While many narcissists out there are not physically abusive, there are plenty that have no qualms about putting their hands on a woman in anger. May I introduce to you the lowest of the low sort of human being. These men are NOT to be trifled with, unless you have a death wish, or enjoy frequent visits to the ER.
In my opinion, the worst thing about the physically abusive relationship is that the trauma bonding & physiological addiction to the narcissist can be so much more extreme. In every relationship, the partners become physiologically dependent on one another. This is without consent, or choice, but rather a simple, biological fact. In an attached couple (which is every couple), we help to regulate each other’s physiological conditions, such as blood pressure, hormone levels, breathing rate, heart rate, pain response, and more.
In a narcissistic relationship, the victim becomes bonded to the narcissist in all the aforementioned ways and then, in addition, the victim also experiences peptide addiction (google it- it’s very interesting reading). This is what gives the narcissist’s victim the feeling of excruciating pain, and the feeling as though they will, quite literally, die when they are separated (discarded- or going No Contact) from the narcissist.
Being in relationship with a narcissist is a very messed up experience. On a regular basis, the victim is abused to the point of break-down. Then, usually at the last second, the narcissist swoops in love-bombs the victim. This calms, and soothes the victim but, also psychologically mind-f*cks them because… well…as I once put it, when trying to explain this twisted cycle to a friend of mine: Only the Devil, himself, can chase his demons away.
Now, add in the element of physical abuse, and we can just go ahead and intensify the bond because, now, there is a level of physical survival added into the mix of trauma bonds. The victim is not just emotionally and psychologically dependent on the narcissist but, also, physically dependent on him for her very survival. Her life is in his hands…and they both know it.
If you are the victim of physical abuse, your first priority NEEDS to be SAFELY escaping that situation. Especially if you have children. If a man hits you, HE WILL have no problem hitting your innocent children. Guaranteed.
If you have nowhere safe to go, there are programs out there (like Casa, in Florida) where you can be relocated with your children, witness protection style. It would behoove you to look into these programs ASAP.
If that is also not an option, then your safety and survival MUST be your number one priority. Obviously. First and foremost, NEVER challenge the narcissist. A man who is willing to put his hands on a woman in anger is no man at all. He is a coward…and cowards are unstable and extremely dangerous.
DO NOT provoke, or stand up to him. Always do your best to do whatever you know it takes to keep him calm, and happy, and full of the all-precious narcissistic supply.
Having said that…when the time comes, and you are ready to leave, or take a stand, then you ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NEED to have a ready-to-go, already-in-place support network. You need to have friends in the community that would be willing to stop by, unannounced- and often- to continuously check up on you. This sends the signal to the narcissist that you are well-connected. This shows him that he better watch his step because you have friends, and friends notice things like bruises. He gets the message that you would be missed, if something were to happen to you.
Secondly, you need to make friends with as many police officers as you can. Get to know your local domestic violence advocate- know them by name. If you are going to take a stand, then you need to do so consistently, and that means EVERY, SINGLE TIME your narcissist lays a hand on you, or threatens to, you call the police to come arrest his ass. And you DO NOT bail him out of jail.
Standing in front of a judge and a bunch of uniformed officers is a shameful experience- especially for a narcissist- and ESPECIALLY when all those other men are looking at him as though he is scum (which, of course, he is).
If you are not going to be willing to call the cops on your man, have him arrested, and let him sit there and think about what he’s done- or if you’re not willing to do this consistently- EVERY, SINGLE TIME…then go back to the first tactic I mentioned. Just be sweet and caring and provide supply without comment or complaint, until you are ready to safely escape.
THE SAFE ESCAPE PLAN
Anytime I mention leaving a narcissist, or psychopath, I always enforce the idea of the SAFE escape plan. I do this for two main reasons.
- According to statistical data, on average, a woman will try to leave her abusive partner about 7 times, before she actually manages to break free for good. In a physically violent relationship, a failed escape attempt could very easily mean a trip to the ER. There are ALWAYS consequences for trying to get away, and failing. ALWAYS.
- The SAFE escape plan guarantees that you won’t go back. It guarantees that once you’ve made the decision to get away, you’ve got all your resources put toward making sure you are able to STAY AWAY. A safe escape plan means you won’t have to go crawling back- most of the time when you don’t want to- because of some peripheral circumstance, like money.
The four points to a S.A.F.E. escape plan are as follows:
- S is for Support: You need to have a solid support network in place. An online support group (such as The Rescue Room, my secret Facebook support group, which you can join by sending a friend request HERE) is great, but you also NEED to have real live people, especially on those first few nights, to make sure you don’t go back once those peptides start going crazy, activating your body’s survival instinct and, making you feel like you have to go back to the narcissist, or die.
Having a place to stay for the first week- or at least the first few nights- is key to making the escape stick. Your support network can ensure you don’t make contact other than to place planned safety, check-in calls.
The stronger the bond between you and your support person- who is preferably a long-time friend, or family member, although that doesn’t have to be the case if you happen to be estranged- the better.
- A is for Attorney: If you have kids involved, or if you are married, having an attorney is CRUCIAL. You ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, 100% DO NOT want to go to court against a narcissist, without an good attorney- one who is experienced in dealing with narcissists- in your corner. Narcissists are notorious for low blows, smear campaigns, and any form of dirty tactics, in order to hurt a woman who is trying to leave them.
Narcissists are known for long, drawn out custody battles, over kids they don’t even WANT, just because taking the kids would devastate the mother.
Not to totally freak you out but, in Florida, just last year, a narcissistic father took custody of the kids when the woman escaped the relationship. When she got into a relationship with another man, he threw their four-year-old daughter off a bridge, murdering the child. Obviously, that is an extreme case but, you MUST NOT forget that you are dealing with a man who has no conscience to speak of, and who would have no problem hurting their own children, in order to punish their wayward victim.
An attorney is vital to ensure you get the appropriate restraining orders, injunctions, and supervised visitations ONLY, that are required in ex-relationships involving narcissists. All of the above is DOUBLY necessary- even triply, or quadrup-ly (?)- necessary, if the ex-partner has shown a tendency for physical violence. I will say it again because, it bears repeating: If a man is fucked up enough to beat up on you, he will NOT have any problems beating up on your kids.
- F is for Finances: This is aspect of the SAFE plan that takes the longest amount of time to achieve. BEFORE you decide to make a run for it, you MUST have your finances in order. You HAVE TO have a way to support yourself and/or your children, without ANY help from the narcissist, BEFORE you try to escape the relationship.
Too many women are forced into returning to an abusive relationship because they have no means of feeding themselves, or putting a roof over their heads, without the aid of the narcissist. Not ensuring that you are financially supported, before attempting to escape, is a huge mistake. (If you thought the Narcissist was obnoxious before, just imagine a narc who has the pleasure of witnessing you come crawling back because you need his money. *shudder*)
- E is for Escape: The actual escape, itself, requires proper planning, if you’re going to make a clean get away. Planning when, and how to leave, where to go, how you will get your belongings (if you plan on leaving your home behind), or how to protect your belongings (if your plan is to evict the narcissist) are all things you need to consider, and have planned out in advance.
Making calls to local moving companies that can help you get out quickly- Planning the day of your escape with your support team- Apprising your kids’ schools of the situation, if necessary- Acquiring the assistance of your local battered women’s shelter, for the day of the move/escape…All of these details should be planned out meticulously.
All of these things give you your best chance of getting away and STAYING AWAY. They also help to guarantee your physical safety, and the physical safety of your children, if you have them. Narcissists- especially ones who are, or have shown they can be, physically violent, ARE NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH. This is NOT something you want to leave to chance. At all.
That’s all for today,
~The Narcissist’s Wife