Are We Making Too Big A Deal Over Emotional Abuse?

seeing traits of difficult people, Hijackals

Whoa! Before you even think for a nano-second that my answer would be anything close to yes, it isn't!

Here's why I'm writing this today.

A person in a Facebook group suggested that, perhaps, we’re making too much these days of emotional abuse. He suggested that, perhaps, it’s not as bad, common, or accurate as people are over-dramatizing it to be. It seems he was recently in a five year relationship where he was emotionally abused. He posed the question. Here is my response:

"People with personality disorder traits abuse others, emotionally, verbally, psychologically, spiritually, and/or physically. Now, then, always. Information to understand this abuse is readily available to everyone now. People talk about it, rather than accept it as “just the way it is,” or “I made my bed and now I have to lie in it,” or, “suck it up.” This is healthy.

Hijackals®️, my non-clinical term for these relentlessly difficult, toxic people, encompasses the traits, patterns, and cycles of these people. Hijackals impact and imprint others—particularly their children and partners—in deep, damaging, demeaning ways that are crazy-making.

Many people are waking up to what has happened, and is happening, to them. They are recognizing the damage, and how they were set up by it to attract, accept, and settle for Hijackal relationships in their adult life.  I’ve had people recognize these things after thirty years of marriage! That recognition allows them to step away and gain perspective. That leads to new choices.

Hijackals paint a public image of perfection while, at home, creating a private place of pain. Many times a person is not validated for what is happening to them because of this. Therapists who have not experienced this personally, or in their practices, too often are manipulated by Hijackals, and end up re-wounding their partners and adult children unwittingly. You need acute “Hijackal Radar. “

The Google Goddess, in my opinion, is a double-edged sword. She can help so much by validating your experience, and, she can mis-identify what is going on. She is driven by what you input. She is an index, not a diagnostician. For example, she can easily miss a distinction between a self-centered behavior pattern and a narcissistic one.

Now that more information is available, more people have their experiences validated. This is a good thing.

Will some people unnecessarily label themselves as victims when, in fact, they were not in the accurate sense? Sure. Even Hijackals themselves love the drama of painting themselves as victims!

However, I much prefer that people raised or living in that “private place of pain” recognize what has happened to them, and takes steps to heal to having the deep, dark, hidden secrets staying stored in their souls and psyches, thinking they are unworthy, unacceptable, or unlovable.”

What is your response? I'd love to hear it.

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1 comment

  1. Jill - Reply

    Your facebook group commentator was possibly mistaking how genuine any degree of emotional abuse is with how prevalent it seems. Sort of like the common cold – just because it’s common doesn’t lessen its negative effect on your health. I’ve been married to a classic textbook PA. man for 40 years. (I didn’t know what PA. was till I desperately Googled for help some years back. I found an article on PA. and the writer seemed to know my husband personally! Also -sad but true – I’m a classic, textbook co-dependant! (In my own defence however, he did do great initial con job when I was especially vulnerable). His biggest PA. features are witholding: mostly affection (verbal & physical), also information (very frustrating) plus selective forgetfulness. My marriage problems aren’t about bad stuff he does (eg. he’s not physically violent etc.), rather they’re about good stuff (or anything else emotionally – except anger) he doesn’t do. In learning about my own (& others’) situations I’ve noticed that when women realise an emotionally viable relationship with a PA. partner just isn’t possible, they’re often advised to leave him. As if it were that easy! My view (& experience) is first, people don’t get partnered/married to split – that comes later. Second, when it does, too often little or no money, no family support, no close (or supportive) friends & kids that need raising (by mum AND dad) make it such a difficult option it’s close to impossible. Frying pan or fire: great choice. (NB. It’s a very different story if he’s physically or mentally violent, but this doesn’t apply to me). Thanks for your great support.

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