DELIBERATE Abuse or Not? (Part 1)

Are they good, bad or evil? 

PREVIOUS: Indirect abusers #2

Review post series:
▪︎  Noticing painful Events” ….

▪︎  Double Messages and Double Binds)

Most ACoAs assume that if our parents / lovers… don’t mean to hurt us, &/or can’t help themselves because of their damage, then their behavior can be overlooked.
So, we shouldn’t call them on it, don’t have to ‘protect’ ourselves & we should never get upset with them. After all “it’s not their fault – “They did the best they could…..”.

This is a self-destructive attitude – & takes a toll on our psyche that’s too high a price to pay for staying connected, just to stave off our guilt & loneliness. ACoAs are famous for white-washing abusers, especially parents. We believe that acknowledging what the Ps have done would be disloyal to the family system (or marriage, friendship, boss….), & would cause a rift we think we couldn’t bear. AND yes, for some of us, punishment from those Ps for hearing the Truth would feel like too much for our WIC.

CATEGORIES of Perpetrators (Ps)
a. Overt  – ‘easiest’ to see
• Sometimes a parent will blatantly admit they’re ‘not nice’, don’t care, didn’t love us & never will – “I didn’t want kids in the first place”.
The Family Wayepisode of BBC’s “Doc Martin”(12/05), is so very clear – when his estranged parents visit him & the truth comes out!

Some part of us already knew it & it’s excruciating to admit, but hearing it out loud makes it real, eliminating illusion & a hope for the impossible. Of course we have to be willing to work with this info to recover, & not everyone is. (ARTICLE :“My parents say I’m ugly and wish they’d never had me” )

Also, any type of physical  abuse is horrifying, but simpler to acknowledge, because the injuries are easy to identify, even getting us outside validation (as opposed to the other types). Our suffering & our rage is no less intense, which has to be cleaned out, but at least it’s tangible

• As adults we’ve gotten involved with outright skunks, people who from the beginning were obviously unsafe – unreliable, insensitive, active addicts, under-earning…… They may say: “You knew what I was like / I told you what to expect – or not / I said I wasn’t into relationships” ….

The main problem in facing this kind of abuse is our denial – not the P’s. It was our unwillingness to believe what they were saying, which let us get involved in the first place, because their ‘style’ was so familiar! We didn’t cause the abuse but we sure stayed for it.
😱 These kinds of Ps cause just as much emotionally pain as any other, but the least mentally confusing for us, because if cornered, they’re capable of admitting what they’ve done – although not willingly. We can heal faster because it’s not mentally crazy-making.  Once we’ve raged & mourned, we can move on.

b. Sneaky (much harder)
• It’s really tough to identify the source of our damage when our family (mates, friends…) profess to love us, but mistreat us much of the time anyway. This can apply to being put-down, manipulated, over-controlled….
As adults it can also be in the form of sexual coercion, or any shade of previous child sexual abuse, especially when he/she is singled out as a ‘favorite’ (“You’re mysneaky bad special girl”….), & told to keep it a secret. (Indirect Abusers – Part 2)

• They may say they love us (& we believe them) BUT we feel like crap when we’re with them – exhausted, scared, miserable, angry, bored – yet can’t put our finger on why, since nothing’s obviously wrong.
Then after spending time or even just texting / talking with them – sometimes for days or weeks we’re depressed & can’t get back to our life. Naturally ACoAs figure it must be us, right? NO!!
Your body & emotions are clearly telling you that something’s ‘rotten in Denmark’ – & your name isn’t Denmark!

SITE: “TRAUMA HEALING for Your Mind, Body & Soul” with Bible verses

NEXT: Deliberate… #2

3 thoughts on “DELIBERATE Abuse or Not? (Part 1)

  1. I still struggle with recognizing unhealthy behaviors in others. It often seems like their is a lot of unhealthy going around! But then again, maybe its me. I try to “internally tune in” but I think I’m missing a part 😉 But your description of “normals” struck me, something I think I have experienced, maybe my part is working after all? 🙂
    I’ll look into Alice M’s work, thank you.


  2. What an awesome post. Thank you for writing it. The entire thing is great, and the part that is helping me the most is: “keep feeling the old pain (E) in small doses, so we can see how we obey the ‘disease’ and how we’re driven by our abandonment anxiety.” It’s very helpful to read stuff like this.


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