I have mentioned it in a previous post, but I decided the “just trap” needs an entire post of its own, because I believe, from all that I have learned about enduring narcissistic abuse (or probably other forms of abuse, too), that almost every abused person falls into the “just trap”.
That’s what I call it, anyway. The “just trap“.
This ties directly into co-dependency and is just another element in the circular cycle of abuse. The narcissistic abuser knows quite well how to manipulate you – in fact, they do it so well it simply becomes second nature to them – absolutely inseparable from who they are as a person, kind of like trying to unmix the ingredients of a cake after they’ve been blended together. It simply is not possible to separate the egg from the flour, just as it is not possible to separate a narcissist from his abusive mindset.
It is best not to think of narcissism as a “habit” or some kind of separate entity of a personality trait. It isn’t a “quirk”; it isn’t “just” a “bad day”; it isn’t excusable; and it is also not separable from the person as a whole.
However, all of us; especially those who are sucked into a narcissistic relationship, want to believe that there really is a way to separate the ingredients.
Imagine for a moment, my cake batter example. Imagine the batter after it’s been stirred just a little bit, but while it’s still lumpy – you can pick out a little chunk of the flour, maybe even see the grains of sugar in it and you can probably pull some of it out if you tried. However, odds are pretty good you’re not going to get much of a “clean” piece of those ingredients.
Well, that’s a bit like what happens in a narcissistic abusive relationship. You get to see little glimmers of the person you are led to believe is still there, and you try to convince yourself that you can pull that part of the person out of the mix and let the rest dissolve away. The narcissist is quite capable of throwing on the charm and the kindness and the good gestures purely to suit his own needs, and it will be “just” enough to convince you that either he really is a great person and you’re “just” going crazy, or that if you “just” try harder, you’ll get to see that great person all the time.
The narcissist will make it into your fault if he doesn’t act the way you envisioned, and he will do anything to convince you that you are wrong, and that you haven’t tried hard enough. He will savor it like a fine wine while you implode in upon yourself fully convincing yourself you really are wrong, adding yet another element to the vile circle of abuse that he will make you endure.
And so, you know you have fallen into the “Just Trap” when your thought process in your relationship includes a majority of thoughts like this….
He/she is just having a bad day.
He/she was just kidding
He/she just doesn’t realize how much that hurts when they say/do that
He/she just doesn’t understand
He/she just says those kinds of things when they are angry
He/she just has to have it the way they expect
I just wasn’t thinking about how that would make him/her feel
I just don’t understand why he/she acts that way
I just thought it would be fun to do
I just wanted something for myself
I just need be careful to not upset him/her
I just have to try not make that mistake again
I just thought it would be different
This just isn’t how I thought love worked
If only it could just be like it used to be
If only it could just be like I imagined it would be
Why can’t he/she just see/do/try/understand
Why is he/she always just so mean/angry/unhappy
If I try harder, then just maybe he/she will see how hard I’m working
That might just help make him/her try harder
I just can’t keep doing this anymore
It just has to get better
It just can’t keep going on like this
I just wish it was different
I just want to be free
I just wish I was dead
…..That is the “Just Trap”
And the only solution to it:
JUST GET OUT.
What you have is NOT love. LOVE is good. LOVE is beautiful. LOVE is kind. LOVE is mutual. LOVE only hurts when your lover passes away. LOVE does not cause pain and heartache and misery at YOUR expense while you JUST make excuses for someone else’s behavior. YOU are the only one that matters, and YOU are the only one with the power to make yourself happy.
No one deserves to be mentally (or physically!) abused and broken down until they feel they have no meaning and that all their dreams are poisoned and destroyed. You do not exist to fill a void of another person – you exist to make sure your own voids get filled. You are not the cause or the effect of another person’s actions.
The end of the “Just Trap” is hard to achieve, but it can happen. It takes a self awakening, that unfortunately it seems that most abused people have to find only after they hit the absolute bottom.
For me, it was when I began to think of suicide as a viable option to get away from the hell I was living in, that I realized I had sunk to the lowest of the lows and nothing else mattered except getting away and wrangling in the pieces of myself that had been lost and destroyed over the years.
You have to realize you are stronger than you might think you are, and you do not belong in the abuse you are enduring. Leave, and you will tackle your challenges and come out strong on the other side.
Maybe the path to Heaven is through Hell. For, as a good friend put it – raw ore must first be melted down through burning flames before it can be forged into a sword.
I once was raw. I once was burned. I once was destroyed.
Now, I am a sword.