Overcoming narcissist Abuse, by Elizabeth Shaw.
Walking on eggshells, what is this? the effects it has on you, and how to deal with this now.
Walking on eggshells is the term used when you are groomed to tiptoe around someone, for fear of reactions, fear of anger or fear of abandonment.
You hide your real self and true feelings and opinions to please someone else. It a subtle form of abuse by cohesive controlling you, it’s slowly grooming you on how to behave.
Walking on eggshells is what victims do most often unconsciously over time in order to protect themselves from further abuse, usually, when you still can not work out you’re in an abusive relationship, you are slowly losing your own values, beliefs and boundaries.
Most of the time we don’t even realise we are being abused, most abusers will create an environment of insecurity, instability, confusion and fear, so they gain full power and control over you.
We then end up walking on eggshells to please them. Some examples are.
1. If you’re afraid to cause an argument for fear of reactions, fear of abandonment through the narcissist’s past silent treatments then blaming it on you. You were told, “you’re too sensitive.” And never getting your feelings validated, just crushing your self esteem all the more.
2. Fear of receiving anger from them, or passive aggressive reactions.
3. Fear of making a noise that might disturb them and never knowing what their reactions might be, for me this was tiring the hoover on in a morning, or the washing machine in an evening.
4. Fear of dressing how you want for fear of. Overt narcissist “You look fat in that.” Or covert narcissist “are you really wearing that.” The covert doesn’t directly point it out like the overt, both ways still plant seeds of doubt in your own mindset.
5. Fear of not responding to their messages or phone calls instantly, as you know you have consequences from them and questions of why you didn’t, where you were etc, it’s a case of they say jump and we say how high.
6. You are afraid to live your life and be exactly who you want to be.
7. Fear of asking others for help, in case they don’t believe or understand you.
8. Fear of not making their meals right for reactions.
9. Fear of going out with or talking to friends, so slowly you end up becoming cut off, either they cause arguments before you go when you come home, or the silent treatment you. Or say things like. “They don’t even like you, why go out with them they only talk about you behind your back.” another form of triangulation.
Once out you may still suffer from these as they have been programmed into you to think this way, so you fear reactions from others who wouldn’t react to you in an abusive way, you have to focus on you freedom now, even if it’s things like, turning your music up loud when you please, hoovering whenever you’d like to.
Effects of walking on eggshells are.
1. The anxiety you may now fear the phone ringing or a message coming through even though that’s your past and not your present. As your mind has been programmed to respond that way to the phone, or tuning the hoover on, fear speaking up for yourself to others who are not abusive in case they react, and saying no to other, you might become a people pleaser in order to protect yourself from judgment.
2. Loss of self-esteem, from the criticism, and put-downs the narcissist has drop fed you over time.
3. Feeling completely shut off from the outside world and others, no longer feeling able to express yourself or your feeling.
4. Constantly apologising to others.
5. Leaving your inner critic sounding like your abuser and constantly putting yourself down. Does your inner critic ask if you’re going to wear that? And do I really need to hoover now?
6. Loss of personal self and freedom, due to anxiety also, no longer wanting to do things for you, as you’ve been programmed to ask the narcissist first. Or avoid things full stop as you already know how they’ll react.
7. Fear of speaking up for yourself.
What can you do about it?
1. If you’re still in the relationship, start working on a safe plan to get out safely, be careful.
2. Start working on yourself, some are dangerous so I wouldn’t recommend doing it in front of them if you’re working on a plan to get out if you are out. Start to express yourself again, your own personal likes and dislikes, your needs and your wants.
3.surrounding yourself with positive happy people, who a happy to show any and all emotions and this will set you free to do the same.
4. Create new boundaries, if something doesn’t feel right to you say no, and stick to your no. To protect the next step, and you must enforce these boundaries.
5. Create new core values and standards of the things that matter to you.
6. Choose to surround yourself with those who raise you up and walk free form those who drag you down.
7. Keep asking yourself. “Who am I.” Or “Who do I want to be.”
8. Reconnect with old friends. Those good ones will be understanding, ask yourself if this was one of your old friends and they came to you with your story, would you want to help, most people would definitely want to help.
9. Take those baby steps, it’s the only way, and keep going each day, you’re allowed to step back now and again, just dust yourself off and go again.
Stay strong, you’ve got this.