An author stated that verbal abuse is when someone defines you. This is very significant in relation to narcissism. Narcissistic abuse often is covert. Because image and appearance is of utmost importance, most of the abuse meted out by narcissistic people will be under the radar, leaving very deep but invisible wounds.
This happens all the time to my dd. Happened to me, too, but what’s significant here is as an adult I had the ability to walk away. A child who has an abusive parent, and does not show signs of physical abuse, is pretty much stuck with that person until they are of legal age to walk away. By that time considerable damage has been done, and even if they do have the ability and desire to walk away, they take the impact of all those invalidating years with them.
I find that my most important job as the other parent is to validate my child. He invalidates. I validate. It’s a fine line to walk sometimes, but I cannot leave her to suffer at his diminishing of her and her reality with silence under the pretense of not wanting to speak badly of her father.
I don’t speak badly of her father. I speak truthfully of his bad behavior. There’s a difference. I cannot let him define her according to his convenience, insecurity or any other agenda he may have that has nothing to do with her, but everything to do with him.
Because being rendered invisible by someone who is supposed to love you is a kind of slow death. And what good parent would not want to save their child from that?