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Documenting Narcissistic Abuse Documenting Narcissistic Abuse

One of the most important things you can do when preparing to leave an abusive relationship is documenting the abuse your going through. This is critical for a couple reasons: 

#1, If you end up in court then you will have something to support your word against his.

#2, After your gone you will have something solid to reference when the narc either tries to hoover you back in or continues to gaslight you. 

(For the purposes of this article I will be using the pronoun him to refer to the abuser. Feel free to insert whatever pronoun fits your situation as women are also capable of being both narcissistic and abusive.)

Documenting Narcissistic Abuse #1: WRITE IT DOWN

I have found just keeping a super factual account of what happens day to day is very helpful. Keeping a journal encourages emotional response, but when your just reporting it, you can get it down without reliving it and going through it all again. Bullet points make it impersonal. make sure to record the entire picture of what happened though, did you make a comment and then he exploded? Did he damage the house or other property? Were the kids present? Did they interact with the incident? Any other witnesses? All of this is important information. Also, don’t keep in in a hard copy in your home. I recommend an online password protected journal or just keeping an ongoing email to yourself. 

Documenting Narcissistic Abuse #2: Document all Digital Evidence

Abusive text messages should be screenshot and emailed to a private email account reserved for evidence. Did he call you 15 times because you didn’t answer the phone? Screenshot. Forward any abusive or threatening emails to the dedicated account. Send any recordings of arguments to the email as well. Keep in mind though, in some states it is illegal to record someone without their knowledge, so verify that before you attempt to use any recordings in court. Use your best judgement on weather or not you should openly record. It may enrage them further, or it may temper their reactions, it depends on the situation.

Documenting Narcissistic Abuse #3: Document PhysicalDocumenting Narcissistic Abuse Abuse

Even if you don’t have any visible marks, go see your doctor. They are trained to spot signs of domestic violence and their report can be used in court. Also, get copies of any police reports and neighbors accounts of police being called to your home. Take pictures of your injuries and make sure they’re dated. Get photos of any household damage caused by the abuser during an incident.

Documenting Narcissistic Abuse #4: Store the Evidence Safely

If you need to run from the house, you still need to be able to get to your documentation. Make sure you email password is memorized. Be sure to email everything off your phone as soon as possible and then delete it right after. Having hard copies is great but impractical in this situation. You can not run the risk of him discovering you have been documenting him. 

Documenting Narcissistic Abuse #5: Document Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is often overlooked but can be extremely stressful for the victim. Document any cash or money transfers he gives you. Document what it is intended to be used for. Did you get $30 but that is supposed to be groceries for the entire week for your family? Write it down, take pictures of your fridge and pantry if needed, keep your receipts or take pictures of them before you discard them. Did the gas or electric get turned off? Do you have access to his paystubs or know how much he makes? All this can support your claims in court if need be. 

Documenting Narcissistic Abuse #6: Get Support

One of the abusers strongest weapons against you is isolation. Don’t leave yourself without recourse should you be forced to leave suddenly or need a supportive shoulder. Find a trusted family member or friend, or contact a local women shelter and speak to some of the counselors there. Have an escape plan for an emergency situation. 

Keep in mind, abusers, especially physical abusers, are extremely dangerous. Do not underestimate what he may be capable of. 

I am not a lawyer and this information should not be used in place of legal counsel. Use your best judgment for your situation, you know your abuser better than anyone. Stay safe out there everyone. <3

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13 thoughts on “Documenting Narcissistic Abuse

  1. Kathy says:

    The problem is, it’s ALL abuse, but in the beginning, we didn’t know that’s what it was. Physical, verbal, spiritual, mental, and financial abuse. I’m physically handicapped, and tired of waiting for him to do what needs to be done. So, I asked a friend for a job. What did he do? He immediately started slowing down. His last two pay checks were less than the month before. How much? About $900, less, in our pocket. He couldn’t wait, until I start working, to slack off. What is this? In my opinion, it’s another form of covert narcissistic abuse; colored slightly differently. “I’ll show her! I’ll do as little as possible, so we need all of her money to make ends meet!” I have received no congratulations, for getting a job, and no thanks, for the upcoming help. There has been nothing but even more of his seriously disordered routine. It never ends. You would think that as someone begins to devolve, they would be aware of it. This one is disintegrating, to the degree that you can actually see it. He stops, during the middle of some task, or sentence, as if he has lost his place; then shakes himself, as if to bring himself back. By the time you can observe damage to an individual’s cognition caused by a lifetime of NPD, you are simultaneously smacked by the realization that this condition is irreversible. “Things” are not going to get any better, because he is not going to get any better. In order to survive, we either need to divorce them, or we have to divorce ourselves emotionally, while still living with them — and that’s practically impossible to do.

  2. sheryls says:

    When working with victims through the years, I often wished the had documented the physical abuse and/or called the police! Once they left the narcissist used every tool possible to get custody, etc. You will need ALL the ammunition you have, one day! Don’t throw it away!

    1. Chris says:

      Documentation has A LOT of benefits. For me it started out as journaling (I would journal on scrap pieces of paper after I found out he was reading my journals). At the end though, when things started to get really bad, the journaling became more “documentary,” and it was during this process that I started to really understand what he was and all the abuse I’d suffered. I wish I’d done better at documenting some of the more awful experiences though. Sometimes still, after several years, I doubt my own memory of how bad things were. If I’d been able to capture those experiences on paper I think I’d feel more sure that what happened was as bad as I “think” it was.

  3. melanie says:

    I have been documenting since 2014 it does me no good so far. I filed for divorce in april, still nothing. he is not allowed here, found guilty of assault, drugs. continues to get away with harassing me and using children against me, has them totally brainwashed, they lied for him 3 times in court and were not believed, still lawyers and state police do nothing. Something is very wrong here. I have become immune to his bullshit to me, so he is now using the only thing he can to hurt me, the kids. knows I have little money to fight him, he knows how to play the system. these boys have totally turned to his side, believing his BS, because he repeats it ad nauseum to them, and everyone tells me “just let him have them” since he was found guilty on oct. 6, he has taken kids to be with him and NS full time and upped the harassment, having them do criminal activity. stealing, property damage, police say they are his kids too, he can do what he wants. you need proof, like video. Most of the time the things happen when im at work…..so frustrating

  4. frank says:

    I am sick and tired off finding 100’s of articles on how the man is the bad guy in a relationship. What do you do about narcissistic women. My ex behaves just like what is detailed in the men in these articles. How do you fight a woman that is this way.

    1. Chris says:

      @frank, a narcissist is a narcissist, regardless of their gender. As you continue to read up on this you’ll find many stories of female narcissists abusing their male partners (children, family, friends, colleagues, etc.). You’ll also see that there is no “fighting” them. You leave them and you cut off contact as best you can.

      This blog is the personal story of someone who happens to be a woman. It’s meant to be a place for people who have suffered similar abuses to understand their experiences. If you’ve been in a situation like this, it is better to share your story than it is to criticize the author(s) who are brave enough to publish their experiences for the benefit of others.

      1. Melanie says:

        it says in the article and page about men or women. The tactics they use and dealing with it are pretty much the same. Also with parental alienating, they say mostly mothers do it, but fathers and grandparents do it too. The whole legal system is messed up. Its all about money. These lawyers, judges, counselors etc. all proclaim “best interests of children” BS, who can line their pockets the best is the way they go, it needs to change. They are just as bad as the narcissist in my opinion.

        We are all fighting together. Man or woman, speak up for what is right.

    2. Bee says:

      Zari Ballard has a book on that..read It please..

  5. Kathy says:

    I have journal-ed here, before. It was hard enough to try to share some of my personal experiences, but the greatest challenge for me was being chastised for writing about what a cretin my husband is, and all that he has done to destroy our life. Now we are being told to do the exact opposite? No worries. I journal all the time.

  6. Kathy says:

    I have been unfortunate to know female narcissists, too. To me, they seem a little crazier than the men. That may simply be my personal perspective, however, or bias.

    1. Renata says:

      I agree. And I’m a woman!

  7. fay nobles says:

    until they get legal punishment and have to pay financially it will never be better for abused wives and they have no conscience as they just shift to narcistic sources available to them who are too flattered by the narcistic charm causing public to see the narcistic as “nice”.

  8. billhathaway says:

    Hi there,
    I started doing a lot of research into narcissistic personality and behaviour on behalf of a female friend whom I have become rather close despite the fact we live thousands of miles apart and I guess I’m looking for advice on how best to assist her. I should point out that they have been officially separated for over 2 years, and she has finally left the marital home (he had not lived there for the 2 years) however, it wasn’t unusual for him to turn up at the property if and when he chose for purposes known only to him…….. suffice to say he has beaten her, raped her, throttled her into unconsciousness to name but a few things.
    Please keep in mind that I am working on information supplied by her nothing more, and although she has no reason to lie to me, I still retain a modicum of doubt. I have repeatedly told her to call the police, visit the emergency room visit a rape crisis center and so on, not to mention the fact he basically has her so defeated, so afraid, so intimidated that even though she has physically broken away from him, he still ingraciates himself in her workplace, with her family and with her friends, her family are unsupportive and certain members believe that he left her because she was totally useless as a wife, and they still report her actions and whereabouts to him….. in fact she recently moved to a new home only to find him sitting outside in his vehicle, across the street from her new home.
    She is terrified to block his calls or in fact ask her place of employment to refuse him access. Which could be difficult to enforce given his job as a public servant that we should be able to TRUST to PROTECT or SERVE us when needed…… my friend has found out several times to her detriment that his co-workers are more than happy to cover his ass but then who knows what he’s been telling them?? So please, please, any advice I could share with her that may ultimately help her?? Would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance…… Bill.

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