For those living with abusers
I don’t know if this would work for everyone but here’s one thing I was able to do to stop a narcissistic/psychopathic father from attacking me verbally
It takes some nerve to do this and I wasn’t able to do it until I was holding him responsible for his shit and was very very pissed at him
I learned to shower him with attacks as soon as he would intrude into my space. Mindless attacks. Nothing real, if I had confronted him on something he had done he would start raging and gaslighting and insisting that I’m delusional and insane, but if I attacked something that’s really hard to be angry about it would work. If I criticized his shirt, his voice, his hair, his hearing, he would get very confused and completely diverted from his original intent to attack me. And the key is, don’t stop attacking them, no matter what, keep finding new things to throw mindless criticism on, until they feel confused and leave.
“What the fuck do you look like, what’s up with that shirt, whens the last time you brushed your hair, do you ever even hear what i’m saying? do you pay attention to my words, do you have hearing, it’s so frustrating to speak to you when you don’t even listen, how am i expected to deal with this bullshit, your shirt is annoying me, go fix it, don’t come at me looking like that” - this is not something an abusive parent would expect to hear from their kid, and it’s kinda hard to get enraged over someone criticizing your shirt, especially since they did it to you at least a thousand times. I think this wouldn’t work with the victim playing narcissist who would immediately start to cry “how could you say a mean thing to me” but it worked with a dictator-type psychopath narcissist who would never allow anything that affects him to show on his face.
Also this is not you stepping down on their level, you cannot abuse them, you’re literally just diverting their attention to themselves so they can’t focus on abusing you, it’s diversion tactics, they can’t feed on your fear and pain if they’re busy defending their lame ass shirt. They wont get hurt, remember they came in there to hurt you.
Also one thing that helped me stop them intruding into my private life was to keep replying to them in this manner “I don’t feel obliged to answer that question.” and I kept repeating that no matter how much they would pressure me, so they don’t get information about my private life. And when they would start threatening to me I would say “Unless you’re going to threaten me with death or prison, get the fuck out of my room.” It’s a bit hard to give your child death threats and prison threats over them unwilling to do as you say or unwilling to give you information, so this would actually get them out of my room. I did get numerous death threats in other occasions but they were never classified as such so they didn’t register as doing something bad in abuser’s mind.
In order to be able to defend from constant abuse you have to not care what they think, feel, want or need, you can’t care about your abusers, you can’t value their input, you have to know they don’t get hurt from your attacks, and it doesn’t even matter because they’re here to hurt you, they’re the enemies, it’s okay to attack them and to use all you’ve got to stop them from hurting you, you’re not abuser if you refuse to give them information and if you refuse to give them an opening to attack you. Also I understand in some situations it would be incredibly dangerous to attack them in any way because they would take disproportionate revenge against you, so the point is to make them realize THEY’re the one doing something intrusive, inappropriate, annoying, unwelcome, they’re the one being a nuisance and they should start feeling ashamed of themselves. Of course they wont, but hey, one can hope. You keep putting the focus back on them no matter what they accuse you of, if they start attacking you and instead of defending you attack back, they’ll realize that particular attack has no effect on you and wont use it anymore, they’re literally learning how to attack you based on how you react, they’re not attacking you because you deserved it but because they’re enjoying your reactions, your distress and pain is like food to them, they’re consuming it like energy and enjoying it and will attack you more to get it. There’s nothing humane about this behaviour and it’s perfectly okay to attack them instead until they go away, you’re not feeding on their pain, you’re protecting yourself.