In writing the blog post, 50 obstacles to leaving an abusive relationship, I realized there is one more obstacle. Smear Campaign is the 51 obstacles to leaving an abusive relationship. Let me explain.
If you own your own business, are well known in your community, are a public figure, and are famous, you will most likely experience a smear campaign if you are dealing with a narcissist. This can happen during and after the relationship. The narcissistic individual can threaten to ruin your reputation, destroy your business, and steal your clients. You can be smeared so badly that nobody will hire you within your town or state. A narcissist can threaten to smear you, so you will be kicked out of the church congregation. If you are in the film industry, a narcissist can jeopardize your career if you expose them.
When the narcissist starts their smear campaign, you can be completely clueless. You can think everything is fine in the relationship. People get into fights or disagreements all the time. You think or feel the dispute was resolved, but if you belittle, embarrass, humiliate, upset, or even slightly shame the narcissist, you better watch out. Some narcissistic individuals are incredibly passive-aggressive and will want to teach you a lesson—a lesson of WHO is really in control and WHO has the power in the relationship.
Let me give you an example. You could still be in the relationship, but the narcissist might speak poorly of you to their friends, family members, church members, minster, on social media, and to their fans. A narcissist will play the victim and will create a triangle effect called triangulation. That is when the narcissist plays the victim, you are the abuser, and the one listening to their sad story is the savior. In my personal and professional opinion, the narcissist is creating an obstacle course or hole in which you have to climb out eventually. Sometimes you cannot because the narcissist can get others who have sided with them to help shovel dirt on top of you. The more you suffer, the more power and control the narcissist will feel. The attention is feeding their ego and the need to appear necessary because most narcissistic individuals struggle with self-esteem issues and lack self-confidence. That is why they feed off creating drama and chaos. They are the center of attention.
Even when I was still in a relationship with my son’s father, he smeared me behind my back to his friends, coworkers, family members, and even my daughter. It made him feel good about smearing me because he was getting sympathy from others. At times I was entirely in the dark unless someone questioned his motives, behaviors, or actions. It explained why I would hear his mom whispering and gossiping about me when she came for special occasions. My ex had a drinking problem. Therefore, he projected his addictive behavior upon me. I am assuming he said that I had a drinking problem. When I offered his mom a glass of wine at Thanksgiving, she would make slight comments throughout the evening that I needed to cut back on my consumption. And, of course, my son’s father would not touch a drop of alcohol when his mom was present. I was baffled and confused, even when I did not have a drink in my hand. The same happened when I had my best friend over. His mom would make rude comments about my best friend when she knew nothing about her. She was going off his negative opinions of her.
The 51 obstacles to leaving an abusive relationship can be highly challenging if you are in the public eye. Your whole career can be destroyed. People you thought were your friends have abandoned you and questioned your morals, actions, behaviors, and even sanity. So many people are trauma ignorant, and we all need to become trauma-informed. When someone creates a smear campaign to destroy you or weaken your support system, it can give you PTSD. How can it give you PTSD? Your world can be turned upside down. People you trust can start to gaslight, devalue, shame, and even hate you. Complete strangers can hate you because of all the negative things the narcissist said about you. Trust me; I know this fact.
When you realize what has really happened, you will feel blindsided. You might try to defend or explain yourself to people, but your cries can fall on deaf ears. You could be labeled as the crazy one, dysfunctional person, suicidal, a whore, drunk, and that you are out to ruin the narcissist’s career or reputation. Just remember to stand in your TRUTH! Rise above the hate and anger. You do not need to defend or explain yourself to someone who does not care about you.
In the two-part documentary, Phoenix Rising, Evan Rachael Wood talks about her experience and how she is a survivor of domestic violence. She was groomed into silence, just like I was. It takes courage and strength to rise up and speak your TRUTH. When she first met him, she was not even twenty; he was thirty-seven years old. Because of the age difference and lack of life experiences on her part, he easily manipulated and exploited her. He was delighted when her reputation was being publicly destroyed. By doing this, he knew she would end up dependent upon him. This was the start of his smear campaign. He set her up by making her appear to be a home-wrecker and whore, never taking ANY responsibility for his actions or participation.
To write my book, The Undetected Narcissist, I had to rise out of the ashes and learn to fly again. I am proud of Evan Rachel Wood for finally naming her abuser. Still, it is discouraging to hear that her abuser, last month, March 2022, is suing her for emotional distress and defamation. I hate to say it, but this is a common narcissist tactic. When Evan broke her silence, she got threats and was intimidated by Marilyn Manson’s fans. Angry people know how to attract and manipulate other angry people. Victims can be stalked, and photos of their homes can be posted on social media platforms. Here are some of the threats she received from his fans.
- I could bury her career in one minute
- Fuck with Manson and you’ve got to fuck with me
- Better watch it bitch, better watch it
- Shut your fucking mouth. Shut it. Fucking shut it. Or I’ll contact an LA gang and have you killed.
- I’m about crazy enough to come kill you myself.
- We know where you fucking live. Better watch it bitch.
I highly recommend this documentary. More survivors of domestic violence need to speak up, or the laws will not change. It is sad that a survivor can take 7 to 10 years to recognize the abuse. The trauma and maltreatment do change you. I feel the person who abused you should be held accountable for their crimes. That is why I recommend every survivor of any form of abuse must see a trauma therapist. Why? Evan Rachel Wood spoke about her PTSD, being unable to stay in a healthy relationship after the abuse; she struggles with chronic pain, and anytime someone steps up for her, it makes her emotional breakdown. Just because you escape your abuser does not mean you are fully healed. It would help if you talked about what happened. You need to cry and let got the shame, guilt, self-doubt, and emotional triggers.
What I enjoyed the most about the documentary is it explored Marilyn Manson’s childhood and past. I know that a narcissist is not born, they are created. In Marilyn Manson’s book, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, he shares the following TRUTH about himself:
- I was isolated
- I was friendless
- I was a small worm
- I was a weakling
- I had to sacrifice my humanity
- I was a small shadow
- I closed myself off to the world
- Trust no one
- I was bullied and abused in Christian school
For a man to confess this TRUTH about himself is an interesting self-reflection. It appears he is justifying how his past turned him into a monster. And when I say monster, I use his words because he talked about the beast/monster within him. Life is full of choices and opportunities. I just wish he did not allow that beast to consume him. We all have an option to go down the path of destruction or the way of light. There are always many crossroads in the journey of life. He just took it too far and exploited himself in the end. His appearance comes across as a dark, scary individual. Watching him perform on stage and speak to his fans was disturbing. He wants to stand out and have the power to manipulate and control others. I now know to better understand his rage, anger, need for public validation, power, and hatred towards women. He has no empathy for anyone, and people have been mentally, emotionally, sexually, and physically abused by him.
This documentary explores the often-misunderstood aspects of domestic abuse and how it impacts a survivor’s life, mental health, and career. It will help shed light upon the various factors preventing survivors from coming forward with their stories. It can take survivors years of aftershocks and emotional trauma, which most people cannot comprehend or understand. That is why I stress that we must all become trauma-informed instead of trauma ignorant.
Evan Rachel Wood is connecting the dots between the dynamics of her relationship with Marilyn Manson and the phases of clinical domestic violence. Many abusers are narcissistic and follow the phase of love bombing, devaluing, and discarding their victims. This is precisely what happened to Evan Rachel Wood. Wood has successfully lobbied for The Phoenix Act. It was signed into California State Law in 2019, extending the statute of limitations for domestic violence felonies from 3 to 5 years. I feel the statute of limitations for domestic violence felonies should be from 7 to 10 years because it takes some victims that long to break their silence finally.
I hope you can now understand why there should be 51 obstacles to leaving an abusive relationship instead of 50. When a narcissist starts a smear campaign, it can seem like a roller coaster ride. Just remember to rise above the chaos and drama. Find people who will support you instead of questioning or shame you. Thank you for reading this blog post.