Many people who come out of the sociopathic relationship, still have no idea that they have been abused. They are not aware that their relationship was particularly abusive. They know that there were times when things did not feel right. They knew that after the relationship, they felt bad about themselves. But when asked, will often minimise, or just remember the big dramatic events, whilst forgetting that the entire relationship was abusive.
There are different ways that the sociopath abuses their victims. Often abuse will be disguised by faking to help the victim, donning the disguise of ‘rescuer’ the victim believes that he/she needs the abuser. Unlike the narcissist the sociopath is expert at disguising what their true motives really are. Behind the illusion, the actions are often far more sinister.
Abuse occurs in two ways. It is either what you can see, overt abuse, or it is abuse that you cannot see, this is called covert abuse.
Both types of abuse can cause long-term psychological damage to the victim. Often this can lead to psychological damage that needs professional help to overcome, heal and recover from.
Emotional abuse, is when your emotions are controlled, for the abusers benefit. This is a common form of abuse for sociopaths to do. As they do not have the same range of emotions, they do not feel guilt, remorse or shame for their actions. They can and will use (fake) love to manipulate you, and fear to control you. Different types of emotional abuse are:
- Putting you down either 1-1 or in front of others
- Being controlling
- Blaming, framing and shaming
- Lying to you
- Being manipulative or deceptive
- Shouting and ranting
- Stealing or cheating
- Isolating you from others
- Slandering your name – telling lies about you
- Playing victim
- False accusations and allegations
Financial abuse is where your abuser uses money to control you, manipulate you, stops you from earning money or controls how you spend your money. Many people who have been financially abused, have lost jobs, been left with debt, and some have lost their homes.
- Obtaining money by deception
- Withholding money from you
- Preventing you from working
- Failing to take financial responsibility that directly affects you
- Borrowing money saying that they will pay it back when they have no intention of doing so
- Pressuring you to pay by deception
- Making you feel that if you pay for them, they will do something for you, or that they will stay with you
- Isolating you from your own money
- Using emotional abuse to destabilise you so that they can take control of your money and spending
- Using your credit/debit cards without your permission
- Financial emotional blackmail
- Making you account for every penny that you spend
- Sabotaging your job, making you miss work, or calling you constantly whilst you are at work
- Restricting or withholding access to basic necessities, like food, clothing or shelter
Physical abuse is when someone uses physical force to hurt your person. This does include slapping, or poking. Anything that is a violation of your body, and your rights not to be physically abused. You need to pay special attention when a sociopath/psychopath becomes physically violent. Being without a conscience, this could very quickly escalate into a situation that could result in at worse, loss of your life. If this is happening to you, make sure that you get out safely. Contact a domestic violence unit in your area, for additional support and help.
- Throttling or strangulation
- Pulling hair
Sexual abuse is when you are coherced, forced, or exploited in a sexual way. Sexual abuse includes
- Forcing or encouraging you to do sexual acts that you are not comfortable with
- Mocking your body, or your sexuality
Warning! There is strong evidence that sexual assault alongside physical assault, puts you at a very high risk of serious harm, that could be fatal!
How many of the above did you experience in your relationship?
You might not realise, until you see the above list, just how abusive your relationship was. You might be still in the delusional stage, when you are in denial, and still focused on the hearts and roses and the false empty promises provided by the sociopath.
Abuse never gets better. It will only get worse over time.
If you are being abused, it is time to get out, stay out, establish no contact, and focus on recovery and healing. If you are finding it difficult to find yourself after an abusive relationship. Please see a health professional, either your doctor or a trained therapist, where you can work through what has happened to you.
Realise that you are NOT the person to help your abuser. You are the victim, and as such you are not in a position to help your abuser, even if you are qualified to do so. You are too close to the source. Even if your partner promises to change, or that they will work with you, do not be pulled back in by this. An abuser rarely changes whilst still with the victim.
On training that I did once, statistics showed (In the UK) that on average, someone who is being seriously abused, will attempt to leave ELEVEN times, before they actually get out of the relationship for good.
Get out. Stay out. Establish No Contact. See the truth. Set yourself free!
Is there anything in this list of abuse techniques, that you can think of, that I have missed out?
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