Being interested in why people do the things they do, I’ve wondered why some people abuse & others don’t. Recently, God helped to answer that question for me. I hope this will help you to understand as well.
***Before I go any further though, please know that I am not saying these reasons make it acceptable to abuse. It is NEVER acceptable to abuse anyone, for any reason! You have every right to protect yourself from abusive people, & you should do so for the sake of your physical & mental health!! I only wondered about this as a matter of curiosity, & thought I would share since others may wonder as well.***
An odd memory popped into my mind recently: when I went to see my father at work probably 20 years ago, I ran into one of his coworkers I’d never met before while I was looking for him. I asked if she’d seen him & she said yes, he was over there. She also said she was glad I wasn’t her employee with the way I looked. I was blown away! I was wearing jeans, a simple shirt & my black biker jacket- granted, not professional but also not offensive. Besides, I wasn’t going to this place for work. Thankfully that was the only time I ever met this person.
As I remembered this, I realized it wasn’t just her- many people have thought they could do & say any old thing to me & if I got mad in return, I was treated like I was the one with the problem. Some examples are:
- My narcissistic mother. Too much to list here, as you can imagine..lol
- My mother in-law. Where do I start? From day one, she didn’t like me. She told me right after we got married how disappointed she was he married me instead of an old girlfriend (who cheated on him, by the way). She called my granddad stupid (she never met him), told me I should get rid of my cats & my car, has snooped through my purse & so much more. When I got mad at her, she suddenly became the victim, which would start fights between my husband & I.
- Various friends who expected me to do everything for them while they would do nothing in return for me, some even used guilt if I didn’t answer their call immediately. If I said anything, they chewed me out since I was the one who had done them wrong, according to them.
- The husband of a once very good friend of mine, a gay couple, twisted my words around on something I’d written on Facebook, & claimed what I wrote meant I was a “homophob” even though that topic wasn’t what I posted about. My friend never read what I said, or listened to my explanation. He blindly believed his husband, & chewed me out for my “homophobic” ways. Then shortly after, he asked a favor of me. After some prayer, I ended the friendship. It hurt badly & still does, but sadly I think it was for the best.
Things like this are incredibly hateful & hurtful. So what makes people think they can treat another person this way? I wondered about it & asked God. He showed me the answer.
When people are abused, often they try not to be like their abuser. Sometimes, though, they go a different way. They decide rather than be a victim again, they are going to be in control. They’ll hurt someone else before that person can hurt them. If they tear you down, you won’t have it in you to hurt them. They have a deep seated fear of being abused, & this is how they deal with that fear.
People tend to be quite good at reading other people, whether they realize it or not. People like I mentioned in the above paragraph can spot another victim easily, & will abuse that person rather than take a chance that person may be like them- wanting to hurt the other person before that person hurts them. Plus, if someone has been abused before, they are already used to being a victim, which means they will make easy prey for an abuser.
Also, abusers want their victims to themselves. In the situation like I mentioned with my friend & his husband, I believe the husband saw me as a threat somehow, because it didn’t take long after they were married for him to start such strife between my friend & I. That incident happened about 2 weeks after they were married.
These things God showed me made a great deal of sense to me. I don’t really understand thinking as abusers do, but I can see how someone could think that way. It’s a dysfunctional form of self-preservation.