This past weekend I was asked to have a sit down talk with someone. Now, I had already established boundaries with this person due to how they have treated and spoken to me and others in the past, but I agreed because I wanted to make the attempt for someone I care about.
The talk went south to say the least. There was zero accountability on their part, and after it was clear there was no “out” for them to skirt said accountability, they went on the attack. I was on the receiving end.
As a reader, one might naturally assume that when I say “attack” I mean a physical attack. Rather, I am talking about a verbal attack. I think it is very important to point out that the incidence and effects of verbal abuse can be nearly the same as physical abuse. The bruises are just on the inside rather than evident on the outside.
In this instance, I almost would have preferred a physical attack – at least then I could have truly held that person accountable. All too often verbal assault is dismissed due to the lack of psychical evidence. My goal is to acknowledge those that feel helpless in these situations and to let them know their feelings are valid.
I was demeaned and belittled, and after being so close to engaging back, stated I was done with the conversation. When they kept coming at me (verbally), I again told them to stop talking, I was done with the conversation.
Of course, the person stormed out and resumed the role of the victim. They blamed me for ending the conversation, rather than take accountability for their own actions that led to its demise. In comparison to physical assault, that is the equivalent of saying the person restraining them from the attack was in the wrong, not them.
The lack of accountability is a reality I am going to have to accept will never change.
I am disappointed with the situation, but I am also disappointed in myself. My gut was telling me throughout the day that the pending talk was not a good idea and not in my best interest, but I chose to ignore it. I chose to believe that there was hope of it turning out well when all the prior evidence proved otherwise. I guess I just don’t understand how people can treat others so badly, seemingly without a second thought.
The lesson here is to trust your intuition and trust that it is 100% OK to set boundaries with people who choose verbal assault as their form of abuse. Using this form might be easier for them to attempt to twist other people perceptions of the situation, but do NOT doubt yourself or your actions. Remove yourself from the situation and have faith that those who know you will understand the truth.
It can be tough to admit that you have allowed an abusive person into your life, but I know I will never put myself in a situation like that again. I will no longer allow abusive people to be a part of my life.
One additional thing that has helped me to make sense of everything are videos on Narcissistic Abuse by Inner Integration. In one video (click here), Meredith states:
“If you’re still at the point where you are rationalizing little incidents, pouring so much emotion into those incidents, trying to make sense of it and trying to get justice for each of those things – step back further and look at the big picture. Look at the patterns if you are still questioning if that was abuse. It’s so clear when you see the big picture that these are patterns of narcissistic abuse.”
Another video (here) explains that your best defense is controlling your response:
“The last thing that you want to do is get caught in self-defense. Narcissists love to do that. They love to provoke you to start defending yourself, and you do not want to get caught there. It is a huge waste of energy.”
I will add – YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.
I am not responsible for their actions or the detrimental choices they make. What I am responsible for are my actions in choosing to keep myself safe and my boundaries firm.
I know I am grateful for the lesson in how to trust my intuition and take care of myself.