In recognition of the World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day on June 1st.
Life with a malignant narcissist is crippling.
These cads chip away at your self worth and confidence every day. Like a slow-growing cancer, you often don’t recognize the danger until it’s too late. They always blame you even when it’s not your fault. After being told daily that you are worthless (both directly and indirectly), it’s hard not to believe it.
At the same time, these scoundrels make you believe that they are invincible and that only woe comes to those who cross them. Their preferred tool of manipulation is fear, fostered by physical and mental abuse. They sever your relationships with your friends and family to isolate you. By keeping you alone, frightened, and vulnerable, they cement their control.
And when you see them in public they are charming, often the life of the party. Everybody thinks he’s a great guy. Except you know the truth! Once they get behind closed doors, like the cobra they really are, they hiss and are ready to strike.
Leaving these personalities is difficult. But there is hope.
First, you need to overcome the fear-mongering and propaganda that have contaminated your life. While it’s hard to see through a cloudy lens, these creatures are usually cowards driven by fear and insecurity. It is their own self-doubt that makes them so vicious.
You have options to protect yourself and your children. But to do so, you first need to clear away the bullshit. Let’s start with a reality check:
- Your spouse doesn’t walk on water;
- You won’t walk away with “nothing;”
- Your spouse doesn’t “have a fix in” with the judge;
- Your spouse isn’t as formidable as they would have you believe;
- Your spouse isn’t smarter than your lawyer (if you get an intelligent lawyer);
- Your victimization can be shown in court (so can their treachery);
- Most narcissists crumble when they are confronted in court;
- Your spouse will be accountable if they quit their job to avoid support;
- Your spouse isn’t going to get custody of the kids just because they say so;
- Any trick they can think of has been thought of before, and there are remedies to address bad conduct (e.g., selling the profitable family business to his brother for $10.00);
- Most are cowards, and their threats are empty.
After thirty-five years of hearing my clients recounting empty threats like these, I marvel at the lack of originality from these low-class bullies. One thing is certain: you are not alone!
You can do it!
You can survive a divorce from these domestic terrorists. But it requires a team approach. The team consists of a healthy “you,” a skilled therapist, and a smart divorce lawyer who understands how to neutralize this toxic intimidator. Understand your rights, your options, and develop a plan to protect yourself and your children from any further abuse.
You must remain steadfast and confident to prevail. When your spouse starts to lose control, they will turn up the heat. Threats, gaslighting, and obnoxious conduct are their arsenal. This is where you are particularly vulnerable. Having an experienced therapist and lawyer on your team will be your life preserver. They help you distinguish fact from fiction, truth from lies, and provide light through the darkness.
Malignant narcissists are no doubt dangerous, but they are not omnipotent. Experienced divorce lawyers know how to manage their perfidy and how to protect you. Hire the best divorce lawyer you can afford. While everyone would like to have an amicable and civil divorce, be realistic. The cobra rarely slithers away quietly!
Remember: when you wake up, your nightmares disappear. Maintain a healthy perspective and conquer your fear. Take control of your life. Get help from trained professionals and stare down the serpent. You can do it!