Love doesn’t hurt

By Letha Jones - Contributing columnist

Have you ever witnessed a dog that has had a traumatic past? Or one that has not been exposed to human kindness and love? Many time’s when one encounters an animal of such nature it becomes skittish, shrinking into itself. Nervousness becomes noticeable and the eyes draw down in pure fear. As the human approaches it’s obvious that the dog is overcome by emotions – slowly it begins to walk backward then turns tail to run until it is cornered out of breath and feeling overpowered. Unable to recognize the human is trying to help it begins to attack with all it has, cutting through the air with sharp teeth snarling at you. Biting and ripping at anything it can latch onto. The wounds are deep as the sharp canines pierce your flesh but all you can think about is how much you want to help this poor defenseless animal. Your empathetic nature understands that this dog is need of love. However, how many times do you allow the dog to bite you?

This is exactly how someone with narcissistic tendencies relates to the world around them. Exhausted and fearful they bite and bite and bite. They are abusive and manipulative and play the role of victim. Their negativity consumes them on a daily basis. They are that fearful dog that knows no other way but to attack. The high anxiety of every day life overwhelms them. Their self-absorbed nature and entitlement issues causes the constant reaction of anger and nothing you can do or say calms them. Their spirit is always on fight or flight mode – tragic isn’t it? Once you realize the how and why, we can certainly express sympathy for them. However knowing the why of it does not justify the behavior.

Are you in a relationship right now with a narcissist? Is the abuse focused mainly on the mental aspects? Physical or even both? Trust me when I tell you your peace is not going to calm their storm. This is a mental condition that covers so many spectrums. It has taken psychologists years to fully understand the depth of it and calculate treatment programs. (For some narcissists this can mean) Years of therapy, medication and a willingness to understand that they are indeed that fearful dog biting the hand that feeds them. When I say feeds I do not necessarily mean food in general but the nurturing aspects of relationships, bonds, and love. You should never bite the hand that feeds you. Love does not hurt! Tragically another way to look at this is as such: What happens to dogs that keep attacking humans or other animals? They are put down. Now am I meaning that abusive individuals should be killed? NO, but by put down I am meaning many will spend much of their life in and out of jails, rehabs, mental hospitals, etc. They will never have that peace. They may even threaten suicide, some may even execute the thought.

So what can we do to help? Let me say this again – you are not strong enough to help them. Leave that to the professionals and to the good Lord. You alone cannot take on this condition. They will ruin you. The physical scars will heal however the mental aspects of the relationship will linger. Only God himself can save them and you my dear friend are not God so get away. Narcissists are on the top of the list for domestic violence and murder cases. We hear about it every day, the untold tragic stories of abuse that lead to the spouse/significant other committing murder in fits of anger and or jealousy. Seek help, a family member, a shelter for woman, etc., what ever it takes to end this cycle. If you do not end it, it will keep swallowing you up.

Here is how the behavior works. The abuser/narcissist will create a situation in which the victim becomes fearful. It can be something so simple as the water being too hot in the faucet and you all of a sudden become the entire reason it’s too hot to the touch. This is the building cycle where they create tension. The verbal tone becomes more and more aggressive until you break down and feel the need to placate the abuser. “I am so sorry that was a little hot. I am sorry you feel so angry. I am sorry.” Once you express your sympathy, they begin the next phase known as the incident phase. They now become more verbal and if you give them any kind of a reaction that they do not like they often become violent. In this stage we see, blaming “it is all your fault that water is hot.”

Threats. “When I get done with you! You will wish that the water temperature wasn’t set so high.”

Manipulation. “ You ___ I bet you did that on purpose. Do you play me for stupid?” Here in this stage where the abuser may even hit you or throw something at you as they accuse you. Imagine a bottle being tossed at your head as the one who claims to love you belittles and threatens you over water being a little too hot to the touch. Is this love?

The reconciliation phase. In this stage the abuser will on occasion admit they overreacted but most often the blame game continues. They will deny the occurrence happened the way you claim or declare that you are overreacting and they were going to walk away to calm down but you would not allow it. Let me remind you this is over water. All of this anxiety and abuse over the temperature of water. Do not fool yourself into thinking you did something to cause this behavior, this is all part of their manipulation – the last and final end to this before it all starts again is known as the calm. The abuser has forgotten the situation and is calm now and not understanding to the emotional or physical harm he/she has committed to you. While you are left still dealing with the puncture wounds of the bite. This cycle will repeat itself daily! You must choose to end the cycle. This is so much easier said then done as you are so used to this behavior you’re still willing to get bit, all because you understand why they are acting the way they do or because you feel your love is strong enough to save them – LOVE DOESN’T HURT, those three little words should have profound meaning and depth to them. You may not be ready to leave now but one day you will be and when you are, know that there are people that can help you to heal. I am one of those people, I am here to help.

It’s been reported 1/3 of homicides in West Virginia are related to domestic violence; 12,661 domestic violence offenses were reported to law enforcement in West Virginia in 2010; a call is placed to a West Virginia domestic violence hotline every nine minutes; over 2/3 of women murdered in West Virginia are killed by a family or household member; 72 % of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these crimes are female.

Do not be a statistic. BREAK THE CYCLE.

If you’re in need of assistance, I am offering free meetings to help those in recovery of domestic violence. If you would like to sign up for these free sessions contact me at 304-266-1185. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, please share the knowledge #lovedoesnthurt.

By Letha Jones

Contributing columnist

Letha Jones is a certified Life Coach who can be reached at 304-266-1185 or at

Letha Jones is a certified Life Coach who can be reached at 304-266-1185 or at