Many people who have never been in an abusive relationship find it difficult to comprehend its effect on victims.
When victims stay with their abuser they are often met with little empathy: “If your partner is so horrible, why don’t you leave?” And after they have left it seems even more difficult to understand why victims are not jumping for joy or cannot stop obsessing over what happened to them.
There are many reasons victims fail to “just move on”, (Trauma-Bond, C-PTSD to name a few). For some, it takes longer than the actual relationship lasted.
Abusive relationships are complex…
Lately medium feels that I have to read more articles that urge people to show compassion and understanding for people with personality disorders. Namely narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
And while I have always been a big advocate for helping and aiming to understand anyone who struggles with their mental health, these articles are concerning me. I don’t think they are wrong, but probably ahead of our time.
When we urge people who have never experienced abuse to show compassion and understanding for abusers, it can easily create confusion. It could be misinterpreted as excusing abusive behaviour.
“What would you like to work on next?” my therapist prompted. Procrastination! The word shot out of me without leaving a second for contemplation. “Why Procrastination?” I was taken aback, Did I really have to explain to him that I was the master procrastinator? Apparently so. But my answers didn’t seem to satisfy him; he had more questions! “And is this something you want to change?”
I was exasperated. What planet does he live on? Doesn’t he know that procrastination is the root cause of all failures? Hasn’t he read any of the self-help books or articles on becoming more…
I was doing fine. I felt like my life was slowly starting to turn around and I could see some of the positives that had come out of the most difficult situation I had ever found myself in.
It had been 8 months since my abusive relationship had ended. For all the months that I woke up to the overwhelming pain of emotions, I could now point to minutes, even hours that I had been able to focus on something else.
I had been distracting myself. It had worked. And then my therapist came up with an exercise to speak…
When I started my professional career I was full of enthusiasm and energy. I was a little late to the party, having stayed at home with my children, but I had every intention to close this gap. I didn’t have a strict 5-year / 10-year plan but I had visions. I knew who I wanted to become and I knew how to get there.
If someone had given me a glimpse of the future back then, I wouldn’t have believed them.
I would have imagined myself sitting at the computer until the little hours of the day catching up on…
“I am sorry, Michael, you are a really nice guy but I just didn’t feel a spark. Thank you again for the lovely dinner, I am sure you will find someone soon.”
I have sent endless variations of those messages over the past months. I try to be polite and don’t ghost people I have been on a date with, but I never tell them the truth.
That would just be brutal.
“I am sorry, Michael, you are a jerk. The best thing about dinner was the food that I would have enjoyed more if you didn’t keep making fun…
I am not a big fan of personality profiles. Humans are complex, I don’t think they should be pigeonholed into stereotypes. This goes for healthy, loving and caring individuals as well as for abusers. That being said, when it comes to the latter, I have found it incredibly helpful to read about the different types of toxic personalities. Because so many of them resonated with my own experience. It has helped me to gain clarity and label all the things that happened to me as abuse, where I didn’t recognise it as such for a long time.
Unfortunately, there is…
I was a victim of abuse.
There, I said it. It took me less than a second to write this. That’s for the physical act of writing. As for the mental part, it took me half a year of therapy, 185 days of reflection, 555 hours reading about abuse and, by rough calculations, millions of seconds circling around this seemingly simple sentence.
The incident I am about to describe is so insignificant that I would forget about it immediately if I didn’t write it down. It’s the sort of thing that happens every day. It’s not deeply offensive and I am sure there was no ill-intention whatsoever. Simply an assumption. An assumption that is so easily made. It is just a syllable. A word. A tiny little change in a word.
Chances are that if this incident happened to me years ago, I wouldn’t even have noticed. …
5x Top Writer. Raising awareness of emotional abuse and toxic relationships. Narcissistic Abuse Survivor.