26th November 2015 at 11:59 am #5793
Heres an interesting point of view from my counsellor about my relationship with my second abuser:-
We are both products of bad upbringings and while i feel i was abused because what i needed and the type of relationship i wanted was withheld this also worked both ways.
How we both must of been living a **** without either of our needs being met.
How sad it is that someone who had had such a bad upbringing couldn’t bring himself to receive help? she said!
She said she doesn’t put labels on individuals so abusive narc is not something she would use.
Therefor by not submitting to him not giving him complete control over me and basically being his mother i was sending the wrong messages out to him therefor being a complete let down for him too when we didn’t work out!
It may seem offensive to any survivor this theory i’m unsure how to take it.
She’s already tackled my side before hand and pulled me out of the “victim” status. I am only a victim of my own actions because of my behaviours embedded into me from a young age.
She is helping me recognise my own behaviour which is to be modified as it’s affecting my whole life. If it hadn’t of been for MY behaviour i wouldn’t of found myself in two abusive relationships. I would of had the strength, courage, assertiveness and self worth to walk away (all skills i was never taught or shown as a child)
Although my behaviour unlike his didn’t harm anyone it was extremely harmful toward myself.
She says the way i describe our relationship says allot about him. Some of his behaviour raises huge flags as to why he is not normal.
One example is the way he would cringe or create another point of interest in the room (such as him talking or playing with his phone) when a couple acting “coupley” would come on the telly.
He didn’t know how to behave as a normal couple at all, he never showed me he had that skill throughout. Just as i never was shown how to stand up for myself he was never shown how to care for anyone!
He believed he was a good man and was good in our relationship and yes he probably did believe this after seeing his own parents as a role model. His father was a heavy drinker and beat his mother senseless daily, cheat on her and never helped her with the kids. Compared to his father (the man who was his role model growing up) my abuser was an angel!
So what she’s basically said is nobody is the perp or the victim we are all products of our own upbringings. she’s pulled me round from “the whole world is unkind to me” to see my faults and my flaws. She’s even told me what and how to say things to people who are still horrible to me now and asked me to gauge there reaction.
we are working toward me leaning all the things i never learned growing up to alter my life. so therefor if i can alter my life and myself in such a drastic way does this mean the perps can?
I hope this is understandablde and not confusing to read it kind of makes sense to me does it to you? xx
26th November 2015 at 3:30 pm #5795DidiParticipant
What your counsellor says about being the products of bad upbringing make absolute sense to me. However, to say he was never abusive is wrong. His bad upbringing doesn’t make it our fault that he saw a ***** in our armour and took advantage of us any more than our bad upbringing encouraged him to manipulate us and use us for his gains. My counsellor said that we are given ‘scripts’ in childhood about how to live, how to handle situations etc. The script is given to us by our parents, who had theirs given to them by their parents and so on. We don’t know any better.
Retrospectively, the more I analyse my family the more I can see how my behaviour mirrors that of my mother towards my father. Counselling is a way of breaking that cycle and re-writing the script for ourselves and future generations, something that is extremely important for me with regards to my daughter.
I’m sure that if perps could recognise that they had a ‘deficiency’ then counselling of this kind could help them just as much, but they have to recognise it and seek help. I’m not sure if the bad upbringing/ script that causes someone to be abusive would ever allow for that realisation.
To quote my respected counsellor “There are no monsters, just those who are given bad scripts. It’s up to us to rewrite our own.”
26th November 2015 at 5:22 pm #5798
It does make sense must be how counsellors see abuse. She says Iv already stopped the pattern with my children on my own they will never be victims or pushovers! they won’t be abusive either! i cannot fathom why they wont change their patterns though? i find abusers to be miserable in their own lives why wouldn’t they want to change?
my counsellor basically said she pitied him as he must be suffering and have suffered due to unrealistic expectations about his own life. he has had his wishes unfufilled just as i have mine! Atleast i can see mine and get help though!
yes didi youve put it allot simpler than i have x
26th November 2015 at 6:59 pm #5800SaharaDParticipant
I think that your counsellor is wrong.
Fact: He carried out abusive behaviour on you. That makes him abusive.
If I were you I would challenge her on that. But I like to challenge people’s opinions. Don’t just swallow everything your counsellor says. They are supposed to guide you to your own conclusions not fill your head with their own opinions.
Pity him…who came out worse really? You were both suffering from your childhood and he took it upon him self to give you a double dose so now you not only have to recover from your childhood but also the effects of his behaviour on you. He’s not suffering what you did to him..He is still suffering from his childhood.
Regardless of upbringing we all know what is wrong. I admitted to the authorities that I hit my husband after a torrent of verbal and emotional abuse from him. Real abusers would never say this. They would never admit fully that they have a problem. They lie and lie and lie themselves into circles.
Our parents give us a blue print for 18 years and sometimes we have to knock down the building and rebuild that building from the ground up. I always knew deep down my parents were right on certain things.
They know what they are doing is wrong but something in their mind explains it all away and gives them the excuses to carry on. Because although they are weak, they can’t show weakness because they believe that you must not show weakness. They lie to themselves and they are happy doing that.
I think that pity for the abuser is the wrong approach in counselling. Thank God I had a DV/DA trained counsellor.
Oh I believe in monsters and if you don’t believe in them, instead of protecting yourself from them, you will find them devouring you whole.
I see it every day in my work places, toxic people, toxic environments and people who are too afraid to stand up for themselves because they say to themselves oh Non-monster must be having a bad day…(yet they have a bad day every day and they are nasty to people all of the time.)
Lots of people have bad childhoods and they don’t go around abusing people. It’s more than a bad upbringing. As lundy Bancroft said it’s a perpetuating belief system in their mind that they are somehow allowed and entitled to behave this way to their partners.
If they were really unstable, they would attempt to hurt everyone which they don’t. My husband didn’t go around threatening his colleagues or friends no matter what they did to him. But he did threaten me when I merely asked to use the dinning table to do work.
26th November 2015 at 9:55 pm #5804WanderingCloudParticipant
I would be quite offended by her approach and empathy towards the abuser. Yes, we are products of our parents and their parenting skills but it is not for you or her to justify his actions. Would she be saying that to a child who had been emotionally/physically/verbally abused by their parents.
Yes, we can change how we react, deal with abusers but surely when you go to a councillor, it is because you need help with your own emotions. As Sahara said, someone can suffer abuse at the hands of their parent but they have a choice as to whether to continue with the cycle of abuse and most people don’t. I had a narcissistic mother as a parent who emotionally abused me but I am so aware of where she went wrong, that I do my upmost not to mirror her behaviour with my own son, I look at the mistakes and know that they are not examples of a caring, nurturing mother.
I do think it helps when a therapist is trained or at least has a very good understanding of domestic violence, they at least know of what it is to suffer at the hands of an abuser.
28th November 2015 at 7:38 pm #5821
really sorry to hear about the reaction of your counsellor.
Is anyone else really worried about seeing a counsellor like this? someone who is trying to make us be understanding towards an abuser? to see their side and have sympathy for their treatment of us?
As others have said, being abused and having an horrendous childhood doesn’t lead directly to being abusive yourself, but she’s clearly saying there is only one pathway and thats it.
Becuase you have been frightened and intimidated and received violence as a child that you will automatically treat others this way? No… and to have come out of an abusive relationship and be told this stuff, i believe, is harmful in the extreme. I know I stayed because of sympathies for him, for trying to understand him, for giving him the benefit of the doubt, for loving him, for standing by his side when he was stressed even when he was highly abusive to me, so counsellor, I did the right thing then didn’t i? and i should go back for some more for myself and my children because leaving was cruel and poor him and what a sh*t life he had.
… despairs…. who can you turn to if this is what counsellors are telling us?
Did i make it all up, should i have been more understanding .. taken more of it, watched the children taking it and explained to them its alright Daddies had a hard childhood, don’t mind him, we need to feel sorry for him and help make him better?
I don’t doubt he’s had a cr*p time, yes, i have been made extremely aware of what an horrendous time he had and how awful life has been for pooor poor him and how noone loves him and how he’ll drop all his family and everyone for me (OMG! NOOOOO!!). I also get that there is a rather stiff code out there for a boy to grow up in (in some areas, and families), but does that mean its ok to terrorise someone you are supposed to love?
28th November 2015 at 7:49 pm #5822
basically are you there to view all your own faults and flaws? or are you there to recover from severe trauma?
Is the way to recover from severe trauma to be put under the microscope for your own misdoings? None of us are perfect and i dont’ supposed it would do any any harm to have their imperfections put under a microscope, but not when you are suffering from trauma. Its hardly a very positive way to go is it?
Understanding that a perpetrator will deliberately and unswervingly provoke an argument and fuel it and enrage himself to the point of knowing that he is terrifying you and in order to threaten and intimidate is helpful to know! shocking but helpful to know, because it doesn’t make any sense when its being done to you, but you should be thinking poor you for having to face that day in and day out, before ever thinking poor him. You need to heal and recover, get understanding for why its not your fault that you were treated like this, because he would treat anyone like this, turning everyone’s lives in circles as they do.
One thing have i remembered through this ordeal, in the event of an emergency put your own oxygen mask on first, you are no help to your children dead.
29th November 2015 at 1:57 pm #5830
no im there to fix me to stop me falling into the same pattern as before. I originally went for trauma from my abusive exes turns out i was well over them and the reason i was still suffering so many set backs was because of my own behaviours (basically i am a pushover, people pleaser, struggle with assertiveness etc etc) and due to the issues inbeded in me from a child.
i’m unsure what to make out of what she said it seems logical but then again i had a narc mum but i don’t behave the same way my mother did toward me toward my kids infact i’m the opposite. I promote the kids to be independent and over praise them for each tiny act they do. Im not a pushy parent mine aren’t top of the class and that doesn’t bother me i encourage them with the gifts they have been given maths and english will catch up when they are ready.
so therefore iv changed the patterns alone or am i just projecting the upbringing i would of liked onto my children? i don’t know.
If you look at it one way my love and feelings for my children have overridden what i was taught growing up. She didn’t take his side she just said he had an extremely strange chaotic upbringing and it was sad he couldn’t see it for himself to get the help he needs. She said his father was an extremely poor role model all of my abusers siblings have been involved in horrific abusive incidents growing up! The women have suffered some of the most intense abuse i have ever heard of and all his brothers have been arrested for abusing their partners! my abuser funnily enough was the “nice one” out of them all ha ha ha.
I think it was behaviour learned from his horrible upbringing but it doesn’t take a genius to look at your own life and think
a) i’m missing something in my life (normal relationships)
b) why do all my relationships end with me being arrested?
C) why do i struggle to watch normal couples?
and think my life is wrong i need help! he may be a product of his upbringing but hes not fixing it and thats the wrong part! the fact he doesn’t want to change or go through therapy himself. The fact his life will just be a string of arrests and prison without anyone knowing who he truly is.
I don’t know what to think of it i don’t feel any different towards him what she said made me feel i was the better person and far better than he ever will be x
29th January 2019 at 5:53 pm #71535IwantmebackParticipant
Hi bubbles, I’ve just came across your thread. I hope you’re doing well. I had to reply to what you wrote, my oh too is ‘the nice one,’ out of his siblings. I saw everyone of them for the bullies they were, but not him, love certainly was blind, it’s not now.
29th November 2015 at 4:42 pm #5832
sorry i think i misunderstood as your thread title ‘counsellor said he was never abusive’ and many of the things you said pointed toward a lack of understanding of abuse on her part, and yes, whilst protective behaviours are essential to make sure (as far as you can ever) that you are protected from a repeate of it, this has no bearing on him and no need of discussions of him and his childhood, etc.
There are loads of women who had perfectly ‘fine’ or seemingly so, childhoods that get hood=-winked by an abuser.
Thousands get conned daily by con-artists on-line, spammers, door-to-doors sales, dating spammers, etc. Its not all because everyone had abusive childhoods.
They are clever at it, they rely on your giving them sympathy and benefit of the doubt, and play on your kindness, especially if they seem to be suffering, this is someone you love and want to support and see no harm come to and try to help? The fear building can be a very slow insidious thing once some confidence in your own abilities /thinking has been challenged enough.
Im all for learning how to watch for those patterns and traits in another relying on your good will to give them the benefit of the doubt all the time, thats their behaviour.
Can you make someone be abusive? its simply who they are and therefore nothing to do with your behaviour? Or ive got this all wrong. its a bitof a red herring even considering the next step away from the situation, their parents, childhood, etc. thats only the abusers concern surely?
sorry if i’ve gotten your message mixed up.
very tired of hearing about counsellors and how easy it is to interpret what they say as invalidation for whats happened to us as it takes (or can take) such a long time to really feel that validation and deal with the messages the relationship left that it is impressivve indeed that you already did that (from what you’ve said) and moved on. thats something to celebrate! 🙂
go you Bubbles!
warmest wishes KS
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