Myths about Psychological Abuse

The victim needs to find their part in the abuse.

Abuse victims already blame themselves. That’s precisely why they’re still with their abusers. They’ve been told repeatedly how worthless they are, that they push the abuser’s buttons, and that’s why they rage. If they think the abuser’s behaviour is all their fault, why would they leave? All they need to do is fix themselves, and the abuse will stop. It’s only when victims realise that the abuse won’t change regardless of what they do that they can set themselves free.

It’s only when victims see that they’re not to blame that they become empowered enough to leave.

The victim keeps going back so it can’t be abuse.

Psychological abuse is sneaky. It doesn’t stand on a soapbox and announce what it is, otherwise victims wouldn’t tolerate it. Abusers are rarely all bad. They have masks of awesomeness, which give way to gaslighting, rage, and other forms of abuse. Their faux “compassion” usually follows, rescuing victims from the harm they, themselves, have caused, which causes trauma bonds that become stronger with every abuse cycle.

Victims try to leave an average of seven times before they manage to stick to their decisions.


Abuse is a defence against hurt feelings

People put up defensive barriers to protect themselves from attack. The action of someone on the defence is to build a wall to protect themselves. They don’t open fire. Abusers go well beyond that. They attack their victims. This is not a defensive manoeuvre, but an offensive one. It’s an attempt to control, manipulate, and harm.

Abusers don’t abuse because their feelings are hurt. They do it to control their partners.

Couples Counselling or therapy will work

Abuse specialists advise against psychotherapy and couples counselling almost universally. Abusers use the extra vulnerability their victims offer up during therapy sessions to gather information and ammunition for future attacks. Their abuse often escalates when counselling begins. Abusers also tend to manipulate therapists in one-on-one psychotherapy, so only specialised programs for abusers are suggested. Here, victims are the primary clients, and they participate in the process to prevent the abuser from using dishonesty to avoid being accountable. Even so, it takes years and plenty of active participation to bring change, and a lifetime of work to maintain that change. Very few abusers manage to achieve that. Those with personality disorders cannot be cured. Ever.

The abuse is mutual

Abusers use crazymaking behaviour and gaslighting to unsettle their victims, so they aren’t going to be the picture of sanity and serenity. They’ve been systematically pulled apart in a hundred different ways over months or years. Trauma, depression, suicidal ideation, and even PTSD are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. If the victim is happy, sane, and free, there is very likely no abuse because cruelty causes symptoms, and they aren’t pretty.

There is no such thing as abnormal behaviour in a combat situation.

Abuse is a problem of self-control and anger

Usually, when an abuser rages, it’s not a symptom of anger, but a desire to control. If abusers are so bad at controlling their tempers, why are they not throwing hissy fits at armed musclemen who are 6 ft.6 tall? Why aren’t they raging in front of the police? Abusers have control when they rage and they rage in order to gain control over their victims.

“Your abusive partner doesn’t have a problem with his anger. He has a problem with your anger.” Lundy Bancroft


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