Why dont they believe me?
I found this to be the most confronting thing about my experience of being in a narcissistic relationship. I knew for some time that I wanted and needed to tell someone that everything was not right. But I couldn’t put my finger on just exactly what it was that was wrong so I didn’t say anything. Eventually when I did pluck up the courage it was dismissed as “he has a lot on his plate ” or ” its probably just a man thing” or “just let him get the job done”.
I thought “no-one believes me.. the narcissist’s victim shamed into silence “……..I suddenly realised that was me.
One of the most cruel things in life is to have yourself (and /or the narcissists scapegoat ie. your child ) discredited to your family by the narcissist . It took me a long time to realize what happening behind my back and it wasn’t until I was told by family members that it was my fault because I had let my son come between my ex partner and myself , that it became clear to me .
Why are we afraid to speak up?
Once you have confided in someone about your concerns and you feel you are not being taken seriously, you then become less likely to mention it or ask for help again. You don’t want to sound like a broken record , you turn up to functions with your happy face on, you defend him and slowly but surely it becomes your “pretend life” .
You start to question your own thoughts , you put the bad behaviour of the narcissist down to any one of a myriad of things and to go out of your way to please the narcissist . When nothing seems to work and the same abuse is still going on you try again to alert someone thinking that, by now, they must be able to see it for themselves but no , its not to be ! He has your family so well convinced that you are to blame and nothing will change that as long as he keeps filling their heads with lies . Its not their fault , the narcissist with his charm and ” credibility ” has the ability to completely and utterly strip you of any cogency.
What happens when we tell our families?
They dont believe you because the narcissist has started “grooming” your family with his deceitful lies and portrayal of you as a “crazy person” long before you even twig that something is going on. Yes thats right , when you are still trying to work out what is going on he is methodically destroying you and /or the scapegoat as the cause of all his problems . In doing this the narcissist is “white anting ” any support that you may have thought you had at a time when you needed it most……support from your own family.
In my case the narcissist played on the fact that I was unwell when “he rescued” me from my previous relationship (yes , I’m twice bitten!!) and made out, to my family, that I was ungrateful for “all he had done for me ” !
In those early days I was completely under his spell so by the time I woke up to him the damage was done and I had been denigrated , shamed and blamed as the culprit when things started to go wrong in our relationship AND in his business.
My narcissist attacked both ways . Firstly he repeatedly told me (and no doubt to my family too) how well he had “looked after me ” when we first got together and how he had also given my son (the scapegoat ) “numerous opportunities ” to work in his business. He maintained that my son had failed and duped him every time.
In his charismatic way, he had made himself out to be such a “good bloke”and consequently my family thought he was the bee’s knees and my son and I were the crazies!
Once I realized what was going on and started to speak up about it the narcissist came at my son and I from another direction. He blamed me for “babying” my son but simultaneously told my son that I was the crazy one ! How much more mind twisting can it get ? I dont know how he slept at night trying to come up with all these plans ! Sadly we know that its all in a days work for the narcissist , they do it all day everyday , ducking and weaving all the time behind elaborate mask !
When the narcissist fears that the house of cards may be about to fall over and he may be revealed for the coward that he really is, his defense is to stick the knife in and twist it in order to cause unbearable pain to the victim .
In my case I had been away on holidays and my son and the narcissist were at home together .The narcissist told me they got on like a house on fire.
However within a couple of weeks of my return he became abusive again and kicked my son out of home calling him a liar and a cheat and citing all sorts of fabricated stories.
It was no coincidence that this occurred just when I had started to assert myself in an attempt to take back my power . He made all sorts of threats against both of us and blamed my son for the complete breakdown of our relationship. Of course he also made this very well known to my family . That period was one of the worst times of my life . How my son survived such targeted abuse is testimony to his resilience and I am so proud of him .
Is there anyway to gain some validation?
It doesn’t really matter how you try to defend yourself or how you try to explain the situation to friends and family because until they are the victims of narcissistic abuse themselves or until something has happened to you that makes them see the truth, they will probably always doubt you .
You need to hang onto anyone you can , maybe a friend, who has experienced the same thing and who does believe you. I honestly don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for my dear friend who was going through a similar thing to me at the same time . We have laughed and cried with with each other so many times I couldn’t possibly count them . To say that staying connected to friends is critical in these circumstances is an understatement.
In my case I was also really fortunate to have a little army of supportive friends at work who kept me sane through my darkest of times. I was so very fortunate that they saw first hand how I was being treated………..they were also treated very poorly themselves.
If not for having these witnesses I may well have begun to think it was all my fault …..even though I knew it wasnt but our minds do funny things. You know the saying “if you’re told something(ie you’re unworthy) often enough you start to believe it “.
I do believe that what goes around comes around and also that karma will get those who wrong others however it may be a long time coming and who knows how many more lives will be destroyed along the way?
There’s a very long way to go but this blog is helping me greatly, especially when I get feedback as I did yesterday from a lady in a narcissitic relationship .
I’ll be so pleased if all I do is get my message out to people who know something is wrong but and who are saying to themselves “no-one believes me “.
This has been a very emotional post for me to write so I’ll leave it here in the hope that it has helped families and friends of loved ones who are in a narcissistic relationship understand the importance of validating their experience, being there for them and loving them.