Do you find yourself often asking the question, are they or aren’t they? Abusive situations are not always easy to spot, even for the victims themselves. An abuser will often hide their lower tendencies behind acts of kindness or sweet words in between episodes. Some can even behave in a thoughtful and considerate manner MOST of the time. Many come across as quite normal…until something snaps again, and they let loose. The nightmare comes out once more and shatters the glass house they spent so long building back up. All that is left are the shards, and the victim is thrown back into the hell they thought they had escaped from with the rug pulled out from under them as they grasp for security.
See, the victim had convinced themselves that all that happened in the past was okay somehow. Either it was bad timing due to the abuser or victim being ill, a stressful event that occurred at the time, or the victim simply tells themselves that it was their fault for doing something to cause the abuser to react in such an extreme way. It is more than likely that the abuser reinforces and perpetuates this sort of thinking for the victim by either directly or passive aggressively expressing that it was the victim’s fault for making them so upset, the classic “you made me do it”.
When the abuse strikes again, the victim is reeling from the shock of what had just happened. Abusers can tend to hold in their anger until a seemingly normal situation comes across at just the wrong time and then disaster strikes. The victim never really knows what could set them off and therefore may not be prepared at all for what’s to come. This sort of abuse behavior pattern is one of the easiest to justify to the victim as “just being in a bad mood”. If you are unsure whether or not a person is just in a bad mood or whether they are acting in an abusive manner, take a look at one of our previous posts on how to identify abusive behavior.
Bad moods, stressful situations, mistakes made by a partner, etc. are not reasons for a person to behave in these ways. Many people go through these situations and do not behave in an abusive fashion towards others. When someone is acting abusive, there is no such thing as a good excuse. There is nothing that can justify this sort of behavior, despite them trying to convince you otherwise. It is not okay and should not be tolerated.
Abuse almost always gets worse with time, and will return regardless of the pleading and promising of the partner. However, there are very rare situations, the more mild and where unhealthy behavior is just starting, where it might be beneficial to re-establish boundaries and may be necessary for you to assert these yourself. Talk to the abuser in a direct, clear manner and let them know that the behavior is not okay and will not be tolerated. Tell them if it happens once more, that you will be leaving, and be prepared to do so. Only you can judge whether your situation is mild enough to give something like this a shot. For most cases, it would be unwise to provoke someone with these tendencies, especially if you feel unsafe. In most cases that display this abuse pattern, it would be best to get outside help from a friend or family member. Find someone who you can rely on to be a support network for you and find a place you can reside temporarily until you can locate a permanent place to stay. Tell your friend or family member what is going on as they will help you stay strong in your decision. Do not let the abuser persuade you with manipulative tactics to get you to come back to them, as they are likely to try.
It can be difficult to make the decision to leave, many never do. Instead, they continue to justify the behaviour of the abuser and let their self-esteem erode until there is nothing left of who they were before, becoming a shell of themselves while empty inside. This abuse behaviour pattern is one of the easiest to dismiss, as it may occur less often or with less intensity than other types. However, it can cause much inner turmoil, heartbreak, and confusion while the victim slowly loses who they once were. Love does not behave in this way. What is happening is not love. Regardless of your feelings for this other person, you should never have to sacrifice your well-being. Someone who truly loves you and wants what is best for you would never ask you to endure a situation like this. Look out for yourself and get away as soon as you are able. Seeing a therapist will also help to strengthen your resolve or provide aid towards getting your self-worth back.
When in the midst of an abusive situation, it may be difficult to think clearly and come up with a solution to remedy the abuse, while trying to implement it may feel almost impossible. However, given the right tools and the will power to create change, it most certainly is possible, even more so– it is probable. Many may feel overwhelmed and may not know where to start, but it is important to start somewhere.
Please continue to check in with us each week for a new post about abusive behavior and how it can affect your life and the lives of those around you. There is always that first action to helping someone you care about. Let this be it!
Author Bio - Anna Czarska is a writer and actor who has 15+ years of experience dealing with various situations of abuse. She has pursued business ventures and creative pursuits as well as spending time to study psychology in both formal and personal education. For more information, you may find her Linkedin profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kasiakraut/