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narcissus... Emotional bullies part 1
13 April 2017


Following the previous article I wrote in which I mentioned my own experiences, a lot more has come out of the woodwork.
And then I saw this feature in a magazine about poor Melanie B and her awful partner Stephen.  
And it's prompted me to write a follow on. Because the topic isn't seeming to go away. And a post on facebook asking about people's experiences has really opened my eyes to how many of us - including people we know who are covering up what's really going on - are sufferinG.
there are now 4 parts to this series. This is part 1. DO read all 4. You are not alone 
Please note that I have an email that's in the public domain - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you are welcome to email me if you prefer not to use social media. I will do whatever I can to help. NB I sometimes get anonymous emails with stories they ask me to include - I do what I can. Plus over the last five months I have had the most interesting conversations with several people at retreats for you, several of whom talk about abusive relationships. Then over the last two weeks I have heard even more, with people at work, and family, and people really close to me. It turns out now as I read the above article about Mel B, that it really is rife. It's just that people are not talking about it. So let's get this out in the open.

As I said on the Qvc blog this week, if you are with someone who is making your life a misery with the demands, expecting unreasonable things, wanting you to put them first the whole time, being abusive, including emotionally, then please do more research as you are not alone. And you don't have to put up with it in silence and put on a brave face to the outside world. Maybe you're reading this because you were, and you escaped it, or (rarity) the person changed for the better but you're curious. Well just remember to pass it on, would you? There are others like you out there, who may still need help. Here's one test you can do to help you realise it's NOT normal - 
If you find yourself with a majority of yes answers, you are dealing with emotional abuse. And it's time to get out - or seek help at the very least. I'm not attempting to act as an expert on this blog. I'm merely making public what is going on between seemingly rational / happy relationships that just aren't. Behind closed doors the abuser is making their partner's life a misery and there's a certain kind of abuser that I'm interested in hearing about - although some of the painful stories I've been told after my posts, beggar belief. Some are listed below - yours may be the same - do read them as they make for scary reading. What comes through loud and clear though is that the emotional abuse, especially from one of the most extreme forms, a narcissistic psychopath, (yes it's a thing) can destroy someone's self-confidence - even a strong confident career woman, a seemingly confident mother, or a physically strong, funny , big guy - their partners have reduced them to a shadow of their former selves. And they JUST CAN'T LEAVE.
This is intended to show that it pays to think outside the box and try hard to get free. There is life afterwards - just read some of the stories below. If I've been sent a story with a name, I've changed the name.

One lady who I shall call Joan, told me that her partner's brother Paul was in such a relationship, where he was constantly told his partner Ellen would end her own life if he left her. Ellen was totally psychopathically jealous about everything he did, and curtailed his social life so much that he was a shadow of his former self. He tried to leave her several times, but just got browbeaten and over the years became used to it, eventually having a baby with her and marrying her. Joan, a lady at work, also told me that she herself was in a terrible relationship with somebody who did the same thing, and she had only her family to thank for finally getting her out. She told me that one Christmas she informed him that she wasn't coming to him on Boxing Day after all and it was only that the swearing at her down the phone - using every expletive including the worse ones, saying how she was ruining his life - was so loud that her family heard. They refused to let her go back to him. With their strength and support, she finally walked away from it. But it took her a year or so to get it out of her system and get back to being her normal self. She is now with an amazing man and they are moving in together. And I have kept hearing of such tales - where the person finally breaks free and goes on to find the most incredible partner ever.

So there is always hope, you just have to let go of the beliefs that bind you to these people, somehow, someway, and move on. And if this isn't you, do pass this info on to someone relevant. Often the person describes having a sudden 'waking up' or enlightened moment, saying 'something just snapped' and ending the situation by walking away from being controlled. 
And despite all the threats of violence, or of suicide, nothing happens - once the abuser realises they no longer have control. All they want is to control - and when they can't, they lose interest and go off to someone else they can control. That's the pattern with narcissistic psychopaths - the clue is in the name. A narcissist is too fond of themselves to kill themselves. 

Yet more conversations in this category have taken place at Retreats For You recently. For those who don't know, it's where I run mostly writing retreats and people come to stay for four nights. Over the course of a few nights we get to know each other and often the talk revolves around partners - well we ARE women :-). Although I haven't got much to add, nothing more than I said in my last blog, I'm a good listener and people often share their experiences. There have been several who have said they have had to escape abusive relationships and one woman was with a man so controlling, that he would not even let her drive herself the two hour journey to a regular event that she took part in every week at a club. As it turned out, the driver who started giving her a lift there was the man who eventually became her partner and got her away from her abusive husband. Her husband was controlling all of the money as well, and was totally unreasonable about decisions to do with the children and what they were allowed to do, but all he would ever say is 'because I said so.' And the whole family would tiptoe around him and tread on eggshells so as not to annoy him.

Imagine that was your main aim in life? Not to annoy someone? Not to make them angry?
How awful.

The most shocking case I have heard recently, was by someone very close to me, I cannot say who but I will call her Harriet. It was shocking because none of us knew. They had been with their partner for several years, and faced violent episodes if that person was angry. The person blamed it on their illness, several illnesses but one major one, and over the years the poor girl got used to worse and worse treatment, until finally, in front of her partner's mother, there was a confrontation and Harriet realised she had to get out. Talking to Harriet now, she says she was just numb to it all. She said she stopped feeling and that was the only way she could put up with it. He kept saying he would end his life if she left him, then he would come back all nice as pie, blaming every bit of bad behaviour on this specific illness even though experts told her afterwards that it was not possible for that to be the only cause. He also lied, about so many things that she only found out later. The thing is she believed him because she wanted so much for things to be right and things to be calm, and for things to be pleasant that she would do almost anything for an easy life. But long-term her life is only getting worse. Now when she looks back, she obviously wishes she had got out sooner. And to hear her talk about it as I did recently, finally sharing with people close to her, and admitting that long term it would never have worked, was galling. Because she just put up with it for so long. But why? It merely enabled him to be the abuser for longer. Deep down she knew it wasn't right. If it had been happening to a friend, she would have known exactly what to say - get out. But it was happening to her and she just felt ashamed to admit it - like she'd failed somehow, since he kept blaming her. She said all she felt was guilty - all the time, about everything to do with him. And if she'd walked away back then, she would have felt even more guilt. This guy had also shown his true colours to others - for instance he also lied about owing people money, saying he had been given something for free and lying convincingly when challenged about it. Until someone actually had to sue him to get the bill paid for his car repairs. Harriet had been told a completely different story by him and believed his version of events, and had gone along with it, complicit in the lie, completely unaware because he was such an accomplished liar. The people around him where he lived, knew what he was like, his family also knew and warned her, but she refused to believe them. I think it's the dynamic between the person that they end up being completely blind to the truth. If you look up narcissistic psychopath on YouTube, (see links at bottom) you will see lots of posts from people who have now escaped being a codependent, because that's what it's called. It is a real thing. And people in that situation should definitely get professional counselling to help them understand that they are not alone. Because they keep telling themselves things will get better, but they don't - not really - not genuinely and not long term.
The problem is, just as Harriet experienced, she was too ashamed to seek help. She was ashamed that she had put up with it, she was ashamed of how she was allowing herself to be treated, she was ashamed that she could not make herself take action to accept it was not right that life should be like this, and to improve her own life. So she just didn't tell anyone, and did not want to own up to it. She did not want to face up to the fact that that was her life, especially when he kept threatening her all sorts of things about what would happen if she did to leave him.
Then one day, she said she just woke up.
In the end she left him. And nothing happened. He just went straight onto the next person. Because a narcissistic psychopath needs someone to support the habit, to go along with the lies, and to be in control of. As soon as he stopped being able to control her and she said no and refused to play that game any more, the dynamic collapsed and the House of Cards he had so carefully built fell apart. His lies no longer worked, and suddenly she could see through threats and knew they were empty. Even though he had relied on her for money more than she admitted, she still felt total and utter guilt over every aspect of him feeling bad, as if it was her fault. Until she finally suddenly woke up one day and realised she had to get out. And she did. Even though she had not told any of the family. He had adeptly convinced her that he should be able to spend his own money on whatever he liked, even though she was paying the bills, even some of his bills. It's a scary situation. And as I listened, I remembered something.

Years ago I was in a similar situation. I talk about it in my latest till the fat lady slims book, (get it here on Amazon or you can buy it from your local bookshop on order,) and it concerned a guy who was a bully. He was a physical bully as well, and as I have said in The book, I had bruises on my face and I even then went back to him because I was at an all-time low, on antidepressants and feeling like crap. More on my last blog too.
Some emotional abusers cite all sorts of illnesses as the reason why someone can't leave them. Even depression. But antidepressants don't right wrongs in psychopathic personalities. They don't fix you, they cause more problems than they are worth when you try to come off them afterwards for the majority of people, but if they help you get through a certain stage in your life then fine, to be in neutral is a better thing than to be at an all-time low, I found. But citalopram neutral, as I called it, made me not feel the highs either. I was just drifting and in an easy floaty place, with things just seeming to happen around me, and I could get by. But that's no life. And for anyone around me or around someone else on antidepressants, beware of the neutralised version. I'm glad I didn't have to make any major decisions when I was in that situation, and the counselling I had at the time also helped somewhat. It took about two years for the citalopram to come out of my system entirely, and for my body to feel normal again. And I was only on it for six months on a very low dose. They certainly have a place, but for anyone thinking that life is okay now the abuser is on anti-depressants, think to yourself who are they really? Unless they are going to be on them for the rest of their life indefinitely, but if not, what will return afterwards. Maybe one or two narcissists can finally change, who knows, but the odds are stacked against their co-dependent ever having a normal life. And don't they deserve one?
Another friend who I shall call Julian, talked about being with a guy for a few years, who it turned out even their family did not like much, and saw it was a very uneven, unfair relationship. When I started discussing this topic, my pal Julian said 'oh my god, one of my exes was like that. He threatened suicide whenever I said I wasn't happy and had had enough, yet put me down and hated me going out, was so jealous and made me a less confident person. Eventually when I said that's it one last time, he came back claiming he had cancer. He didn't. It was awful. But when I eventually got out, he went straight on to someone else and I fortunately found my current guy Mal. Mal is the love of my life and I never would have taken any crap from anyone again so maybe it happened to make me the person I am now, so that I was ready for Mal as a better person.'
Does your 'partner' who supposedly loves you, keep coming out with illnesses as reasons not to leave them, as reasons for their own bad behaviour?
Another friend claimed that he wasn't totally under his partner's thumb because with certain situations, his partner wanted him to make her decisions for her. But then he realised that that was just another way of makign him do what she wanted! He saw the truth, when it was pointed out that if he should give her advice and try to get her to make a different choice, when she HADN'T asked for his help, she didn't like it and told him to but out. If only he'd seen the rest of it was just about the control of him too. But that's his journey and maybe his tale will be different, who knows.
Then there's the fact that others are so convinced by the abuser, as they are such an accomplished liar, full of certainty, so convincing, and utterly believable, that people are taken in hook line and sinker to the point that people around you would be shocked to hear your claims. Then if the abuser denies it, people believe THEM! Like a woman who allegedly didn't pay for her horse's hay and ended up causing a rift between a close family since the mother took the woman's side and didn't believe her family about a problem with a horse. The mother eventually discovered how devious the woman could be as she tried to get her in trouble at work, but it just goes to show that the lies can take all forms, not just between partners, when someone is so utterly convincing. 
PLEASE NOTE - I have this morning (Easter Sunday) been emailed by three separate people asking who I'm talking about and for more info about who this woman was who didn't pay her bill. I don't know why. But I can't help you. The email didn't have a sign off, and didn't mention any more than the above. If it had mentioned a name I would have changed it, anyway, and in any case, I would not divulge any more info as the emails you send me are confidential. If you know any more, it's immaterial as the point is that these narcissistic psychopaths are very good at convincing all sorts of people in all sorts of situations, that they are not to blame, when the truth may shock some if it came out. That's why I included this one as it's a completely different situation from the rest and was an instance of someone coming in between people and creating trouble, just to protect themselves. See the examples at the bottom also, for other situations which may resonate with you. It's not just between partners. email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any further case stories I can add.
Here's another one - an even worse example - and one I was just sent via facebook - underlining the extreme effects of mental abuse, especially in cutting someone off from their friends and loved ones as they are so jealous:
"My sister suffered for a long time. The mental abuse leaves far deeper scars sadly. Plus half the time the person involved has no idea they are being manipulated or abused & controlled. Interestingly, I spotted the signs very early on. I was living in Birmingham at the time, over 100 miles from my family. It was my 30th birthday & my sister & her mentally abusive boyfriend were invited, along with all my family, to a very special banquet at a beautiful venue.  I could see this man was trying every which way to stop her coming to my party. First he said in the morning he was unwell. My sister said OK I'll get a lift with mum & dad. She couldn't drive. He then said no he would be OK to drive. He then waited until mum & dad had left & said again he couldn't go. She said OK I'll get the train. He then said no it's OK I'll drive. Again. They get as far as Cirencester, where his parents live, and says he's too ill to finish the journey. She says it's OK I'll get the train from Cirencester. Miraculously he recovers & completes the journey. Straight away I thought he's trying to split her up from her family. He's determined for her to miss my birthday. When they arrived, he did not leave her side. He would not even let her go to the toilet without him. He went with her & waited outside until she came out. I managed to go to the toilet at the same time & told her what I thought he was trying to do. She told me short of him crashing the car, nothing was going to stop her getting to my birthday, which was true. Thankfully this was all about 22 years ago, but it does have long lasting implications. You can get out, you can move on, you can have a great life, but you can't forget. My sister was lucky, she had family who weren't going to let him split us up & who were there for her 100%. Sadly many people aren't so lucky, and are trapped far longer. I think you writing about the experiences of these women is a really positive thing to do, so thank you. My sister didn't admit it for years. She felt ashamed, like it was her fault, like she was a failure. By illustrating that lots of people, of all ages, from all cultures & backgrounds have been in these awful situations it will give more people strength to speak out. My sister is very attractive, could have any man she wanted, is intelligent, university educated, great job, could be a successful independent woman. However, she got involved with the wrong man & put up with violence & abuse for about 5 years. Anyone on the outside looking in would never have believed she would have put up with it. Equally, the man was a friendly, chatty, sociable, extremely likeable man. I would say 90%!of her family, friends & colleagues would have been utterly shocked & would have found it almost impossible to believe what he was capable of.
The problem being you're often in denial, can't and refuse to believe it's happening until you're in deep. Reality is very hard to see. I'd like to think there is a lightbulb moment for everyone but sadly there isn't and it's often easier to remain"

There have been for other stories I've heard, all along the same lines, in the last few months as well. I decided as a result of keeping hearing them all, all in a similar theme, that I would post this. Harriet, who I discussed in depth above, never came to me and talked to me when it was all happening, I wish she had.
If anyone wants to email me about anything you've read, please feel free, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There are some helpful links below, some eye openers, and if you like I will send you the other links that I think may open your eyes to the fact that you are not alone.
And more importantly than anything else is this. If you know you are going to get out at some stage, because this is not your life and you don't want it to be your life forever, then get out earlier rather than later to avoid even more years slipping by wasted with the wrong person. Several of the people have spoken to me, at least four, have soon after leaving the narcissist, found their true love, one who finally treats them with respect, as an equal. Rather than as a subordinate. So it is really worth exploring your options, at least the read, watch, or find someone to talk to. But don't stay stuck. Don't become ill, don't become a shadow of your former self, think - what would i say if it was happening to a friend? What advice would I give them? Then take it yourself. Don't be another statistic. Don't be a Mel B - whether you're a woman or man.
At least my friends above are out now. And so are most of the people who told me their stories, listed below. And so can you be, one day. You just have to imagine it is possible, and imagine what life could be like on the other side of it.

Following on from my highly shared blog on emotional bullies -

Narcissists aren't capable of something called 'object constancy' — and it helps explain why they are so cruel to the people they date | The Independent nails it. If you're being emotionally abused, and have stopped having a sense of self, (or you fear for someone who has) read this. Then run.

Finally - see the links below. And take this test -
Very interesting.

part two - getting the help you need or taking the first step and more tales from you guys

part three - why they will never change - it's in the brain and difficult to unlearn - ever. hard hitting truths about the narcissist. This blog.

 Other articles are online, are listed on parts one and two, and include this one -to help you understand if you have been subject to manipulation by a narcissistic personality at some level

Keep in touch with me, email me your story - especially if you too had your 'aha' moment, and broke free - it really can be done in most circumstances, especially with a pure narcissist. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Any story is a valuable story, even if you want to tell just me, just say, as getting it out can be very therapeutic, just as the below was for me. 

best wishes



good luck.

Hope this is helped

Debbie Flint

further links - (skip the ad)
nb lisa romano has lots of videos on youtube - scour through them
also - - this one is a very good one.
1. Donna.

I've just read your blog. I have no doubt that I will be the only one writing to you. It's not the fact that it's you (please don't be offended!) but it just feels so good to write it all down, as I do on occasions, get it out in the open even though it happened to me over 30 years ago. 


I'm not going to go into it Year by year, month by month, even week by week but I was abused. Yes, physically but that was towards the end, the last six months. Before that it was mental abuse, mental torture. Frustrating, confidence-slamming and pure evil. He came from a family of 5 - more girls than boys. They believed they were close but it always amused me as there were always rows and arguments and lots of fall outs and stretches of months, even years of silence between a couple of siblings. I kept out. I come from a small family just me and my younger sister and we were/are not close however I am to my parents even back then. 

He was a drinker. Always in a pub even met him in a pub. I was there socially, I always preferred to drive and therefore wouldn't even drink one.  We were together for just over ten years all in all.  It was fun at first but after we bought our own home and moved some distance from home, life got difficult. I was in a good job I was the bread winner although not by much. He did work hard, i would get home before him, have his dinner ready etc.  Although I took no notice in the first few months, it became apparent that he did the same every evening when he got home:  "Sorted out his tools" in his van the moment he parked, greeted me with a hello 'grunt' as he walked through the door, huffed and deep-sighed when I asked about his day whilst eating dinner, then off he d go upstairs.  As time went on, social nights and day trips to the beach which we used to love, went out of the window and he never even wanted to visit my parents although very happy to visit his family - because they were all well stocked with alcohol and weren't shy to offer it to him either. So it went without saying I always drove. They used to say "oh he's worked hard, he deserves it" blah blah blah. At (his) family parties and even funerals he always drank too much and ended up slumped somewhere.   I darent say anything.  A few years later I fell pregnant without trying even though I was on the pill and we decided we should get married.  At first I thought it was the end of my world but when the baby came my priorities changed totally.   The baby was (and is) my life. I loved being a mum although it was hard with a job in London. As time went on he became more ignorant towards me and the baby and he used to try and find any excuse to have an argument. I refused to let the baby get drawn into it all and often took myself off to stay with my parents for the odd night. 

One weekend we had been invited to a wedding - no children. He refused to go so I went alone. I had a whale of a time with friends there really let my hair down for once and he picked us up. I don't remember a thing but know I was so drunk and I was very ill! But I do know that 11 weeks later I found out I was pregnant again and I was so angry. We hadn't slept together for months and months and I came to the conclusion that it happened the night I got drunk. I was fuming, upset, so very hurt and decided that was that, I intended to save up a deposit and leave him.  The baby came and I couldn't be happier (they were both and still are my life my world!) and they were very close and looked after each other.  A lot of things happened from then on. It just got worse and worse, his ignorance, his drinking and whilst having a spring clean before Christmas I found the panel on the bath fell down. As I looked in around the bath there were literally hundreds of beer cans!  I started looking in other places - I found hundreds of beer cans - amongst the children's toys in the toy cupboard, hidden under my hanging wedding dress, even behind the washing machine (I wondered why it had been creeping out from under the worktops - it had never jutted out like that when we had bought it). I was done. I told him I was going to leave. He just smirked and laughed and told me I would never leave him. Of course I was scared, I didn't want to leave - I still loved him but could not continue letting my children be ignored by him.  I started planning and organising a private rental home for us and months later we left. I took nothing but the car, some clothes and a few of the childrens' main toys. My parents were brilliant. I told them after I left and they just refused to believe it all at first. The ex even went to my dads workplace to see him and begged him to get me to go back. Can you believe my dad told me I had to go back because he (the ex) was in bits and crying? I told my dad there was no way. I went to see my parents in law too. Didn't know what to say I knew I'd be the baddie and I wouldn't be believed and I was right. They still didn't believe it but I was passed caring. 


I soon met my current husband. All I can describe him as is a diamond, a pure diamond. He's brought the children  up and they love him like their own Dad. And we are very happy. 


God that feels good once again to let it all out! Sorry for the length, sometimes some things just cannot be shortened. 


Thank you xx



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1 comment

  • Comment Link Jane McArthur 13 April 2017 posted by Jane McArthur

    I was with a man who on our wedding night, tried to throw me from a third storey window. My family were horrified at his behaviour, but his, in contrast, refused to believe it and somehow I became the person in the wrong. After that it was all downhill. He frequently threatened me, threatened to harm himself and blame me, kicked and punched and terrified me. Oddly enough, the final straw wasn't violence related. I discovered he had enormous debts which he attributed to a drug addiction. I left him as bringing my son up with a drug addict ( and gambler, I latterly discovered) was not an option. Even then, some years later, I was forced to take out a restraining order and eventually press for an arrest warrant to curb the threats and intimidation. Such extreme measures ( although entirely warranted, but unpleasant) seemed to do the trick. I suspect if i had stayed with him, I wouldn't be writing this. He's gone on to remarry and reform ( so I'm told) but I'm grateful I had the strength, out of fear for my young son, to leave when I did.

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