Sounds bad, doesn’t it, to wish you were hit? Because you can show a bruise and it is undeniable. You can file a police report. You can show the x-rays of your broken bones and you can share your medical record. But how do you prove emotional abuse to anyone? You even take the risk of being labeled crazy and that’s why many of us do not seek help for the longest time or until the fear of staying the same is stronger than the fear of change and therefore, we finally decide to reach out.

Now that Scotland has passed legislation and psychological abuse is now considered a criminal offense, many of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) survivors and victims hope that one day the same will happen in our respective countries.

I believe it will happen in Europe before it does anywhere else. I believe other European countries will follow suit. But I have my serious doubts I will get to see this happening this side of the Atlantic Ocean during my lifetime.

Before I dive into why I believe it won’t happen here anytime soon, I would like to explain why I applaud Scotland for what they have done. When you look at the symptoms domestic violence victims present, you can see how this list matches up to that of emotional and psychological abuse. And it does make sense since the conditions present at the household are similar, even when there might not be physical abuse in many cases of NPD.

  • Depression, irritability, and guilt
  • Agitation, anxiety, and chronic apprehension
  • Panic attacks
  • Constant state of alertness that makes it difficult to relax or sleep
  • A sense of hopelessness, helplessness, or despair because the victim believes they will never escape the control of their abuser
  • Fear that one cannot protect oneself of one’s children, turning down the assistance offered by relatives, friends, or professionals
  • Feeling paralyzed by fear to make decisions or protect oneself
  • Beliefs that one deserves the abuse
  • Flashbacks, recurrent thoughts and memories of the violence and nightmares of the violence
  • Flashbacks of the behaviour and trauma
  • Emotional reactions to reminders of domestic violence
  • Restless sleep or inability to sleep
  • Extreme fear for personal safety
  • Multiple physical complaints
  • Highly strung or nervous
  • Constantly scanning environment for potential threads
  • Might engage in self-harm
  • Numbing and shock
  • Impaired concentration and memory
  • Feeling they are going mad
  • Insomnia and nightmares
  • Obsessive compulsive behaviours and eating disorders
  • Suppressed anger
  • Cognitive dissociation
  • Suicidal
  • Constantly second guessing
  • Difficulty making simple decisions
  • Stockholm syndrome
  • Developing of phobias

The lists coincide since both types of victims present some or full-blown PTSD and, in some cases, C-PTSD. (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Most people associate PTSD with soldiers and people who have been under a lot of duress and stress, not knowing what comes or to expect next. Only those of us who have experienced it first hand can truly relate, even when we might have never set foot in an actual war zone. Our war zones are actually in the one place where we were supposed to feel the safest: Our own homes. In some cases, it could be the work-space or other areas we frequent. Either way, while many of us NPD survivors do not know what it’s like to be under actual grenades, we do know that our next step could land us on a landmine of a different kind.

Now, concerning the court systems, I don’t think it will happen any time soon. Change takes a very long time in the United States, for anything. I went through the immigration process. It was a drag. It took forever. Even after 9/11, when they supposedly sped up the process. It seems that they need to bang their heads over and over again to finally accept the fact that something has to change. I can see this happening in a lot of different areas: Business, commerce, court systems, safety, medicine, etc., etc., etc. It’s as if they had never heard about that famous Einstein’s quote about insanity. (In case you haven’t heard about it, he said that the definition of insanity was to keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.)

I may even dare to say that there are a lot of political reasons behind it, as well. But I do not have the information or the facts to sustain my claim. It’s just my experience after dealing with the governments of four different countries. Sometimes I think it’s just a way of milking money out of everybody and nobody wants to give up their piece of the pie. Either way, I just hope that Europe takes the lead in this one and we follow suit. It just started, thanks to Scotland. I just pray that someone stars to listen us here rather sooner than later.

PsychCentral: Symptoms of Domestic Violence – Identifying Victims of Narcissistic Abuse
National Center for PTSD
American Psychiatric Association
The National Domestic Violence Hotline