Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Abuser vs the abusee

The Abuser and Abusee

“Abusers like to bring you down to their level”

“You may find yourself becoming abusive in retaliation; in this case the abuser can say you are no better than the abuser. Note: Abusers are much better at arguing and winning so going down to their level means that you have lost; this is a variation of one person hitting another until the other eventually hits back.”

I know there is no such word as “abusee” but please allow me to explain.

Whenever we are involved with an abuser we will abuse as well. The abuser abuses to control and manipulate us. We abuse to fight back and take back what sanity we have left. The abuser destroys our self-esteem our personal power and in short our personality. We are told we are nothing. That no one else will love us and many other words and statements to rob you of all that is you.

We abuse (defend) just to keep our hearts and heads above water from their torrent of constance abuse. Also the abuser will use this as a way to belittle you even more by stating you are just like them but the abuser never see it for what it really is. They abuse to control but we abuse just to stay alive albeit emotional and psychologically.

Whenever we are involve in an dysfunctional relationship we are in a verbal emotional and psychological battle. Never really knowing when and where the next attack will come from. We walk on mines (eggshells) around them never knowing what we do to “bring down the house” no matter how small or large the oversight might be. They fire shots of verbal abuse like a machine gun. They will sabotages events and holidays just like any saboteur in a war. We fight (abuse) to maintain ground and position just like any army will do in a conflict of war.

The abuser fights to win!
We fight to survive!

Please don’t expect an abuser to see this or to acknowledge it so whenever he/she tells you that you are just as bad as them. Don’t believe it for there is a different! A very “big” different from being the abuser and the “abusee”.



CZBZ said...

Good post, James! i know for me and many other people, we struggle with what I call 'illegitimate guilt'. Because our standards of appropriate behavior are fairly high, we feel guilty whenever we fall short of our own expectations.

What we don't realize though is that the abuser already knows this about us and USES it to his-or-her benefit. It's essential for us to recognize the feeling of guilt and then consciously work through it rationally rather than beating our selves DOWN for what (may I be so bold as to say) is "legitimate self-protection."

Watch the guilt buttons abusers push because ten bucks says they know the abusees buttons even better than they know themselves.

For years, I put up with sudden outbursts escalating to name-calling and I never reacted, but did my best to soothe the angry guy's feelings and calm him down. That seems to be a fairly normal reaction for most people, especially if they're PeaceKeepers OR are highly invested in the relationship.

After awhile however, I started throwing the insults back, though never with the malicious intent to DESTROY my partner. When kindness failed to change his behavior, the only reasonable thing to do was MIRROR the insults and protect myself.

The more vulnerable we are, as you know, the more aggressive the abuser becomes.

I felt guilty for telling my spouse to "buck the pluck up" since using four-letter words betrays my principles. But to NOT have done anything would have betrayed my principles too because it would have said I did NOT respect or VALUE my self. That anyone could say or do anything to me because I didn't matter.

I had to work through my guilt about acting outside my own character. What I've come to appreciate about good-hearted people though is that even when we are defending ourselves, we apply INTERNAL BRAKES on malicious behavior.

Ns and Ps have no brakes. There's a huge difference between abusing others and defending your integrity and sense of self from abuse.


James said...

Thanks CZBZ for your comments. This was for me the hardest part of our relationship insomuch how I had to protect myself but saw only my "abusive" behavior when doing so..