Sage was shook and then enraged when she realized her husband and her oldest, adult daughter used the same tactics her family had used on her all during her growing up. They were negative, critical, bullying and abusive. Their wants, feelings and standards mattered and were the focus of everything. Sage’s wishes, standards and values were wrong and didn’t matter. She was supposed to accept that horrible treatment.

Bullies, narcissists want you to pretend what they do is alright.

Growing up, Sage was told it was her fault if she was hurt and offended, she was guilty if people did bad things to her and she must keep the family secrets about her parents’ drinking, fighting and abuse of the children. She must keep the secrets about her uncle who molested the girls.

She was told that none of that was so bad. It was just the way those people were. They’d had bad childhoods themselves or they were just having a bad time in life and Sage had to accept what they did to her. They would never change. Those reasons had become excuses and justifications.

The only person she could change was herself. Sage realized that was exactly what her husband and her oldest daughter gave her as reasons to accept their behavior, pretend it was good enough and not to protest; especially never make a scene in public.

Bullies, narcissists want you too scared to challenge them publicly.

Growing up Sage was afraid of the verbal, emotional and physical punishment that would descend on her if she protested. Her husband threatened to get the children on his side, abandon her and leave her broke if she didn’t accept his rule. Her daughter deprived her of her beloved grandchildren if she protested. Until that moment, Sage was convinced they’d treat her worse if she protested. They were too determined and nasty; she was too sweet and loving to win.

Sage decided to use her rage effectively, as energy and motivation to get free.

When Sage looked forward to another 30-50 years of being beaten or coerced into submission she decided she was not going to submit. Her Spirit rose up in her and she decided to learn how to fight to take her own life back. Her rage gave her the strength, courage and determination she needed. She used that energy to change her beliefs, rules and roles, as well as to plan her actions.

Don’t be an accomplice, don’t collude in the family lies.

As her first tactic, Sage chose to be open and honest in public. She casually spoke up at holidays with her family of origin, stating the truths that had been kept secret. She never argued, debated or proved what she said. She just said it and smiled. People choked on their turkey. Some were offended and chastised her. They tried to make her feel guilty. Others applauded and agreed.

When she was out with her husband and friends, she casually mentioned, how he treated her. And also told about her daughter’s abuse, lies and threats. Some people took the side of the bullies and narcissists. They said if her daughter and husband were upset, it must be Sage’s fault. Sage cut them out of her life. Others were shocked and appalled, and stood up for Sage. Those she kept.

Sage prepared for a wonderful and glorious future.

Sage’s husband and daughter minimized their behavior, claiming Sage was too sensitive. And they increased their threats. Sage kept smiling and started tracking all their valuables and money in preparation for the divorce he’d promised her. She saw a divorce lawyer on her own. She started figuring out how she could go back to work to support herself.

Sage told her oldest daughter she was not her slave and her daughter had to behave if she wanted anything from Sage. Her daughter was furious. Of course Sage was heart-broken and terrified. But she used her anger to keep herself on track and to keep smiling.

And she did find her present becoming more wonderful. When she found she was not drained of energy and fun, she realized that was because she’d stopped allowing her husband and oldest daughter to drain her. At first, she forced herself to fill her life with new friends, activities she’d always wanted to do and with her other adult children. She felt alone and was lonely only a bit of the time.

Sage had many hard moments in the beginning but with time, better and better people came into her life and appreciated her. And the pain of being without her husband or daughter was certainly less than the pain of being beaten and tormented by them. Sage’s life became her own.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to 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