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Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

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Jennaholt Offline
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Angry and stricken - April 20th 2019, 05:27 PM

I was talking to one of my friends about the things I went through in my abusive relationship. Some of the things that happened clearly seem very psychopathic now but I never really noticed/realized them during the relationship. It's almost like he spelled it out for me but I chose to overlook it. Maybe I thought it was all coming from a place of love? Idk. I just find it so hard to believe and I'm so shocked that I didn't notice all those. It feels like I was a blind person. How do we not notice such behavior and recognize them as abusive or even just bad behaviour?

So when I told my friend, she said "yeah honestly I don't know how you were that blind". I know what she meant but it really hurt and made me feel more disappointed with myself.

1 more thing. Do abusers ever change? Do they realize the damage they did or is it easier for them to dismiss it?
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Clarent Offline
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Re: Angry and stricken - April 20th 2019, 06:08 PM

When you're in love, or simply enamoured with somebody, it's very easy to accept obvious, damaging issues present from day one. Even if you can clearly see them, people will often attempt to explain them, to make them easier to accept.

Ignoring obvious red flags is, unfortunately, rather common, especially if you get strongly attached to people, and have a tendency to become dependent on somebody, emotionally or otherwise (nothing wrong here, some people just are like that, myself included).

The risk I took was calculated, but boy, am I bad at math.
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Re: Angry and stricken - April 20th 2019, 07:01 PM

Well, I'll tell you one thing: while your friend may or may not be right, she could have worded it much more kindly. I can see why it makes you feel worse, because your friend was basically victim-shaming you, saying you were too blind to see all the abuse that was happening.

Abusers manipulate their prey, they are slick with their words and actions. They make it so you don't even realize what is going on until the situation has passed or second guess yourself while it is happening.

You did nothing wrong.
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Celyn Offline
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Re: Angry and stricken - April 22nd 2019, 03:19 PM

I'm sorry to hear that you were in an abusive relationship. As it's been said, when we are in relationships and have feelings for others, it can be really easy to let bad behaviours slide and dismiss it, more so if the person apologised or tried to explain it. We may also dismiss our own feelings in the process and tell ourselves that it wasn't that bad etc. When we look back in hindsight we can be shocked to realise just how toxic the relationship was for us. But it wasn't your fault for not recognising. Some times, abusers can seem to be really nice to us and this can make it all the more harder to notice abuse.

I'm sorry to hear what your friend said. It does seem quite insensitive and though you know what she meant, it still upset you. It can be easy for others on the outside to pick up on bad behaviour and wonder why you couldn't see it. But that's the power of abuse, and unfortunately, unless someone has been in an abusive relationship, it can be difficult for others to understand. Do you have other people in your life that you can talk to that might be a bit more understanding? If not, you might want to look into counselling as counsellors can help you after an abusive situation by validating your feelings. Try not to be disappointed in yourself. You weren't to know that you were being abused and though it's been a horrible experience for you, it means that you can also learn from it- red flags of abuse, what behaviour is acceptable/unacceptable, boundaries, self-worth etc.

Your question about whether abusers can change or whether it's easier for them to dismiss the abuse is interesting and complex. So there's no straightforward answer, I'm afraid. Some abusers may get to a place in life where they self-reflect, get help and become aware of how their behaviour has harmed others and how to change that. Other's never do, perhaps because they might not be able to gain self-awareness of their behaviour, other times, simply not wanting to as they may lack empathy and just don't care. Some abusers say that they've changed and want to try again, only for people to find out that they never changed at all. Whatever way you look at it, you can't change other people. But you can focus on yourself and your feelings and get the help you deserve to overcome the abusive relationship

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