Sex, Love, And Psych
Sex, Love, And Psych

Episode 37 · 5 months ago

Episode 36: Early Patterns of Abuse


Some common abuse tactics that can be hard to recognize before it feels like it's too late. Discussed: gaslighting, love bombing, and control &isolation. What they look like individually, as well as how they are used together to maniuplate someone into staying in an abusive relationship.

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of Sex, love and psych. I know I'm a day later than usual, but I am just getting back in the groove of doing those every single week and I've been super busy with work and being burnt out and sleeping for twelve hours the other night. So yeah, thank you for tuning in again. This week I did a little pull on my sex love psych behind the scenes facebook group of some of my friends and family that I know listen and give me the most feedback as to what kind of topics that kind of want to hear about. Hopefully you want to hear about them as well. Just a another little announcement. I do have a website, ticktock, and instagram going now. So the INSTAGRAM is sex, love and psych all one word, so sexlo Vee A and D psy H. and if you even just go to that instagram you will find links to my website that has a lot more material on it, as well as my tick tock in the link tree. So just wanted to make sure everybody who might not have seen any of that know that. And then there's also a giveaway on my instagram, so go check that out. Once I hit a hundred follow us on instagram and, Tick Tock, I'll be doing a bit of a giveaway. I will be giving away a copy of Atlas of the heart byber May Brown, which I will be referencing in some future episode. So make sure you tune into that. Both out for the AD. To hop into today's topic, the top most thing that my behind the scenes group said that they want to hear is more about recognizing unhealthy relationship patterns.

That was the number one that was on the pole, so I thought I would get into that this week. So recognizing some early signs of abuse or like unhealthy relationship patterns can be really, really tough and it is a really kind of underestimated tough thing to do, especially when people are looking from the outside in. They look back, they can see all of the all of the toxicity and be like well, why, why did you stay? You're at this point, you're being abused, you're all alone. Why did you stay? This person is awful. So today's episode I kind of wanted to get into how to recognize some of those early stages in first of all, I wanted to do a little bit of a review on gas lighting, which was way back in episode seven. If you want to do a deeper view of gas lighting, just head back to episode seven and come on back when you're done. But essentially gas lighting is manipulating a person into doubting their own sanity, reality, memory or perceptions. So this is a lot of the will. I never said that, like you're sounding crazy. No, I didn't do that. How could you ever think that I would do that? I love you. That's what a lot of like the gas lighting looks like. Again, there's deeper examples in episode seven there. So the next kind of thing I want to jump into is love bombing. So love bombing could be a little bit more difficult to recognize as something that's actually can turn into an abuse of pattern, because it looks like love and passion and this world whirlwind romance and it looks like everything that we see in fairy tales, but... can actually really turn into a toxic abuse of cycle. So what love of love bombing is is a flooding of affection, often right in the beginning of a relationship or after big fights and arguments. It's like that out power of gifts and affection and compliments or being told I love you super quickly you're like, why don't you move in with me? Oh my God will, we're soul mates. were twin flames right off the bat. That's a red flag. If somebody doesn't know you well enough to like know your middle name, let's say you've only been on two dates with this person, how are they supposed to know that your soul mights? They can be really, really interested in you, but how do they know you well enough to claim they love you? Or are they are in love with you or that you're meant to be together forever? So that flooding of gifts and affection and compliments that like really hits your dopamine and hits your Serotonin, but also, in the background, kind of makes you feel a little bit uneasy, like do I deserve this? Are Do these compliments even apply to me? Like if they say, Oh my God, you're like so intelligent, your your grades are amazing and like, let's say, you're a very average toon, like getting pumped up on things that you don't even accel. That can be part of love bonding, because they just are flooding you as all of these compliments. How could it feels and how overwhelmed with their love you might feel can really really distract from the toxicity of this behavior and it's used to kind of pull someone in, pull you in really quickly, get you invested to a point your depending on them and their compliments for that little boost for your self confidence. How did you ever feel confident in yourself before you have them telling you...

...that your blue eyes are like the ocean like? How how did you ever feel like you were a beautiful person before them? That kind of a thing. As I said, I can feel kind of like a worldwind romance, and that can completely distract from the fact that it's like your alarms are going off in your head. It can also distract from other toxic behavioral patterns like gaslighting. If someone's telling you that you're crazy when you call them out on in an argument or when you like kind of bring up a conversation about something they said that was kind of wrong or fucked up about you or your friends or something, if they answer that with, Oh my God, I love you, I'm so sorry, I'm the worst person ever. Oh my God, you're a goddess. I don't know how I could ever say that to you. That's love bombing and that's just distracting you from that shit that they said without actually genuinely changing that behavior or apologizing. Love theming can also be used against you in a fight or an argument. Let's say again, they stand you up for a date or they you have plants together and they pull out last second and then later you're like hey, that actually, that actually really bother me when you did this, and then they go, well, I got you last date we went on, I got flowers and I paid for the meal, and do you remember how told you I beat, how beautiful I told you you looked in that dress? I did all of these things for you. Look at all of these examples of me being absolutely in love with you, and you're going to focus on the fact that I stood you up. So that's a little of like the love bombing mixed in with the gas lighting, where they're pouring out all of this supposed love on to..., but also doing it in a way that makes you question your own fanity, where you go, Oh, Oh yeah, I don't know why I made this actually such a big deal. You did do all of those wonderful things to me, like that's it's my fault for getting so angry when you stood me up or you didn't come to the family barbecue. Love bombing. For me personally, it's it's a tricky one for me to not get too far into, because I just tend to want to go above and beyond for people when I first meet them, if I'm like feeling good vibes, I just want to like woo them, I want to give them a gift basket of things that make me think of them. I want to sit compliment them endlessly, and those are those are positive things. But sometimes I I've renize that I need to real about a little bit, because I would never use any of that against someone in an argument. I wouldn't pull the Oh but I gave you all of these things, or Oh, but I love these so much to invalidate their experience and emotions. But they don't know that and I wouldn't like I would never use my love for someone to pull them away from their friends or like I would I say, oh, never would, but I would never intentionally do these things. Sometimes it happens. We are all toxic sometimes, but in the earlier, early phases of relationship, how is that person supposed to know that my intentions are really, really good? I need to prove it over time and maybe I can get them flowers or something, but I need to prove it over time that I'm going to be consistently that person. Also, if you love bomb someone in the beginning, that is so much work to keep up with and they could to resent... for not keeping it up. So that is definitely something that I have learned that I need to recognize in my own behavior. Because, yeah, they they don't know my intentions, they don't know where I'm at. Maybe I've just caught myself up up in this whirlwind romance and I'm ignoring somewhereld legs do. So this is just a reminder for all of us to kind of like cool it in the beginning. Don'Bie I s called. Compliment them, bring them gifts, whatever it is, spend time with them, but make sure you're doing it at an appropriate level for if you just met someone or whatever. And, as I said before, this is pretty popular in the beginning of a relationship. We see it all the time on social media and like tick dog and you hauling lesbians or whatever. But, as I mentioned, it is also really popular after a fight or after an abuse of episode or at so sink in. Like a more extreme case, someone hits you, they getting a fight, your partner hits you. The next day they made a big bouquet of roses, your favorite flower shows up, or they make the end or they make this big seppy social media post that looks amazing and like it's all about how much they love you and appreciate having you in their life. And it does make you feel good first, but a second but it also leaves you feeling guilty for being mad at them for hitting you because, oh, maybe it was just a laughs and judgment. I aggravated them, like it's my fault that they I got them so angry that they hit me. It was clearly just a one time thing because look at these beautiful flowers, look at this public post of them telling everyone how much they love me. I must be the one who's wrong here, and it kind of makes you feel that uneasy feeling, but also like you should be recognizing...

...the good things that you're doing for them or they're doing for you. Sorry, HMM. And another one I kind of want to talk about. It's like control and isolation. So this super, super common tool for abusers and narcissists to use against other people in their life where and it like it's kind of one that feels way more obvious from the oldside looking in, and especially by the time it gets really, really deep into it, essentially by the time it's too late. But it generally starts off super, super subtly. It can be. It can start out with them making little comments about what you were or something they just like about your friends, and it's not usually some big comment or like I hate the way you dress, dress this way, I hate your friends, don't hang out with them. That's never how it starts because that would set off a huge d red flag in us and we go wait, what the fuck, like no, I'm not going to let this person control me or isolate me. Know it starts out a lot smaller. It can start out with you're wearing an outfit like a low black dress, say you're going out with the girls who are in a little black dress, and they just say something like who, that's a little revealing, isn't it? or who are you going out to see? To my it's not me. I'm not going little, tiny comments or when it comes to your friends, oh I can't believe you hang out with such obnoxious people. I'm so glad you're not like so and so. She's so loud. That doesn't feel like, Hey, I hate your friends, don't hang out with them. It's it sounds like just kind of a knock kind of comment about being like man, I'm so glad you're not like that person. These kind of phrases work to plant seeds in your brain that, with repetition and a...

...slow build up, makes you start believing those things. Maybe makes you start wearing different clothes, makes you think twice the next time you are getting ready to go out. Oh he he did say this was a really little bit revealing last time. MMM, maybe I should wear something else. or Oh yeah, I don't want to try and look like I'm impressing anybody at the bar, so maybe I'll just wear jeans. I'll just wear jeans on a nice kind of top instead of like that little black dress that makes you feel like a Baddie. It's also like those little comments about your friends. Oh, so glad I don't have to see her ever again. Like, she's so loud. That kind of triggers that down your brain. Like her are my friends fell out? Yeah, my friends are pretty loud. M. Yeah, that's who. I love them, but like, they are pretty loud. They're not for everybody. That will slowly make you spend last less time with those people, because now you're just thinking about those negative traits about being loud and with like being lot specifically. It also triggers in your brain that thought process of Oh, Emma, am I being too loud? Oh well, I don't. I don't want them to think that I'm like that friend. So maybe I need to be quieter, I need to be smaller, I need to not dance, I need to not go out or drink so much, or I need to not do this or this or this, and you slowly start shrinking yourself and slowly start hanging out with those people less and less. Part of this isolation and control can also be consistently insisting that you spend time with them doing things they enjoy, with people they like, and it doesn't leave enough time for you to do what you like with your people, and they don't ever offer to do things that you like with your people. Oh, we have, we have to go to my friends barbecue. I already told him we'd be there. If we don't go, if..., if you don't show up, I'm going to look stupid. Yeah, I know it's your friend's birthday, but we already made these plans. I'm going to look stupid. You're going to make me look stupid. And it's just kind of those little things that start building and start pulling you more and more into their world and leaving you with fewer and fewer supports as you slowly fade out of your friends lives or start bringing up those things with your friends, like hey, girls, like you're being out. That was never a problem before you started dating this man. And this is not to say that it can't be vice versa. Women can be just as narcissistic and abusive. But, as pre usual, I speak from kind of my own perspective of things and my own experience. But if your experience has switched, this is very gender neutral. I just use him because I have mostly female friends for dating males and that kind of thing. This is not to say all men are like this or that women can't be like this, but yes, be controlling. Isolation starts very, very small and slowly builds over time, and these isolation tactics are often combined with those cycles of gas lighting and love bombing to a point where you're constantly feeling unsure of yourself. You don't know if your emotions or reactions are valid anymore. You feel like you need that person to feed you those love and compliments, and they give you that extra hit of dopening when they do, especially after you've had such an emotional crash, after they've hit you or you've had to fight, you depend on that person to bring you back up out of it, even when they're the one that's crushing you down. So combining those isolation tactics with that gaslighting and love bombing really makes you feel like that person is your sole me or twin flame.

And love is hard and I'm willing to fight for it. I'm a ride or die. But you don't feel connected to your friends and family anymore, so you can't go to them when you feel like times are bad or you feel like they're going to judge you. And that is also one thing that manipulators can put into their victims mind is you think so and so it's gonna believe you. I have been nothing but nice to that person. They are going to call you crazy, they're going to say you're being unreasonable, they put these kind of stofts in your brain that no one's going to believe you. Know, it's going to trust you, no one's going to be there for you because of all the Times you've canceled on them or because of all the Times that this person did something for them. So, with that being kind of said, we're kind of hitting the end of this episode. This was a lot to kind of pile on you at once, but it has been heavy on my heart as I have had some friends go through some of this recently. So just kind of one point I want to end on is if your friends are in a new relationship, especially or was someone that just kind of gives you that uneasy feeling, reach out to that friend do your best to just make them know that you're there for them, even if they keep canceling on you, even if they don't answer your messages. They might be in such a deep, whole kind of spot with this person and that person maybe being like, get off your phone, who are you talking to? They may be policing that person. So try to not take it personally and just reach out to them and let them know that you're there for them. Ask them to hang out, even if you know they're going to cancel. Um, try to recognize these patterns. If someone, if your friend, is still talking to you, if they haven't reached that point of isolation yet, if you're recognizing these cycles of gas lighting, an abuse followed... love bombing, talk with them about it, but don't take it personally if they don't see it the way you do, because when you are in that you are being slowly more down and kind of love blind to all of these road flegs. So, yeah, just be there for them, try to talk to them, try to not hold it against them if they stay longer than you think you would with that. All of that being said, thank you so much for tuning in this week. I hope you have a wonderful week and a wonderful weekend. Happy Belated Easter, and I can't wait to talk to you next week. Thanks so much for tuning in. By.

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