Of Emotional Abuse & Narccisistic Personality Disorder 7

This article is a worthy continuance of the former. We are addressing some of the effects of narcissism on its victims today.

1. Self-doubt - as aforementioned, one of the narcissist’s greatest tools of abuse is gaslighting; As the narcissist continually gaslights their casualties their self-esteem and perspective of the world slowly erodes. Many a time we speak about the ravaging emotional impacts of narcissism but we omit to mention how narcissism also affects us mentally. Without trust in our own views, judgement, intuition and perspective of the world our lives become like dummy Christmas trees i.e having the appearance of beauty and life yet devoid of roots and sap.

2. Losing your identity and sense of self – the aftermath of self-doubt is losing yourself and identity so as to comply with the relentless demands of the narcissist. It also includes walking on egg shells around the narcissist with no assurance of what tomorrow holds in your relationship or how they may react to what you will say or do. Casualties of narcissism may also forgo hobbies that fire up their souls individually; this often happens because the victim feels unworthy and unlovable and consequently sees no need to apportion time for their own self-care and rejuvenation.

3. Cognitive dissonance – This happens where the abused holds fails to reconcile the image of love bombing the narcissist portrayed to him/her at the onset of romance and the true manipulative/abusive nature of the narcissist throughout the course of the relationship. The victim lives in a bubble of a blissful past rendered by the narcissist and the current reality of the narcissist’s abusive ways with the hope that the narcissist will change for the better.

4. Stockholm syndrome – This syndrome was named by criminologist Nil Bejerot in Stockholm, Sweden in 1973. The term was used to enunciate the unfathomable affection hostages of a bank raid had towards their captor. The hostages went to an extent of helping the captors with legal fees after the said captors were caught. This was despite the fact that their lives were under insurmountable threat at the time they were held hostage. From the emotional abuse viewpoint, the Stockholm syndrome pervades victims of emotional abuse when such casualties fall deeper in love with their abuser despite the horrendous treatment occasioned to them. Such sufferers also do everything they can to shield their abusers from any law enforcement bodies or anyone that tries to rescue them from abuse. Some scholars propound that the Stockholm syndrome is a coping mechanism for some victims especially if the abuse has been prolonged and the abuser is occasionally kind to its sufferer; this coping mechanism aids casualties to deny the reality of the situation and abate the pangs of abuse.

5. Post-traumatic stress disorder - This is a culmination of reactions experienced after a traumatic event. Symptoms of this disorder include; feeling frequently irritated and overreacting, prolonged loss of appetite or overeating, recurrent insomnia or oversleeping, incessant nightmares, relentless low productivity, unending failure to concentrate etc.

6. Stress related diseases – Studies depict that trauma does not only reside in our emotions, it is also domiciled in our bodies hence the reason why victims of narcissism and abuse in general are more susceptible to diseases which may be exacerbated or caused by stress in some instances e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, asthma, gastrointestinal problems etc.

7. Stunted personal development and fulfilment in life – Our relationships and daily interactions to some extent determine who we become. If we are continually battered emotionally and have a fickle identity or none as a result of our relationships, it is nigh impossible for us to evolve with time and fulfilment remains a pie in the sky. On the other hand, if our relationships encourage and challenge us to reach the apex of who we were destined to be, we stand a greater chance of being fulfilled provided we also do our part in the equation. The subsequent article will touch on co dependent relationships in the context of narcissism.

Gaone Monau is a Practicing attorney and Motivational speaker. For bookings on gender-based violence awareness seminars, motivational talks or consultations on relationships, confidence building, stress management and self-discovery contact +26774542732 or [email protected] Her Facebook page is Be Motivated with Gaone. • This article was co – authored in conjunction with Tsholofelo Kgwalabatlhe, a narcissist survivor, Psychologist, Founder and Director of Explore Consults Pty Ltd- a company that offers counselling, psychotherapy, workshops, trainings and assessments. Her Facebook page is Explore Life with Tsholo. For bookings/appointments contact 73015012.

Editor's Comment
More resources needed to fight crime

The Fight Crime Gaborone Facebook page is always filled with sad complaints of hard working Batswana who were robbed at knife point at some traffic lights or at their home gates when trying to get inside.These thugs have no mercy; they do not just threaten victims, they are always ready to use knives, and sadly, they damage car windows. While this happens at different traffic lights, there are those where such incidents happen more frequently...

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