It’s always best to ask someone, “What happened to you?” Conversely, it is assuming, accusatory and judgemental to ask someone, “What’s wrong with you?” I've been surrounded by loveless acts and self-propagating thinking errors my entire life. And yes, taken part in them myself.
This is what I observed of both my childhood and subsequent adult abusers:
When an loveless act is to the abuser's personal advantage, they believe it to be the right action regardless of how it affects any other person. So, because they can initiate a loveless or abusive act, they believe it is the right thing to do.
When they tell us something, they expect us to believe them because they said it. They deflect their own issues by choosing a victim, then proceed to gaslight their victim so that the victim believes that they are the one with the mental illness rather than the abuser.
Gaslighting - The practice of brainwashing or convincing a mentally healthy individual that they are going insane or that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false. The term “Gaslighting” is based on the 1944 MGM movie “Gaslight”.
In so doing, they learn to believe their own lies. They loose the capability to discern their own lies from reality. Within themselves, they forget where reality ends and false perception begins.
They have no substantiation for their actions and rarely do their behaviors or words make any logical sense to a healthy mind. They constantly "correct" those around them.
Belittling, Condescending and Patronizing - This kind of speech is a passive-aggressive approach to giving someone a verbal put-down while maintaining a facade of reasonableness or friendliness.
Abusers see their own capacity for empathy as weakness. Abusers adamantly refuse to see any perspective other than their own.
When the abused attempts to resist this irrational control, they are labelled bad or perceived as the enemy by the abuser and they are therefore gaslighted by the abuser.
Abusers refuse to follow their own actions through to conclusion to see the damage caused to the abused. After all, the abuser has already labelled the abused as bad or mean to me.
Emotional Blackmail - A system of threats and punishments used in an attempt to control someone’s behaviors.
The abuser initiates smear campaigns against the abused who resist the abusers’ irrational behavior. The abuser attempts to garner support from the unknowing while they encourage the unknowing to believe that the abused are bad or mean to me.
And, the abuser does this while they desperately cling to the untruth that they are right when nothing could be more wrong.
This is what I think:
Very few humans are born his way. These thinking errors are the result of loveless acts towards the abuser that can take place at any point in any body's life.
In other words, traumatic events happened to them that caused their mind and heart to revert to the (very) human instinctual defenses of survival.
If they did not revert to their own instinctual human survival defense, they might not have lived through the loveless acts that happened to them.
Blaming - The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.
No one deserves to be condemned to a life of darkness because of “what happened” to them. The capacity for these thinking errors exist in every one and we all exhibit these behaviors to some degree at some time in our lives.
It is the responsibility of those around them to encourage the abuser to seek help to correct their thinking errors so that they can walk in the light of love rather than the darkness of thinking errors.
When the abuser’s behaviors are ignored or rationalized away, the abuser is condemned to a life of darkness by the people whose responsibility it is to nurture them towards a better life.
Here are some ironic facts as I perceive them:
When the people who attempt to steer this abuser towards the light are not themselves strong enough in their own life value system, they will be sucked into the darkness and might not find their way back to the light.
This is why higher level spiritual or professional therapy is the preferred treatment for any individual who wants to improve their life, rather than reliance upon the opinion of amateur family and friends.
Amateur family and friends who are emotionally entwined usually have these same issues as the person they attempt to help. This is why crisis based generational trauma exists (a topic for another note.)
When these family and friends who have these same issues step in to help the abuser OR the abused, they do so in an attempt to deflect away from their own issues as I explained earlier.
Scapegoating - Singling out one child, employee or member of a group of peers for unmerited negative treatment or blame.
In other words, they often do so in attempt to make themselves look better than the person they to want to help. In fact, these helpful actions make them yet another abuser to the abused, as they use the abused person as a scapegoat to deflect their own thinking errors, i.e., “I’m helping you so I must be OK.”
What is more interesting is that these helpful people usually don’t know they do this for the wrong reasons. Their actions are survival and fear based and are derived from a subconscious level of thought.
Rarely will a person who needs help willingly seek help when they are pushed into it by a person who uses them as an scapegoat to deflect their own behaviors.
It takes courageous acts of love to correct the damage of loveless acts. —Susan Daniels
In addition, the inclination of some well-meaning family and friends is to hold an abuser in limbo rather than to steer them towards any meaningful or effective outside high-level spiritual or mainstream professional treatment.
This is especially true if the family or friend has something to gain from keeping this individual in limbo. Something to gain can look like fear of loosing love, fear of change, fear of loosing finances, fear of loosing sex, etc. These reasons can go on indefinitely.
For certain, the lack of positive action to help someone who needs it is fear based.
Fear of Abandonment — An irrational belief that one is imminent danger of being personally rejected, discarded or replaced.
Any act or lack of action, based in fear, is a loveless act. This perpetrates generational trauma. And, again this is often unknowingly derived from a subconscious level of thought.
As a result, the people who attempt to steer this abuser towards the light are perceived as the enemy by these family and friends, when in fact, the ones who see the behaviors of this abuser with rational, non-accusation intent are the ones who lovingly offer a path to greater quality of life.
Together We Light the Way