10th July 2021 at 11:37 pm #128597SurvivorOneParticipant
My ex used to say I had an anger problem and that I didn’t know how to love. He’d say this over and over again, usually when I was frustrated by his constant harassment. I understand that many abusers do the same thing. But the thing is, he really seemed to believe it. He acted as if he was genuinely convinced he was the most loving man in the universe and I was a cold fish. Is that really what he thought? I’ve read so much about abuse and spent so long in counselling but I keep coming back to this question: was it me? What if I was also abusive? What if my friends and family think I’m abusive? What if people won’t tell me because they can’t trust me in the same way that I never told him either? What if, in fact, the whole world thinks I’m a monster behind my back and I don’t even know? What if I really am worse than him and it really is all relative?
To be clear I would never say this to another survivor, ever. But in myself I have no idea how to convince myself I did nothing wrong. It’s like I am convinced I was just as bad or worse, and everyone knows but me. It’s the only thing I think about.
11th July 2021 at 7:51 am #128603littledoveParticipant
So this is a clear abuser tactic. They project themselves onto the victim. So the things he’s accusing you of, is really what he is.
The fact you are questioning if it’s you, shows that it’s not you. Abusers don’t have that in them. They don’t feel empathy or guilt and can’t think reasonably or ever think it’s them.
Also how you’ve responded to his abuse is called reactive abuse and is how abusers manage to turn it around on you.
And no it isn’t what he really thought. He knew what he was doing, but yes you’ll always be the enemy in his eyes, he’ll always believe you are the problem, they are so self entitled that anyone who dares to question them or stand up for themselves is the enemy.
The people around you who care about you won’t think those things about you. But if they did then they aren’t worth being around. And as for anyone else, you have to try reach a position where you don’t care about what other people think. It makes no difference to your life what others think. It took me a while to have this frame of mind xx
22nd July 2021 at 10:32 pm #129151StressedandaloneParticipant
I feel like this too, you aren’t alone. My ex always told me it was mr that had the problem that I was childish and selfish. He made me feel like I wasn’t good enough and that when I got angry it was my fault. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this feeling too
23rd July 2021 at 6:24 am #129161KIP.Participant
Abusers are liars. They will do anything to dominate and keep control. That includes gaslighting, lying and destroying our self confidence and self esteem. It took a long time for me to let go of his hurtful words but they were designed to be hurtful and for us to take that spotlight off his behaviour and point it at ourselves. It leaves us spinning. Point that spotlight right back at his behaviour where it belongs. He chose to be abusive and he knew the consequences for you were devastating mentally x good riddance to bad rubbish x
26th September 2021 at 11:01 pm #131890NeverthoughtitwouldbemeParticipant
I often have these thoughts too but when you break down a situation it becomes easier to understand and see that it wasn’t you.
Like many of these ladies say, making you believe that you are the problem is a main tactic of an abuser unfortunately.
Hope you are okay. Sending hugs xx
27th September 2021 at 2:16 am #131894SingleMomSurvivorParticipant
You’re not the abusive one. Abusers are really good at making us think we are the ones with the problem and that everyone else will see it that way. My ex tried very hard to convince me that I was a violent horrible, emotionally unstable person & that everyone thought of me that way. I was convinced no one would believe I was being abused but when I started telling people they actually did believe me!
I agree with everything everyone has said so far. Abusing you and then accusing you of being the abuser is a common tactic abusers use. He knows you’re not abusive but by convincing you that you are, and that others see you that way, it’s a way for him to exert control over you. Keep posting & keeping talking with us. We understand & we’re here to support you!
27th September 2021 at 3:03 am #131898TiaMariaParticipant
My abuser always used to say that we were as bad as each other in order to shift the blame onto me or at least share half of it to say we equally contributed to our toxic relationship when in reality he was extremely abusive and all my insecurities, neediness, clinginess, and low self-esteem that meant I was in constant need of reassurance – that all stemmed from his abuse.
Abusers use these blame shifting tactics so they can take zero responsibility for their own behaviour. I’ve been listening to Mental Healness on YouTube recently – he is a self-aware n********t and he talks a lot about how narcissists think/feel/manipulate/etc. He said his therapist asked him if he feels guilt, and he said that he feels guilt for a short amount of time and then is able to shift it off very quickly onto his partner e.g. “if she hadn’t done X, then i wouldn’t have done Y, so really, it’s her fault i did Y”.
My ex has also consistently made me out to be holding a silly grudge against him because I refuse to respond to the many years of his online harassment, and makes me out to be holding a silly grudge to others when he has asked for my contact details and they have said no she has said she doesn’t want you to have them.
They will never stop trying to make us look like the ones at fault. They just don’t feel empathy, love, compassion, guilt, or shame in the same way we do. You just need to get to a place where it doesn’t matter what he thinks about you any more; where it only matters that you know who you are.
Are you seeing a therapist/able to see a therapist?
27th September 2021 at 10:40 am #131908cakepopsParticipant
As others have pointed out, the very fact that you are questioning this means you weren’t the abusive person in the relationship.
My ex used to accuse me of being controlling, of being mentally unwell, of saying/doing things I hadn’t done. It affected my self esteem hugely, but more perhaps importantly it controlled my behaviour – I put increasing effort into being kind, calm, supportive etc over the years to the extent that there was nothing left for my own wellbeing. After separation he still twists everything against me, and has even made up entire incidents that I absolutely know did not happen.
Despite supposedly having been in a very abusive relationship with me, my ex moved on really quickly. Yet I’m here still picking up the peaces years later because all the abuse has affected me so much. I’ve had counselling and CBT and it still pops into my mind sometimes that it must be my fault. This is the legacy of having being abused sadly.
27th September 2021 at 10:56 am #131910SingleMomSurvivorParticipant
Cakepops this is so relatable! Wow all the time, energy & effort I put into remaining calm, being kind & not reacting to his abuse only for him to still call me abusive & crazy anyways. It was like I was putting on a performance & it was exhausting!! Freedom comes when we stop caring about what they think & stop adjusting our behaviors to influence their opinion of us. Im a work in progress because I still find myself sometimes doing things to try to influence how his family sees me. Ugh!!! My ex has also accused me of being mentally unwell & has fabricated entire incidents that never even happened. It’s incredibly disturbing.
27th September 2021 at 2:12 pm #131925cakepopsParticipant
I remember so many times when I was stressed or unwell and I still put him first. Even when I was in labour with my kids he managed to make it all about him, and I was having to make sure he was ok.
To then be accused of having been abusive when I put my heart and soul into being a wonderful partner every single day is such an impossibly hard thing to come to terms with. Retrospectively I could never have been good enough as it was physically impossible.
28th September 2021 at 3:14 am #131956TiaMariaParticipant
Or, framing it another way, you were always good enough. He is just a sick individual.
28th September 2021 at 8:47 am #131960BananaboatParticipant
As everyone has said this is part of the abuse but boy can I relate, because if you’re anything like me I’m not acting like myself (because of the abuse) and I am sad/miserable and do have a breaking point where I react which then plays into their hands. You sound like you’re on the right path, be strong
28th September 2021 at 9:00 am #131961EggshellsParticipant
The other ladies have said all the things I was going to say. Somehow, I still don’t think it’s enough to convince you.
The answer to this question ‘Was it me?’ has to come from inside yourself.
Your counsellor should be able to ask the right questions for you to answer. Questions like “Do you feel that you are abusive towards anyone else in your life?”
Try to ditch the “buts” – “No, I don’t think I’m abusive to anyone else but…..” My sister once told me “don’t shove your “but” in other people’s faces.”
The honest answer is usually the first part of your answer, the bit before the “but”.
If the whole world thought you were a monster, then the whole world would stay away – including all the women on the forum. Trust me, these ladies can spot an abusive personality at 20 paces. They wouldn’t be responding to you and trying to resaaure you if there was even a hint that you’re abusive!
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