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To think an abuser (mentally) doesn't know what he/she is doing?

(58 Posts)
Toobloodytired Thu 23-Mar-17 22:56:22

Guys please help me!

This is bugging me and honestly I can't make sense of it!

I've posted quite a lot on here under different names about my ex and I, how he was with me & how he left me blah blah blah poor me and all that crap.

Anyways, the first thing people say is he abused me mentally & physically (hit me across the face once).

However I feel that although it's viewed as abuse and a lot of abusers have the same traits, they can't possibly know they are doing it?

Maybe they start off with great intentions??
Maybe they can't help it??
Can't see what they are doing??

Oh it's so bloody complex!

I don't quite understand it.

I get the who manipulation, I.E when you want something I don't know, someone to buy something for you....that whole "cute" "oh please buy me this for my birthday, il love you for ever!"....it's not abuse it's just you know a way to get something you want!

However when it goes too far & you are being controlled to the point you aren't you anymore, do you really think the abuser thinks "this is exactly what I planned? She's under the thumb and will do as I say?"

Sorry if I've lost you, to be completely honest, I've confused myself!!

BlueFolly Thu 23-Mar-17 22:58:26

Does it matter?

ChuckDaffodils Thu 23-Mar-17 23:01:24

"this is exactly what I planned? She's under the thumb and will do as I say?"

Yes and when that stops working, they have alternative set ups and methods to bring you back in line again.

Why do you need to feel that they can't help it? Why does it matter now?

Railgunner1 Thu 23-Mar-17 23:03:03

I always wonder... Some people are energetic vampires. They maybe 'love you' to start off with, but they need you to submit, otherwise they 'eat you'

Toobloodytired Thu 23-Mar-17 23:12:00

Yes it does matter, it matters to me.
To try and understand the situation I was in for 8 months, to try understand if he honestly believes he's a nice guy and in his eyes didn't abuse me at all.

It matters because I'd like to learn so I can let go.
You can't blame someone for something they didn't know they did can you??

So yes it does matter to me.

LookBehindooo Thu 23-Mar-17 23:12:26

"However I feel that although it's viewed as abuse and a lot of abusers have the same traits, they can't possibly know they are doing it?"

Of course they know they are doing it. I was in the same position many years ago and I look back now and wonder why I put up with what I did for so long.

I'm so sorry you are still struggling with your feelings over this relationship but from what you've said its done and dusted.

Stop thinking about him, spread your wings and live your life

LookBehindooo Thu 23-Mar-17 23:14:18

Did he not know he hit you?

Toobloodytired Thu 23-Mar-17 23:14:51

It's not the relationship it's the person, I guess for me it's understanding it to the point I don't fall into this again with someone else.

My ex before him was lovely, nicest person I'd ever met, heart of gold, she couldn't hurt someone if she tried.....so to go from someone who loved me with every inch of her heart to a guy who so badly emotionally abused me, who tore my heart into shreds, who ruined my trust in people on an intimate level.

I guess I could understand if he genuinely doesn't think he's done wrong.

ChanandlerBongsNeighbour Thu 23-Mar-17 23:16:05

I totally and utterly get what you are saying. I think that it is entirely possible for an abuser (controlling/manipulative/narcissistic for example) to be so egocentric that any suggestion that their behaviour is in any way wrong (or abusive) results in them being so completely affronted and insulted because that is not the image of themselves that they hold.

It doesn't make the abuse any less real or easier to deal with, I think it can highlight though that the problem lies with the abuser and not the abused. It's not your fault.

OopsDearyMe Thu 23-Mar-17 23:16:50

There are certainly times when an abuser cannot affect a change in their actions, whether because they have a condition which prevents it such as a mental illness or learning difficulty, or because they lack insight.

But abuse is abuse no matter whether the perpetrators can help what they do!

You can sympathise, but it does not make their actions excusable in any way and you have the right to live without being abused by anyone.

sonyaya Thu 23-Mar-17 23:18:11

I guess it depends. My abusive ex had a personality disorder and genuinely believed that his own bad behaviour wasn't my fault. As in "I cheated on you because you got upset with me that time I assaulted you in the street" etc. I have no doubt in his own mind that was true.

It is extremely hard to get over an abusive relationship - hang in in there flowers

sonyaya Thu 23-Mar-17 23:18:35

*was my fault

Toobloodytired Thu 23-Mar-17 23:18:53

Of course he knew he hit me, however he sat down with me and explained why he did it, how my depression affected our relationship, how I made things worse than they were. How he was sorry "but can we just forget it", there's no way he said all that and not believed a word he said! He must have thought that genuinely I was in the wrong for him hitting me! He threw me out his house when I cried! That's not normal behaviour.

He did hit me a couple of times "in his sleep" I know that sounds absolute bonkers and I've no reason to believe he was awake as it came out of no where, I guess him dreaming?? I don't bloody know what to believe.

He also very very regularly whilst "sleeping" would kiss and touch me in various places....I'd briefly wake up, roll over and go back to sleep, he did this a lot, his reasoning?? I do remember a little but I've worked out why I might be doing it "it's when we haven't had sex that day".

arethereanyleftatall Thu 23-Mar-17 23:20:53

I agree op. I'm sure some do, but my step father is utterly controlling of my mother and he does not realise it at all, he thinks he takes care of her and watches out for her.

OopsDearyMe Thu 23-Mar-17 23:22:49

Argh posted too soon.

But you cannot truly believe there are never people who are just get off on being vile, manipulative and nasty. There are sadly people who gain so much from the darker sides of human behaviour that YES they really do have the worst of intentions sometimes from the start or because something happens that allows them to gain something from behaving abusively.

I think you and I are similar and you want so much to believe in the good in people and that everyone deep down wants to be good and kind, and that with the right help they can want to be and will change.
Its not the kind of world we want to live in, one where there are people who don't care about others in the same way we do! But we do, its so hard. But its true.

Obsidian77 Thu 23-Mar-17 23:25:18

A lot of abusive people know enough to moderate their behaviour in public, when in front of the authorities etc. Of course they know.

Toobloodytired Thu 23-Mar-17 23:26:29

That's what my ex used to say!!

I do nothing but look after you, take care of you, love you & you throw it all back in my face.

I did this, I did that, that's all he ever said to me.

When I found out he'd been talking to another woman after we had an argument, his excuse was "I wouldn't have spoken to her if we hadn't of argued, nothing happened anyway so there's not an issue. Yet he initially lied to me about who she was, told me he worked with her!

He did this TWICE, lied both times, then told me how he lied solely because I'd go mental so I couldn't possible blame him for it oh & if he did wrong I had to get over it, whereas if I messed up, I had to know about it for days.

He told me to kill myself once, 2 days later I got upset about it and he said "I've said I'm sorry! Don't you think you've made me
Suffer long enough!!"

Ffs! He's literally making me question past relationships, potential future ones everything!

Naively I didn't know or understand mental abuse, I just thought it was physical. So to have gone through it myself now, I feel lost and confused.

OopsDearyMe Thu 23-Mar-17 23:27:46

He possibly did believe it , that's just one possible tho!
Its also possible , that he knew he would be in trouble and like a child, turned it round or needed to justify it to himself. My father was the same always an explanation or a good reason for why he acted as he did. But never stopped it happening again and never an apology or acceptance of guilt!

LookBehindooo Thu 23-Mar-17 23:28:01

I'm sorry if I've upset you with the question if he knew what he did. It was in response to your feeling that "they" don't know what they do. I'm more worried now that he seems to have shifted the blame of what he did onto you. A partner dealing with depression needs support - not blame.

I hope you will be ok. A lot of what you say resonates with my own personal experiences. I hope you get to move on

angelcakerocks Thu 23-Mar-17 23:28:45

It could be that they're repeating patterns they saw growing up so think its 'the norm.' Doesn't make it ok obviously.

Moanyoldcow Thu 23-Mar-17 23:29:38

You sound like you're trying to make excuses for him and I don't understand why. He hit you, interfered with you when you were asleep and you think he doesn't know what he did was wrong? How on earth can he not realise hitting his partner is wrong? He's made you believe your depression is to blame? He probably caused it!

You need to wake up. This man knew exactly what he was doing as do most abusers. They pick they're victims carefully and break them down until there's nothing left. Forget him - you escaped and that's all that matters.

Moanyoldcow Thu 23-Mar-17 23:30:45

Their victims. Fucking phone!

Toobloodytired Thu 23-Mar-17 23:31:02

A lot of abusive people know enough to moderate their behaviour in public, when in front of the authorities etc. Of course they know.

That's so true!! I hadn't thought about that!

I was at my mums once, I went outside to talk to her, we can really get talking. I think I was out there around half hour, left him with my step dad, they were happily chatting away.

Then when I came back in, I knew something was up although he "acted normal", all was fine, kept asking if he was okay, kept telling me yes. I bloody knew it wasn't!!

Got outside, asked what was wrong and instantly it all came out.....went on a rant about how dare I leave him on his own with my step dad & go outside to talk to my mum, how I was selfish, how I don't think about him and his feelings......he stayed quiet, he pretended things were fine but as soon as I was out of earshot of anyone, he went mad.

Jazzywazzydodah Thu 23-Mar-17 23:31:18

Yes they know what they are doing - but feel entitled to do it, why shouldn't they??

Don't talk yourself in to taking away blame from an adult who is sane. They are not legally declared insane so you have to accept they are fully aware of what they are doing. There may be not some 'master plan' (although some people actually do) but abusive people are incredibly entitled and do what every they feel they need to do.

There is a difference.

You sound like your looking for excuses ??

KindDogsTail Thu 23-Mar-17 23:32:22

I don't think people are necessarily consciously aware of how they are abusing someone, but that does not mean you can deal with them or get them to understand.

If they narcissists, they will be completely incapable of understanding.

It is better not to get in any tangled web about this if you are being abused - just get away.

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