When most people think of abuse, they think of physical abuse. They image a battered woman with black eyes. However physical abuse is the least common form of abuse. The other types of abuse (financial, emotional/psychological) are much more prevalent, and just (if not more so) as damaging.
Financial abuse: Is where one person exerts power and control over the another by damaging or hindering their access to money/credit. The goal is generally to keep the victim stuck and not be able to easily leave, although with a Narcissist financial abuse may also be due to reckless and selfish behavior. The abuser may hide the money, spend all the money, drive the couple deep in debt, insist on a joint account and then have complete control over it, grossly mismanage funds, not allowing the other partner to work, or if they do work, taking the lion’s share of their earnings and giving them a small allowance to which they can’t do much with, steal the money, damage or destroy the victim’s credit.
Psychological/emotional abuse: Is where one person exerts power and control over another by damaging or hindering their self esteem and/or mental stability. The goal is to breakdown the victim to be more easily manipulated. Some common strategies are name calling, yelling, put downs, manipulation, crazy-making behavior, threatening violence in a way that only the victim would perceive it as such, instilling fear, isolating the person from friends and family, giving the silent treatment for prolonged periods of time (more than the “normal” few hours to cool off), insulting, mocking, lying, excessively criticizing, withholding important information, etc. This type of abuse is often considered the worst kind by victims, as it is often dismissed or downplayed by those whom the victim trusts for support (such as friends and family, church members, counselors who are unfamiliar with abuse, and/or police) as part of the normal ups and downs of a relationship. This abuse often causes PTSD, substance abuse, depression and suicidal thoughts and actions.
All too often victims are stuck in relationships with Narcissists because they think that they are dealing with a normal person who has the capacity and desire to change. They are wrong. Narcissists lack empathy and remorse, which is why victims find themselves dealing with the same behaviors time and time again. You cannot make a relationship with a Narcissist work. There is no cure, and therapy doesn’t help–if anything, it makes them more dangerous and destructive because they learn to hide their behavior, and play their games better.
Physical abuse: This abuse is where one person exerts power and control over another by use of intentional and unwanted contact. This is often done on areas of the body that is covered by clothes. This behavior can include pinching, slapping, punching, kicking, scratching, biting, hair pulling, spanking, grabbing clothing, throwing objects at the victim, forcing or coercing sex, grabbing the victim’s face to make them look at the abuser, using a weapon on the victim such as a gun, knife, mace, etc.
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.