Stop Asking Victims To Feel Compassion For Abusers!

There are so many victims who have been told, scolded really, that they need to have compassion on & even feel pity for their abusers.  People say stupid things like, “You can’t get mad at him!  He just doesn’t know better because his father did the same thing to him!”  “That is your mother & if you really were a Christian like you say you are, you wouldn’t get mad at her!  You would honor her!”

Some people who say such stupid comments are well meaning, yet ill informed.  Mostly though, such people are quite aware of their comments & the effects they have.  Their goal is to shut their victim down by invalidating or shaming them.  Maybe they have their own abusive past, & your situation reminds them of theirs.  Being too cowardly to face their own demons, they attempt to shut you down instead.  Or, maybe they have bought the narcissist’s “good guy/gal” act, & you speaking the truth threatens that.  Rather than face the ugly truth, they try to shut you down so their delusion can stay in tact.  I’m sure there are countless reasons that people say such cruel remarks.  These are only a couple of possibilities.

I don’t think that people who say such ludicrous statements stop for one second to consider the ridiculousness of their words, only the effect they wish to have.  I mean, what sense does it make to feel pity for someone who deliberately causes you pain?  This actually reminds me of something my father told me.  When he was 15, he was driving home one night when the local drunk hit his car head on, flipping his car over into a ditch.  My father nearly died from the traumatic brain injury, yet people told him he should feel sorry for the man who hit him.  Think about that for a second.. people said he should feel sorry for the man who decided not only to get drunk, but to get behind the wheel of his car in that condition, endangering everyone else on the road & nearly killing my father.  Why feel sorry for him rather than my father who lived with lifelong health problems stemming from this man’s poor choices?!  As far as I know, the situation with my father didn’t even stop this man from driving drunk.  Maybe if someone had confronted him, & made him realize the depths of the problems his actions caused, he might have stopped driving drunk.

They are also supporting someone’s choice to hurt other people.  How does this make any sense at all?!  No normal, functional person would support someone who deliberately chooses to hurt another person.  They know what it’s like to hurt, & don’t want others to feel that way.

Instead of encouraging victims to feel compassion for their abusers, why not support a victim who has had the courage to escape the abuse & tell their story?  Tell them they are brave & strong.  Tell them you admire them for having the strength & fortitude to survive what they have experienced.  Encourage them to share their story in whatever way will help them & hopefully also will help raise awareness.  Listen to them.  Validate them.

And if you somehow end up talking to an abuser, don’t excuse what they did.  Abusers need to know what they did was bad & why.  They also need to know that they hurt their victim & there was no good reason to do it.  They need to be aware of the fact that to abuse another person is a choice, just like being good to another person is a choice, & they chose the wrong thing to do.  Hold this person accountable!  Maybe doing so will open their eyes somehow & make them see that they need to make some changes in their behavior.  It’s certainly worth a try though, isn’t it?

7 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

7 responses to “Stop Asking Victims To Feel Compassion For Abusers!

  1. I suppose after so many tries at telling the abuser what they did, you have to “cut bait” and either go gray rock or no contact. At least my last attempt to explain my side was done in a calm voice. It caused such a narcissist rage I really thought we were done. But alas, last night there were 2 voice messages on my phone. These messages come every 2 weeks I’ve noticed. I think my day of trying to explain is over. So now I have a decision to make – either change the locks and phone numbers, or resign myself to a life of gray rock. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Look at how strong you’ve become though… it wasn’t that long ago no contact wasn’t an option. You’re healing & getting stronger by the day! That’s awesome!! Whichever option you choose, gray rock or no contact, you’re going to do well at it.

      I wonder if 2 weeks is your mother trying to keep her foot in the door in case she needs you.

      No matter how you explain your side to a narcissist, chances of rage are excellent. You’re criticizing them & we know how “well” they handle that.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I just got off the phone with her. She acted like our last call never happened and wanted to know how we should get together for “our birthdays” (our birthdays a week apart – so it’s always “Our birthdays”). I said I would check my schedule and get back with her. I committed to nothing.

        I’m sure whatever she called for last night was very different from the 2 minute conversation we just had. I’m sure last night she was bored and wanting narcissistic supply. This morning, she probably has plans for the rest of the day, and fighting with me seems much less important on her agenda.

        Either way, I need to embrace the fact that when she calls me, it’s never about me. It’s not a “wellness check” on me. She’s looking for something for herself.

        Liked by 1 person

        • ibikenyc

          Yeah, like you’re a magazine in the doctor’s waiting room or something (eyeroll).

          Good for you for telling her you’d check your schedule!!!

          Liked by 2 people

          • YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!! The magazine in the doctor’s office!! Yes! I t truly, truly, think that is all I am, Once she has gotten me to take her negative emotion, she is satisfied and done. If I wait her out, she’ll move onto her next victims.

            Liked by 2 people

            • ibikenyc

              I’m so glad that struck a chord with you!

              You struck one with me, too: I have — HAD — a cousin who used to make me feel that way all the time. I think I’ll be journalling about her quite a bit in the coming days.

              Liked by 2 people

        • Ain’t that the truth: she’s looking for something for herself. That’s how they all are. I remember my parents saying they just called to see how I was doing & thinking “Yea, right.. You just called to dump all that on me like I’m a trashcan so you can feel better.”

          Liked by 3 people

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