Do I Have to Make Amends to My Abuser?
Question: Sometimes I was verbally abusive towards my husband. This came after mountains of neglect, rejection and emotional abuse. I sometimes doubt my reconciling on this matter. I think my response makes sense under my personal circumstances and yet I acknowledge it is my responsibility to amend those “reactions” to the abuse.
I am unsure if this is healthy to do especially with an abuser. In fact, I know it is not a safe idea but in the past, he used these moments as evidence of my weaknesses and it was a weakness, but weakness that came from neglect, rejection, and abuse.
Am I an abuser because I responded to his gaslighting and other tactics with sometimes intensity? Would you consider speaking to this in an upcoming blog post?
Answer: I think you bring up some areas we need to consider and talk through in our blog community. There has been some discussion here about awareness and intent of abusive individuals. Some have said there can be immaturity and a lack of emotional intelligence (EQ) that sometimes leads to people behaving poorly and being afraid of or resisting personal growth.
Others see abusive behavior solely as a tactic to gain control, with an abuser having full knowledge of what he or she is doing. I believe Nancy defined that kind of individual as an evil person with the intent to do harm, where the foolish one might be more ignorant or immature, yet still capable of doing great harm.
You bring in a third category, a caring person who loses control of his or her tongue or temper when repeatedly being oppressed, abused, attacked or gaslighted and neglected. In my interactions with my mother (as I’ve talked about before), I think I had emotional and spiritual immaturity coupled with poor boundaries that allowed me to get so provoked, I would lose it and sometimes lob some verbal bombs back at her, which always left me feeling bad about myself and made only a negative impact on her.