I was walking home from feeding my horse today and a thought entered my mind, as an abuse Survivor I have been asked to carry a lot of unnecessary guilt. Perhaps you are familiar with that. Perhaps your abuser blames you for their latest outburst or perhaps their family says, “well if you just did this……he wouldn’t explode.” Let me tell you right now that this is not your guilt to carry. None of it.
It is extremely rare for an abuser to ever take responsibility for their actions. That is simply why they never change. They may say they are sorry, but it is not just their words that need to change, their actions must change as well. The majority of the time an abuser will apologize because they are afraid of losing their control over you so they apologize and perhaps say they accept some blame simply to win you back. This is called the Honeymoon stage in the abuse cycle. That part of the cycle may last for a month, or a week or maybe even just a day but without professional help an abuser will abuse again. So please do not look at these apologies as the abuser taking responsibility. These apologies are a part of them continuing to manipulate you so that they can continue controlling and abusing you.
Instead of taking responsibility an abuser will put the blame on you for what has happened. Sometimes they verbalize it by saying, “If you had just left me alone……or “If you had just kept the kids quiet I wouldn’t have….”or some other statement like that. Please do not think for a moment that any of this is your fault. The abuser is completely responsible for their own actions. They are adults and are able to know the difference between right and wrong. Please do not take on the responsibility that their abusive actions are your fault. Yes they want you to believe they are your fault so that your self esteem is crushed and they do not have to be held responsible for what they have done. All of this wears you down, keeps you weak and makes you easier to control. Instead of being their victim, be a Survivor and say, “No, it was your choice to yell or hit and throw” (or whatever it is that they did). They made the choice to hurt you and yes they knew exactly what they did. Let me also tell you that you could be completely perfect by keeping the kids quiet or making sure the house was clean and they will still abuse you. Blaming you for your actions is just their way of justifying their abuse to themselves and often to others. Unfortunately there are others who will agree with them, but please know that without a doubt NONE of this abuse is your fault. It is all theirs. So let go of that responsibility and that guilt! Hold your head high and know that you deserve more than this abuse. Be free!
If you are thinking of leaving your abusive relationship I encourage you to create a Safety Plan. Like a how a fire drill helps you safely escape a fire, a Safety Plan helps you safely leave an abusive relationship. Please check out this link; http://verbalabusejournals.com/how-stop-abuse/safety-planning/ Scroll down the page it opens to download it for free.
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