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A question about emotional abuse and mental health

(6 Posts)
Changeling2015 Mon 06-Jul-15 07:03:30

Sorry to jump right in...

I have read a lot of here about emotional abuse and it seems to come from a desire to control. I've read that abusers know what they are doing and are perfectly in control themselves.

However, I was wondering if someone could be an emotional abuser and not notice what they are doing a lot of the time. The person I'm thinking of has grown up in institutions and I'm wondering if he just hasn't learnt or been taught normal ways of relating to people. He is always on edge and tense and even his best friends find him very difficult. I'm thinking he has some form of personality disorder but I'm not sure whether this is classified as a mental health issue.

I'm so confused. I do think he acts differently with different people and is more likely to be aggressive with those he perceives as weaker so this ability to switch it on and off suggests he does have some control.

But even with guests he is treating with food and drink or gifts, it's like he pushes it relentlessly and doesn't seem to "listen" when they say no thank you. He just continues trying to get them to take it and wears them down. I find this confusing as I don't know why he behaves like this.

Similarly if I go to visit him and during that time need five minutes to sit down and eat quietly, look at the internet, sometimes he is relentless in pestering me, giving me things, wanting my attention. When you say "please I just need five minutes", he says ok then 1 minute later he's at it again. HE will ask if you want food. You say no five minutes later he asks again. There's almost a compulsive side to his personality.

He's the sort of person who can push you to tears quite easily and then not understand and be angry with you for crying. He blames people and things for everything and rarely accepts responsibility for anything. It is always someone else's fault.

He is a lot worse when drunk but won't accept when sober that he is not a pleasant drunk. When drunk just starts mocking you or accusing you of something or blaming, calling people names, arguing with everyone, invading personal space, inappropriate touching He seems to have no concept of what's socially acceptable.

Last night I stood outside telling him and all the neighbours (in earshot) that he was an "abusive" man. I feel guilty because his English isn't good and he didn't know what I was saying but I was trying to deal with him/help him and had been having him yelling at me (he was drunk) for no reason. The fact he asked me to come back in and tells me to keep my voice down suggests he doesn't want the neighbours to know the truth (suggesting some awareness of his behaviour).

I guess I do feel some guilt but all they're probably going to think is that hysterical woman with mental health problems who is always crying has gone to visit our friendly neighbour again

woowoo22 Mon 06-Jul-15 07:20:11

Is he your bf? Get rid of him. You will never get to the bottom of why he's like it, distracts from the real issue which is getting yourself out of the situation.

Changeling2015 Mon 06-Jul-15 07:30:24

I am sort of in a relationship with him. I say "sort of" because we were friends for a long time before and there's a language issue that stops me from being able to raise a lot of issues properly. I agree I do need to get out. It's a cliché but he's not like this all the time (obviously or why would I get involved) but he is always pretty hard work.

I think I knew it was abuse.... but no one knows in real life what's going on

Lovingfreedom Mon 06-Jul-15 07:40:21

How convenient that the language barrier prevents any criticism or discussion of issues. Don't try to fix this man. Take care of yourself and get out of a potentially nasty relationship.

whatsagoodusername Mon 06-Jul-15 07:46:23

Even if his intention is genuinely not to be abusive, the effect it is having on you is the same as if he intends it.

PreemptiveSalvageEngineer Mon 06-Jul-15 07:57:40

The concept that 'nothing is ever his fault' is (for me) the litmus test. All the other issues aren't great, but this is the glue that holds it all together.

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