PREVIOUS: INDIRECT Abusers (Part 1)
Abusers & Therapy
a. There are some covert abusers who will go to therapy because they’re in very real pain – for years & years, but are not actually willing to dig into their unconscious (Shadow side) to clean out their pain & correct their CDs. These narcissists, borderlines, paranoids…. are trying to get relief by ‘using’ the therapist as their nurturing parent rather than learning how to parent themselves. Unhealthy counselors will fall into the trap & become enablers, while the healthier ones will challenge the client to grow – never well-received – which will like likely run the parent off!
b. However, most deeply entrenched abusers (hard cases who have too much to lose) won’t go to therapy because, as far as they’re concerned, the problem is with other people, never them.
If pressed, their reasons for not going may be: lack of time or money, they’re handling things themselves, they don’t believe in airing dirty laundry, they tried before & it never helped, it’s all psycho-babble & B.S. anyway….
c. If they give in – reluctantly, it doesn’t last & there’s no actual improvement. Maybe they’ve been told by their adult-children, friends, a spouse….. that they’re abusive & need help. Maybe they’re forced to go in lieu of losing their job or serving time. In any case, their real motives are:
• to get the mate or child to return to their clutches
• to save face, their job, or prevent some other loss
• to get better at their all-consuming passion – psychological warfare – by using their newly learned therapeutic info & tools, but in a distorted form
❖ AND then demand credit for ‘trying’, but always blame the V. when nothing changes, saying that V. is the real cause of their problems, since they’re not acting “right”. SO, it’s completely unrealistic to believe that the P. is going to counseling to face their underlying damage, the same way you can’t trust a married boyfriend who keeps promising to leave his spouse.
EXP : The game “LHIT – Look how hard I’m trying” lays out this pattern, which can be applied to – gov’t leaders, poker players, office workers, kids, mates….. The P acts like they’re making an effort but really aren’t. (4 more from GAMES PEOPLE PLAY, by Eric Berne) (re. Transactional Analysis)
▶︎ Mate ‘A’ pushes mate ‘B’ to therapy, who is not at all interested. They go, but B quits after 1 or 2 sessions. Their relationship either limps along endlessly on their own, or ends in a split. Either way, B can say “it’s not MY fault – LHIT!”
Game can also apply to kids cleaning or spouse doing chores. They try but bungle it, so parent or spouse can’t ‘justify’ anger & punishment – & ends up doing everything themself.
THESIS = Passivity. Showing that “I’m helpless & therefore blameless”
STROKES = through belligerent exchanges
AIM = avoid guilt over angry feelings, domestic responsibilities & intimacy
ROLES = 2 or 3-handed : “Steadfast”, Persecutor, (+ Authority)
MOVES = A suggests, B resists // A pressures, B complies // A tries to get approval, B makes sure requests fail
BOTH Direct & Indirect abusers do great harm, but NEVER because of anything the Victims are or have ever done! Their mistreatment is totally on the P’s shoulders. As with others addicts, the P must be willing to face & own their actions & deeper motives, but toxic narcissists will NOT….
😪 Therefore, no effort on the V’s part to stop the abuse will ever work.
Al-Anon offers 3 Cs for Vs: “I didn’t Cause it, I can’t Control it, I can’t Cure it.”
The GOOD NEWS:
Given enough time, many victims reach a tipping point, perhaps ‘suddenly’ waking up to their rights, understanding & finally believing the abuse is not deserved, OR simply not willing to tolerate the humiliation & pain anymore. They’ve had it, & decide to get out & get help for themselves.
• The faster Vs can come to this conclusion, the less damage we have to repair. Listen to that still small voice whispering in the background, to your gut & all the comments from others about your situation. YOU can change your life. The abuser likely won’t tolerate the changes in you , so plan your escape!