Vera felt gut-punched. She realized that most of the people in her life, the people she loved the most, enjoyed tormenting and torturing her. And she’d let them.

Growing up, whenever she felt good, her parents had criticized, threatened and bullied her until she felt miserable. They still tormented her by making plans for her to do things for them and then changing their plans at the last minute to suit their convenience. They smiled when she got frustrated and angry.

Vera’s husband was always negative about her best efforts. He suddenly wasn’t hungry when she’d made a big effort to cook his favorite food. He belittled or threw away any clothes or mementoes she loved the most. He never let her do what would give her pleasure. Sometimes his verbal tirades and abuse became physical. He relished telling her she was worthless and a bad wife. She never served him the way he wanted and she’d never find anyone else who’d put up with such a loser.

One of her daughters perpetuated the pattern. For years, she used Vera to watch her young son when she needed someone. Vera and her grandson were soul-mates. When the boy asked to see Vera, Vera’s daughter said, “No” and, for months, severed all Vera’s contact with her grandson. Whenever Vera didn’t serve her daughter exactly as she wanted, she’d take the child away. Her daughter said she was in control now and Vera would have to do everything she wanted on her schedule or else.

Bullies, narcissists feed on your emotions – your frustration, hurt, pain, impotent anger and misery. They thrive on chaos and fighting.

Even worse than not caring about how you feel and what you want, they enjoy making you miserable. They trash every big occasion you hope for. Whenever you want to discuss or change something, they refuse to engage. They love ripping your happiness into shreds. They’re like vultures picking at your flesh or leeches sucking your feelings and energy.

Their idea of a good relationship is them as master, you as suffering slave.

You don’t get to vote. You don’t get to have an opinion. Whenever you have a hope or desire, they tantalize you with the possibility and then jerk it away at the last minute. When you get so frustrated you explode, you’re the guilty person who needs punished. Whenever you’re crushed, you deserve it.

You cannot change them; they’re having too much fun torturing you.

For forty years, Vera tried everything she could think of. She tried being perfect; praising and pleasing them. They enjoyed that but never stopped tormenting her and demanding more. She tried setting boundaries and threatening. They ignored or mocked her. She found experts and therapists who told them they should change. They found they own sources of support or said, “Who cares.” Sometimes they made promises but then enjoyed ignoring or denying what they said.

Vera finally quit being their source of amusement and nourishment; she left.

She began to love and nurture herself. She didn’t ask for their understanding, acceptance or permission. That action violated all her old rules, values and beliefs. She started tormenting herself by self-bullying. She felt terribly alone and miserable. But she got over her guilt and for the first time in her life, she felt totally free and filled with joy.

Of course, they ganged up to bad-mouth her and spread gossip. She thought, “Who cares!” Within a year, she’d attracted new and much nicer people into the space she’d created.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.

  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

AuthorBen Leichtling