I was watching a video of Trump and British PM May this morning. I found myself thinking, He doesn’t sound so bad.
Wait — what?!?
I must have Stockholm syndrome, was my first conclusion. As I think about it however, certain qualities of Trump’s demeanor remind me of abuse. As soon as you’ve decided you detest him, he’s using that calm, soothing voice while making quasi-reasonable statements. You find yourself thinking, Ok, may be it’ll be ok, it’ll work out. So you let down your guard a little, which is about the moment he turns back into Mr Hyde.
A little research shows that the cycle of narcissistic abuse is different than the general cycle of abuse. It involves a “flip” at the third stage, where the narcissist – the abuser – becomes the abused. Not only does this keep the narcissist at the center of attention, but it positions him to profit from the potential benefits of every stage while deferring nothing to the victim. It keeps the narcissist in a position of power and control at every stage.
As a country, we’ve entered into an abusive relationship with Donald Trump. Please understand I am not suggesting that he is or ever was abusive to his family – important to note in light of the “free Melania” internet jokes. No; I am suggesting that Trump has and does leverage this narcissistic cycle of abuse to get what he wants in the business world, and now in the political area. Supporters who don’t recognize abuse think the rest of us are crazy when they are actually the victims.
It will be up to the rest of us to keep ourselves from being drawn into Trump’s psychological abuse. I wonder if we can open people’s eyes not only by standing up against walls and gag orders, but by also pointing out the abuse. I plan to continue my study of this subject. I hope to find ways to protect myself from the psychological impacts while finding opportunities to reach the victimized.