When abusers abuse, it’s a shock to our system. Everything leading up to the first abusive incident couldn’t prepare you for the emotional pain. Remember in the beginning when your partner seemed to love every ounce of you? Remember how you could share everything? Your abuser, male or female, wanted you – really. Your partner wanted to eat you up, every ounce of you, because you had something she wanted for herself. So what changed? Why do abusers abuse?
Abusers Abuse Because They Don’t Feel, They Mimic
Unlike feeling people, unlike you, your abuser is only an observer of human behavior. Unlike you, an authentic human being, your abuser must pretend to be authentic by mimicking the behaviors of others.
When your abuser ‘loved’ you, she loved you because you taught her something new, showed them something unfamiliar, broadened her horizon. You enriched her dictionary on what it means to be human.
You have felt this infatuation before – kind of how you may absolutely adore a wonderful auntie or motivational guru. You know that you can never “be” that person although she has a gift you admire. You may even choose to mimic the person you adore to an extent because they have a special something that you want to emulate. You may check in with them often or feel a need to let them know you appreciate their style, their gifts, and their effect on you. That person touched your heart and made you want to be a better person.
Your abuser felt a similar infatuation when he found you. He saw a light in you that he wanted for himself. But your abuser, not knowing how to feel appreciation for another person, saw only a “thing” they wanted. A zest for life, creativity, warmth and kindness…the abuser wanted what you had. From the beginning, your abuser looked at you as an object from which they could extract life.
Confusion From Merely Observing Makes Abusers Abuse
After studying you for some time and not finding a difference in himself confused him. You didn’t do what he wanted you to do for him. You did not fill his empty world, his empty heart. You did not give him what he expected. He saw other people “in love” and thought that those two people must give one another some thing because, only able to look at people in a Petri dish, this is the logical conclusion.
Unable to feel, she did not understand what it means to be angry with herself. She observes people get angry at one another and act in mean and vicious ways. She acts out those behaviors on you because she knows some people use anger to get what they want. Anger works well – it makes the target want to make the angry outburst stop.
Abusers cannot know that sometimes the source of vicious anger comes from being angry at ourselves (because the abuser doesn’t feel like other people do). Chances are, they’ve seen inappropriate anger a thousand times. Just as they cannot know what it’s like to be angry at themselves, they cannot comprehend loving themselves either. Abusers are empty inside, and they do not have a moment of peace from the emptiness within.
We Want to Help Abusers Stop Abusing
Yes, being empty inside is very sad. Yes, we wish we could be the one to turn on the feelings for our abusers. We want to see them happy! We think they can feel happy because, in the beginning, looking at them from our vantage point, they certainly acted happy. Don’t make the same mistake your abuser makes. Understand that behavior does not always reflect the truth. Acting and being are two different things.
An abuser’s mind is weak because it cannot attach itself to their heart. Abusers are cunning and smart, masters at planning, persuasion, and execution. An abuser’s intelligence minus the ability to feel makes him or her dangerous.
- Entitled – Blog written during my abusive marriage to explain why abusers abuse
- Check out Pride and Greed – a fable about why abusers abuse and how their targets get sucked into the mess.