One of the most severe forms of psychological abuse is experienced at the hands of someone exhibiting behaviors characteristic of someone with narcissistic personality disorder and/or antisocial personality disorder (psychopath, sociopath).* Below are some signs that may indicate that you have been a victim of narcissistic abuse:
- Eggshells You’re walking on eggshells around your partner, never knowing what may set him/her off.
- Jekyll/Hyde The analogy “Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde” describes the behaviors of your partner.
- Sorry You are constantly saying “I’m sorry” and taking the blame for things in the relationship that aren’t even your fault.
- Never Enough You can never seem to please your partner. No matter how hard you try it is never good enough.
- Honeymoon You are desperately trying to return to how things were at the beginning of the relationship (when it seemed to be all that you could have ever hoped for and dreamed about).
- Self-Doubt You are constantly second-guessing and doubting yourself, and are now a shell of the vibrant person you one were.
- Rollercoaster Your partner’s hot and cold behavior has you on an emotional rollercoaster.
- Projection You are called/accused of things that more accurately describe your partner than you (e.g. cheater, liar, manipulative, etc.)
- SOS You find yourself compromising your values or doing things very uncharacteristic of yourself in a a desperate attempt to salvage the relationship.
Could this be you? Pray for wisdom to discern what is going on (James 1:5). Find a trusted friend/family member who you can tell. Proverbs 11:14 says, “where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” If you feel like you have no one you can talk to, please contact or feel like you may be unsafe, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233. Online chat is also available if it is not safe to talk via phone: http://www.thehotline.org.
*Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder are diagnosed by a mental health professional.