The most painful response I have received after telling someone about my decision to cut contact with my parents was: ‘You can’t, you will break their soul‘. Why, after half a lifetime of pain and damage does the world still expect me to prioritize my abusers’ pain over my own?
Why is the world telling me that I matter less than my abuser?
Why are people telling me that, if I just adjust my behavior around my abuser, they will change? Don’t you think I have believed those things long enough? Don’t you think I tried that a million times already?
Stop Making This About My Abuser!
I Made This Choice For ME!
Seriously, I did not choose to cut contact with my parents for some perverted sense of punishment or revenge. I did it because I needed to protect myself from their toxicity and sabotage. I did it because I don’t want myself, or the people I truly love to suffer from my trauma, by allowing myself to continue to be traumatized. In fact, I made a choice that my parents failed to make. Rather than breaking the cycle, they chose to pay their trauma forward. And yes, that is a choice too.
What Kicked Off This Rant?
Well, I was playing over at Facebook, and came across this update here:
Food for thought ~ have you ever noticed how often we are encouraged to understand the feelings of the abuser? Why is that? It never helped me to understand the thought patterns of the abuser. Trying to understand them increased my frustrations and validated my already low self-esteem.
~ Darlene Ouimet (emergingfrombroken.com)
It made me realize how often victims are asked to empathize with their abuser, which is complete and utter $#!+ (sorry, but it is!). I pride myself in not understanding the twisted thought patterns that led and allowed my mother to treat her kids the way she did. I think my lack of ability to wrap my head around her thoughts speaks not only in favor of my sanity, but of my humanity.
Trying to see things from my mother’s point of view, meant looking for the evidence of her image of me. It meant looking for the lazy, fat, dirty and egocentric behaviors that she projected on me. It meant in fact reaffirming her false image of me. It meant – once again – taking the responsibility and blame for the abuse.
No! I am not doing that again!
Where Understanding Your Abuser IS Important
Okay, there are important reasons to understand some of your abuser. Not to empathize, but certainly to better understand your own situation. Perhaps the trick is not to try to understand their triggers and drivers, but to understand the behaviors. Having some understanding of NPD (or whatever other underlying issue of your abuser) will give you valuable insight in the dynamic they create.
It helps you understand their behavior in the context of their gain, and more importantly will help you learn how those actions have affected you.