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Is this abuse?(9 Posts)
There are so many threads on here recently where the poster poses this question and then goes on to list a set of behaviours that make them fearful, uncomfortable or angry. I'm wondering why women need confirmation that they are being abused before allowing themselves to be pissed off. Am I being abused? Who cares! You have a right to be happy and if you're with someone who makes you miserable, you are entitled to do something about it.
I think it's a sign of the abuse tbh. The abusers often get inside their heads and make them think everything is at their fault. So what may be blatant obvious to someone else looking in, it's not for the person in the middle of it all!
Sometimes there has to be a particular trigger, an event, that jolts a brainwashed soul "awake". It isn't even a case of "enough is enough." Because enough of what? What you've always been accustomed to? Because that normality is unbearably awful and unhappy? Sometimes people are trained, so to speak, to be unhappy from the start. To please others and feel that is their purpose in life no matter what. To accept that personal happiness is not a valid goal or expectation whilst another's is.
Does that make sense?
Leaving one situation for another that seems like a good option carries a lot of weight in the "it's going to be alright now" scenario. Then it isn't. But since it was so good to start with and so much better than what happened before, well, that's where self-blame and lack of worth enter the stage.
That's just a starter for how it happens. I never realised what I went through was abuse until I left. I still self-blame for my lack of enlightenment because I would handle it all so differently now. But I really didn't know then. I thought I had gone mad and my screams for freedom, for myself, while irresistible, were utterly selfish and therefore to be condemned. When I left (badly) I discovered that others were all cheering me. Bitter sweet because they weren't there when I actually needed an outside perspective to tell me that I was worthy, I deserved better and everything that was killing me was actually abusive behaviour from my XP.
I really didn't know. All I knew was that it was a matter of my life or death.
I agree, OP. If someone is treating you badly, it doesn't matter what you call it.
However, some people don't think 'bad treatment' is serious enough to leave - especially if they have kids.
Others calling it 'abuse' gives them the permission to leave that they can't give themselves.
because abusers tell you you've caused the problems in the relationship, so you spend years thinking it's you until something happens and you begin to realise it's been them all along
Because abuse victims have been conditioned, usually from childhood, to think that they are wrong and others are right. They have an external locus of control, in the language of psychology.
So they still need confirmation from the outside that they are allowed to leave. Because authority for their life rests outside, and not within them.
One of the key things they will then have to learn after they leave the abuser is how to develop an internal locus of control: to trust themselves, to stats their needs, to be assertive....
Because some people need the 'thing' to have a name before they'll do something about it. My best friend was in an abusive relationship for many years and the abuse was so seemingly 'minor' it had woven itself into her personality, it quite literally became 'her'. To question it meant she was questioning herself, which of course is what her H wanted. She finally saw it for what it was and is now astounded that she ever even questioned whether it was or was. It so clearly was.
It's not even just about leaving vs staying. It's also about viewing your situation through a very different lens.
Part of how abuse works is by making you doubt your own perceptions. Your view gets warped, so what looks from the outside like, e.g., jealous controlling behaviour can look from the inside like "he's just insecure because his last girlfriend cheated on him." Or maybe name-calling looks like "oh we just argue a lot, but I'm difficult to live with too and he does a lot to put up with me."
Abusers work really, really hard to convince the people they're abusing that a) it's totally normal, reasonable behaviour and b) their partners don't deserve anything better anyway. It's a really insidious mindfuck and it's very, very difficult to break out of. So someone who starts thinking "hang on a minute - is this abuse?" is changing the way they see their whole situation, and looking for some backup that they're not wrong/mad/unreasonable.
You'll see people ask the same thing about their childhoods too. Same reason.
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