Abusers take a special kind of pleasure from the pain and discomfort of others. If they can increase that pain, they will! It is a cruel sense of pleasure.

When I was a kid, I had some issues with ingrowing toenails. I found it a highly embarrassing condition, and I felt awful about it. I was in fact so ashamed that I would try to keep it from my parents. Of course, I could not actually keep that up for long, but I tried.

I remember one time my mother found out on a day when my aunt and uncle were due for a visit. That afternoon, with my aunt and uncle visiting, she made me soak my foot in the living room while she told them all about how this was a recurring problem, and all the times she had had to take me to the doctor about it. I was blamed for an issue that was totally beyond my control (and painful enough without her adding this emotional trauma I may add).

Eventually, I had some minor surgery and the problem was solved.

The point of this story is that my mother knew full well how embarrassed I felt about the problem. Rather than deal with it in privacy and while trying to alleviate my shame, she went out of her way to add to my discomfort. In fact, that was not the only time my toenails were publicly discussed with visitors.

Toxic people take a special kind of pleasure from the pain and discomfort of others. If they can increase that pain and discomfort, they will!

It is a cruel sense of pleasure for them, and a great source of pain for their targets.

The worse the pain (whether inflicted by them or not) the greater their enjoyment. I can still see the smile on my mother’s lips as I shared some of the worse news of my sister’s life. I am glad she never had to face that particular cruelty, but it is carved into my soul forever.

Fly Free,

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Having gained experience while working for a variety of European non-profits, I am proud to now work with SwanWaters. My connection with the website is not only professional. I am glad to tap into my personal experiences to help those who are living in toxic relationships whether with parents, partners or in their professional life. We need to make the world more aware of the devastating effects of emotional abuse and help more people on their way to heal and thrive.

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