Coping with Your Abuser

by Dr. Sam Vaknin

[Abuse Main Directory]

How to cope with your abuser?

Sometimes it looks hopeless. Abusers are ruthless, immoral, sadistic, calculated, cunning, persuasive, deceitful - in short, they appear to be invincible. They easily sway the system in their favor.

Here is a list of escalating countermeasures. They represent the distilled experience of thousands of victims of abuse. They may help you cope with abuse and overcome it.

Not included are legal or medical steps. Consult an attorney, an accountant, a therapist, or a psychiatrist, where appropriate.

First, you must decide:

Do you want to stay with him - or terminate the relationship?

If you want to leave him and your children are above the age of 18 Click HERE

If you have Children with Him (under the age of 18) Click HERE

1. I want to Stay with Him

FIVE DON'T DO'S How to Avoid the Wrath of the Narcissist 

The TEN DO'S How to Make your Narcissist Dependent on You If you INSIST on Staying with Him 

(1a) Insist on Your Boundaries Resist Abuse

(1b) Mirror His Behavior

Mirror the narcissist’s actions and repeat his words.

If, for instance, he is having a rage attack – rage back. If he threatens – threaten back and credibly try to use the same language and content. If he leaves the house – leave it as well, disappear on him. If he is suspicious – act suspicious. Be critical, denigrating, humiliating, go down to his level.

(1c) Frighten Him

Identify the vulnerabilities and susceptibilities of the narcissist and strike repeated, escalating blows at them.

If a narcissist has a secret or something he wishes to conceal – use your knowledge of it to threaten him. Drop cryptic hints that there are mysterious witnesses to the events and recently revealed evidence. Do it cleverly, noncommittally, gradually, in an escalating manner.

Let his imagination do the rest. You don't have to do much except utter a vague reference, make an ominous allusion, delineate a possible turn of events.

Needless to add that all these activities have to be pursued legally, preferably through the good services of law offices and in broad daylight. If done in the wrong way – they might constitute extortion or blackmail, harassment and a host of other criminal offences.

(1d) Lure Him

Offer him continued Narcissistic Supply. You can make a narcissist do anything by offering, withholding, or threatening to withhold Narcissistic Supply (adulation, admiration, attention, sex, awe, subservience, etc.).

(1e) Play on His Fear of Abandonment

If nothing else works, explicitly threaten to abandon him.

You can condition the threat ("If you don't do something or if you do it – I will desert you").

The narcissists perceives the following as threats of abandonment, even if they are not meant as such:

2. I can't Take It Any Longer - I Have Decided to Leave Him

(2a) Fight Him in Court

Here are a few of the things the narcissist finds devastating, especially in a court of law, for instance during a deposition:

(2b) If You Have Common Children

I described in "The Guilt of the Abused - Pathologizing the Victim" how the system is biased and titled against the victim.

Regrettably, mental health professionals and practitioners  marital and couple therapists, counselors  are conditioned, by years of indoctrinating and dogmatic education, to respond favorably to specific verbal cues.

The paradigm is that abuse is rarely one sided in other words, that it is invariably "triggered" either by the victim or by the mental health problems of the abuser. Another common lie is that all mental health problems can be successfully treated one way (talk therapy) or another (medication).

This shifts the responsibility from the offender to his prey. The abused must have done something to bring about their own maltreatment  or simply were emotionally "unavailable" to help the abuser with his problems. Healing is guaranteed if only the victim were willing to participate in a treatment plan and communicate with the abuser. So goes the orthodoxy.

Refusal to do so in other words, refusal to risk further abuse is harshly judged by the therapist. The victim is labeled uncooperative, resistant, or even abusive!

The key is, therefore, feigned acquiescence and collaboration with the therapist's scheme, acceptance of his/her interpretation of the events, and the use of key phrases such as: "I wish to communicate/work with (the abuser)", "trauma", "relationship", "healing process", "inner child", "the good of the children", "the importance of fathering", "significant other" and other psycho-babble. Learn the jargon, use it intelligently and you are bound to win the therapist's sympathy.

Above all do not be assertive, or aggressive and do not overtly criticize the therapist or disagree with him/her.

I make the therapist sound like yet another potential abuser because in many cases, he/she becomes one as they inadvertently collude with the abuser, invalidate the abuse experiences, and pathologize the victim.

(2c) Refuse All Contact

How to avoid contact is the subject of the next article.

[Abuse Main Directory]

This information was written by:

By: Dr. Sam Vaknin
The author of Malignant Self Love -
Narcissism Revisited ORDER

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