HOW VICTIMS OF ABUSE USE REALITY BENDING MECHANISMS TO MAKE IT EASIER TO COPE

You think being in an abusive relationship with a narcissist is painful?

Try dangerous.

Reality can be cruel a thing for any person in an abusive relationship.

Any victim knows this too well.

The reality of knowing that your spouse has little to no positive intentions for you, lacks empathy, compassion and understanding towards you and will stop at nothing to project their inner malice on you as long as you are present in their lives.

The reality of knowing that what you are ignoring and brushing off as just a by the way is exactly what is communicating to you what kind of a person your partner is, what they feel and think about you and where they have placed you in their lives.

The reality of knowing that they are not with you because they love you, they are with you because it is convenient for them, convenient for the social status of “married” or other social image standings, convenient because you cook and clean for them and they love the feeling of not worrying about food and clean cloths and house while still getting the “submission” they preach from you

The reality of knowing just how damaging this relationship is for you in the long run and to the kids if any.

So what do the victims do?

They bend that reality to make the situation look and feel less painful.

HOW?

  • PROJECTION. They start projecting their own good qualities to the abuser. They convince themselves that despite how they are treated; the narcissist still loves them and wants the best for them. They project their own understanding and compassion on the narcissist. For example, I have come across women who are disrespected, demeaned, cheated on, verbally abused even physically abused who will still talk of how their man still loves and respects them and only wants the best for them and they only acted like that because the victim did something wrong. In short, the victims start viewing their abuser in the opposite respect of who they really are.
  • IGNORING. Pretty common. Wildly used in our African society. In fact, it is the most common advice you hear dished out amongst victims of abuse. Ignore. How helpful is this to the victim? Barely helpful. The victims basically just compartmentalize their experiences. They put the bad experiences locked away while they put more focus and emphasis on the few positive moments they may have with the abusive person. When we look at the cycle of any form of abuse we will see the abusive person knows best when to act loving when it best fits them, for their own convenience of course and those are moments that the victims will capitalize on ignoring the bigger part of it that is damaging. You find even in the moment they are put down and demeaned and disrespected, they will choose to instead focus on that one moment they told them they loved them. Does this make the damage the abuse is causing on the mental, psychological even physical wellbeing of the victim any less? NO. These in fact are individuals who end up overwhelmed and may act radical when they can’t take it anymore. Because that pain they ignore doesn’t evaporate to thin air, it piles up in the subconscious and the unconscious minds and will one day have the best of them.
  • DENIAL. Denial of the fact that they are affected negatively. Denial of the fact that their spouse is abusive and they probably should seek safety for themselves. Denial of course is intended to trivialize the situation and make it look like it isn’t as bad. Denial is the easiest was to evade reality and victims of abuse learn this art overtime. They will laugh in the face of situations that are painful and pretend it doesn’t affect them. Again, with time, this catches up with them and sometimes in the worst way possible.

Imagine if you had this big wound on your leg. Instead of cleaning it, taking necessary antibiotics, ensuring no more germs gets in contact with it, you decide to wear long trousers over it, avoiding completely looking at it and basically ignoring the fact that it is there. You choose to pretend the wound is not there and act like all is well. What happens? You will still smell the rotting wound, the wound gets worse, it keeps eating you up, the infection gets in your system and could infect other organs, you may develop septicemia.

Basically, the situation gets WORSE and MORE COMPLICATED.

I know it is difficult to face the harsh reality of abuse. God knows I have been in that shoe. When I trivialized my feelings and chose to believe I was loved even though the actions spoke otherwise. I understand how denying pain can be an easier way to deal with it. I do get how ignoring things is much easier and less complicated than confronting things.

I get it.

But I also KNOW and UNDERSTAND just how DANGEROUS this reality bending can be to your wellbeing in the long run.

Most importantly, I ABSOLUTELY UNDERSTAND the impact all this has on the kids that you could be raising in that union.

LOVE IS AN ACT. NOT A WORD. If the actions don’t speak love, it isn’t love.

STAY SANE FOLKS

STAY HEALTHY AND SANE

BY JACKIE WANGWE

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