A skilled manipulator has a surprisingly fragile sense of self. These individuals demand to be respected, understood, and admired, while at the same time refusing to reveal their true, innermost selves.
At the same time, they tend to be hypocrites. "Do what I say ... but don't do what I do" seems to be their motto. Projection and blame are their motives of choice. If they give too much of themselves they feel vulnerable--and that feeling is terrifying to them, especially in intimate relationships.
And so, as a mask and a shield, an abusive personality will unconsciously create a false self, the "self" they present to the world.
"Go away, go away, don't you come back any more! Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door!"
In this post, I wish to discuss coping with the “man who isn't there,” yet who still seems to linger inside your head. If you’ve finally made your way out of an abusive relationship and have begun healing, your ex-partner's voice may still haunt you. Your perceptions of the world around you -- and even your thoughts -- may still be guided by his projection and gaslighting. It takes a lot of effort and healing to get him out of your head.
But it can be done!
I'm Jenny duBay, a domestic abuse survivor and now advocate. My degree is in Christian theology with a concentration on spiritual direction, and my vocational emphasis is on helping those who have suffered from domestic abuse to heal and reclaim their true selves.