Sanctuary for the Abused

Sunday, April 06, 2014

How Abusers Break You Down

Here are some of the tactics abuser's use to hurt you... to take you down and keep you there. How many do you recognize?

Verbal Assaults: Berating, belittling, criticizing, name calling, screaming, threatening, excessive blaming, and using sarcasm and humiliation. Blowing flaws out of proportion and making fun of you in front of others. Over time, this type of abuse erodes your sense of self confidence and self-worth.

Domination: The abuser wants to control your every action. They have to have their own way, and will resort to threats to get it. When you allow someone else to dominate you, you can lose respect for yourself.

Emotional Blackmail: The abuser plays on your fear, guilt, compassion, values, or other "hot buttons" to get what they want. This could include threats to end the relationship, the "cold shoulder," or use other controlling fear tactics.

Gaslighting: The other person may deny that certain events occurred or that certain things were said. You know differently. The other person may deny your perceptions, memory and very sanity. It is this act of abuse which makes you begin to think you are crazy or losing your mind.

Unpredictable Responses: Drastic mood changes or sudden emotional outbursts. Whenever someone in your life reacts very differently at different times to the same behavior from you, tells you one thing one day and the opposite the next, or likes something you do one day and hates it the next, you are being abused with unpredictable responses.

* This behavior is damaging because it puts you always on edge. You're always waiting for the other shoe to drop, and you can never know what's expected of you. You must remain hypervigilant, waiting for the other person's next outburst or change of mood.

* An alcoholic or drug or sex abuser is likely to act this way. Living with someone like this is tremendously demanding and anxiety provoking, causing the abused person to feel constantly frightened, unsettled and off balance.

Abusive Expectations: The other person places unreasonable demands on you and wants you to put everything else aside to tend to their needs. It could be a demand for constant attention, frequent sex, or a requirement that you spend all your free time with the person. But no matter how much you give, it's never enough. You are subjected to constant criticism, and you are constantly berated because you don't fulfill all this person's needs.

Constant Chaos: The other person may deliberately start arguments and be in constant conflict with others. The person may be "addicted to drama" since it creates excitement.


REMEMBER: Your abuser may be MALE or FEMALE!

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shared by Barbara at 12:06 AM



This describes my 6 year marriage to a "t".
But I got out and I am working my way to healing.
God bless this supportive and informative site.

5:12 AM  

If you were raised in this type of environment you may not even be able to identify it as unhealthy. Anxiety reactions are now "normal" for you and you may have no idea that fear does not have to be your response when someone calls your name or asks you "Do you have a minute?"

It wasn't until decades into my life that I realized that this was what was happening. Fear, which caused me to constantly react in order to keep the peace, (when there was no true peace to be found because with these type of people, they MUST cause strife) was my automatic response. One of the symptoms of abusers/psychopaths is that they are easily bored and all the things from this article are simply ways that they relieve their boredom. Others in their life are simply playthings. Their brains do not feel love or compassion, it simply is not processed.

10:41 AM  

From the book "Take Back Your Life Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships." Pg. 255 "Her self-esteem was quite low. This is typical of most cult members, and growing up in such an environment is devastating for children. One psychologist who evaluated Ganga said, "She seems to have been persuaded that she must try harder to be good in a way that ignores her own basic needs of nurturance." This chapter is on families and children born or raised in a cult but this is the result of being in any abusive relationship.

One of the grossest things is that for the vast majority of us who are in horrible relationships that don't SEEM horrendous from the outside is that nobody even believes that you were abused, so none reach out to help you and in many cases blame you or include you in the blame.

I'm so sorry for all of us. I'm so very sorry.

11:14 PM  

I'm so relieved to have finally found a site that discusses the issues I live through EVERYDAY OF MY LIFE.
My husband & I have been married for 6 years and together for 10 years. Up until about a year ago he was the center of my world. He was the best husband I could've ever asked for. Until drugs came into the picture. Crystal Meth to be exact. Drugs ruined my marriage. I'm still in shock at how much he's changed, the man I married has vanished. Just about everything described above fits him perfectly. The first time he slapped me was because I "woke him up the wrong way" to go to work. I still have no idea what he meant but I had a busted lip in 2 places to show for it. I have no family anymore, I've been out of work for a year but I'm desperately trying, he blew up the motor in my car & never replaced it. He controls the $ and I get maybe $20 every few days but now since we argue all the time and he either slaps, kicks, punches me in back of my head(already busted it 2x), throws his drinks on me, spits in my face, calls me every horrible name you could think of and some I never heard, taunts me by hovering over me and steadily pops me on the face or whatever he can get to. When I've finally had enough, I try to fight back which is stupid I know but I can't help it. I end up getting hurt worse. We have a 8 yr old pit bull in the house that's already skittish and he has bit me 2 separate times during our fights. 1st time I had to have my pinky nail removed and 25 stitches, 2nd time which was a month ago he bit me in the stomach. The worst pain I've ever felt in my life. My hubs refuses to get rid of him. Says he's doing what hes supposed to do, protect his master.
Before the drugs he always said if that dog even attempted to bite either one of us he would be gone immediately but now he keeps him locked up in the spare bdrm with 1 bthrm break a day. Also, he hasn't bathed him in over a year so he smells like death. But he calls me "inhumane" for wanting to have him put down. Where's the logic?
He lost the best job he will ever have yesterday because of his tardiness. Before drugs he was always early, especially to work. He blames that on me. I should've woken him up earlier. His biggest and most used complaint is "you don't help me anymore". Help you do what? He's never home, he leaves me here for days with no money, no food, no transportation and wants me to help him?
As of right now I haven't eaten since 7am yesterday morning, he was only home for about 10 min and refused to get anything. I don't have any friends because I gave them up when he wouldn't go anywhere with them. My family is gone. I have no one to call for help. I'm 33 years old and I feel like I'm 50. I live in the back bedroom to avoid him but he just comes back here to slap the bejeezes out of me for no reason, won't say a word. I don't know what to do. I don't know where to go. I don't know how I'll get to work if I get a job. I don't know how to get a vehicle without a job.
I really feel like I'm losing my mind. I stare at these 4 walls day in & day out with no one to talk to but myself. I used to be so outgoing and fun and social but now for the past year I've barely walked out of this house. Im terrified for my future, I'm terrified for my husband. I know his goodness is still there but he refuses help or counseling, he says its me more than it is the drugs.
What can I do? What are my options? I'll take advice I can get.

12:22 PM  

Run like hell...there are shelters for abused women out there...find one and start your life over again

2:30 AM  

Most of the people I used to call friends do this to me n take advantage of me

11:03 AM  

Agree with above. Sweety you may feel alone but you aren't alone. He's got you right where he wants you. Alone and isolated but he won't win. Call the shelter and go . You are in a incredibly dangerous situation!!

9:00 AM  

Just staggers me! There are evil people out there and their numbers seem to be increasing. Once again Scripture is right - that "in the last days men (and women) will wax worse..."

5:26 PM  

Thank you for this article. The abusive expectations paragraph is exactly my situation. Constant demands to relieve his constant boredom. It's exhausting and ruining my health. Outsiders think I should be "tougher" and just handle all the other kinds of abuse as well. It makes it hard to think straight.

Thank you so much for this site.

8:54 AM  

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