pleased.

The bullied child is the scapegoat and will be blamed for everything that goes wrong in the family dynamic.  The narcissistic parent(s) will actively promote this by comparing siblings, causing jealousy and hostility.  This comparison is done as a controlling manipulation and it works because the siblings don’t trust each other and because the parent(s) will let it be known that they are quite capable of demoting a golden child and withdraw privileges if the scapegoat is supported in any way.  As a result of this the siblings will self-police to make sure that the status quo is maintained.

As adult children the relationships tend to be competitive, rivalrous and they often seem to be on automatic pilot.  That is to say they act out their given role into adulthood without even thinking about it, it becomes an automatic reflex.  Since the narcissist parent likes to divide and conquer their children in later life the “children” will only see each other one at a time instead of opting for a family occasion.  This is because sibling’s behaviour will actively change depending on the company they are in.  The golden child could be nice to scapegoat child when they are alone, but will actively completely ignore or humiliate their sibling in the company of the rest of the family.  These siblings have been trained not to get along and employ tactics such as sneering, sarcasm, saying hurtful things, taking or breaking each other’s stuff, doing a smear campaign etc.  One of the reason why family gatherings are so stressful for many is because being together triggers these old roles and all the resentment and hurt from childhood come back into play.

It is important to note that if you are being picked on by your family, there is no point in looking for support from your siblings.  They simply will not give it, because to lend support to you could bring on the wrath of the narcissistic parent(s) (even dead ones) and that is just too dangerous to do in the mind of the programmed adult child.

Adult siblings tend to come up with a variety of coping strategies such as

  • “I don’t have to like them just because they are family”
  • “my real family are my friends and partner”
  • “They were all incredibly cruel and did everything they could to humiliate and defeat me, all egged on by my mother/father who seemed to be enjoying the show”
  • Some siblings go into analytical over drive and will say why they thought that the dynamic evolved, sighting possible abuse in the parent’s family of origin, poverty, addiction etc. This is a form of protection of the parent and makes little or no difference to how it made them feel.

There are so many factors that influence these relationships and siblings struggle to find a place in the family.  Since we are still living in a patriarchal society males tend to get preference over females, the narcissistic mother will tend to be softer and kinder to her sons defending them like a lioness and similarly a father can be much more flexible with his daughters than with his sons.  This in itself is a dysfunction because children get their sense of self-esteem from their same sex parent.

Children from about the age of one respond to disputes between their sibling by either supporting or punishing one of the antagonists, this will also be affected by how their mother responds to the situation.  The greater the difference in maternal affection and attention the more hostility and jealousy between the siblings, children from a very young age learn the tools to either comfort or inflict pain.  They get the dynamic instinctively and will use that “information” in relation to their role in the family and to try to meet their own needs.  An infant is very aware of how they are being treated in relation to their brothers and sisters.  When a parent shows favouritism towards one child or is unwilling to monitor inter sibling relationships the siblings will suffer from this inequality/bullying.  The action or inaction (support or lack of it) for a child have very long lasting implications and can cause CPTSD in later life when aggressive or violent behaviours are repeated for years at the hands of their siblings.

Narcissistic parent(s) are so self-obsessed and neglectful that the child can often feel like they are parentless.  This can create social anxiety in the child because they simply do not feel safe.  They are being parented by people who have the emotional maturity of a young child, they “are not allowed” to look to their brothers and sisters for support and they are also isolated from the rest of society which enables the narcissist to maintain control.


Narcissists are pathological liars.  It is their default position, even when the truth would serve them better.  They have no principles or values.  They only want to be seen as doing good, but don’t actually want to be kind or good to others.  Since they do not want to work too hard at this false illusion lying acts as a very effective short cut.  So long as people believe them and their attitude is that if they keep repeating the same lie to the same person, they will eventually believe them.  Most of the things that they lie about are things that others would not have even thought was worthy of lie, but to a narcissist, perception is everything and so they spin a tangled web of lies to create an image.  A narcissist does not take any responsibility for their actions so it doesn’t really matter what they say.  In fact, a narcissist will see it as point scoring (and a win) if s/he can get you to believe their lies (any lie), while they are creating their false persona.

They do it effortlessly and absolutely without shame or remorse.  The narrative is usually peppered with some truths, but this is just to make their story more credible.  What is the most confusing for non narcissists is they are left wondering why someone would behave like that, what is the point?  The point is that there is no point, the are just playing out a drama in their head, where they are the protagonist and everyone else is playing a supporting role.

The other problem is that a more honest person does not expect people to lie, especially those close to them and certainly not to that extent.  So it can take a long time to work out what dynamic is in action.  It creates confusion in the other person as they will be questioning their own ability to fully understand what is being communicated to them rather than question the motives of the narcissist.

Once you do work it out and point out a lie to a narcissist, you can either expect absolute denial (said with such conviction that it is easy to think that you made a mistake) or you will meet with rage “what you are calling me a liar?”  i.e. I am allowed to lie to you but you are not allowed to notice or call me out on it.

Things that narcissists will lie about:

  • Their academic and career achievements.
  • Awards and medals that they might have one in sporting events or other activities
  • Previous “romantic” relationships
  • The amount of money they have
  • Deep involvement in some sort of spiritual “organisation”
  • Sexual exploits
  • Stories where s/he his hero or victim
  • A complete exaggeration of skills set. I speak fluent French = I can ask for a glass of water in French.  I am psychic = I know how to manipulate people, I am a fantastic businessperson = I have never started a business of my own.
  • Your personality traits
  • The intimacy of the relationships they have with others
  • Glowing compliments that other people paid them
  • Negative things that other people said about you
  • Where they were and what they were doing

The list is endless and the extent to which they lie is difficult to comprehend because most of their lies are pointless.



The most common characteristics of abusers

  • Abusers abuse sporadically because they know that if they were abusive all of the time, people would distance themselves from the abuser and the narcissist cannot bear to be alone.
  • They might only abuse very few people. Those people tend to be kind, generous and sensitive to the needs of others and give too much.  They can also be people who are in a vulnerable position such as those with no family support, in poverty or a foreign national trying to fit in an unfamiliar country.
  • Abusers will go out of their way to appear normal and will probably go to a lot of trouble to self-promote, this self-promotion will generally be vocal but it can be in the form of making gestures such as turning up to help with the school fund raising event, but usually their contribution will be minimal.
  • The push relationships too far. They always want more than the abused person wants to give, but they also want the abused person to take more than they want to take.  This comes in three forms 1) they tell the abused person who they are (according to what the narcissist wants them to be), this changes depending on the circumstances of the abuser, 2) they are too intimate too quickly and assume a more intense relationship than the other person is ready to have, 3) they will bestow presents/money etc. whether the other person wants it or not and will then expect that they have purchased favour/multiple favours.
  • They use their voice to control. Most narcissists are very loud or very quiet.  Loud voiced narcissists use their voice to dominate any conversation, quiet voiced narcissists use their voice so that the person that they are talking to has to lean into them and block out any background noise.  They also use it to express rage so that they can intimidate or embarrass, in particular, but not exclusively in public places.  They also use the “silent treatment” (lack of voice) to manipulate another person (make them feel invisible).
  • They use body language as a weapon, They can bristle with hostility, twitch with anger, ignore eye contact or look bored and annoyed when another person is talking, they can roll their eyes or simply get up and walk away from someone without reason.  They can also physically push in front of another person, physically touch them in an inappropriate sexual way or simply to claim dominance such as pushing them forward into a space/room.  This is to claim ownership and to let the other person know that they feel they can touch them where ever they like and ignore personal boundaries completely.
  • If the victim is unaware of narcissistic abuse, they can project good intention and can remain unaware of the abuse because they will see it as “having a bad day” or an isolated incident from a grumpy person.  They can fail to see the pattern and make excuses for the abuser and take inappropriate responsibility the abusers actions.  The victim is unaware that although the abuse can cease for sometimes long periods of time, the abuse is relentless and will never stop.
  • The abuser may apologise, but it is never sincere, just a means to an end, to stop the victim from shutting them out. Narcissists are master thespians, so the apology might appear to be authentic, but it never is.
  • The abuser will also make a lot of false promises such as “I am so sorry, I will never do that again (hit you, cheat on you, be verbally abusive to you, embarrass and humiliate you in public)”.  It is not true, they will they get a bit high on the pain/embarrassment/humiliation they cause, it makes them feel “big”.


One of the hardest things to come to terms with when one is being or has been abused is that you were tricked and betrayed into thinking that the reason that you were being abused was your fault, but they won’t tell you why it is your fault.  This causes anguish and excessive introspection as to what it could possibly be that you have done wrong.  This is exactly what the abuser wants because while you are in a state of confusion you are much easier to control and punish.

At the same time that the narcissist is abusing you they will tell you that they love you!  They use those words to lure you in so that they can betray, manipulate, objectify and exploit you for money, time, energy and attention.  It is a bit like when someone deliberately speaks in a very quiet voice so that you have to physically lean towards them to hear what they are trying to say.

When you realise that you have been abused your whole perception of the world shifts.  This is not an exaggeration as you have to reassess everything.  How you present yourself to others, how others present themselves to you (knowing that this type of abuse is out there), what love actually means to you in all of its components, who you want to be around and who you don’t, the type of job you want to do and so on.  Your entire belief system will be challenged and has to literally be rebuilt from its foundations so that you can learn to trust yourself, stop giving toxic people the benefit of the doubt when they display abusive traits and to treat yourself with compassion.  In essence you have to reboot the entire system.  It is an enormous amount of work and almost certainly the hardest job that you will ever do but it is worth it and so are you.

If you have grown up in a narcissistic family of origin this will be a much harder task because you will have had a life time of abuse and no healthy models to follow.   There is no point in turning to your siblings for support because their view of the world is as distorted and jaundiced as yours was.   Children of narcissistic parents will have lived their life being devalued and taught to accept abusive behaviour relationships.  They have been traumatised by a person or people who have filled their brains with negative messages and these messages need to be identified and evicted so that you can move to a better place.  This recovery takes a great deal of time (especially from a narcissistic family of origin), energy and education.  Sometimes you will feel completely over whelmed by it all but remember you grew up with one or more emotional rapists and that is a huge thing to come to terms with.

When you start to recover from abuse you will find yourself experiencing cognitive dissonance, cognitive dissonance is a term that explains when a person has two conflicting beliefs or values that are vying for attention or validation at the same time.  What we are all looking for is a model that says “I believe this and all that I see and feel around me fits in with what I believe”, when what you see and experience around you does not conform to your beliefs or your value system then a question or a hole in our system emerges and we strive to find a solution or correct this anomaly.  The healthy way to deal with this is to reassess that which you previously thought.  If you have been abused as a child, cognitive dissonance can threaten your core values and to preserve who you think you are or were told who you are, and if you are not ready to embrace change you can use denial, justification, hyper empathy and over thinking to stop the disharmony.

The next stage of recovery from abuse is to accept it for what it is/was.  In the beginning of realising that you have been abused you will be in a state of shock “how could I not have seen this” etc.  you might well blame yourself for being an idiot.  That is an unnecessary step because you were manipulated by an expert and it was your kind, generous and forgiving nature that left you open to exploitation – don’t punish yourself for being that person.

After you have realised what has happened you might look around to friends and family for validation.  This is probably the most precarious step of your recovery, because people who have not been through (or accepted in their own relationships what they are going through) will bombard you with a set list of platitudes (and a denial of your true experiences).  These come in the form of:

  • “Move on” (if you do not know what you are moving on from this will only cause problems in the future)
  • “Forgive and forget” (if you do not know what you are forgiving then you cannot forget)
  • “You are over reacting” no, you are not and if someone has not had the same experiences that you have had they have absolutely no idea of what they are talking about.
  • “you are paranoid” (not)

So, now you know what is going/went on, the absolutely most important thing to do is to EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE yourself.  It is important to acknowledge that abuse does happen and it happens in every walk of life and very often the most cruelty a person will experience will be at the hands of family members. We have to embrace this new knowledge even though it is painful and hard to accept.  It would be comforting to think that we are in “safe hands”, but we are not, we are being ruled by narcissists, psychopaths and maniacs who seek power beyond anything else.  They are not thinking of or representing you, you are a mere object in a game that they are playing out in their head.

The final important thing to remember about abuse is that it will start when you are at a low ebb in your life.  You might be a child and therefore powerless within the family unit, have just got divorced, lost a job, moved country or a parent might have just died.  It is at the moment when you most need love and support that the narcissist will move in to start the abuse.  Why do they do it at these already traumatic moments?  Because they can, because it is much easier to bully someone who is already vulnerable and because narcissists are fundamentally lazy and why go for a tough target when they could abuse a soft one so much easier.  If someone suddenly starts to shower you will an inappropriate amount of attention in these moments, be aware that it just might not be as it seems.