Signs of Emotional Abuse #10

The abuser might switch his or her tactics against you strategically. 

Examples:

- Whenever I cut a certain abusive person in my life out (stopping communication) after he crosses a line, he always waits a considerable amount of time and then tries to come back with smiley faces and exclamation marks like nothing else has happened!

- An abusive person might switch gears in the middle of an argument if they feel like their tactic is not working/convincing you (going from yelling, to guilt tripping, to changing their mind about the subject) until they feel like their control is restored

IMPORTANT

Guys, I need help. My friend lives on a dysfunctional household. She’s constantly getting physically abused by her parents and she has nowhere to go. She can’t called the police cause she’s afraid they’ll take her brother away from her. She tried to run away multiple times but they always find her. She tried going to grandma but they find her there too and won’t allow her to come back. She’s want to stay with her boyfriend but he’s emotionally manipulating her by cheating on her all the time. She’s tells me all the time but I don’t know what to do. I just want to help her. Please, is there anyway I can help her?

People just want abuse victims that are soft and kind and gentle, the kind of victims who validate their beliefs that “everything happens for a reason”. It doesn’t occur to these people that abuse actually damages people, that it could turn victims bitter and resentful rather than into poster-children for resilience and inner-strength. Victims don’t just exist to pay homage to your worldview that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” as if abuse could ever be a positive or an experience to be grateful for. 

okay, here is a thing: some people that suffered from abuse can’t remember every detail about it and sometimes they will remember it gradually during their life. if they tell you different stories about the same thing, don’t just judge them. if they tell you they forgot about things, trust them. if they tell you they just remembered something about the abuse, trust them.

I wish you’d just admit that you hate me and don’t want me anymore. I would still suffer and I’ll probably feel abandoned forever, but at least I would stop thinking that maybe you deserve a second chance. You don’t deserve that, and you know it, but you know how to manipulate me and by even pretending to care a little about me you’ll always make ME feel bad for neglecting YOU, not the opposite, which is ridiculous and I hate it so much.

Me: lol that time my mom got so angry she exploded a box of butter was funny

Therapist: it’s ok to laugh 😏 humor is a coping mechanism

Me: but… it really was funny…

Try to remember that your partner might need more explanation for your thought process than you think is necessary, especially if it’s a “negative” thought.

“I disagree with you” –> “I disagree with you, but I’m not angry at you, and I’m not going to yell at you for not agreeing with me.”

“I’m hurt by what you did” –> “I’m hurt by what you did, but I don’t hate you, and I don’t think you’re a bad person. I just want to discuss it.”

“I’m frustrated” –> “I’m frustrated, but it doesn’t mean I don’t care about you.”

What feels obvious to you–the underlying asumption that of course you still love this person, of course this is just a single feeling–is not obvious to someone who has been trained to flinch at every criticism. Take the time to explain your feelings and their meanings to ease both your fears.