Baiting and Bashing

This topic is near and dear to my heart. It has probably caused me more inner turmoil and pain than any other sort of abuse only because of the way it twisted my mind into believing that I was at fault for everything that happened to me. That I deserved all I got and that I should be grateful for anything I still had or was ever given no matter how damaging.

Abusive people bait their victims. They play their cards close to their chests so that the victim is unable to see the fact that they are not being cared for or loved but rather, they are being baited. Abusers are great at this. The more years they practice it? The better they get. They spend their time getting you in to their web and when it is far too late for you to escape, they have made you fall in love with them, trust them or they have made you dependent upon them for your survival (particularly if you are their child). They let you in so far and make you think you are loved only to turn around and bash you.

Abusers enjoy this “framing” game. They provoke a reaction from their chosen target then claim that reaction is proof of your instability, rudeness, evil-mindedness or that you as the victim are really at fault. They do this to take all the attention away from their own behavior and then this abuser seeks support from others which ends up turning people against the target/victim.
This can devastate an individual who is already suffering the effects of the abuse or maltreatment. Now they are being blamed, rejected and often isolated as well.
The abuser gets to enjoy that sense of power and control that he or she gets with impunity and then gets positive attention from playing the victim and fishing for sympathy.
This is also the perfect plan to ensure his/her victim feels too intimidated to even attempt to speak up or expose the truth.

So what on earth do we do with the feelings of shame, being at fault when we really know we are not, the fear of speaking out, the isolation, and if your situation is at all like mine? Having people who you really loved turn against you based on incorrect information?
Well… I can’t speak with much authority here, This is still a really sore subject but I have been trying to move out of the place I was stuck. I can share what I’ve been trying so far.
I am speaking out more. Not to my birth family or people who my mother has ripped me part to (I know which battles to choose) but I speak out a bit more here and that helps some of my friends who read my blog understand me better. I also speak out in here because i hope that if there is someone out there going through this as well, I want them to feel less alone,
I am also trying to convince my mind that I am not at fault and doing some research on narcissists for this blog has helped me see their method of operation. I could really see it for what it was a bit better than before.
I’m also trying to rebuild a stronger circle of healthy people who do not play these games or bait then blame. It’s all a work in progress but I am really trying very hard to remember that the fault lays in the abusers/bully’s laps. Not mine.

If you are also dealing with this? It is not your fault either! These people who have made you feel badly about yourself are not at all right in the head. “Normal” people don’t go around making other people feel like crap. You are worthy of so much better. We all are.

14 responses to “Baiting and Bashing

  1. I was 15 when I had my first proper boyfriend, who became abusive. Classic stuff – telling me I was mad, accusing me of looking at other boys, violent jealousy- and I put up with that for more than three years. Why? Because I loved him, thought I wouldn’t get another boyfriend, but also because I thought it was MY fault he was treating me like that. You are so right Heather. That’s how abusers operate. And to this day, some part of me thinks I “brought out the worse in him”. Another great blog Heather, and a subject that needs highlighting.x


    • Gosh Wendy, I know what you mean. I spent so many years assuming it was my fault as well. Abusers are a tricky bunch. I am so glad that you are out of that relationship and that you made a much better choice in your man to marry. And for teh record? You did not bring out the worst in him. You exposed the worst in him. It was always there just waiting to be let out. Shame on him not on you.


  2. Thank you for addressing this very important topic.

    Sadly, I used to experience this myself. The toxic family members that used to engage in this manipulative damaging behavior and the individuals that supported my abuser, caused more trauma than the original abuse.
    Thankfully, today I am no longer victimized by dysfunctional toxic individuals or their supporters. Now they certainly didn’t stop hurting me because they suddenly had an epiphany and realized their behavior was wrong. They stopped hurting me, when I became empowered enough to make the choice that what they thought and said no longer mattered to me. They no longer had the power to manipulate me, and I became strong enough to remove anyone from my life, that engaged in or supported these harmful toxic behaviors.
    I grew up thinking I was damaged, less than, fragile, broken…..and now I KNOW I am one of the strongest people I know…and I really do love who I am today. Good therapy and A LOT of reading on the subject, allowed me to see all the beauty and strength my soul contained. It cleared away the fog of lies I was fed, to try to keep me quiet and broken. It allowed me to see myself, and the world through fresh eyes. I transformed from victim to survivor.


    • Thank you so much for your words Nicole. I remember you going through this very difficult time and you came out of it all so much stronger and self assured. You have worked very hard to get to where you are today and it really shows.


    • I hear your words and believe them, yet feel torn today. The eldest son of my mother lost his wife to cancer. The service is today with a gathering at his house after. I am not going. Why? I have no relationship with either of them and am not close with others. But I do feel sad for him. I don’t wish losing a partner on anyone though there was a time I wanted to cut him into little pieces. I feel sad for him, for the mess of a so called family I was born unto.


      • I am sorry that you are having a rough day. I get those days too. I even missed my own grandmothers funerals because of similar situations. In the end, if it not good for you? It’s best to stay away. I’ll be thinking about you and hope that your day passed okay.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Heather, I did enjoy my day, I allowed myself to.

        I notice a thread of kindness throughout your blog which is why I dared just say how I was feeling. Then I realized just how hard the week was leading up to it so I copied/pasted into a blog post receiving gentle, kind responses. The added benefit was also expressing something that would generally be hard to make most others understand.

        Because how could you NOT go to a brother’s funeral for the loss of his wife?

        Because being born a brother does not make you one. If certain lines are crossed you lose the right of being called a ‘brother.’


      • You have no idea how much your words mean to me. Thank you.
        There is a saying that I really love. You can replace the word “mother” with brother, father, sister, whomever…
        “Having a child no more makes you a mother than owning a piano makes you a pianist.”
        Just because we are related does not mean that they care or have our best interests at heart. Thanks again for your words.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I have found a place in my life where love and kindness is the new norm for me. It was hard to trust this after a lifetime of being around abusive and manipulative people. Just learning that these are not normal people. I carefully choose who I let into my life now. Thanks for the blog. It really got me thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just came across your article today, and I can relate to exactly what you have been through. There is just one problem. The person who has been doing this is my adult daughter. I know, this sounds absolutely insane, but it’s true. I’m in counseling to learn to heal from it. She is 23 and hasn’t spoken to me for two years. She started doing this when she was 14 years old. The only thing I can guess is she learned it from her father, who I divorced. I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m not an aggressive person and I am pretty introverted. However, they made me think I was the one at fault and the evil person. I will always love my daughter, but I can’t take the abuse and manipulation. They have made my life and self esteem miserable.


    • Thank you for writing Sherri. You do not sound insane AT ALL. I deal with it with one of my children as well. Its a very painful thing no matter who does it but when it is your child it is even more heart wrenching and if you are like me at all? Makes you really question what you did well and what you did not do well for her. I go between telling myself I did a good job raising her then fall in to self doubt again.
      I can tell by how you express your love for her even though she has hurt you that you are not a mean or evil person.
      Please do keep in touch. It is always nice to know we are not alone right?


  5. Thank you so much for this. I was in a recent relationship with lots of arguments where she would blame my reactions for everything wrong in the dynamic. I kept pleading that I was reacting to her insensitive behaviour and that for every reaction, there is an action. She even forced me to constantly watch Oprah! I even saw a counsellor with her where I took all the blame. I owned my role, she didn’t. She used that vulnerability against me. It was crushing and now I think I’m a monster, which she used to frequently call me, despite claiming to love me deeply. I just wanted reciprocated ownership of the dynamic and an appreciation that we were mirrors of each other’s wounds. She said she did nothing wrong and that there was nothing wrong with her. I got blame and ridicule instead. This article is extremely helpful in my understanding and healing.


    • You are so welcome and I am so sorry that you went through this. Excuse this wording but it is the biggest mindf**k imaginable.
      If I may offer a suggestion?
      These sorts of people really imprint on our minds. We really believe that we are the issue. Even when we tell ourselves that we are not, the heart doesn’t quite believe it. I am sure you understand what I am talking about?
      Start listening to what others think of you. Don’t just brush off compliments. Absorb them. Ask people that you are close to, what they think of you. Really hear their answers. Once you absorb enough of the true reality, her reality will have no room left in you to survive. Hugs to you. ❤


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