It’s often been described as feeling like you’ve been run over by a train. A runaway train you weren’t expecting, a train you never saw coming, and one you didn’t see leave. A huge, invisible, mystery train.
Few in your life will be capable of comprehending, understanding or truly empathizing with your deep, overwhelming, confusing pain unless they’ve experienced a similar trauma themselves first-hand. Some who have may begin to struggle with the familiarity of their own past traumas, pain, or unresolved guilt and shame if they caused this similar pain to another, and become cruel, compassionless, and cold in an attempt at self-preservation. Some may deny or simply not believe or see it at all, especially the one doing the abusing. Emotional abusers are just that good at what they do. They may convince many, even convince themselves of anything they choose.
At first there will appear to be no visible, identifiable cause and effect, no logical or reasonable explanation for the sudden and total disappearance of love, emotion, empathy, long standing affection and positive regard. It feels inexplicable and unreal in that sudden moment as you begin to search for that logic and reason, all the while finding none. It’s as if you just witnessed the real-time suicide of a loved one. It feels as if this person you knew, loved and trusted, suddenly unzipped their human suit, stepped out of it and threw that person lifelessly to the ground, leaving you viewing an unfamiliar monster you’ve never seen before who is now, for the first time, openly in control. You realize at once and more over time that person you loved, never truly existed because of a masterfully hidden personality disorder and manufactured persona. A persona you will learn, that has morphed and changed to suit every new source. This person you knew wasn’t real they were created, customized to fit, uniquely, specifically for you. It was all a long running, pathological show. It will leave you completely confused, feeling like you’ve been suddenly catapulted into an alternate universe that you never could’ve imagined existed. That’s the most baffling thing about psychological and emotional abuse. You typically just don’t see it happening when you’re in it and then, it’s too late.
And there begins the journey. The journey of discovering exactly what and who you’ve been cluelessly sharing a life with, who you’ve been dealing with, while all the while you made excuses for their “moodiness” those random, sudden, continuously surfacing bad moods, the overly excessive, never ending drinking, the “work pressures” while constantly being told you are so loved and none of this mood being taken out on you has anything to do with you. Having nothing to do with you is the only truth you will find. Suddenly, these moods cannot be explained in the same way any longer. You will eventually learn from other friends and people who will now feel it appropriate to reach out with shocking facts of the abuser’s past and their previous relationship occurrences. You will shockingly learn that the tales you’ve known and heard for years from this person are mostly all untrue. There’s much, much, so much more going on here than you previously realized, or ever possibly could’ve imagined. You just couldn’t see it. That is, until they began to realize that you had begun to unknowingly see too much of who they really are beneath the facade. They are just that good at what they do. They’re experts at fooling everyone, especially themselves, after years of deception caused by the deep layers within this complicated personality disorder. If it’s combined with the complex affliction and the pseudo-coping of high-functioning alcoholism, it will be even more dumbfounding, intense and complex. You may witness the previously solid sanctimonious (and commonly known) standings make a sudden 180 degree turn toward all things they previously professed to vehemently despise.
Here is where the extremely difficult, shocking, and strength building journey of discovery begins. The journey of learning, of uncovering the sad, disappointing, heartbreaking truth of this complicated, hidden reality. For now, just take a deep breath and treat yourself with patience, compassion and kindness. Your jaw may frequently drop during this changing, transformational time of discovery, but with your due diligence it will likely all come together in time with the logic and reason that was so profoundly absent before. Your eyes will be opened to what you could not see until now because you’re now aware and away from it. The wisdom and strength you will develop and gain during this time will be life-changing, profound, priceless. Invaluable. You will now be able to see the tongue biters and enablers that had closely surrounded you in their true form as they cannot hide their ulterior intentions for being in your life any longer. There is no such thing as mutual friends after emotional abuse. If they can look the other way, they are not real. The other good news is, seeing truth will slowly rebuild your strength and bring you the closure of understanding of what it was this unforeseen runaway train had been carrying all that time.
Buckle up, and hang on to your seat. It’s going to be a bumpy ride as you approach your destination, the busy intersection of Truth and Reality that lies just outside the city of Emotional Abuse.