Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day (WNAAD) occurs on June 1st every year. Established in 2016, WNAAD is a growing global movement dedicated to raising the profile of narcissistic abuse, providing public education, resources for survivors, and effect policy change. WNAAD is an international event that is recognized worldwide.
Many of the people who suffer from narcissistic abuse (a form of psychological and emotional abuse) aren’t even aware that what they are experiencing is a legitimate form of abuse, and when they become aware they are being abused, they have a difficult time describing it because it’s so hard to put the finger on. So much of it can be covert.
WNAAD came up with the hashtag, #IfMyWoundsWereVisible, because unlike physical abuse where a single strike or blow, narcissist abuse is generally invisible. An indiscernible assault on the spirit, identity, and the psyche of the victim. The impact is cumulative, and its full effect isn’t felt until the damage is extensive. Although bruises and broken bones heal much faster than a broken spirit, narcissistic abuse tends to go unnoticed.
Narcissist Abuse is controlling, anti-social and manipulative behaviour. Narcissist abuse is experienced everywhere, workplaces, religious groups, education, not for profits, in the armed forces, and families.
It is also important that those in Human Resources know about narcissist abuse in the workplace, often the victim is not believed.
People need to learn about ‘Red Flags’ before they enter into a relationship with someone and recognize them in workplaces early on, and learn how to handle them and avoid them. Many people living or working in close proximity to full on narcissists have had to leave their family or place of work, some have had Complex PTSD because of the abuse.
My own experience of narcissist abuse experience ranges from emotional neglect, lack of empathy from the abuser , abnormal hostile behaviour ‘behind closed doors’ at home or in the workplace, smear campaigns, emotional blackmail, secretive behaviour, mind games – the abuser makes everything your fault, financial blackmail, lack of support by fellow colleague or family member, anti social behaviour, passive aggressiveness, covert, controlling and public humiliating behaviour, violence and betrayal. Walking on eggshells every day too. Both men and women can be narcissists, and many people have parents and siblings who are ‘narcs’.
Some red flags in a relationship, for example, according to WNAAD.com:
◾As the relationship becomes more established, you may start to see some stronger warning signs, or red flags, such as: You may spot bigger lies, and when you confront them, you never get a straight answer or they will turn it around and accuse you of what they’re actually doing.
◾If you try to raise an issue with them, it becomes a full-blown argument. They may accuse you of causing the fight, or they may use the silent treatment as a way of punishing you for confronting them.
◾Arguments feel circular and nonsensical. You’re left feeling emotionally battered and confused. There is no resolution to the issue, no sense of compromise or seeking a win/win outcome. It feels like they need to “win” regardless of the issue or what’s at stake. You’re left you feeling unsupported and misunderstood.
◾They may tell you something didn’t happen when you know it did, or vice versa. This is called gaslighting and it’s designed to make you doubt your own reality and judgment.
◾You feel like you need to ask for permission before making plans with others. They may try to control where you go, or call and text constantly to check up on you, and interrogate you about where you’ve been/what you’ve been doing.
◾You start seeing less of your family and friends. Perhaps because they openly prevent you from doing so through guilt tripping or threats of abandonment. Or, it could be more subtle, where they make such a fuss about seeing your family and friends that you start avoiding them so you don’t have to deal with the fallout. You end up feeling isolated and lonely.
◾The relationship feels one-sided – like you are the one who is doing all the giving, the one who is always in the wrong, the one who is trying the hardest, changing the most or doing the most sacrificing, just to make them happy. And it still doesn’t work. Nothing is enough for them.
◾You can’t feel at ease or relaxed in their presence. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells, waiting for the next time they lash out at you. You realize you feel a sense of relief when they aren’t there.
◾You feel like whatever you do, it’s not enough. You’re manipulated so that your flaws and vulnerabilities are exploited and used against you at every opportunity. You begin to feel inadequate, unlovable, and like everything is all your fault.
Sign up to the official website for free on http://www.wnaad.com/ and learn about symptoms and how to spot red flags and follow the hashtag #ifmywoundswerevisible. You will be surprised by how many people you know who have it.
There are some good books on Narcissists on Amazon, and one of them is ‘My Narcissist Mother’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Narcissistic-Mother-narcissistic-mother-ebook/dp/B015R9YQHG/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1498224587&sr=8-12&keywords=narcissistic+mother (I have not been paid to recommend this book)