Surviving a narcissist during lock down

This is a time of great uncertainty for people from all around the world with the Coronavirus pandemic spreading around the world. We will never have experienced such a huge global epidemic as it sweeps into the biosphere like a poison.

Many are helpless as, for the first time, the world is practically on a partial or full lockdown and you are simply trapped in your home. Others are unable to reach home as borders and airports are closed until further notice.

People say they have "a fear of the unknown," which is an expression used regularly. But these are challenging times and that fear of the unknown has become a reality for everyone because we simply do not know what the future holds. 

Living with a narcissist during lockdown

These are challenging times for the world, but your challenges will be far greater when you are with a narcissist. A narcissist is abusive at the best of times and will use tactics such as love bombing and hoovering and then without any reason they will devalue you and sometimes a discard takes place.

I call it being trapped in the cycle of narcissistic abuse. This cycle goes round and round like a hamster wheel. You will dance to your abuser's tune no matter what they do and you will become trauma bonded to them as your brain becomes confused with the constant signals of love bombing and abuse. You become stuck to them like a toxic glue and are unable to break free until something within you reaches to the point of no more abuse.    

Now that the Coronavirus pandemic has taken over the whole world, your narcissist will confuse you. They are confusing on a standard day let alone during a global pandemic. They will come across as caring and compassionate towards you and will give you mixed signals by saying things like "I am scared," "We will get through this together," and "I am here for you."

But this mask will very quickly slip and the devaluing begins again. You are just simply nothing to them other than someone to be used and abused.  

It is a lonely time as you are isolated from friends, family, loved ones, jobs and so on. The narcissist in your life will be frustrated with all of this as they are restricted in what they can do. The free reign to run loose like how they are used to is something they can no longer do.

Narcissists hate not being in control and now that they are controlled by this pandemic it will lead to an explosion of more anger and rage. They will take this frustration out on anyone that is available to them. Statistics are showing that emotional abuse and domestic violence have increased more since the coronavirus epidemic.

Hoovering

Whilst some of you are on lockdown with your abuser, there are some victims that are being hoovered back in. It seems that those that have had no contact - whether it be days, weeks months or years - are being contacted by their abuser again.

You might find that your perpetrator is showing compassion to you and checking in on you, but this is simply a hoover so that they can entangle you back in the cycle of abuse in order to control, humiliate and destroy you once again. You will be subject to love bombing messages, showing great care and giving the impression that they have changed, but we know narcissists do not change.

If you are being hoovered back in, don’t fall for it. They are simply seeking supply and you are the safe option to get that narc supply. It is important that you do not go into your cognitive dissonance state and keep in mind that the person that you were once with abused you. Keep a list of all the abusive things they did to you and remember the reality of your abuser rather than who you wish they were.

Remember your abuser does not miss you. They simply miss controlling you and are seeking whatever supply they can from you, whether it be food, money, shelter, praise or attention. They will take full advantage of this global crisis. This is when you stick to your boundaries and do not cave in as when the pandemic is over you will be discarded like a piece of garbage.

Ensure you have done your clearing out and block those that have a toxic impact on your life. There are so many ways an abuser can contact you these days, so make sure you have blocked them on social media, phone and email. You might even want to consider changing your phone number and email address. 

Other victims that co-parent are finding that their narcissist is making their life more difficult than they usually would and putting unreasonable demands in place. They are asking for more visitation or meeting in unreasonable places and are not bothered about the cross-contamination.

The whole point of social isolation is to stop the virus from spreading. Having contact with anyone outside of your home not only puts you and your children at risk but also them. The longer we keep on mixing with others the longer we will be in social isolation. If you are finding your abuser is increasing the demands and taking full advantage of this situation, you might want to contact your lawyer or solicitor for advice.

For many people, this is a time of great loneliness not only for you but also your perpetrator(s) that have caused you this trauma. Narcissists love attention, praise and supply both good and bad supply and, during this contagion, they are hardly receiving supply due to the limited interaction with people outside of their home. This is causing more episodes of abuse both physical and mental and this is becoming unbearable for the victims as they are unable to leave their home. Those that had plans to escape are simply stuck and will find that the escape they had planned is delayed.

Survival game

The Coronavirus has become a survival game. Not only are you struggling to buy basic necessities, but you are in solitary confinement with your abuser. Tensions will be high for both victim and abuser. You could probably cut the tension of the atmosphere with a knife!

The victim wants respite from the daily abuse and to escape. In the same way, your abuser wants to be free and get supply from outside the home, which they usually would. As you can imagine, the atmosphere within the household will be suffocating.

When you are with an abuser 24/7 grey rock is not always possible - where you ignore your abuser and give boring plain answers. The grey rock technique could lead to more verbal and physical abuse as your abuser will want you to break so that you keep on giving them a source of supply.

You might have to dance to your abuser's tune if you have to. What I mean by that is don’t have any outbursts or respond to your abuser with anger and don’t challenge them about anything that can agitate them even further. You will want to explode with anger as they keep on picking at you, but do not challenge.  

Safety measures

If you feel you are in immediate danger there is still support out there for you:

  • Local support services. Contact domestic violence support services for advice.

  • Ensure you have regular check-ins with your support network. Create a code for if you are in danger you can communicate this to your support network.

  • Try and take a break where possible. Take a walk as long as you keep social distancing.

  • Have an emergency bag. Have one ready and hidden with essential items such as documents, medication, keys and a few clothes.

  • Ensure you have identified rooms that are lockable. If an argument becomes heated exit yourself to the locked room. If the lock is not secure put a heavy object in front of the door.

  • Have the number for your police department ready. Also, have a trusted support network so you can alert them of the danger.

In order to maintain some sanity, try and practice self-care. Try mediation, relaxation, watching TV, reading, writing, journaling, art or whatever it is that makes you happy. These things do not cost anything and you can do them in your home away from your abuser. If you have a lockable room make sure you use it.

Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Manjit Ruprai

I am a clinical hypnotherapist in Leicester. I am a published author and have contributed a chapter to the Hypnotherapy Experts. My work is regularly featured on BBC Radio Leicester. I work closely with individuals that have experienced, narcissistic abuse, weight issues, anxiety, phobias and many more. I work with many from around the world.… Read more

Written by Manjit Ruprai

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