Empowering Tool #1: Knowledge

The Tools
Empowering Tools


What are The Empowering Tools?

The Empowering Tools are a collection of methods and strategies designed by survivors for survivors. The methods feature small, doable techniques that can be used in a number of ways to help a survivor safely detach from an abuser and heal from coercive control, gaslighting, and narcissistic abuse. Because these types of abuse manipulate a survivor’s attachment, they require unique and powerfully flexible methods for healing. The Empowering Tools are built with that in mind.

What is The Knowledge Tool?

Knowledge becomes a tool when you use it to combat the gaslighting and manipulation you’ve survived. Because the abuser deceived you, learning all you can about what happened to you can be a powerful force for combatting the abuser’s gaslighting and manipulation.

Quick List about The Knowledge Tool:

  • If it was abuse, it was done in an atmosphere of deception and confusion, so research and clarity are your friends.
  • It’s validating to hear that others have experienced what you’ve been through. Researching to gain knowledge will you help you get that validation.
  • Knowledge about what you’ve been through can help you see red flags and other manipulative tactics to protect you in the present with the current abuser and prevent you from future abuse.
  • Understanding gaslighting can also help protect you from future hoover attempts. (A hoover attempt is the abuser’s attempt at ‘hoovering’ you back into the toxicity/abuse.)

Get Started Using The Knowledge Tool

What resources can you seek out to learn more about the abuse and how it affected you?

Knowledge can be a tricky term because some people make it about reading. You can get knowledge in whatever way works for you: podcasts, audiobooks, youtube videos, etc. Some survivors found audiobooks especially helpful because they were a distraction from ruminating thoughts.

Check out the ET Resources page for a list of books related to your situation.

Another resource to consider is Search Terms – what search terms can help you understand what happened? The ET Coalition (who designed the tools) recommends the following:

  • Coercive Control
  • Manipulated Attachment
  • Pain/Rescue Cycle
  • Hoover Attempt
  • Flying Monkey
  • Reactive Abuse

You can also use search terms related to authors and researchers to see their information. Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Shahida Arabi
  • Tracey Malone
  • Debbie Mirza
  • Jackson McKenzie
  • Kristen Milstead
  • J.H. Snow
  • Dr. Ramani
  • The Royal We

How can you ensure you’re focusing on yourself, not the abuser?

Sadly, the abuse is designed to make you focus on the abuser’s feelings and needs. This leads many survivors to use the Knowledge Tool as a way to ‘diagnose’ their abuser and continue focusing on their abuser’s psychology. Instead, see if you can put that in context by asking: “How did what the abuser did make me feel? What reactions did I have to that?”

Consider: the abuser doesn’t need to be a narcissist or have a personality disorder for you to leave or for the abuse to be valid/real. You deserve peace and real love.

Therapy as Knowledge Tool?

Talking with a therapist is one of the best ways to engage with the Knowledge Tool. If you don’t yet have the finances to work with a therapist, a support group can also be a great option. Some hospitals keep lists of local support groups and you can also find them online.

You Aren’t Alone

It may feel like you are alone as you start this process, but there are many others in your shoes. If you’d like to connect with others in your situation, check out our supportive FB group, The Haven.

And for the ultimate Knowledge Tool resource, check out our podcast, The Reclaimers.

We believe in you.

We believe in your future.

And we believe in your right to freedom from abuse.

Eleanor R.

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