Three Things an Abuser Will Never Admit to You

16 Apr 2019

 Did your induction into the crazy, skewed world of abusive people start in childhood? That is how it works for many of us. We were born into damaged – and damaging – families. Our parents  or other family members  likely grew up in an environment where their own emotional needs were rarely met – at best.  Maybe they were emotionally neglected and brutalized. Possibly, they were indulged in every way – except the ways that truly matter: genuine love, attention and validation.

The 4 precious gifts emotionally  abused children are denied

However it worked in your family, I’m guessing that you grew up lacking four precious gifts,

  • A sense of your own importance in the world
  • A sense of your own unique worth.
  • A sense of being safe in the world.
  • A sense of being deeply – unconditionally – loved.

When you lack these four precious gifts, grow up with the absence of a solid foundation of self-worth. You are obliged to construct your life, the best way you can.  That leaves you aware that something is missing from your own life – although you cannot be sure exactly what it is.

Rather, you stand on the sidelines of life observing other people’s families, like a child gazing into a candy store their nose pressed up against the window pane. 

Planet  “I-Know-Other-People-Can-Have-This-But-I-Can’t”. 

Emotional abuse sets you on another planet – the planet of “I-Know-Other-People-Can-Have-This-But-I-Can’t.”

You sense that other families enjoy a love, care and mutual respect that is lacking in your own home environment. And then you hit a kind of emotional wall – because you are looking into a different world, quite literally.

As you reach adulthood, you look for an intimate partner whose love will validate you.  If you can only find that One, then everything that you have been through as a child will cease to exist – or at least cease to exert any power over you.  Your past wounds will just fade away.

Or so we tell ourselves.

Reality doesn’t work like that.  But how were we supposed to know?

Those of us who grew up in abusive homes assembled our little ragbag of beliefs about Love and Life the best way we could.

Enter Prince Charming

Then in sweeps an abuser in his best Prince Charming/Rescuer finery. He holds out the dream and we jump at it. We think we have found our Happy Ever After.  The abuser knows that he has hit pay dirt.  For him, it’s game on.

In the manner of all narcissists and abusers, he soon tires of playing Prince Charming.  Then, he morphs into Mr. Nasty.  That is when you start to see the person behind the fine trappings.

Part of the fun, for an abuser, may well be observing just how easily bamboozled you are. He offers you an increasing amounts of – clear – proof of who he really is.  Yet you manage to overlook it.  Because Prince Charming could still oust Mr. Nasty, couldn’t he?

And so it goes on for months, years, or decades.

The futile war

It amuses an abuser to keep you locked into a futile war to Liberate His Inner Good Guy.  That war keeps you from registering how the high cost of the relationship in terms of your happiness, peace of mind and sense of self.

The saddest thing of all is that, for you, this feels like a life and death war – you see  the Narcissist is your happiness, your future, your whole life.  Without him, it is All Over. Life will not be worth living – allegedly.

For him, all of this is simply a mind-game.  Or, if you prefer, a game of psychological warfare.

The abuser wins the game by keeping from you the three things  you most need to hear.  He knows  how far those three things would go to restoring your increasingly shattered sense of self. Unfortunately, from his point of view, those three things would destroy the power he has over you. So, you will never, EVER truly hear them from him.  At best, he might just pay lip service to them when absolutely necessary to keep you in the game.

The three things that an abuser will never admit to you. 

#1 You are lovable.  Even when your abuser was in Prince Charming mode, when his narrative went like this: “I am prepared to love you and see the good in you.” the subtext went, “at a price”. He never made you feel that you were worthy of being loved just as you were – and are.

Abusers take the position that you are so unworthy of love that nobody else could tolerate you.  They know exactly how much power that position gives them over you.

#2 You are good enough. Abusers live their intimate relationships on a fault-finding mission – because making you feel bad makes them feel good.  So, you are never EVER going to be good enough for them. They are always on the lookout for some fault that they can berate you for.  That, in part, explains why they will pull up grievances from years ago.  If you felt good about yourself, you would do a reality check and ask yourself, “Why do I want this millstone around my neck?”  Sadly, the millstone is smart enough to blind you to the truth.

#3 You are not broken and your life is not over. Abusers specialize in in-depth unhappiness training.  That serves their purpose.  So, they consistently talk to you about your very own, apocalyptic, dystopian future without them.  No matter that you are actually living an apocalyptic, dystopian present.  They vow that your life can only get worse without them.

Life after an abuser

Of course, life without them does not get worse. That would be asking a LOT.  Even when your life without them is hard, it is still decidedly better.  Simply because they are no longer key players in it.

Abusers are appalling human beings.  They inflict obscene harm on the people who love them because they are toxic, callous, cynical manipulators.  They deserve neither your compassion nor your attention.   You deserve your own compassion and attention.  Focus on the three truths an abuser will never admit to you and you will rediscover the you that is lovable, good enough, unbroken and able to have a joyful life.  Even if it takes a while, you will get there and it will be worth it.

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