No one can ever really understand what it is like to live with a narcissist or sociopath unless they have been there too. For that reason, many victims of predators cannot get the validation and support they need, and in fact, many good people will see the victim’s negative traits, (such as anger, frustration and depression after abuse,) and feel more inclined to believe the abuser who still seems friendly and fun.
If I could tell people who haven’t been there what I wish you knew or understood, here are some of the things I’d like to say:
1. No, I am not exaggerating or crazy. A narcissist or sociopath is that bad.
2. No, I am not just looking for attention if I need to talk about what I went through.
3. No, I can’t just get over it.
4. No, it wasn’t a matter of just “getting along.” No, we aren’t going to work it out.
5. Not everyone who seems nice on the surface is actually nice.
6. You can very easily be fooled. You probably are.
7. Yes, people this bad truly do exist. They are all around you.
8. A sociopath isn’t necessarily a killer or even a criminal.
9. A narcissist is not just vain or confident.
10. Parents and grandparents or other relatives can be predators, and they can be dangerous.
11. Yes, they often go to church. No, that does not make them good people.
12. “Nice” behavior doesn’t mean a person is good.
13. It’s easy to blame the angry victim and support the calm abuser. You are probably doing that.
14. There is no middle ground when it comes to abuse.
15. Sometimes there are only two sides to a story–the victim’s truth and the abuser’s lie. The lies are often more convincing.
16. Predators are masters of observing and mimicking human emotion. They are the ultimate actors. If someone seems excessively good…they probably aren’t.
17. It’s your ability to be empathetic and to give the benefit of the doubt that fuels an abuser. They take your silence as support.
18. Getting over narcissistic abuse is not like getting over a typical break-up.
19. Of course I’m mad!
20. If you try to remain neutral, it’s a slap in my face.