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Child Abuse - Abuser Conscience

by Name Undisclosed
(New York, USA)

I wonder how conscious are abusers about their own behaviors and how they affect people. I've gained unique insights into this because I come from an abusive family. My parents both fought viciously and were quite volatile; screaming matches, smashing objects, slamming doors, psychological torture, etc. But it didn't stop there. My mother chose to abuse me as well. She picked me out of all the other children to unload all her rage and resentments into. She funnelled all her anger about her marriage into one child (me). She never so much as raised her voice at my siblings, as if to make up for all the vitriol she unleashed onto me. In time they too learned to bully me. Of course it was allowed and if I went to my mother for help she would berate and mock me everytime. My sister sneered about how ugly I was and got her friend to join in relentless taunts...for years. After one of my mother's abusive tantrums I would withdraw to recover in my room and my brother would cruise by the door with his friends and chortle "Loser!" or "B***h!" When these buddies of his would see me in school they would encircle me and taunt me with those same words, saying "Her brother says she's a b***h...etc" My brother was more indirect than my sister. He didn't bully me so much as encourage his friends to do so.


What I've learned about abuse:
1. Abusers NEVER acknowledge what they've done to you.
2. Abusers will always resort to denying the abuse using whatever means necessary even if it damages you further—tactics such as trying to turn it around and claim that YOU wronged them, getting enraged, dismissive, contemptuous, shouting you down with self-righteous rage, BLAMING YOU while simultaneous denying what they've done; gas-lighting, quibbling, saying /doing anything to get you off topic; If all that fails they resort to telling you you're crazy, delusional.
3. Abusers find ways to alienate the victim and gain support from others whether it be to recruit others to condone and join the bullying OR gather and manipulate others to support the cover that the victim is crazy and making it all up. They point to the traumatized victim and twist the trauma into a tool to point out to others how unstable the victim is, and therefore he/she is not to be believed, it's used as proof their crazy. Yes, the abuser traumatizes their victim then points to the very effects caused by that torment to invalidate them.

Yes, abusers deny the abuse. I don't know if it's because they really aren't conscious of it or is it because they don't want to take responsibility for it so they go into the several tactics outlined above.

I wonder if they're aware of damaging the victim further by telling them the abuse never happened and they're crazy.

Yet they MUST be aware of what they're doing because they are quite clever at concealing the abuse and only doing it with the select few who condone it. But then they deny it. Is it selective memory, they can't recall anything bad they did because their mindset goes something like this "I am a good person. Therefore, when you say I hurt you, you must be lying. How dare you insinuate I did anything wrong!!" The strength of the anger and self-righteous attacks they unload on you if you dare to talk about the abuse is so adamant, strong, unchallengeable. What is going on here? Do they know their lying? Do they enjoy this? Do they BELIEVE it?????

Does anyone have any insight into the mindset of abusers? Are they conscious of their words and behaviours (if they conceal it and do it selectively so its ensured they get away with it, that suggest they Know what they're doing). Yet the denials are so powerful, the righteous rage, accusing the victim of being making it up "it's all in your head." Are they aware of how the denials and your crazy/unstable/it never happened stuff messes with our head and adds further damage on top of the abuse?

THE BIG QUESTION is HOW CONSCIOUS IS AN ABUSER OF THEIR BEHAVIOR AND HOW IT IS AFFECTING THEIR TARGET?

More of my story...

My parents were abusive, some of my siblings bullied me, and THEY ALL covered up the abuse and pretened all the tantrums and volatility that occurred behind closed doors never happened.

My sister sneered and tormented me about my appearance for years. She'd get her friend to augment it. My mom was no help of course, and she let it go on. If I went for help she'd yell at me and tear me down. My sister was there while our mother would slap me or smash dishes at me, and she thought nothing of it. My mom constantly funnelled all her resentments and rage about her marriage exclusively into me. But maintained sweetness and light for outsiders. Meanwhile the insiders pretend the abuse isn't happening. They do nothing about it. They never speak about it. It's all condoned. Minimized, dismissed, out of mind.

Abusers always deny what they've done, but WHY? For example, my sister bullied me for years telling me I was ugly and getting her friend to do it too. But when I asked her about it she said it never happened. She was adamant, claiming not once, NOT EVER did she make fun of me. She claimed to have no memory even though she'd done it from middleschool years all the way through highschool and a couple years beyond. This is astounding. Does she have no respect for my intelligence, does she think I'll just cave and believe her version if she sticks to it? She also tells the whole family it never happened. They always deny the abuse. She also "can't remember" if our parents were abusive, and she certainly doesn't recall me being abused. One or two incidents of dishes being thrown at me, thats all.
Are they still pretending the abuse isn't happening or have they been doing this so long out of shame (no abuse here! that's shameful! must keep it a secret!) that its become a script they now believe in?

Or are they fully aware of the abuse but simply will do anything to shut you up and make sure it remains underground?

When they tell you it's all in your head and never happened is it because they believe it or because they want YOU to believe it? Is it really that, for lack of a better word, evil?

Do they realize they are choosing to kill the spirit of a child for the sake of preserving their secret and their false self-image?




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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From Victim to Victory
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How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life

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