How to Get Out of Mental Violence
Some more important tips for getting out of violence and dealing with it:
1. Keep a diary
To help yourself decide whether to stay or leave the relationship and even after you have already left it – I highly recommend keeping a special diary that documents everything you experience in a relationship. Any case of violence, humiliation, criticism, belittling, stinging, harsh exchanges with the children, etc. – write down and document with a date.
It is advisable to do this in Google Doc which is saved automatically and even if something happens to the computer, the file will not disappear. It is also advisable to keep two copies of this file in different places so that if your spouse finds the file and deletes it, you will have another copy (this unfortunately happened to me once and I did not have another copy and a lot of information was lost forever).
This diary is very important because one of the things that happens to you when you are under violence, is that your memory begins to deceive you and you begin to believe the things your partner tells you – the same partner whose perception of reality is often completely distorted (if he does suffer from narcissistic personality disorder).
You tend to quickly forget every negative episode that happened and whitewash it, always striving to see the good in your spouse. It is a defense mechanism that allows you to stay there despite all the pain you are experiencing, because deep down on the subconscious level you believe you have no choice because you do not deserve better than that. The diary will help you gain clarity about the truth behind the situation you are experiencing and assess the severity of the situation over time.
After the separation, it is important that you continue to keep such a diary, if the spouse continues to be violent, intrusive, cross-border, harassing and / or talking to you in a disrespectful / offensive manner in the presence or absence of the children. Every such event is important to be documented.
Unfortunately I did not do that in the first years after the breakup at all, and I did not realize how much the violence continued. In fact we continued to conduct ourselves as a couple even many years after we broke up because I failed to put boundaries in a powerful, clear and sharp way.
2. Give yourself time
If your girlfriends / friends / family are trying to encourage you to “move on” and put the past behind you, but you are still in a state of grief and pain after the breakup, do not pay attention to them.
Give yourself as much time as you need to recover and heal yourself.
They try to help, but many times they do not understand the severity of the mental (maybe even physical) injury you went through, because the narcissist seems completely normal on the outside, and most likely you also hid the severity of the injury from them over the years, and maybe even from yourself.
Treat yourself as much as possible to things that do you good and make you happy.
3. Lay down the swords
How to respond to your ex after you break up?
The more responsive you are to him, the harder it will be for you to disconnect from him mentally.
The best advice I got from the book “Will I ever be free of you” is “Leave the swords, but wrap yourself in healing armor”.
People with narcissistic personality disorder love wars because they feed on your “lower” energy (anger, rage, guilt, jealousy, accusations, etc.). They also always have to “win.” Therefore – leave any attempt to change or “fix” him and focus on healing and rehabilitating you and the children.
4. Take responsibility
As Frank Sinatra said: “The best revenge is massive success” – instead of trying to take revenge and fight it, take full responsibility for creating this situation in your life (not your fault! But yes your responsibility), and focus your full attention on strengthening, passion, joy, healing and hope, defining your vision and fulfilling all your dreams, while dealing with legal matters with him (if necessary) as equally as possible.
I know it’s not always easy and it took me a long time to be able to do it myself, but if I had not been able to emotionally disengage from the struggle with it, I would have lost my sanity long ago.
List of sites and resources that can support you
About verbal violence, mental violence and narcissistic personality disorder:
1. Will I Ever Be Free of You?: How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist and Heal Your Family – Dr. Karyl McBride – An excellent book and website that will help you understand if you are in a relationship with a narcissist.