“Reactive Abuse” They Call You Abusive for Reacting To Their Abuse

Definition for Reactive abuse

Abuse is not extreme pressure. It is mistreatment. However people react to being mistreated is OK.

A very common aspect of psychological abuse and manipulation is for the abuser to claim that the victim is being abusive towards them. I’ve written about the abusers “victim complex”, and “gaslighting” in this manner before.   But right now I want to address the specific scenario in which the victim snaps at the abuser. They endure and endure, they have been told that there is nothing to react to, they have been told they overreact to everything, so they are afraid to mention their hurt, and confusion, and cannot acknowledge they are being abused. The endure so much for so long, they snap. They scream at the abuser. Insult them. Maybe even throw in a low-blow or unfair insult and sometimes violence. They may even physically attack, although this is very very uncommon in victims of abuse. The abuser jumps on this reactionary outburst. They claim it is “proof” that the victim is unstable. They claim it is “proof” that the victim is the abuser after all. They can hold it up, and hold it against the victim for as long as they can, and as hard as they can.

They are not interested in talking things out. They are not interested in listening to why this outburst has happened. They have their “proof”, and that’s all they ever needed from the victim. They get to say things like, “YOU’RE the one who frightened ME”, and “you are an emotional time bomb” and “I have to walk on eggshells around you”, and have the victim believe it.  While the abuser is the actual time-bomb, and the victim is frightened and walking on egg shells, but dare not admit it or bring attention to it, or has been so deeply abused they don’t even see it themselves.  The abuser turns the roles, and paints themselves as the victim.  This leads the victim to believe they are in fact the abusive one in the relationship. They now believe they are violent and emotionally unstable, and may start describing themselves as such and seeking help for these problems.  If they break away from the abuser, they stand no chance at all against the Smear Campaign the abuser then launches. Partially because they believe they -were- wrong.

Abuse is not extreme pressure. It is mistreatment. However people react to being mistreated is OK.

The victim’s psychological response to being abused does not classify as ‘violence’. I don’t think anyone would say that a rape victim fending off her attacker with pepper spray counts as violence. An individual’s normal human reaction to deliberate provocation by an individual who cleverly orchestrated the entire situation, hoping to manufacture that exact reaction out of them, is completely OK. It’s pure bear-baiting. Reactive abuse is not a case of ‘two wrongs’. It’s a case of one wrong committed by one individual. Reactive abuse has only one victim, not two. Responding to abuse is not a form of abuse in itself and the victim does not owe any apology to the provocateur.

“Reactive Abuse” almost never actually harms the true abuser it was aimed at – in fact it is often exactly what they wanted, and only bolsters their sense of self-righteousness and fuels their power over the victim.  A good way to tell a victim who reacted to abuse, and a psychologically abusive person creating a smear campaign against a victim is their attitudes toward their own actions. This quality is actually what the abuser uses against them in the first place to make them believe they are the ones in the wrong.

 Abusers will almost never admit they have ever done anything wrong at all. Their victims will be blamed for everything. They will hold every tiny thing against the victim, even things they could not possibly control, or they have never tried to talk to them about. They use social bigotries against the victim, and in their own defense. (Especially mental illness is used in this way – they believe their own illness excuses them from every wrongdoing, and their victims illness is proof they are in the wrong).   The most dangerous, most intelligent psychologically abusive people will even try to fake being able to admit their own mistakes. But they almost always get tripped up in the details, by claiming “oh I handled that badly -” but following it up with “-but only because of (something that is the victims fault after all)”.

The reaction that victims give out while being abused is not a choice and does not warrant guilt or shame. Since when is feeling guilt and shame a part of healing?

Source: psychologytoday

#educateyourself #stopnarcissisticabuse #NPD #BPD #PTSD #CPTSD
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