This is a little off topic (okay a lot off topic), but I have something to say. No snark. Just honesty.
In June, I quietly ended a toxic friendship. I went full No Contact: social media block, new E-mail address, new cellphone number, new address (though my reason for moving was unrelated), etc.
I gave no warning or explanation and I haven’t looked back. I ghosted out because I didn’t want to be persuaded back into the abuse cycle.
And that’s exactly what it was. Abuse. You do not have to be in a romantic relationship in order for emotional abuse to occur.
I ask that you take a moment to read this article. It is an accurate picture of what I experienced in that former friendship.
Six months after walking away, I see the components of abuse so clearly: the initial lovebombing, devaluation and discarding, gaslighting, the (still ongoing) smear campaign, the secrecy, the harem, the triangulation (pitting friends against each other), and repeated hoovering.
I experienced all of it. Looking back, I can’t believe how blind I was to all the red flags. Each time I was about to throw my hands up and walk away, things would suddenly improve (like clockwork) and I would stick around for more, thus allowing the trauma cycle to begin again.
My hope is that none of this is familiar to you, my reader.
If, however, you recognize these patterns, then please do not let someone convince you that their abusive behavior is “normal” and that you’re the one with “unrealistic expectations” or “issues.” Normal people have feelings and that’s okay. The abuser’s goal here is to make you doubt yourself. Don’t do that.
I found that a quick, unannounced exit was the best way to remove myself without further drama.
Continued association with someone who treats you as a source of narcissistic supply will only cause you pain. It’s a one-way street with these people. You are there for their comfort and happiness only and your feelings–no matter how valid they may be–are irrelevant. It is exhausting to live in a pattern of constant emotional upheaval.
My only regret is that I didn’t walk away sooner. Time is precious and I wasted too much of it.
I hope you’ll read on. Ms. Arabi offers a brief introduction that will help you think about things in a new light. If you have a friend or partner who exhibits this type of behavior, my only advice is to distance yourself and you’ll be able to see your relationship for what it is: impossible.
Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Head byShahida Arabi
In popular culture, the term “narcissistic” is thrown about quite loosely, usually referring to vanity and self-absorption. This reduces narcissism to a common quality that everyone possesses and downplays the symptoms demonstrated by people with the actual disorder. While narcissism does exist on a spectrum, narcissism as a full-fledged personality disorder is quite different.
People who meet the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder or those who have traits of Antisocial Personality Disorder can operate in extremely manipulative ways within the context of intimate relationships due to their deceitfulness, lack of empathy and their tendency to be interpersonally exploitative. Although I will be focusing on narcissistic abusers in this post, due to the overlap of symptoms in these two disorders, this post can potentially apply to interactions with those who have ASPD to an extent.
It’s important in any kind of relationship that we learn to identify…
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