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. It made me believe that I deserved all I got and that I should be grateful for anything I still had or was ever given to me 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 and 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 turns around and seeks support from others which ends up turning people against the target/victim. Oh what a tangled web they weave.
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.

My mother has a black belt in this baiting game. She is able to not only bait her target but she can actually get other people to do the baiting for her unknowingly. Recently she managed to get her real estate agent (who’s never even met me) send me a nasty email asking about my “imaginary friends”.
Here is a professional real estate agent being sucked in to her game and ending up looking really badly. The real estate agent no doubt got spoken to and made to see the error of her ways but the target (me) had to once again deal with a venomous attack courtesy of my mother where she got no blame at all. The real estate agent looked unprofessional and mean, I looked like a nutcase thanks to my very traumatically re-enacted response (I freaked out and totally over-reacted). My mother just sat back and watched it all unfold. Talented eh?

This sort of thing happens all the time. If I say nothing, she continues to spin webs until I walk in to one unknowingly but then when I try to get out of her way or out of a web? I look paranoid, vindictive, or just plain old batsh*t crazy. Somehow she walks away smelling like a rose and no one even sees her thorns.

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 or cared about turn against you based on incorrect information?

I think the only really good piece of advice I can offer here really has nothing to do with this subject at all. Weird right? 😉
I used to think that finding good people who believe you and support you was the key but somehow that doesn’t stop the attacks. It sure helps to have good friends but it doesn’t stop the onslaught.
I think the answer lays in our perception of ourselves. Get to know yourself. Get to know what sort of person you are. If you are a kind, loving, thoughtful, caring person who does their best each day? Stick with those thoughts and try to allow the words of your baiter to matter just a little less. If you know who you are, their words can’t affect you as much. You will eventually not feel the need to defend yourself as often because the people around you will know who you really are too. Actions do speak louder than words. It just takes way too long at times.

Sadly this will never take away the sting of each attack nor will it make the manipulator go away but you will begin to recover more quickly and in time you will find ways to prevent more harm to your psyche.
I like to visually picture hateful words coming at me like a group of arrows but then they hit my body sized shield and get ricocheted right back where they came from. I like to imagine the person who spoke those hateful words running away with those arrows following them. It is a silly visualization but shockingly, it works most times.
When it works? I remain calm. When it doesn’t? I flip sh*t. I am a work in progress. 🙂

If you are dealing with this issue as well? It is not your fault! 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. Please try to remember that.


22 responses to “Baiting and bashing.

  1. My husband is doing this to me. It’s fucking my head up more than it already is. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You are absolutely right, Heather. Narcissist’s attacks don’t work on their victims anymore, when a person gets to know their self-worth, and love and accept who they are. My Ex. and my mother (who are both narcissists), have been exposed for who they really are, and I don’t allow them to pull me back into their garbage anymore, and emotionally abuse me.
    Now people are finally seeing them for who they really are: manipulators and liars. If anyone chooses to be gullible enough to believe their lies, they can be my guest. Eventually people see them for who they really are, if they are smart and perceptive enough.
    No contact seems to be the best way to go for dealing with both the narcissist, and their groupies (also called harems).

    As for the real estate agent (your mother’s groupie), send her a few articles you have written about your mother. Either she gets it or she doesn’t, but either way, your mother loses control.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s great to hear from you Nicole. I hope that you are doing as well as possible. All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Overall, I am doing fantastic. I finally saw a specialist specializing in the immune system who diagnosed me with an IGg deficiency. My immune system is similar to a newborn baby’s immune system (who hasn’t been breast feed). It has a very limited ability to create antibody memory. And the antibodies that do form are not working efficiently. There are possible treatments, and I am waiting to see the only specialist in Edmonton who does the IG treatments I need. There is no cure, and only some with an IGg improvment, but it’s worth a shot. There are also possible preventative antibiotics and antivirals that we can consider. So lots of hope comes with the medical answers.
        And on a personal note, by limiting contact or going no contact with toxic individuals who used to cause nothing but chaos and destruction in my life, my life has become happy,quiet, peaceful, stable, and beautiful. When I recognized the quantity of narcissists I grew up with and allowed into my life as an adult, I recognized why the heck I used to have depression. It wasn’t just my lack of coping skills, it was my inability to recognize how skillful the narcissists were at manipulating my emotions, and making me believe I was worthless and somehow at blame for any of the narcissist’s bad behavior. Weeding through all of their lies and finding the truth about how shiny, beautiful, and compassionate my soul and heart actually was, they could no longer convince me that I was worthless. With a greatly renewed self worth, I can now see the warning signs for toxic individuals and they just aren’t welcome in my life anymore.
        My boys are doing wonderfully in both school, and life in general, as well, so all in all, life is fantastic!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think my mother may have a black belt as well. I like what you say about pulling the strength to fight this from within. Not because having loving, safe people is not helpful (or important), but because you still run the risk of falling into that trap if your defense against baiting doesn’t come from you yourself. Having others be your ego strength is a great first step to getting away from abusers and beginning to heal, but I think you need to truly believe you are worthy of better in order to move away from that kind of toxicity.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What seems to have worked for me is letting go of anything and anyone that the would drag me back to that. No contact for me has meant no second of third hand contact either. It is like a disease had infested my life and getting rid the entire disease was necessary. Anyone I tried to hold onto turned out to be a mistake. The few people I have in my life now wouldn’t waste their time listening. It is a good place to be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I found that too and it was hard. I didn’t only let go of my mother and father but all the other relatives too. It was just one damaging mess. I am so happy for you that you are in a better place now. I am sure you worked very hard to get where you are.


  5. Anyone who has ever had a “Baiter” in their lives will empathise with you Heather. Even if it’s only for a few years like me, it whacks your self esteem for years to come – especially if it starts when you are very young. I was 15 and my hemiplegic migraine had been mistakenly diagnosed as epilepsy. This was the 1970s when there was still stigma surrounding the condition, and my “baiter” used it to his advantage. Every punch I got was because “I was acting mad”. If I told people about it they would lock me up and give me ECT. Even after I dumped him, that feeling of not being good enough, of being disliked, of doubting myself lasted for years. And the fear of being “locked up”. Even now those negative feelings jump up sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes Wendy. For certain. I know that I still think in ways that I was taught to think and not really reacting as I would if I’d never been in that situation. It is very hard to get away from and I am VERY glad that you did.


  6. You’re on the right track, learn, come Hell or high water, how to love yourself unconditionally, exactly as you are. Love every emotion as what makes you whole and realize a narcissist does not have that ability. NO CONTACT is the only way to go. They will trigger you over and over. If you show weakness or doubt, they make a mental note to use that to pull the rug out from under you later. It makes it hard to become vulnerable which is necessary for healing as you are always in fight or flight mode, guarding what you say. It was a tough decision, but I have not spoken to my N mother in over 30 years, no regrets. However, forgiveness is needed to ultimately set yourself free, but never is contact needed with an N. Good luck, I feel your pain and frustration.


    • Thank you so much for your comment. I have not spoken to my birth mother in 11 years. I have not spoken to my step-mother or father in 2. It was necessary for my well-being. My father just slid out of my life quietly but my mother has not given up and time seems to make no difference. I even moves 3500kms to get away from her and she followed me! Grrrr….
      Oh well… you are right to say “Love every emotion as what makes you whole and realize a narcissist does not have that ability.”
      Very well said and so true.
      I am learning but it is such a struggle as you seem to understand.
      Forgiveness…. well… all I really want is to be left alone the I can move on. I am not sure if that is real forgiveness but I wonder if sometimes the deeds are so horrific that forgiveness is just not possible for some people. Myself included?
      I hope you’ll comment again. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do think forgiveness is an odd beast. How do you know when you have truly forgiven? Especially when you don’t ever want to set eyes on the person again? I think if we are able to objectify the situation more, so it is not so emotionally charged, we can find a place for forgiveness. For them, as they are unaware and unable to change, for ourselves, we learned from them. I do think all these dramas play out ultimately as events, burdens, that lead us home to ourselves, to loving ourselves unconditionally. We all get battered in the classroom of life and learn the same lesson, love and accept ourselves, in so many different ways. Love always seems to be the answer, but we don’t have to be around them or continue to accept destructive, toxic people in our lives. N’s don’t love their children, they can’t, they don’t love themselves and they project that onto their kids. Society tells us “nothing like a mother’s love for her child,” that concept will mess with us for the rest of our lives in how cheated we feel. But in the end, we all must learn to love ourselves, the grand lesson that changes our outlook on all of life and the people in it.


      • Someone very smart told me once that forgiveness is in your heart and it does NOT mean that you need to expose yourself to harm again. You can forgive and never want to see that persons face again. Both are fine.
        I also struggle deeply with society telling us that there is nothing like a mothers love. It is actually a very painful reminder that it SHOULD be that way but isn’t.
        Have a peace filled day.


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