Due to our deeply unequal system, women throughout history have been victims of physical, emotional, social, and cultural abuse
This violence has greatly impacted women’s mental health and the way they see themselves. Although stopping talking about victimhood is one of the ways that women have to begin to heal these patterns, after recognizing them.
The foregoing is important because discovering childhood wounds, family and emotional traumas, and how we deal with our emotions not only have repercussions on social levels but on the contrary, detecting and healing patterns is one of the first steps to reach success, undertaking and recognize ourselves as valuable women.
According to data provided by the World Health Organization, mental health problems will be the main cause of disability in the world in 2030. And today it is equivalent to 12.5% of all health problems, a higher figure than cancer and cardiovascular problems.
Violence against women is considered a global public health problem, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), since 2005. In the case of women with mental illness, the figures increase considerably.
- 3 out of 4 women with serious mental illness have suffered at some point in their lives from violence in the family or partner.
- About 80% of women with serious mental illness who have been in a relationship have experienced violence at some point in their adult lives.
- The risk that a woman with mental illness has of suffering partner violence is multiplied between 2 and 4 times when she has a serious mental illness.
- 26% of women with serious mental illness have suffered sexual violence in childhood.
- 42% of women with serious mental illness who are experiencing intimate partner violence do not identify it as such.
One of these types of violence is psychological violence and here at The Woman Post, we will talk specifically about emotional abuse and narcissistic abuse.
A narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by a feeling of grandeur and superiority, a need for flattery, and a lack of empathy. Not necessarily for physical or intelligence reasons, but for material things as well.
Usually, and as a consequence of this lack of empathy and permanent emptiness, narcissistic people seek to relate to people who are empathic and who constantly validate them and also support the changes and ambivalence that not having emotions or not feeling them brings.
Here are some of the phrases narcissistic people use to invalidate and confuse:
1. “That has never happened”
Narcissists create their reality all the time so they deny and forget what was said or happened so that other questions their idea of reality and generates dependency
2. “You are too sensitive”
This is perhaps one of the phrases that should already begin to die out. Being sensitive or vulnerable does not make people weaker or worse. Expressing oneself and feeling heard is a necessary faculty for human beings who, based on sensitivity, can believe and reflect on their emotions and realities.
Narcissists often use jokes and put-downs to refer to you. He will try to minimize it by saying that he only makes jokes to the people he loves and when he feels that the other is offended, he will try to minimize it.
3. “You’re crazy and I’m not the only one who thinks so”
Over time, these psychological abusers will try to make their victims question their judgment and use it to their advantage.
“Once the victim is left with no self-esteem, the bully ‘confirms’ her worst fear: ‘It must be true that I am crazy,’” says Lisa Ferentz, a social worker specializing in trauma treatment.
The abuser may also try to convince the victim’s family and friends that she is mentally unstable to discredit her and distance her from all of them.
“They spread these lies among the family and friends of the victim to try to further isolate them. In this way, they get others to side with the abuser,” says Ferentz. “This reduces the chances that someone will believe the version of the victim; they disconnect them from the resources that would help them escape.”
4. “I am very sorry that you think I have hurt you”
At first glance, it may seem like an apology, but it is not. It’s yet another way of denying responsibility for her and blaming the victim for misreading the situation, warns psychologist B. Nilaja Green.
Narcissists never accept a degree of responsibility for events.
5. “If you already know how I get…”
This is another common phrase an abuser uses to avoid taking responsibility for his abusive or violent responses. They can also use phrases like: you caused this, look what you cause, etc. Again, it is a way of avoiding responsibility for their abusive behavior and, at the same time, blaming their victim.
Gaslighting involves twisting the facts to avoid blame and responsibility,” explains psychologist Shannon Thomas, author of Healing From Hidden Abuse. “By telling the victim she should have known what was going to happen, the abuser blames her not only for trying to stand up to him but also because of the reaction it has provoked in him”.