Ray Rice and the Pregnancy of Emotional and Verbal Abuse


Readers who visit this site typically come here to learn about Narcissistic abuse.  They want to know the reasons their partner acts the way they do.  Why is he/she so cruel?  So dishonest?

Why does it seem he/she wants to destroy me?

What many readers may not realize is that Narcissism often overlaps with other Cluster-B disorders, some of which include extreme and volatile emotions and moods such as hostility and aggression, which can shift rapidly and without warning.

Does that mean Ray Rice has a personality disorder?  I’m not at liberty to say.

But, what I can say with certainty is that for people inclined towards being physically abusive, they typically precipitate it with verbal and emotional abuse.  It’s fairly safe to assume that Ray didn’t begin his relationship with his wife by abusing her in such a manner as we’ve seen on the media over the last few days.

Domestic violence is about the control of one human being by another. This control begins with verbal and emotional abuse and is comparable to mind control. Verbal and emotional abuse attacks one’s spirit and sense of self. It’s goal is to create self -doubt, so that by the time the perpetrator begins physically abusing their target, he or she is groomed to not only take the blame for it, but to believe they did something to deserve it.

Why Do the Abused Stay?  #whyIstayed

Those who haven’t been the target of emotional, verbal, or physical abuse are not in a place to assess why an abused person stays in a toxic relationship.  Unless one has been the recipient of insidious mind control, there is simply no way to comprehend it.  Further, in a domestic violence situation, the perpetrator is unstable enough to inflict grave bodily harm to their partner and any children they may have with him or her.  In some cases, they commit murder.

Aside from the risk of physical injury or death, there are psychological elements that cause the abused to stay.  These include trauma-bonding, Stockholm syndrome, co-dependency, and love addiction, among others.  Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of Crazy Love, addresses the brainwashing tactics used by abusers in her TED Talk on why she stayed.

Others who have survived or are still in the middle of domestic violence took to Twitter to explain their own reasons for staying:

And perhaps the most disturbing…

The mind control involved in emotionally and physically abusive relationships is so powerful, victims are left wondering ten, fifteen, and twenty years down the road if there was something they could have done differently to save the relationship.  If this describes you, please seek a certified therapist in your area if you haven’t done so already.  Alternately, if you have been seeing a therapist, but haven’t gotten relief, it may be time to find a new one.

Making the Decision to Leave   #whyIleft

It would seem to outsiders that leaving an abusive relationship is a no-brainer.  The truth is it takes a lot of courage to leave. Women who leave physical abusers are at a 75% greater chance of being killed by the abuser than those who stay.  Further, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women ages 15-44.

Still skeptical?  Ironically, those who judge an abused person are often the ones who remain indifferent when said abused are trying to reach out.

Truth is stranger than fiction, and even more so in abusive relationships.  By the time the target of abuse makes the decision to leave, they often have no friends or family to support them because they’ve been ostracized, belittled, and rejected not only by their abuser, but also by the very people they depend on for encouragement.  This makes it more difficult to leave because they then have to search local organizations for alternative shelter, and those shelters are often full.  Or, because they’ve never been hit, only verbally abused, some shelters won’t take them in.

If you have a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship, the best thing you can do is be patient with them.  Even if they’ve left and gone back multiple times.  If you have extra room in your home, take them in when possible.  You might save a life.

For those of you who are in a relationship with a Narcissist whose behaviors have been escalating, or your partner has already become physically abusive, you may want to devise an exit plan. While I’m sorry for what Janay Rice has been through, and may continue to endure, I’m glad these issues are getting the attention they so desperately deserve.

What’s your story?  Why did/do you choose to stay…or why did you choose to leave?  Share your comments below!

Related Articles:

Can the Narcissist Become Violent?

Rage—Coming Soon From a Narcissist Near You

How-to and Self-help Information for Women

What I Want Those Trapped in Abuse to Know

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  1. Melinda

    I’ve been in a couple of abusive relationships…one long-term, one short-term. I’m now married to a great guy who has never abused me in any way.

    My mother has a history of not picking the best guys…they were all (with the exception of one) womanizers, liars or abusive to some degree.
    She has been with my stepfather since about 1997. I noticed the red flags within weeks of their relationship starting…the arrogant behavior, the abusive treatment he directed at me and others, his bringing hardcore porn into our home when I was still a young girl, the way he talked about women in general, and the speed at which their relationship was moving.

    My mother witnessed his abusive treatment and violent outbursts often, yet she always had an excuse…his childhood or some other nonsense to explain his behavior.
    His first violent outburst occurred towards me when I was 14 and I was terrified. You would think that my mom would realize that this man had serious issues and be more protective of her only child, right? Nope. The next day we had a “conference” to discuss why I was such a bad kid and how it was my fault that he blew up.

    At the time, they weren’t married or even engaged but he was constantly showing up at our place unannounced to eat dinner and have sex with my mother after I went to my room and sometimes bringing his friends over.
    My mother married him when I was about 16 and that is when things became even worse. Over the years, I endured a lot and I also saw/heard him treating my mom badly. She is pretty much his slave and is the type of woman who pretends to be strong but allows people to take advantage of her.
    In our home, it was understood that my mother and I were second-class citizens…my mother had to cook and clean, I had to clean constantly and never do anything that could set him off. I’m not sure if he ever beat her but I wouldn’t be surprised if maybe it happened at some point and she never told me. He had an explosive temper so anything was possible.
    There was one night where we had to leave home and stay in a hotel, though, because he started threatening to hurt her. I was prepared to kill him if he tried to harm her in any way…I’d been through enough. There was also a time when he pushed her out of the bedroom one night and locked her out and she had to sleep upstairs with me. It was just years of misery.

    Anyway, they are still married several years later. I think she knows deep down that he is sick and their relationship isn’t healthy. But like Whitney Houston was with Bobby Brown, she seems determined to prove something. She knows (if she is honest with herself) that it was wrong to throw her only child under the bus for a dysfunctional relationship. She knows that it was wrong to sacrifice my happiness and sanity because she was tired of being alone. She knows that try as she might, nothing will change the damage his abuse inflicted on me nor can it erase the memories of how he treated her at times in front of me.
    She knows that coddling a grown man and making excuses for his actions is wrong. But this is the nature of abuse in some cases…sometimes the victim is willfully blind. Last year when they sold their house and were about to move, they had a fight where he called her stupid in a public place. She privately admitted to me that she didn’t know how she’d put up with his crap all these years; that was the closest she came to admitting that something was wrong.

    I once asked my mom as a teenager why she chose to stay with him. I couldn’t understand why a woman like her would do that (and also subject me to it).
    She smiled a weary smile and said: “because I’m trying to make a life”. And it made no sense, still doesn’t. She was an independent woman who had worked all her life and tried to raise me as a single parent. I knew it was difficult sometimes but to me, safety and a peaceful environment trumps money or the need to have a man around.
    What good is a nice house or extra money if you’re living in terror on a daily basis? And because of my mother’s choice to stay with an abuser (who was not recognized as such), my quality of life suffered. I had relationships with men who used and abused me. I had no respect for myself and I lost most of my respect for my mother, a woman I’d always looked up to.

    Women need to understand that if you stay with an abuser and you have kids, you are showing them that this is “normal”. The cycle needs to be broken. I understand loneliness or needing help to pay bills but please consider the welfare of yourselves and your children, if you have them.
    A man doesn’t have to hit you to be abusive…verbal/emotional abuse is just as insidious and damaging. I say this with love and not judgment; you have to free yourselves somehow before it’s too late. Reaching out is hard but you can do it. Don’t be like my mother, staying with the abuser so long that you figure what’s the point of leaving? You might love him but you have to love yourself more.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you so much, Melinda for sharing your perspective from a child’s point of view. Do you mind if I share this as a blog post here in the near future? By the way, I left because of my children. I stayed too long, but in the end, I knew that if I didn’t leave, they would have very messed up beliefs about what relationships were supposed to be like. My oldest son is showing early signs of codependency and my middle son has a problem with authority figures, but I’m hoping I got out in enough time to help them and salvage their sense of self. I left over four years ago and life has never been better <3

      1. Melinda

        Sure, Kim! You are more than welcome to share it. 🙂 I am now an adult in my 30’s but I still have serious issues because of what went on.
        By the way, I hope I didn’t offend anyone…I was just trying to show what I saw and experienced growing up with a co-dependent mother and abusive stepfather.
        I wish my mother could have found the strength to leave like you did but sadly, she is still in that situation and has the “stand by your man” attitude. I don’t want to judge my mom too harshly because she is a great person, but I must say that it kills me when people who have children continue to stay with an abuser. It does a lot of damage to a kid’s psyche when they are put in a situation beyond their control. And for the woman (or man) staying with the abuser, they’re also doing further harm to themselves. Sometimes I look into my mom’s eyes and I see so much pain there, so much hurt and sadness. She is so broken inside that I want to cry. My stepfather and his family have really used her as a doormat.

  2. Kitty

    They re really Monsters patethic miserable pieces of sh*** that inject their Misery in everyon around them!

    It makes me sick to think I believed in such a person they are not people, cheap trash

    People do NOT BE FOOLED: ABUSE has nothing to do with Love, or seduction or playing…. it has EVERYTHING to do with kick such a sick person gets when hurts another. THEIR SICKNESS not yours. and it defines what they are. and what they will ever be. shit period

    A person that looks for excuse to throw trash onto people around them, but again DO NOT BE FOOLED if they would show themselves from the first moment IN ALL THEIR GLORY UGLYT people would run for the hills! But they pretend lie hide the monster until you re far down the hole. start slowly destrotying inflicting tormenting you, that is FUN” to them

    F THEM low pieces of trash and waste of space that they are Again it has nothing to do to you, or something you do not do, or you are not… THEIR SICKNESS they deserve to be hanged tortured the same way they do to others cause its a choice!

  3. Cindy

    This just makes me sick. I was the girlfriend then the other woman. I stayed because I believed it was my fault and then became the OW because he is still with the new supply. It’s been 2 years. How could they still be together if he was really then monster that I encountered? I wonder if I brought it out of him? If he’s changed for her? I know he hasn’t because I was the OW but its what my mind tells me. I’ve moved on, read tons of these sites. But it will always hurt

  4. lilacs

    I asked him to leave because I just could not endure his abusiveness any longer. I found that he had stolen a check from me for $100.00 and when I expressed how angry I was about it, he sort of parroted it back to me like he did not know. I went out one evening to hang laundry on the line and he robbed the contents of my purse and then had the audacity to ask me for money. It was only a test to see if one, would I even realize my purse had been robbed or, two, would I realize I had no money and go the ATM and withdraw more cash for him. I sensed he was messing around on me and it hurt very much. He became more indifferent to my feelings and expressed as much. He had long moved on and I had not seen it. I had become very attached to him, he had been very loving to me at times. I honestly could not tell the difference between performance and authenticity. I wanted to be in love and I had been abused and isolated for a long time. I sensed that it would not work out and that I should not move in with him, and strangely I had never walked in the direction of his house before we met because I sensed for no particular reason – danger or violence. Ironically my senses had been spot on. I experienced moments of tremendous danger and violence where no one would help me; he beat me severely for six hours one time, verbal and physical violence, spitting on me and pulling out fists full of hair off my head. I almost lost one eye. I could not believe that it could be happening to me. I loved him dearly and was devoted to him. I promised myself after each and every beating that; God help me to survive, I would leave him right away and never have another thing to do with him. He would telephone me and leave messages for me or he would come by to see me and we would end up spending the day or even the night together again. Those moments I began to forgive him as so many other times and I just wanted to love him and I enjoyed his expression of affection toward me, but it was always built on some fissure that was ready to pull apart. I never flirted with others nor did I have any additional or hidden relationships. He accused me of such aggrieved behaviors and of immorality. He had me wrapped around his finger and could bend and twist reality like taffy so that he was %100 innocent and %100 justified in his action against me. I went insane by not letting go. I knew the truth in me but the more truth was put into the tumbler shaker, the more confusing it all continued to be. I feel a bit better today than I did months ago, almost a year now. It honestly has taken a lot of crying and hurting and loss to go through sometimes one day at a time, sometimes every other day. I did not think I would see the opposite equal to one year, it has been sorrowful and painful. I do appreciate not having someone laying next to me explaining how they are happy in their affairs and indifferent to me accept in blackmailing me emotionally and mentally to slavery and servitude to someone who could not care. My love was meaningless when compared to some image of success that I was not. I saw that all the good a person can do can mean nothing to another, and I saw our senses can tell us, sometimes pretty loudly what is the reality, the truth about something. It is pieces of wisdom and safety that offers guidance from disastrous circumstances or relationships if we care to accept them. While it was meaningful and fun at times to love him, it would have been less costly and more humane to have loved and validated myself than to have tried so hard at pleasing someone who would turn on me in a second and despise and even destroy me for any reason or excuse. Self love and self worth, all those things that were not taught to me, would have been the better choice hands down. I do not know how things could have been more crossed – moments of exhilarating joy in expression of affection and fantastic sexual intimacy, to the deadliest game of survival and escape from evil made manifest in hidden agendas.
    I was reminiscing about a short lived relationship 30 years ago. It was thrilling immediately because he was so respectful and considerate constantly. I admire him still in my thoughts. Though it did not work out for us, I appreciate my honesty to him and his honesty with me. We were both free to go on with our lives without victimization, and I still thirty years later see him as a prince, a man who really knew how to treat a woman. A man who was honest and respectful. These pages are filled with devastation, sorrows, of broken hearts and tragedy. I can only hope that he always remained a true prince and never mistreated a woman in any form. I mentioned it because it made me feel so good to think on an experience of being with, for what I would describe, a real man. I appreciated his respect and honesty and I appreciate mine. I know that these are two qualities that if missing, then I would be courting disaster.

  5. Anonymous

    I met this wonderfull guy in 2012 in a shop! I ask him if he’s married, and told me he and his wife is busy divorcing! The divorce is nearly on the end!!! He gave me his card and he ask me out the next night for dinner!!! So we begin a relationship for 2years!!! I was over the moon! One night i took his phone cause he has a thing with that phone!!! Than i saw the ex-wife send him photo’s of her private goodies……………..I cant ask him cause he told me if i look on his phone, he gonna break everything between us!!! Eventually i told him later on!!! He was so cross at me!!! I still hear it nowadays!!! I broke up with him, he started crying and tell me that i was die woman he want to be with for the rest of his life!! He has no feelings for his wife! What’s between them is just a bussiness transaction!!!………………….So i stay for 2 years………..Clean their company house, make food…………It was really a good time. We go camping, do a lot of things together…………..SEX WAS AWESOME!! I done things with him i never ever thought of doing with my ex!!!! Then i moved to Windhoek and that’s where things started to change!!! He told me we can just visit on weekends, cause in the week he is to busy. He works for a construction company in Namibia. I still believe him! Then this year, after his daughters come and visit from South Africa, he start ignoring me, chase me away like a dog!!! From about March in this year he was starting fights with me, accused me falsely, and when i tried to come up for myself he was choking me!!!! He than should leave me to cry on the ground and after a time, come ask me to stand up, wash my face, and talk to me, as if everything that happened was my fault!!! He never said sorry!!!! It was always me that was jealous or something!!! I learned to ignore him!! When he began with his stuff i left the conversation and go and sit somewhere alone……………………He would follow me after a time and ask me if i dont want to be with him anymore!!! He uses the ugliest language towards me!!!!! He broke myself worth with the things he told me!!! You are f…..ken ugly!!!! F…k-off to your house your rubbish!!! I’m gonna chick you in your stomach, your rubbish!!! Look at you, your fat rubbish!!!……………….I dont worry if you gonna die, you are nothing……you are a piece of rubbish!!! I regret the day i met you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then i found some information on his laptop about another married woman…………I saw them online always together on WA…I ask her if he contact her, cause than i gonna move out……….He is still married to his wife in SA and i don’t want to share him with another woman…………..Than this girlie told lies, that i stalk her……………….and than he phone me and tell me it is over!!!!!!!!!!!! Till now i dont know if there is something between the 2 of them……..I move out!! I have no contact with him since. About 3 months now!!!!! He told our friends the baddest stories about me!!!!!!!!!!!! He warned them to have no contact with me either! I heared the stories he tell them…………….i am mad…………….I stole…………I really isn’t mad/crazy……………..and def not stole from anyone, anything!!!! He make me phoned her and asked forgiveness, which i done, but i’m not happy for what must i apologize? I didnot accuse her or them!!! He broke our friendship, relationship………he go on as if never exist!!!! My heart is thorn in pieces and i cant sleep………………so many why’s……………………………And it seem’s that all our friends back-up him………I’m done!!! Maybe time will tell the truth!!!! My friend told me about narcissists, so i began to google, and i understand things more …………………..BUT HE LEFT ME BROKEN LIKE I’M NEVER BEFORE!!!!

    1. lilacs

      I just want to say to you that I hear you. I read every word you said. It is sad and you deserve literal hugs for being so violated and lied to. It is a first step, you were mistreated and my human being touches yours to tell you I understand it hurts, that you are in physical, mental and emotional pain. You are feeling and realizing the full effect of what happened now that you are apart. Understanding the why and how is part of recovery, but the first is healing the devastated feelings and emotions that recorded that cruelty and dishonesty. You are not the only one is a terrible cliche, but there is a truth to it, When you get a little stronger and look outside yourself you will see the ravages done to others, and you will feel for them also. You will also get to feel better that you are not in that situation any longer. If you can try not to focus too much on the experience but try to find things that could give you some peace of mind, especially creative things, like writing, singing, painting. They have a way of bringing you into deeper parts of yourself that will take up your full attention and the deeper part of yourself can assist greatly in healing the other upper and outer parts of yourself where you may feel the broken parts the most severely. Hugs in abundance for that is the immediate hurting place and sensation, no one deserves to be left alone in that place, and onward to your creative center of healing and reclaiming yourself. It has to be one of the most difficult experiences for a human being to go thru. I was going to log off until I saw what you wrote. I had to say something because I have been so alone and hurt too. I just wanted to offer you some support. We are all the same and yet we are at the same time very different and unique. I hope that you will embrace yourself and may some kind person in the day offer you an embrace as a caring human being. Sad that these tragic experiences are so common. You are a voice and a light for many others, we are but one ocean of inspiration to so many. Our strength, our courage to endure, to survive is brilliant. It truly hurts and I weep to hear the testament of others. I am thankful for each person who stands up to be counted for then we do not suffer in silence but acknowledge the truth in ourselves and in others – there is a real problem in society that accepts the violence and abuse toward woman and it has to be at the forefront of any critical discussion and action for a political/social agenda in the immediate. It is not ignored and it can not be ignored, the devastation to human life is real. I simply offer you this outreach written touch, I acknowledge your pain and sorrow, I have been going through for sometime now also. I would rather be happy too. I hope somehow we may reclaim our lives and live in a way that brings us joy and that these sad moments of memory past will diminish greatly as goodness returns as our energy focuses us to manifest and make real our happiness. That this moment in time show us our strength but also the wisdom to show us our protection from having to re-experience anything like it again. Also to have compassion toward any person who may express such a situation to us later on. Help us to open our hearts to assist that person – we understand how devastating it is. This is my hug for you and my hope that you will have many hugs in this day and along the way to help heal the very real hurt on so many levels. May your life and happiness be restored to you.

  6. luckyotter

    Hi! I’m new here and the daughter of a malignant narcissistic mother and ex wife of a narcissistic psychopath. I’ve been reading every blog and book and article I can find and just started my own blog today to help in the healing process. I’ll follow your blog too. When you get a chance, please comment on mine! Thanks so much for helping bring this serious issue to light.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Luckyotter! I’ve just discovered this original comment you left on my blog last year. From visiting your site recently, it seems you’ve come a long way since you first started in September of 2014. Wishing you continued success and thank you for helping spread the word <3

      1. luckyotter

        Hi, Kim! Better late than never. Thanks for the kind comment. I’m addicted!

        1. Kim Saeed

          Ha ha! If you’re talking about your writing, it’s probably a sign that you’re passionate about what you do. When I first started my blog, I would write for 12-14 hours a day! Along the way, I slowly gained followers, and now I’m glad to say I’m blessed enough that I can stay at home and help people full-time 🙂 Perhaps that’s the direction you’re headed in!

          1. luckyotter

            i have to be honest, although making a living blogging isn’t the reason why I blog (I would do this for free and I do), I would love for this to turn into a career where I can make a living. That’s why I decided to run ads.

          2. Kim Saeed

            Well, I’m still a small fry in the big scheme of things, and don’t yet make what I did while teaching, I have no doubt that I’m fulfilling my purpose and that things will only continue to grow…not only for me, but for anyone who finds me and my work. Honestly, when I first started blogging, I was still working and it was a hobby. But, since I’m so passionate about what I do, I followed the advice of my favorite gurus and thought, why not give it a try and make it my career!

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Survivorthrivor2. I’ve got my comments set up to be approved. Yours should be showing up now 🙂

  7. I mirror your exact description of what I lived with except I just found out in May that it was all a hoax on me. That’s okay, I am strong and will carry on, God has seen to me this far, He will see me all the way through. I don’t think Narcissist’s truly feel anything for anyone except themselves, but one day they will and it won’t be pretty. Vengeance is God’s and I’m happy to walk away knowing just that. To answer why I stayed is difficult, because I’m sure I don’t even understand it fully myself yet, but I do know that looking back it is as if I was in a tsunami, where up is down and down is up and you have no idea which is which. Along with all sorts of objects all around you bumping into you from every direction, hitting you, ramming you, shocking you as you see them coming at you not knowing which way to duck, if they will swipe you or not and never knowing if or how much it will hurt and how long, if ever you can get out and away.

  8. Charlie

    I left as I was simply fed up with the mind games and especially the gaslighting. He would twist things constantly and act like a victim and I could see he was very emotionally unstable. All a form to control but I’m stronger than that which he was unaware of. It was all about him. I really saw this person as someone that has mastered and been doing this a long time. It escalated after I left. Someone I never even care to hear or speak about ever.

  9. Shannon Porter

    Beautifully expressed. I found myself being re-traumatized because of the Ray Rice incident, but have been amazed by such positive support for survivors of Domestic Abuse in its wake. That has brought me comfort and validation. No, I am not crazy like he always told me I was and no, I didn’t overreact when I left. I love your site Kim. Thank you. <3

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you, Shannon. It gives me great pleasure to know my site has been helpful to you. Thank you for being a follower and for sharing your story <3

  10. Jen Lee

    I cannot thank you enough for the information that you provide on this site. This year has been really hard for me. I discovered my husband was cheating on me with numerous women, both ‘real life’ sex as well as his numerous sexting partners. Unfortunately, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what he has been up to but that’s for another article. I am so thankful that I found your site because otherwise I may have never realized who he truly is. Ive been with my husband for a total of 8 years however we’ve only been married for about year and a half. Looking back today, I cannot believe that I was so blind to his narcissism. His mental abuse, mind games, whatever you want to call it had me actually believing that I was the one who was going crazy, the one who needed help. He tore me down in every possible way yet, he made me believe he was really trying to help boost my self esteem. It took me stumbling upon the first affair to open my eyes to the reality. He exhibits all but one descriptor of a psychopathic narcissist and even though I am a medical professional, I never saw it.

    This case with Ray Rice is horrible, of course however I think the amount of comments being thrown around on social media blaming the wife for staying are far worse. I guess it takes someone experiencing abuse first hand or through a loved one to understand the position that the victim is in, that it’s not easy to leave. A good friend who has been my voice of reason through my ordeal texted me yesterday about #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft and told me to check it out. After reading the endless stream of heartbreaking comments, I finally felt like I could let myself off the hook for ‘being so stupid.’ I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. Yesterday I also stumbled upon the TED video you mentioned and I highly recommend that everyone takes 15 minutes to watch it. Thank you again for everything you do for people like me. I hope that one day I can do the same for another victim too.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Jen, thank you so much for kind words and for sharing your background. I am also glad you shared that you are a medical professional and was still blindsided by a disordered person. Only through sharing these kinds of stories can the general public begin to realize how insidious this type of abuse is.

  11. Great post. This incident has really infuriated me. First because of the neanderthal-like behavior of Rice and second because of the neanderthal-like responses of those people who blame the victim for what happened to her. Infuriating! Glad people like you exist to give me some hope for our species.

  12. Anonymous

    Kim — Your blog is such a great resource and you are providing a valuable public service. I agree with you that victims of abuse should NOT be shunned and that people should be patient with their friends, loved ones and others who need time to leave an abusive relationship. BUT I take issue with a couple of things in this particular article. One point you make is that others allow an abuse victim to live with them. I say this depends on the abuse victim. No one should put their own lives at risk to help someone else, especially if an abuse victim is playing games and not serious about making changes. Who needs to invite drama into their home? No one.

    The other issue is where you say people should seek another therapist if the counselor they’re seeing does not provide “relief.” Therapists are not miracle workers. They cannot provide relief to clients if clients are not willing to do the heavy-lifting and be responsive and responsible by taking their own personal growth seriously.

    I think all situations depend on the individuals involved. While no one should be subjected to domestic violence or narcissistic abuse, not every victim is completely innocent and in fact may need to look very deeply at their own role in holding onto an abusive man (or woman). Some victims actually mistreat those who try to help them, as well as lie to others regularly. So not all victims of abuse are ready to receive support, and other people should not have to suffer when their loved ones or friends refuse to see what is clear and obvious from the outside looking in.

    I’ve known victims who took family members and friends for granted long-term by using those who gave her resources to support her children, only the victim gave the money to her abusive husband. I’ve known some women who seek out “rivals” to verbally abuse and threaten when they think their man is cheating, rather than hold their man accountable. Let’s stop pretending that all victims deserve ongoing, unlimited and unconditional support. Some abuse victims do harm to the very people who seek to help them, while the victim continues to protect her batterer.

    1. Kim Saeed


      Thank you for reading my article, and for your input. You make some excellent points. The first I’d like to address is allowing an abuse victim to stay in your home. I agree that in the case of a victim playing games and turning on those who try to help him/her, then by no means should they be allowed to stay and should seek out an abuse shelter or transitional living facility. However, I think for the most part, abuse victims are sincerely just trying to get away from their abuser and desperately need somewhere to turn. Those are the victims I refer to. I do think exceptions should be considered, as well, if the abuser is a gun-toting maniac scoping out their target’s refuge. As you said, case-by-case.

      Regarding therapists, I’ve never claimed they are miracles workers. However, I’ve heard many stories from my readers and clients, and have read others across the web, regarding their sheer disappointment in the general lack of skilled counselors in the area of emotional abuse. Mind you, there are some great ones out there, but they’re very hard to find. I agree that clients should pull their own weight when it comes to recovery, but after hearing the stories I’ve heard about so-called “therapists”, I have to wonder how some of them are still practicing. I also made the statement because if a client has been through a couple of years of therapy with no progress, it would seem rather obvious one might want to consider finding another provider.

      You are correct in that victims sometimes play a role in their relationship with an abuser, physical or emotional. I think anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis would agree that I encourage readers to explore their reasons for staying in any abusive relationship. My point here is that the general public doesn’t understand the amount of mind control that victims suffer from their abuser and that we shouldn’t turn a blind or indifferent eye to what’s happening across the globe on such a large scale. My intention wasn’t to encourage unlimited or unconditional support if targets of abuse have become abusive themselves. That’s really a topic for another day. I think if anyone took in an abuse victim who continually took advantage of them, they’d need to practice some tough love at some point, if for no other reason than their own safety and/or sanity.

      1. Anonymous

        Thank you for some clarifications on this matter, Kim. And please know that I am very clear from your writings that you take a balanced approach. What frustrates me is how so many women attack other women when they should direct their anger toward their partner who is cheating, for example. I came under attack from a complete stranger when my ex narcissist smeared me. This woman called me up out of the blue, not knowing anything about me, and proceeded to tell me about myself based on what my ex told her. My ex had tried to pull this game on me when I first started dating him (before realizing he was pathological) but I was able to see clearly that he was the one still calling his ex before me, so I made sure I did not attack his previous ex. I held him responsible for his own behavior, since he was supposed to be in the relationship with me. I have been healed and free for a while now, and learned a great deal from that N abuse experience, so I will continue to take responsibility for future choices I make in relationships.

        At any rate, here’s info I got from Sojourners faith-based organization in response to the video of football star Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée unconscious in an elevator: “The problem isn’t just football stars in the United States: women around the world are beaten and abused every day. It’s an epidemic that affects up to 70% of women in some countries—and we need to respond. Faith activists from across the country are headed to Capitol Hill TODAY to build support for The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA)…In addition to helping set priorities to support women and girls around the world, IVAWA would also create a new State Department office that would connect women with the legal support, educational opportunities, and economic opportunity they need, while making sure that women and girls in humanitarian crises are protected from violence. This bill is too important to sit in a committee. If we can flood Congress with thousands of emails, we can build critical support and win new co-sponsors for IVAWA. Ray Rice’s shameful abuse is all too familiar for many women and girls around the world. With the well-being of millions of women and girls at stake, the real question is why this bill hasn’t passed already.”

        I know this is the heart of the message you were sending with your article. Keep up the good work, Kim.

        1. Kim Saeed

          Thank you, Anon. I totally agree with your stance on women attacking other women, especially when there’s an Arse-issist behind the whole thing. I dream of the day when these disordered types are held accountable for the destruction they cause.

          Thank you also for sharing the invaluable information from the article you read, and for reading my blog <3

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