The Narcissist will do whatever it takes to keep control over you. One of the many ways this is done is by employing verbal attacks. Words as weapons can cut the victim deep and right down to the core.
The verbal attacks can take on a life of its own. The Narc will launch into a barrage of putdowns, including name calling and derogatory remarks. My NX would be extremely aggressive in his verbal assaults. He name-called, accused, threatened, blamed and ordered me around. I got called fat and lazy, a b*tch, a horrible cook, a terrible mother, a deadbeat mother, crazy, psycho, sick in the head.
Even when my NX was deployed to Iraq in 2009, there were plenty of occasions where he'd accuse me of doing nothing all day but sit on my "lazy a** all day and eat bon bons." He was on the other side of the planet and still had to toss out his verbal attacks. Make no mistake - for the 7 months he was gone, I cooked, cleaned, took out the garbage, did laundry, fed the kids (who were 3 years old and 5 months old when he first deployed), took care of both dogs, AND worked full time.
Using words as weapons can also be disguised in other ways, too. It takes on a more subtle form masked as "helping." Narcissists will take on an "I know best" attitude and offer up advise, solutions, analyze, probe and question in order for the victims to second guess themselves.
This "I know best" attitude was quite evident on a trip to Arizona to see my children in May 2012. He offered up driving directions because he felt he knew the roads better than me, or that the traffic would hold me up or swallow me alive. Granted, while I didn't know the roads out there, I have traveled considerably more often than he has. Particularly, I have driven across country by myself twice, from Texas to Pennsylvania, and from Pennsylvania to Florida......ALL without the use of a GPS!
The verbal attacks can also come in the form of judging and criticizing. These were 2 of my NX's favorite things. He LOVED to begin many diatribes with "The trouble with you is...." or "You know what your problem is?" Then he proceeded to point out everything he thought was wrong with me. And I mean everything.
My NX's words also took the form of sabotage. I can't count how many times he'd interrupt me while I was on the phone with my mother. I would laugh or giggle. He'd want to know why. He'd be across the room, hear me laugh and took BIG strides over to where I was sitting and demand, "What are you laughing about." Or, if he didn't know who I was on the phone with, he'd demand to know who it was on the other end. It was always difficult to continue conversations with my mother because he'd need to know EVERY single word that she said. My mother hated me relaying everything to him. So, I was forced to call her whenever the NX wasn't home.
Whenever Narcissists use words as weapons, they will slowly shape the way the victims view themselves. Every time my NX would launch a verbal attack, it would inevitably tear down my self-worth and self-confidence. Everything my NX said to me assaulted the very core of who I was and shaped me as a failure. He chipped away at my worth, effectively molding me into a submissive and obedient nobody.
After a while, I seriously began to doubt myself and my decisions. I began to believe what he was saying about me. Like Pavlov conditioned his dogs to salivate whenever they heard a bell, my NX conditioned me to believe what he said about me. He would humiliate me in front of his Army buddies. He would even yell, belittle and humiliate me in front of our own children, which made it exponentially more humiliating.
For a while, my NX also made numerous offers for me to move "closer to the kids" on his dime! In fact, he even offered up for me to stay in their apartment until I could find a place of my own. He'd "help" me find an apartment, he'd "help" me find a job, and "help" me fix up my resume. This was no offer to genuinely help.
A Narcissist can also use words as weapons to haunt the victim. Following the knife incident (read my posts on Narcs And Toxic Shaming and The Smear Campaign for more on that incident), I spent 6 days in the mental health facility in the hospital on the military base. My NX holds steadfast to the diagnosis I was given as if his mere life depended on it! From time to time, he brings up this incident and manages to squeeze in how crazy he thinks I am.
Verbal abuse or words as weapons. It doesn't matter what you call it. The end result is the same. It is hurtful. It is manipulative and controlling. It is dangerous. And it will get worse.
Have you experienced anything similar? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
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