Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Abuse is not.....Your Fault

“Look what you made me do”

“You’ve made me become something I hate”
“You always push my buttons”

“You push and push until you make me snap just so you can claim the moral high ground”

“If you’d just stop nagging”
“You hurt me with your words, all I have left to fight back with is my strength”

“Why don’t you think before you speak? You say such nasty things”

“You backed me into a corner, I didn’t know what else to do”
“I just wanted you to shut up”
“If you had just cleaned the kitchen properly none of this would have happened”
“If you would just discipline the children I wouldn’t have to play bad cop all the time” 
“You know I  hate Sunday mornings” “you know I hate family dinners” “you know I hate walking”
“You always demand so much of my time, it’s frustrating”
“You make me so stressed, why can’t you do more so I don’t get stressed”

“You hurt me so much by being such a whore”

“I just wanted you to pay attention to me”

These are all words that I heard over and over for a long time.  I bet you have heard similar, you’ve probably heard different things but they all amount to the same thing “It’s your fault I abuse you, you get what you deserve.”
This is the last in my ‘abuse is not series’ and contains the most important message I have for you. If you take away one thing and one thing only from reading any of my blog know this:

It is NOT your fault

That’s right

It is NOT your fault.

Not one iota of it. Not even 1% of it. He’s spent so much time trying to convince you you’re to blame that perhaps you have started to believe it. If he’s really manipulative like mine he will have appeared to take some responsibility, but ultimately the end of the ‘making up phase’ will have ended not only with him making a commitment to change but with you also promising not to wind him up or something equally unachievable. You will have been left feeling that although he shouldn’t have done it you were partly to blame for some ‘miscommunication’ that led to some ‘misunderstanding’ that was so difficult for him that he simply had to behave like an animal. In my case I was always made to feel that he treated me badly because he was unhappy, and as his wife it was my job to make him happy, if he was unhappy it was because of something I was, or wasn’t doing. This is not true.

And if you’ve left him you have probably had well-meaning but ultimately ignorant people tell you that you simply must be partly to blame, after all, when a relationship breaks down it’s usually not the fault of only one party. Wrong. In the case of abuse it’s entirely the fault of the abuser.

I found as a Christian this was particularly the case, I had well-meaning Christians counselling me to “focus on what I could have done differently” and “confess my sins before the Lord.” There’s something about the Christian understanding that we are not perfect and need salvation from our sin that causes some Christians to recommend we introspectively look for the ‘forgotten’ sin we committed whenever something goes wrong in our lives. Job had friends like this too. However, sometimes things go wrong because of someone else’s sin. Sometimes we are sinned against, and it’s not mutual. This is the case if you have been abused.

I also had a therapist tell me that “it takes two to tango” that “abused women must somehow get something out of abusive relationships or they’d leave” To put it bluntly this is a right load of old bollocks. I got rid of that therapist quick sharp. Unfortunately a massive proportion of people have absolutely no conception of the dynamics of abusive relationships, occasionally these people are professionals. If like me you have the mis-fortune of encountering one of these people know that you are well within your rights to ask for a different therapist, have the confidence to do so. It has become increasingly important to me to think carefully whose advice I take and whose words I listen to.

I even found that some friends took his side and said I was to blame. “sounds like she needed a bit of the Ike Turner treatment mate” or “you’re such a gentle man, you’d never hit a woman without provocation, she needs behaviour modification.” These people are not your friends, they are morons. Cut them out of your life.

No matter what he tells you, no matter what friends, pastors, family, professionals might tell you, let me re-iterate

It is NOT your fault.

Your abuser was an adult. Whether he was drunk, drugged, hurting or mentally ill. Whether he had been abused himself or whether he had anger management issues; he was an adult. He made a choice. He knew the difference between right and wrong. He knew he was causing pain to another human being; and he did it anyway. He always, ALWAYS had a choice not to do it. He could have resolved his problems in any number of ways. But he didn’t. Whether you simply didn’t wash the pots or whether he found you in bed with his brother and best friend at the same time, he had NO RIGHT to abuse you. Whether you behaved badly or were the model wife, whether you cowered in a corner or argued back, he CHOSE his reaction, he CHOSE abuse. Not you. You are not to blame. He is. 100%

And don’t let anybody EVER tell you differently.


Sally Hope
If you haven't already click the tab at the top of this post to read the rest of the 'abuse is not' series

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you have been through a hard time. I am glad you have escaped and are empowering others.


Thanks for your comments and encouragement.