When a whistleblower decides to confront their abusers, the people closest to them doubt them. People for the most part believe the outer mask. It is hard to think of the nice mom or dad you know to be an abusive narcissist. It can also be a fun grandmother or sweet granddad you thought you knew. The word abuse is excessive to them. People equate abuse with scars, bruises, and physical marks. Emotional abuse is not shown on our physical appearance, it is an internal battle. It is reflected in rumors, underhanded comments, put downs, walking on eggshells, minimizing feelings, gossip, hatred speech. Growing up subjected to this treatment for decades can make you feel helpless.
Many times, abuse is not shared equally between all the family members. Abusers pick one person to be the scapegoat. A scapegoat is a person who endures the abuse. The scapegoat is quiet, reserved, private, introverted, creative, and a peace maker. Abusers see a “weaker” person who they can manipulate and control for their benefit. At some point, the scapegoat will try to voice their ill treatment but the abusers have it covered. The abusers enlist the help of their flying monkeys. Flying monkeys are trained by the abuser to bring back the scapegoat into the trenches. They use statements like, “we are family”, “we love you regardless”, “that’s how our parent is”, “but she/he loves you”, “stop being selfish”, “just call her/him”, “remember where you came from”, ect…. Flying monkeys can also be abusive by proxy. For example, they can accuse you of breaking up the family, call you disrespectful names, give you the silent treatment, give you attitude because they are upset over the problem that has nothing to do with them, use tactics like gaslighting, smear campaigns, and make up lies about your well being.
By breaking up the family members abusers have a range of people to tap into for their benefit. They make sure they always have reliable relationships where they can use for money, places to stay, emotional support from their dramatic and exhausting problems. When one family member pulls away, they deploy their flying monkeys immediately. If the flying monkeys fail, then they plan their smear campaign. This is a tactic to make the person feel guilty and defensive. They know it’s not true but they do it so the person calls them. Even if the reaction is negative they win because you are giving into their narcissistic supply. Narcissists need a supply like they need oxygen. They thrive under any type of reaction (negative or positive). Abusers get off on you talking about them because they feel relevant.
It is hard to reach out for help because narcissists are experts at their game. They show the outside world how wonderful they are. Everyone in their circle plays a certain position. Every misfortune that occurs is not their fault. Narcissists also use their flying monkeys to applaud their latest work. As soon as a disagreement occurs, they call, text, or email each other to get feedback on their latest drama. They further collaborate on how to keep the drama going and their next course of action. This is usually followed up by a slanderous message on social media.
Is this abuse? yes, it is. It is abuse to hurt people for your own personal benefit. It is abuse to yell obscenities when you are establishing healthy boundaries. It is abusive to gather other family members and turn them against you. It is abusive to use people when you need them but discard them when you are through. If you think the word abusive is too harsh, then you haven’t lived in that person’s shoes. The pain stings deep inside. The worst part is when “well meaning” family members try to get you to make up for the greater good of the family. These family members are not admitting the core issue which is that your feelings are valid. Your pain, truth, abuse, and endurance has caused havoc in your personal life. Just like in any other types of abuse stop victim shaming. It’s wrong to blame the victims because you want to rationalize what the abuser has done. You think you know someone but you really don’t. Especially if you haven’t been a part of their daily life.
Show your true intentions by actions and not by words. Do not tell a person who had been abused to “get over it” or “let it go”. To get over something means to acknowledge it first and foremost. Then to show actual remorse for putting that person through hardship. Then you can think about re building and letting go. That is incredibly difficult to do especially for a narcissist.