What if an abuser wasn’t an abuser?

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

I had been reading about narcissism for the past month or two and I have wondered if it’s possible for a person to not have a good perception of themselves. Let’s say someone tends to say things that are hurtful and rude and harmful, they are demanding and bossy and controlling, they also lose their tempers and get upset easily, they have a selective memory and tend to twist things, they can’t even remember what they say and do and promised. Then one day they read about on narcissism and signs of an abuser and the description seems to fit their ex/partner so the person thinks “ah ha, that explains it, I was a victim of domestic abuse. My partner gas lighted, deliberately not do things, denied ever saying anything, he was controlling, twisted what I would say, was always too sensitive, made me second guess myself and I thought I was crazy.”

This is what I wonder sometimes about victims, is it possible to think a partner was abusive when they weren’t and we were the ones with a problem all along? I keep wondering sometimes if my ex was just innocent and I was the one with the problem and he just happens to fit the descriptions of an abuser. I am not the only one who sometimes second guesses themselves.

I was on Wrongplanet one time and I wrote a post when someone wrote about their narcissist mother. I related to it about how my ex would twist what I would say and it was like I could never say anything right. I used the macaroni and cheese as an example because that is one of the few things I could remember about him when we would have communication issues and I felt I can’t even talk right without it implying anything else. He makes mac and cheese, he all of a sudden says “God damn it” and I asked him what was wrong. He told me he had spilled some in the sink. To cheer him up I say “At least that is less calories for you to have” and he says “You called me fat.” The response I get to this post from another member is “I think that is logical for him to come to that conclusion.” Then the person whom I had replied to said to her she was thinking the same and said about her abusive ex how she had a bag of chips once and her husband said he was going out for a walk and asked for her to come along but then said “To burn off the bag of chips she had just had.”

This part made me look crazy like I was the abuser and the crazy one and my ex was all innocent. If people think there was nothing wrong with what my ex did, what other things have I said that he interpreted the way others would have too, they might question my stories about the fact I was once in a abusive relationship with a narcissist. But they were not there when it happened.

I have talked to one of my online friends and I asked her if she remembers when I was with Jerry and she said she did. I asked her if she can remember what I have told her about him when we were in a relationship together. She said I told her that she was weird and very controlling.

Very controlling. Holy moly. I don’t remember him being very controlling.

I talked to my mom too and the topic of Jerry came up. Mom’s perspective of him was that he was crazy, hated women, had no respect for them, he was beyond help and she told me how when I would talk to her on the phone, we would argue in the background and him yelling at me and I started to hang up on her when he was around so he wouldn’t get upset and she said to my Dad “it’s starting” and she told me the time I called her once on the phone and I was crying and I was in the car I said and he was inside a store, then he came out and I said “I have to go, he is coming or he will get mad” and I hung up. She then told my Dad he had to come out here and get me and have me move in with my aunt and uncle. I remember when she and Dad both came out to visit but she told me it was to get me away from him but they lied about their reason for coming out and it was a harmless lie, a lie that wouldn’t hurt me because if I knew what they were doing, I would have just stayed. This tells me I am not exaggerating and the relationship must have been that bad I don’t even remember. It’s always good to talk to other people like friends or family and ask what they remember so you know you are not crazy or exaggerating or that you have created a memory and you believe it.

But I still wonder how we know this was all intentional than someone just having problems so they don’t mean to do it? Don’t get me wrong, I think abusers have problems too which is why they would do these things. Jerry had problems and I am thinking my mom could have been right that he hated women. I think he often projected, whatever he thought, he assumed others felt that way too. I can remember him telling me that lot of men hate women and I asked him why and he said because women can just lie in court and say they were abused to get custody of the kids or to get them locked up in jail so all I have to do is tell the judge he beat me and bam he will be in jail. He made it sound like it was that simple to get a guy put away, just lie about being abused. But I am not that kind of person to lie to get someone in trouble. I wonder if this is how he feels about women so he thinks lot of men hate women because he does? He even wanted to be a lawyer and go back to school so he can defend men in court against women who lie. But I looked on Facebook and saw she didn’t proceed with that dream and she went for computer design or something. I don’t remember exactly.

But why would someone want to be with women if they don’t like them? Supply of course. He was a narcissist and I was his supply. Also if lot of men hated women, they wouldn’t even be dating them. Projection I call it.

Sometimes every now and then, another person online will make me look crazy and that my ex is all innocent by defending him or saying there is nothing wrong with a certain action a person does such as trying to get their partner to cut off contact with all their online friends who are not the right gender. They make it out to be that I am the defiant one and have no respect for boundaries so I call everyone controlling if they dare to tell someone to not talk to a person online just because they are the opposite gender.

I decided if people have to defend abuse, they are probably an abuser too and would also do that exact same thing. But I sure would hope it was a misunderstanding first. You know, give them the benefit of the doubt.

Also my husband has told me I say lot of things I don’t mean and he doesn’t take offense or have it hurt his feelings because he knows I don’t mean it. He often doesn’t say anything. This makes me wonder what if my ex wasn’t manipulative with his emotions and his emotions were real when he would cry because I always hurt his feelings. He was very emotional. Also the mac and cheese incident, what if that part was legitimate and I am assuming it was one of his games he was playing just because I had read about abusers that they will twist what you say and make you look like the crazy one. But I will never know and it’s probably irrelevant because he wasn’t a good person to be with and his behavior was toxic and I was depressed and had low self esteem and I was having a lot of anxiety in it so I was regressing and he was not helpful at all and used it against me so rather these were legitimate or not doesn’t matter. It’s tough to tell when someone is toxic. But if someone is a good person and you are happy, then something happens, you give them the benefit of the doubt. For example, my husband and I were in bed and he had a good sense of smell and we happened to be on a topic about sex and then he made a comment about a smell and I couldn’t smell it so I told him he was a dog. That actually hurt him and I couldn’t understand why it upset him so much and he told me what a dog meant and I told him what I meant by that term, dogs have a strong sense of smell, he smelled something I can’t smell so I called him a dog, and he said he knew what I meant but it still hurt because of the topic we were on. I still didn’t understand but he told me they were just his feelings. Okay I am not going to assume he twisted what I said and that he is doing fake crying to get his way because he is not an abuser and he understands me. But if he was like Jerry and this incident happened, then I would assume this was one of his games. And this thing between my husband and I only happened that one time, it wasn’t all the time so there is another clue there that this was not intentional. But even if my husband is a good person and he was still as emotional as Jerry so lot of things I said always made him cry, then I would assume this is all unintentional and there is something wrong with my communication. But I didn’t think Jerry was bad either and I thought he was a good person so maybe I am kidding myself. The abuse was so subtle because he was a convert narcissist and that is harder to spot than regular narcissism. If my husband cried all the time and was always hurt by things I said and did, would this also be a hint he is an abuser and he is just playing with me to make me question myself and think I am crazy and I am the one with an issue? But like I said in the first paragraph, what if a person always said and did hurtful things so it hurt their partner a lot so they always cried and they were not aware of this about themselves? This is how abuse victims feel about themselves, they think they are the one with an issue so they tip toe and walk on eggshells and keep things bottled up. But what if the partner was truly sensitive and always took things the wrong way, would this still be considered abuse even if they didn’t do it on purpose?

I took a test somewhere online asking if you can spot emotional abuse and I took it and I got 60% and it said I couldn’t tell the difference between emotional abuse and legitimate behavior and it may be hampering my relationships and how I get along with people. I can’t remember the url or what page it was. I asked my online friend what that result meant and she told me it means I won’t be able to tell if something is abuse so it makes me more vulnerable to it. I would have to agree. I am that sort of person who believes anything (not literally since I won’t believe you if you told me you killed someone and spent a week in jail, I don’t think anyone would be that dumb to confess and besides if you killed someone, you wouldn’t be in jail for a week, you would remain locked up) and I can’t tell when someone is lying or playing games with me. I would think they truly believe that or feel that way and I often think someone is being honest. Which would be why I was with Jerry and then I was tossed out like trash which became a good thing despite it being hurtful.

Okay one thing I remember from the test was the final question was if it’s emotional abuse to wear make up and you know it bothers your partner and I answered no. People are entitled what they want to wear right and if a woman wants to wear make up, she may and the man can’t dictate what she can wear. But the answer was Maybe. I wonder how it’s abuse to wear make up? What if me playing video games bothered by husband? Should I stop playing them? If that was all I did so I was neglecting our children and him, then that wouldn’t be abuse, he wouldn’t be saying I couldn’t be playing them at all, he would be saying to be a parent and pay more attention to my family and do the video games second. An abuser would be saying you can’t play them at all. What if I was delusional so I thought he was being unreasonable saying I had to cut back on them and not play them all the time anymore so I felt I was being controlled and being told what to do? I can imagine that person would be claiming abuse and claiming to have a controlling partner. Then you hear their partner’s side and I automatically think the “victim” is delusional. I don’t think s/he is lying, I would think delusional and don’t have a touch on reality. As the saying goes “there are two sides to the story.” But I still wonder how wearing make up would be abusive. I assume it’s regular make up my mom wears or most women. Not make up that is heavy and makes you look like a hooker and you have so much on you have a clown face. But would that still be abuse? Unless the question meant it was a guy putting it on and he knows his partner doesn’t want him using her make up so instead of going out and buying his own, he uses hers and he does it to piss her off or because he doesn’t respect her personal space and thinks she is unreasonable and hey make up is cheap, more can be bought.

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