Reflection on abuse/abuser confusion

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Contessa

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Reflection on abuse/abuser confusion
« on: April 11, 2018, 01:21:18 PM »
I have to begin by apologising for my absence. My recent and steady boost in energy has led me to focus on professionally constructive pursuits. I'm not professionally flourishing yet (just timing and what-not), but in the meantime am building quite a solid resourceful and mental foundation for when it does.

I know this has been discussed before, but for a long time during intense suffering, I would often wonder if it was in fact me that had turned into the narcissist/abuser, and was no longer an innocent victim.

But now as I continually settle, relax, and interact with those I can truly trust in my support network, I've noticed that my self sufficiency, solid independence and ability to be dependable to others is building again. After seven, loooong years.

My reflection leads me to think that yes, abuse was the case in the ever increasing need to protect myself. I was not able to look after myself as I once had, and nobody else was. I was doing the best I could in situations that were ever sustained or elevated in abuse toward me. Had I not already been a boiling pot ready to explode, yes situations could have been more diffuse or avoided altogether.

So maybe yes in terms of protection of myself. But it was that - protection of myself - and not the other - self indulgence, lack of care for others, a need for control of others - that it was done for. That is what the other person was doing.

I'm not who I was before the trauma. But I am getting closer to it, not out of guilt or remorse, but because it is fundamentally what I am; a person who cares for other people.

That is more than enough assurance to feel settled, and know that the answer is no. I am not the narcissist or an abuser. I was in survival mode however.

What are others thoughts?

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Kizzie

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Re: Reflection on abuse/abuser confusion
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2018, 05:47:02 PM »
HI Contessa and no need to apologize for not being here - going off and trying out recovery IRL is to my mind at least a good thing. 

I can see why you might feel you had become an N, we are taught to feel that anything we do to protect ourselves, establish and maintain boundaries is wrong and we should feel shame, guilt for doing so. After years of experience with family who have uNPD and reading about it, the essential element that is missing from that disorder is the ability to self-reflect, to question one's behaviour.  You were reflecting on your behaviour so imo that is 'proof' that what you have accomplished is strengthening your ability to exercise self-protection and -care.

The long and short of it is that I agree wholeheartedly with your self-assessment  :thumbup:  I find it heartening and hopeful to hear you talk about your progress so thanks for sharing  :yes:

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Rainagain

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Re: Reflection on abuse/abuser confusion
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 11:42:28 AM »
I'm very glad you are on the up contessa.

I'm not sure I understood the abuse/abuser thing but it made me recognise something I think is true in my own experience:

My abusive employer treated me really badly, when I complained they sort of seized that as a reason to treat me even worse and also criticise me personally for a situation which was their responsibility and also down to their own negligence.

So they justified their ongoing victimisation of me by seizing on my defensive actions as proof that I was somehow at fault.

I can't really see myself as to blame for anything that happened, but they even now are trying to blame me via legal arguments based on their attitude towards me rather than the facts.

Unless I am delusional they have fabricated stuff to make themselves seem reasonable. Generates huge self doubt in me so its quite effective as a further attack on my shaky sanity.

Let me know if that relates to your post, I think it sort of does.

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Contessa

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Re: Reflection on abuse/abuser confusion
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 07:17:38 AM »
Kizzie, thank you. I have been finding RL much easier to deal with of late, and have regained enough control of to move forward again. That one step backward comes with three steps forward now, and it's not even too bad to deal with. I forgot that angle of reflection. Just something as basic as that is indeed 'proof'.

Rainagain, yes your comment does sort of relate as you said. I'm talking about my general wellbeing without regard to a specific event, yet in those events I would arc up in my defense. However at the same time your experience with your management is spot on; "justifying their ongoing victimisation by using my defensive actions as proof of my fault". That's a brilliant way of saying it. Crazy making tactics sometimes leave you with no other avenue but to scream "*bleep* off!"

Keeping the fingers crossed

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Rainagain

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Re: Reflection on abuse/abuser confusion
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2018, 11:15:55 PM »
Hi contessa,
I'm not sure I did get what you meant, I just mapped it onto my own experiences.
I'm not a harmful toxic person, but I was made to feel so by a really toxic group for their own benefit, I think that is nearer what you experienced, it doesn't make you an abuser, its another aspect of abuse to try to make you feel like an abuser. It prevents the correct outrage from being heard as the situation has been calculatedly muddled up.

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Contessa

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Re: Reflection on abuse/abuser confusion
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 10:48:40 AM »
Not to worry Rainagain.
Yes, the experience you had with your employers is what I have experienced yes.

What I speak of was when when I eventually changed myself. When the anger set in, when I'd had enough of being railroaded when trying to merely work in with people. I don't know if you've seen that episode of the Simpsons when Ned Flanders snaps? I mean that, for longer than the length of one episode ;)

I'm glad i'm not there anymore.

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fighter

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Re: Reflection on abuse/abuser confusion
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 11:24:33 AM »
I am so relating to this. What a number they have done on us :(