Kieran Kelly


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Coercive Control

Coercive controlling or narcissistic relationships may be defined as follows:

The overwhelming feeling of powerlessness and invalidation, loss of confidence and self worth that you feel because of the actions of a narcissistic personality. This is so horrendous that you feel depersonalised. The invalidation, contempt, control, lack of freedom and the unbelievability of your situation, renders you helpless. The person doing this to you may be your spouse, partner, your children, work boss or somebody in a controlling position, work colleague, fellow student, or anybody directly connected and associated with your life

How does this happen to us and why do we stay in emotionally or physically abusive relationships?

The whole subject of coercive control and its effects is notoriously difficult to prove to anyone else as typically there is only one witness, you, the victim. Family members and friends may display a marked reluctance to get involved as it’s….”their own business”. Alternatively the Narcissist may have weaponized those closest to you for their own ends and they, in effect, become’ flying monkeys’.

Paddy Rafter

Paddy Rafter

If you need help with with Anxiety, Depression, Addiciton or are experiencing Coercive Control, Join my Facebook Community where I share my Music, Tips, Tools and Experiences.

These relationships destroy your social life as there is a huge amount of jealousy and control involved. The abusive partner tends to control all of the finance and decision making elements of the relationship. They do not care about the effect their savage behaviour has on their victim. There is an all pervasive sense of foreboding and hiddenness associated with these types of relationships. This is what you feel.

Intimidation,violence, isolation, threats of law or reporting to child welfare are common, as are all threats and every kind of demeaning act imaginable.

You may or will also feel demeaned, devalued, shamed, worthless, contemptible and eventually you will believe what the coercive controlling person tells you. That you are the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth and are utterly contemptible and worthless.

These are just some of the common repercussions or effects on us when we are affected by a coercive controlling or a narcissistic person.
However, what is really going on? As I have said, coercive control exists right across the spectrum. For the purpose of explanation I will use the example of two people in a relationship as all other unhealthy relationships can be mirrored on this one example.

There is something else we really need to clear up here first and say it bluntly. As with everything else we have so far spoken, this equally applies to both men and women. The perception that this only applies to women is deeply damaging, needs to be understood clearly, and we must try and deal with it and all its permutations.

In the initial stages of the relationship, a process of superlove or love bombing will almost always occur. The narcissistic coercive controlling person will quickly take over the relationship. They will have superabundant love, care, attention, compliments and everything anybody could look for.
We who have been starved of love are extremely susceptible. Through our faulty programming and our addiction to the drugs of approval and appreciation, we will obviously fall for this hook, line and sinker. We are getting approval, we are getting appreciation, acclamation, attention, adulation, affirmation and all the things we have craved for. We are getting an over abundant supply of our drugs.
Over a period of time the narcissistic person in the relationship will gradually assume control and eventually direct all areas of the relationship. They will control the finances, the friends, the family and all our affiliations.
We still don’t really notice this at the beginning as we see it as further confirmation of their love and approval of us.
The rapidity and the consequences will be even worse if we have had trauma in childhood or had childhood experience of narcissistic control. You will think this is normal.

Then it gradually gets more clinging and cloying.
They will monitor who you see and when you see them, and still you will accept this as further proof of their love for you, even when they forbid you to meet with your friends or family.

They will tell you it’s for your own good and they know best. Over a period of time things will gradually become more stultifying, restrictive and controlling. It is at this point that you will start to try and assert your own individuality again. In every case this will be met by the first indications of the savage severity of what you are dealing with. They will begin to undermine you, indicating your friends are no good, your family is not good enough for you, and only they know the way for you to go forward. They will begin to isolate you. They will start ordering every significant event in your life, and eventually every tiny detail of your life.

You will now come to the stage where you will believe what they say. You will believe the devaluing and the undermining and the constant devaluation. In other words they have gaslighted you and you have started to doubt yourself. You have started to doubt reality. Having now doubted your own sanity and the reality that surrounds you, you will embark upon a series of maladaptive behaviours to counteract this or to get out of reality. However, this is merely the beginning

You may become passive aggressive or spiteful. You will start to have the beginning of feelings of helplessness and you will create fantasies of life as how it could be or will be tomorrow, when the narcissist changes. The reality is the narcissist never changes.You may spend years trying to do everything in your power to change the narcissist. You do not realise yet, but it is impossible to change anybody.

You may also begin to consume alcohol or drugs excessively, work excessively, or find any form of escapism that you can. This will continue to become exponentially worse over time.

Now you have become that which the narcissist has said about you all along. You have become the cause of your own ruination. This is not your fault even though you will be continually told all of the time that it is “your fault”.

This is not your fault. This is caused by your faulty programming and your addiction to the drugs of approval and appreciation, and the fact that you will do anything to get them.

Now you have become that which you most abhor. You are your faulty, flawed, lost outer self, craving for drugs. You become addicted to the narcissist. You become addicted to affliction.

Now you will begin to accept any form of bad treatment. The abnormal has become your normal . You will allow yourself to be totally invalidated. You will give up all the things you wanted to do because you will believe the narcissist when they tell you “you are not capable of doing them”. You will do anything, you will abandon yourself.

Just when you imagine things could not become worse, they become exponentially worse, because now the narcissistic coercive controlling person will start to threaten you.

They will threaten you physically and may even use violence against you. They will threaten your own life, your families, and your childrens. They will threaten you with the removal of your home, finance, and conduct constant character assassination and then, they will tell you nobody will believe you anyway. Unfortunately, you may have already instigated and demonstrated how bad you are, in their estimation and others by your maladaptive behaviours. You know in your heart that what they threaten is undoubtedly true because you know what they are capable of. They will threaten to/or remove you from your children, even if you have done nothing wrong, based on innuendo and sabotage.

You also know this because of another incredible tactic they have. They turn all your friends and family into “flying monkeys”. “Flying monkeys” are the people who actively participate, knowingly or unknowingly, in the narcissists smear campaign. Thus you will be met with the constant refrain “he is so good to you” “she is so good and nice to you and you give them an awful time, I do not know how they put up with you”. The narcissist will tell you, “if you go to court nobody will believe you”. You know that this is the truth because you cannot prove it.

This is where you are so lucky if they physically assault you because you now have empirical evidence that people can see. This evidence may still not be believed anyway, but your life is now in grave danger. You are now utterly confused. You cannot think straight and you have begun to experience the feeling of hopelessness.

It is a truism but know this, even if you give up everything in your life, every ambition, every hope, every joy and every love, this will not appease the narcissist. Though you totally disengage from your life they will further punish you and they will never ever stop. The reason they cannot stop is that it is not in their nature to do so.

You have now arrived in hell and the options are few. Suicide is the easiest way and indeed may be your constant companion for a while.
You cannot imagine ever having a life of joy, peace or happiness again because of what has happened to you.

Therefore you cannot imagine the scenario of leaving this person as your self confidence has evaporated and your self worth and value are nonexistent. This again is hopelessness and you now begin to feel the utter lack of motivation. You feel and you know complete aloneness and that there is nobody on your side. You are totally isolated.

This will continue until you die or leave. It may be possible that you are not able to leave due to children, shared finances, a roof over your head and many other complicated entwinements.

The above scenario is an example of one of the many different situations where narcissistic coercive control exists. It is to be taken as such and no more. The relationship in which you suffer this form of mental, psychological, emotional, physical or invalidating abuse may also be with a parent or grandparent, son or daughter, brother or sister, close friend, work or study colleague, employer or indeed anybody in a position to exert a coercive controlling influence over you, or chooses to use their authority in a coercively controlling or malevolent way. As with the other maladaptive behaviours, practices and addictions, ‘The 48 Acts” will help you.

I know that you know what I am talking about. I know that you can identify with what I have said. This identification is all you need because you may be completely unable to do anything else at the moment. You may be completely incapable, through no fault of your own, but caused by what happened and what is happening to you. You will find that initiating any process to help yourself is extremely difficult and this is caused by the trauma suffered or ongoing. This is the cause of your lack of motivation, lack of self confidence and lack of self. Procrastination and utter lack of self motivation are, believe it or not, the final remaining self preservation attributes, or one of the last remaining forms of survival.

I implore you to follow the precepts set down in “The 48 Acts”, not because I have said them but because you intuitively know and will recognise their validity for you. They will change the reality of your life, from an awful existence to radically accepted reality . They will outline for you a path which you may follow. This path will give you information, knowledge and understanding, leading to awareness. The rumination will stop just as the accrimination. I will do a book specifically on this topic, later, for additional help, but everything you need is contained in the “48 Acts”. When you follow these and this way of life, your life will change beyond recognition. You will know a new life and be set free.

If I have gotten well then you can also.

Paddy Rafter

If you need help with with Anxiety, Depression, Addiciton or are experiencing Coercive Control, Join me Community where I share my Music, Tips, Tools and Experiences.