Narcissists Lie But Your Intuition Never Does
Narcissistic Abuse Expert Randi Fine talks about the importance of trusting your intuition when you are in a manipulative, abuse relationship.
Narcissistic Abuse Expert Randi Fine talks about the importance of trusting your intuition when you are in a manipulative, abuse relationship.
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE!
A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading a stress management workshop. In her hand was a raised glass of water. The attendees all suspected that she was going to ask the question “Is this glass half empty or half full?” They were all surprised when instead she asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Various people called out answers from the audience, the guesses ranging from “8 ounces” to “20 ounces.”
The young lady replied, “Actually the absolute weight does not matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute it is not a problem. If I hold it for an hour I will have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day my arm will probably need medical attention. In each case the glass has the same weight but the longer I hold it the heavier it becomes.”
She continued, “That is the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we will not be able to carry on.”
“As with the glass of water, stress has to be put down for a while and we have to rest before carrying it again. When we are refreshed we can more easily carry our burdens.”
She gave the following advice: “Every evening as early as you can manage to do it lay your stress and all your burdens to rest. Do not carry them throughout the evening and into the night. They will still be there tomorrow if you want to pick them up again.”
Domestic abuse creates a complex emotional and psychological syndrome in victims that makes their reality very difficult to accept. Victims believe that if they do and say all the right things, the person who loved and treated them well in the beginning of the relationship will return. When their abusers apologize and promise to be different, their hope that everything will change is reinforced.
Fear is a major factor that keeps victims stuck in abusive relationships. They may fear for their life or the lives of those they care about. They may fear having to survive on their own; where they will live or what they’ll do for money. They may fear losing their children or putting them through the trauma of divorce.
Victims often remain in abuse relationships out of shame. They don’t want anyone to know about the embarrassing situation they’re in. Those who observe particular religions or of certain cultures that prohibit divorce may feel compelled to stay and preserve the sanctity of marriage. In some cases victims grew up surrounded by violence in the home and the abusive relationship seems normal to them.
Domestic abuse and violence affects more than just the victims. Children who witness abuse are victims too; the abuse predisposes them for emotional and social problems throughout their lives. Adult victims, so caught up in their own survival, may fail to see the danger to others in the household. Once they are aware that other loved ones are suffering too they are more likely to get help. If you see that children or other family members are being adversely impacted, speak up.
We don’t always know what goes on behind closed doors. What we do know is what our observations tell us. Following is a list of domestic abuse and violence warning signs to be aware of:
If you suspect that someone is a victim of domestic abuse or violence, get involved – don’t wait for the victim to ask for your help. You may feel as if it is none of your business, but your involvement may be the difference between the person’s life and death.
Victims may not want to talk about the abuse or may be in denial about the danger they’re in. They may be staying in the relationship as a survival strategy. Ask if something is wrong. Let them know that you are concerned about their safety. Point out the things you’ve noticed that are causing that concern. Tell them that you want to help them with whatever they’re going through and are available whenever they want to talk. Assure them that they can trust you.
Encourage and support abuse victims through the process. Don’t give advice, judge, pressure, or blame them. Reinforce that what they’re experiencing is not their fault. Be a good listener and validate their feelings. Let them know how valuable they are to their friends and family; that they deserve to be treated well and loved.
Offer to make calls to social service agencies, attorneys, and safe houses. Offer them a place to stay, money, or child care. Provide transportation so they can get out and get help.
Before the 1970’s, until a women’s movement shined a light on the domestic violence issue and increased public consciousness about it, there was a lack of understanding and very little help for victims. Today there are many domestic violence programs in most communities around the country that provide support for women and help them stay safe. These programs have victim service professionals that will assist women in navigating the process, advocate their case for them, and help them make a survival plan, whether or not they choose to stay in the relationship.
Since male domestic violence/abuse victims don’t have the same support systems or the abundance of available help that women do, their cases go largely unreported. Many men are embarrassed to report that they have been assaulted by a woman, and unless their injuries are serious will choose to just put up with it. Because society sees men as the aggressor, many men won’t fight back out of fear of being accused as the perpetrator of the violence.
In general, law enforcement tends to ignore or minimize the seriousness of men’s complaints. The judicial system often sides with women when these cases go to court. Many men report being treated the same way by domestic abuse hotlines. Fortunately there is an organization called SAFE, “Stop Abuse for Everyone,” that promotes services for all victims and accountability for all perpetrators. Men may also find the specific help they need at HelpGuide.Org
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to everyone, no matter the situation, gender, or sexual preference, without judgment. They can be reached by calling 800-799-7233.
Reporting your abuse to the justice system may enrage your abuser and put you in more danger. Discuss your options, such as obtaining a restraining order, with a victim service professional first. Whether or not you choose to report your domestic violence incidents it’s a very good idea to document all evidence by saving emails and texts, or recordings and telephone messages. Take pictures of evidence or injuries. If possible get witness statements. You’ll need this proof if there are ever criminal proceedings filed by you or against you, or if there is a divorce or child custody hearing.
There isn’t any accurate way to predict who will abuse and who won’t. What we do know is that children who have grown up with abusive role models and learned that violence in a relationship is normal have a higher likelihood of becoming perpetrators themselves. And studies show that boys who witness abuse at home are seven times more likely to inflict abuse on others.
Wouldn’t it be great if potential domestic abusers wore a warning sign around their neck? In a sense they do.
As you get to know someone watch out for the following red flags:
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If red flags start flying do your homework. Investigate the person’s background and acknowledge its truth.
If you miss or ignore the warning signs and get deeper in the relationship, the following behaviors will clearly identify someone as an abuser:
If you are being forced to exchange your rights, desires, and freedom of expression for your abuser’s mercy you are not in a relationship and this is not love.
Abuse is abuse; it is not acceptable no matter what the level. And you are not out of danger if you’ve yet to be physically assaulted. Emotional abuse often leads to physical violence.
Emotional abuse, abuse without battering, is no less damaging than physical abuse. One leaves physical scars, the other leaves emotional scars. One destroys from the outside in, the other destroys from the inside out.
Your situation cannot be compared to the situation of others as being better or worse, especially when it comes to physical violence. The risks of injury and death are the same whether you’ve been physically abused once or ten times. Studies show that abusers who assault once are likely to do it again.
If you recognize yourself as a victim of domestic abuse or domestic violence, your survival is at stake. Don’t wait until you are maimed, killed or pushed to the point of retaliation. You must enlist the help of those you can trust; family, friends, abuse hotlines, or special programs. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has resources and references for everyone so that should be a first step whether you are a man or a woman. The number to call is 1-800-799-SAFE or 1-800-799-7233.
One out of every four women will experience domestic abuse or domestic violence sometime in her life. Although women are more commonly victimized, roughly two out of every five domestic abuse victims are men. It does not discriminate; domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of gender, physical strength, sexual orientation, age, ethnic background, or income.
What sets domestic abuse and violence apart from other abusive or violent crimes is that it is perpetrated by someone who has a relationship with the victim; a family member, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a spouse or former spouse, the parent of a shared child, or someone the person has currently or recently lived with.
Any physical roughness, abuse or battery that happens in a domestic situation is categorized as domestic violence. The abuser may or may not beat up their victim, but they may use other acts of domestic violence such as pushing, shoving, yanking, restraining, or choking. Sexual abuse falls within that category. Forced sex, even with someone you have a consensual sexual relationship with, is an aggressive and violent act. Being forced into unwanted, risky, or degrading sex is sexual abuse, no matter what the relationship happens to be.
Abuse that does not turn physical is called emotional abuse. Emotional abusers blame, intimidate, insult, threaten, and shame their victims to instill fear in them. As methods of control they may withhold money or scrutinize every penny of their victims’ spending. They may restrict the use of the car to keep their victims from going out. They may forbid victims to work, or force them to work and then take all their money. They may control, restrict, or deny necessities like clothing, food, or medical care, or threaten to leave them homeless.
With frequent and extreme high/low mood swings it appears as if domestic abusers have two different personalities. They may be sweet, generous, and loving one minute, and then suddenly begin degrading their victim, bursting into anger, or becoming violent. But in most cases these abusers are not mentally unsound. They are often demonstrating learned behaviors.
The violence and abuse is not loss of control, but rather a deliberate attempt to dominate, gain power over, and control someone. Anything can fuel the fire.
To find out if you are in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, ask yourself these questions:
Abusers use tactics to isolate victims from their support systems, wear them down, and erode their self-confidence. After being constantly told that they are worthless, ugly, and stupid, victims begin to believe it. Over time they lose the ability to perceive themselves as having any value and come to believe that they deserve the abuse. Believing they are defective, that no one else will want them, they feel hopelessly stuck in the relationship.
Methods of intimidation are used to scare victims into submission. Abusers may do violent acts or display weapons in front of their victims to send the message that the consequence for not obeying is cruel and unusual punishment. Threats of violence may be directed at victims, loved ones, friends, and family pets.
Victims are threatened to keep them from leaving or reporting the abuse to authorities. They may threaten to file false charges against their victim or to falsely report them for child abuse.
The cycle of abuse runs in predictable patterns:
After repeatedly being threatened, subjected to violence, intimidated, and demeaned, victims lose their sense of self. Constantly kept on edge, frightened, and off-balance they suffer anxiety, hyper vigilance, and/or emotional numbness. Consistently told that they’re not experiencing what they think they’re experiencing they lose the ability to trust their perceptions. They feel as if they are losing their minds.
The physical, emotional, and psychological abuse profoundly impacts their ability to function in their day to day life. Their sleep may be restless or they may have nightmares. Depression and/or suicidal thoughts take over. They may withdraw from life out of shame, embarrassment, and hopelessness.
Often times we may feel guilty and obsess over something we said or did. We believe others hold it against us or judge us. In many cases people did not notice our words or actions, quickly forgot about them, or were not the least bit affected by them. Still we punish ourselves and may carry that baggage throughout our entire life, never knowing that the only person we ever hurt was our self. ~Randi G. Fine
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
People having bad reactions, psychologically, mentally, and emotionally is 7 times greater with verbal abuse than it is even with sexual abuse. They are at greater risk for mental illness and dysfunction later in life from verbal abuse than from almost any other kind of abuse. ~Dr. Phil McGraw