Tag Archives: Isolation Tactics of Abuser

The Gift Of The Scapegoat, Lisa Nadig

“If you can wait & not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating…”
from “If” by Rudyard Kipling

It’s devastating to be forced into the role of someone’s scapegoat; to be used against your will as a toxic waste dump for the sins, shame, and “secrets” of others, a soul crushing, life-altering role nobody would ever sign up for. Yet, this is precisely how the Scapegoaters & Gaslighters want their target to feel.

It’s being confronted with the worst possible violations of social norms, morals, and ethical behavior. It’s looking that horrible behavior straight in the eye, and vowing never to treat anyone else that way. They teach us how not to be.

And then it slowly dawns on you that out in the “real world”, everyone else has seen through their crazy, shared delusions all along! That to everyone else, these people really “aren’t all that” like they think they are. Otherwise, why would they have to work so hard to convince you in the first place?

You slowly emerge from their darkness, and build relationships where you never have to worry about when the other shoe will drop, and you can feel anchored and secure. You form friendships with those who would never think of bullying you or playing mind games, because they don’t need to. People who enjoy lifting you up, who give and receive love with no hidden agenda.

It’s becoming someone who survived a holocaust you weren’t meant to survive. The perpetrators certainly didn’t expect you to, but somehow you did.

And with the knowledge that you really can survive anything – even people trying to bully you to death through family court – you realize you’ve become someone who’s not afraid of any challenge life can throw your way, because deep inside you know you’ve already survived the very worst abuse anyone could possibly dole out

And then you finally see that this is The Gift you’ve been given – the knowledge of your own personal power in the face of sheer, unadulterated eviland you’re grateful for it.

Although the strengths of the narcissist family scapegoat make her a target, they are also her salvation. Her ability to see and question along with her desire for justice enable her to escape the family tyranny while others cannot. And her capacity for empathy, so unlike that of the grandiose and compassionless narcissist, gives her the ability to form healthy and fulfilling relationships beyond her family of origin. The scapegoat’s redemption is breaking free.”https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-strength-of-the-scapegoat-in-the-narcissist-family_b_58b27448e4b0658fc20f9678

Gaslighters Tactics: Double-Bind, Lisa Nadig

Grandville, MA“If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating…”
from “If” by Rudyard Kipling

This is part one in a series exploring the various tactics Gaslighters use to silence, control, isolate, marginalize, and psychologically torture their victims.  This article will explore the double bind – the no-win situation engineered by the Gaslighter.  One psychoanalyst, Lenoard Shengold, described this process as “soul murder”.

Gaslight_1944_trailer(3)Gaslighting, at it’s very core, is an attempt to “drive someone crazy”, and to orchestrate this belief in the victim’s support system, to isolate them.  It’s a calculated, preemptive strategy to discredit the victim, so that the Gaslighter can abuse with impunity, while even recruiting proxies to join in.  Thus, the abuser escapes accountability, the victim is alone, making it impossible to fight back, while a group of proxy abusers is formed, frequently even from the victim’s own family, who will carry on the abuse, group or family mobbing and social bullying, even in their absence.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes including low self-esteem. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction, and misinformation, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s beliefs. Instances can range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents occurred, to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.”

Gaslight“The term originates in the systematic psychological manipulation of a victim by her husband in Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 stage play Gas Light,[4] and the film adaptations released in 1940 and 1944.[5] In the story, the husband attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment and insisting that she is mistaken, remembering things incorrectly, or delusional when she points out these changes.   Gaslighting-Wikipedia

One of the most insidious, underhanded tactics Gaslighters use, is to manufacture situations where the victim cannot confront the inherent dilemma, and therefore can neither opt out, or resolve the situation.  So, the double-bind is two conflicting demands, neither of which can be ignored or escaped.  The victim is torn both ways, and no matter which way they turn, or how hard they try, they can never win.  The Gaslighter knows the game is rigged, but the victim doesn’t find out until they have exhausted every possible attempt to satisfy the demands of the Gaslighter.

double-bindA few of my own personal examples are as follows:  The Gaslighter regularly complained that he needed me to “make more money”.  Unknown to me, he went behind my back to my family making those same false allegations, while turning on his magnificent “charm”.  It’s important to note that not only was there a heavy guilt trip, demanding that I “do more”, facts were conveniently missing from these statements and demands – the money I was earning already, along with the substantial savings by having no child care expense.

I was already well-trained by the Gaslighter to believe anything that went wrong  must be my fault, and could be fixed if I’d only try harder.  So, I got more employment, but it would require the Gaslighter to help by putting our child on the school bus two mornings per week.  He readily agreed, and so I began the job.  However, after a few weeks, the Gaslighter made vague excuses and suddenly wasn’t available, even though his job allowed him to do it.

This happened repeatedly.  The Gaslighter loudly complaining about a fictitious lack of money for all to hear.  Then I would start a job, only to have him duck out on his responsibilities after a few weeks.  It became a repeating cycle, with the Gaslighter sabotaging my employment every single time.  Yet, he continued blaming me for not earning enough, and complaining about my so-called “unwillingness to work” behind my back to my family, while of course, never admitting that he was purposely sabotaging it.

Another double-bind the Gaslighter manufactured was “losing the house”.  The family home went into foreclosure during the separation, when the Gaslighter stopped paying the mortgage.  However, the mortgage was only in his name, and I had no legal rights to even talk to the bank, much less pay the mortgage.

But yet, I was the only one attending all of the foreclosure court dates downtown at the Chicago Daley Center – alone.  After considerable effort, with the help of a foreclosure community action group, I somehow even managed to work my way up to the very top of management at Bank of America, obtaining an unheard of meeting with the VP of State Government Relations.  This bank executive put me into a cab with her where we went to meet with the underwriter.  A deal was offered that would have allowed us to keep the family home for our child.  They agreed to refinance the loan, and allow me to assume the mortgage after a month’s time.

All the Gaslighter had to do was provide documents directly to the bank to process the refinance, since the mortgage was only in his name.  Then, after refinancing, they would let me assume the loan.  So not only could the family home be saved for our child, the Gaslighter would no longer have a foreclosure on his record.   This was beneficial to him as well.

The VP of Government Relations sent an email to the Gaslighter, outlining the bank’s offer, as well as assurance his information would be confidential, and I would not have access to it.  However, the Gaslighter refused to provide the documents.  He wasn’t asked for any money-only documents.

This double-bind was set up so that he could blame the loss of our house on ME, while omitting the fact that he made it happen.

With this strategy, he was able to falsely portray me as a lazy person who couldn’t be trusted with money, to my family.  These are a few of the tactics that enabled him to influence my elderly, ill father to give him tens of thousands of dollars for family court lawyers, and to sign over my share of our four generation family farm trust to him.  It also enabled him to get money out of my very elderly grandmother.

birdescapecageIt can be a very arduous, painful process, but, the victim can slowly heal from the deep traumas created by the Gaslighter.   In time, with hard work, much perseverance, and a strong support system, the victim can re-claim their own voice.  It may be difficult to see, but there is life out there beyond Gaslighting, abuse, trauma, and social bullying.

ScapegoatNaive, easily-deceived people may be forever lost to us.  And, there are those who will never be able to let go of the Gaslighter’s smear campaign because it serves their psychological need for a scapegoat.  There are also those simply too proud to admit they were duped.  While they may be lost forever, the world keeps turning, life goes on without them, and I wish them well.  But, one by one, many have also quietly come to offer heart-felt apologies for listening to the lies, and participating in the family mobbing, as they have finally taken the time to remember who I am, and investigate all of the facts.

Sadly, the Gaslighter will always be who they are, forever trapped in their sick, compulsive need to control others, and use them to soothe their fragile egos.  But the victim can heal, and there is much joy out there in the real world, free from days spent being traumatized, isolated and exploited by a Gaslighter.

It is important to note, that if you have been fooled or manipulated by a Gaslighter, you are a victim too.  Gaslighters are very highly skilled manipulators, and most people have difficulty seeing through their considerable charm, elaborate layers of lies, subtle manipulations and distortions of the truth, and their seemingly uncanny ability to zero in on each victim’s particular emotional  weak point, to manipulate them for the desired effect.  Most people don’t operate in this purposely deceitful manner, and so they naturally don’t expect others to do so, particular when it is someone you love, trust and admire, or sadly, even rely upon.  Don’t be too hard on yourself, if you too were deceived about the victim.  Victims come to realize that those who were manipulated against them are not really to blame – the real blame lies with the Gaslighter!

Please visit the Resources page for further information on Gaslighting:  Resources

FreeBirg

Family Bully Aids Corruption To Hide “Secrets”

“In biblical lore, Aaron selected a goat on behalf of the entire tribe, cast upon it the sins of all members, and then banished it alone to the wild. The members of the tribe were then at great ease, having been freed from their cast-off sins—whatever those sins may have been.” The Blameless Burden: Scapegoating in Dysfunctional Families

A manipulative family bully with so-called secrets to try to hide aided the family court corruption, to provide a much needed distraction for open secrets that were blowing up in her face.  Forcing her family to shun me accomplished her goal:  create a diversion.  Glomming onto my documented abuser’s smear campaign became the perfect distraction.

Slandering, and shunning someone is designed to tarnish their name, and cause emotional pain – to silence them.  And if they heap enough group hatred onto the scapegoat, maybe – just maybe – they can numb their own shame and regret.

But never being allowed to confront your accusers is how the game is rigged.  Could you imagine if they allowed the scapegoat back into their midst, to inform everyone of the facts conveniently missing from their stories?  After they refused my invitation to join me in mediation,  as well as numerous other attempts to communicate over the years, I finally faced the stark reality that they NEED a scapegoat.

Beginning when the first child was just a baby, we were forced to hear our parent’s despair about him coming to their care with bruises.  It was torture to watch, as the family bully’s children were neglected and abused, a never-ending nightmare.  I took care of the family bully’s children for years, while she lived her secret life, and her spouse was too beside himself from her actions, to care for them himself.  Everyone in the family had to take care of these children due to her intense preoccupation with her secret activities.  Finally, in desperation, the eldest begged me to teach him how to cook so they wouldn’t keep going hungry in their home.

But my parents lived in fear of her threats to “take the children out of state” if they challenged her, walking on eggshells for years, talking about calling DCFS,  then trying to get the other set of parents to call for them, fearing her threats.  Everybody was looking for a “fall guy” to take her wrath.

When this was dropped at my door, I did what they discussed for years.  I called DCFS.  And so, I became the bully’s target, with my parents too afraid to admit that calling DCFS was their idea in the first place.  Also omitted from the family narrative, is the school social worker’s statement I was justified in calling DCFS, and the teacher’s aide who said they stood and cheered.

This family bully’s spouse landed on my doorstep, a total mess – utterly destroyed, and reported chilling accounts of violence that caused me nightmares for weeks.  He related how she bashed his front teeth in and he needed them replaced, along with other accounts of ongoing violence whenever he dared challenge her “secret” life.  Finally, everything made sense:  his black eyes over the years, while he lowered his gaze in shame with flimsy excuses about  “running into the barn door“, the bruises I saw on the younger girls, my parent’s reports of bruises on the children, and eye-witness accounts of physical abuse in front of their homes.

But when it came down to doing anything to protect them, both of my sets of parents talked about it endlessly, but finally putting their heads in the sand, thinking it would be better to have the children abused nearby, than face her wrath, and possibly even have the children taken out of state.

What do narcissists do to truth tellers? Dr. Ramani

“Bullies within the family, especially female bullies, are masters (mistresses?) of manipulation and are fond of manipulating people through their emotions (eg guilt) and through their beliefs, attitudes and perceptions. Bullies see any form of vulnerability as an opportunity for manipulation.

ScapegoatA favourite tactic of the bully in the family is to set people against each other. The benefits to the bully are that:  a) the bully gains a great deal of gratification (a perverse form of satisfaction) from encouraging and provoking argument, quarreling and hostility, and then from watching others engage in adversarial interaction and destructive conflict, and b) the ensuing conflict ensures that people’s attention is distracted and diverted away from the cause of the conflict.”

“The family bully encourages and manipulates family members etc to lie, act dishonestly, withhold information, spread misinformation, and to punish the target.”  A Favorite Tactic Of The Bullies In Our Family-Set People Against Each Other

 “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” From: Other People’s Money, Louis D. Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice

Natalie Koga Confronted With Eye-Witness To Her Corruption

The entire family watches on in dismay as the scapegoat informs the family that they will no longer be abused by them, and wants nothing more to do with them… Life becomes difficult for the narcissistic family when the trash can leaves. However, it becomes harder to blame the scapegoat when the endless drama between the family members continues – even when the scapegoat is nowhere to be found.  The Scapegoat Walks Away’

Coercive Control During the Pandemic

crazyangry“This is an extremely vulnerable time for survivors, and abusers are using it as an excuse to find new ways to exert control. Some of those tactics include feigning illness, not allowing family members to interact or go outside the home at all, withdrawing all money out of bank accounts, contacting the survivor’s work and falsely stating they were exposed to the virus, etc. While some of these tactics may be new and based on the public health crisis, the dynamics of power and control remain the same.

elephantAcross the country and world, there has been a serious uptick in domestic violence related crimes. Direct service agencies are seeing an influx of new cases and in some jurisdictions, law enforcement are responding to more calls. This means that survivors need support, resources, services, and shelter more than ever. Fortunately, shelters and other resources remain open during this time as essential businesses.”  Coercive Control During the Pandemic: How Abusers Are Using New Tactics to Exert Power and Control

“Perpetrators may attempt to deal with extra stress and anxiety by imposing stricter and more unrealistic regimes on their families’ activities and behaviours. It’s a moment when the net of coercive control can be tightened. In fact, “social distancing” and “isolation” are core tactics of a coercively controlling partner.”  Corona lockdown is a dangerous time for survivors

FreeBirg“For the first time (In the UK), numerous psychological and coercive behaviours became unlawful. For example, isolating a person from friends and family, monitoring their time, destroying their possessions, monitoring via online communication tools or using spyware, taking control over where people can go and who they can see, and accessing personal communication (phone and email accounts). All typically justified by perpetrators as “caring”, “because I worry about you,” or argued as acceptable because “you don’t answer my calls” and “I never know where you are or who you are with, so what do you expect.”

Lockdown is perhaps the worst situation imaginable for victims but a “gift” to abusers. Not surprisingly lockdown has resulted in a catastrophic increase in domestic abuse in the UK, which includes psychological coercion and control. Jealous and possessive partners are more easily able to leverage maximum control, using the “exercise once a day with family” rule and threatening to report absences in contravention of the lockdown rules to the authorities. Unpredictable behaviour that leaves victims feeling like they are walking on eggshells is now inescapable and victims cannot easily phone for advice or assistance, or access online advice because abusers are less likely to be going to work and may never leave the house alone.”  Why Covid-19 Lockdown Is So Dangerous To People In Abusive Relationships

Resources

What Is Coercive Control?

Self-Care Strategies To Help Manage Trauma According To Experts

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