It’s not a new song, but when I hear ‘Heartbreak Down’ by Pink, it stirs up the pain and destructive, frenzied conclusion of my emotionally abusive relationship.
The powerful lyrics “So here’s where the problem starts
You’re shitting on my heart, Oh, I can’t take it again and again and again” provokes memories of the despair I went through trapped in my emotionally abusive love story.
My partner emotionally manipulated me, preyed on my vulnerabilities and often twisted my words against me to unnerve me- and just when I would hit breaking point, he would lure me back with loving apologies and the promise of change. And always music was at the heart of his many shrewd, potent techniques used to romance me. It was an integral part of the seduction, the dream and the passion. He had one song in particular that he dedicated to me as a reflection of his feelings ‘More than a Woman’ Bee Gees. He would regularly turn the song on, take me in his arms and whisper how much he loved me, how I was never going anywhere and we should die rather than not be together as words of the song
“Here in your arms, I found my paradise
My only chance for happiness
And if I lose you now, I think I would die
Say you’ll always be my baby
We can make it shine
We can take forever just a minute at a time” echoed in the background. As music can, it triggered a rush of emotion through me. It was so intense.
You see these narcissist are clever. My guy knew exactly how to pull at my hearts strings, how to play me. And I have to hand it him he is bloody good at it.
Escaping abusive relationships involves more than the escape plan, and you won’t know the depth of your problems until you break free. But, as you plan your escape, you believe your life will be easier. But the aftermath of escaping abusive relationships is an emotional minefield, and you will need the support from family and friends and in many cases psychotherapist/psychiatric professional help.
I would be lying if I told you that leaving your abusive partner is easy. But by putting the following steps in place will give you the best chance for a successful break from your abusive partner.
1. Get support. You are going to need all the support you can muster because you can be sure that your abusive partner is not going to make it easy. You might hear apologies; hear pleading that he will change. He might sob in front of you. On the other end of things, he may choose to threaten you. Talk to your doctor, a close friend, a counsellor anyone you trust and garner their support to help you take the first step to leaving.
2. Have a place to go. Find a safe place to be and if at all possible, somewhere he doesn’t know about. Be open about your experience, your need for support.
3. Have a job and/or money. It is an excellent idea to save secretly, to have your bank account. It is to your advantage to strive to be financially independent, as this will give you a lot more freedom in the long run and make it easier to reclaim your life.
4. Be committed to the breakup. Remember No Contact. Don’t be wishy-washy. If you show signs of weakness now, he will pounce on these and manipulate you into coming back to him. Chances are, you have been in this place before and ready to leave and then he offered up a peace treaty and promised you he would change. You know from experience that this is highly unlikely to happen. Be strong! You can do this.
5. Be safe. It is advisable to change your phone number, your email address, and on-line passwords. Do what you need to do to protect your safety and well-being. He will try and make contact with you even after you leave so this will put up a high barrier to his attempts. It’s also important that you enlist all the help and guidance you can because I know from experience that this is not easy. You can google emotional abusive or domestic abuse to find your local support systems, and once you have done that don’t be afraid to make the contact. The services are there for you, to help you cope. You will be surprised by the kind, helpful, non-judgemental and caring support you will receive if you reach out for it.
*Self-professed narcissist and author of “Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited,” Sam Vaknin gives a powerful description on how a narcissist abuses his victim:
“He infiltrates her defenses, shatters her self-confidence, confuses and confounds her, demeans and debases her. He invades her territory, abuses her confidence, exhausts her resources, hurts her loved ones, threatens her stability and security, involves her in his paranoid states of mind, frightens her out of her wits, withholds love, causes frustration, humiliates and insults her privately and in public, points out her shortcomings, criticizes her profusely and in a “scientific and objective” manner – and this is a partial list. Very often, the narcissist acts sadistically in the guise of an enlightened interest in the welfare of his victim. He plays the psychiatrist to her psychopathology (totally dreamt up by him). He acts the guru to her need of guidance, the avuncular or father figure, the teacher, the only true friend, the old and the experienced. All this in order to weaken her defenses and to lay siege to her disintegrating nerves. So subtle and poisonous is the narcissistic variant of sadism that it might well be regarded as the most dangerous of all.”
My Story the Aftermath
Athens, Photos and Insight – Recovery