This is controversial because many people will disagree that abuse can be unintentional. I have talked about before in this blog how I can see myself doing financial abuse due to my money anxiety so that was why my husband took over the finances. I was driving him crazy with my anxiety about money he felt he couldn’t live a life because I would freak out if I found out he had spent a dollar and I was already talking about taking away his cards so I wouldn’t have to worry about him spending any money and having anxiety. This wasn’t about control, it was about my comfort zone and to relieve my anxiety to make my life calmer and to feel in control of my life again because of the unknown and my husband wasn’t supporting that. This is an example of unintentional abuse and how a mental illness or a disorder can attribute to abuse.
What about a parent who isn’t aware their kid has a disability because they look normal and seem normal. Asperger’s is a hidden disorder and so is ADHD and anxiety and other things that makes the kid act different. So what if the parent was unaware their kid had anxiety so they were always getting mad at them for their fears and over reaction and calling them a baby and forcing them into situations they feel uncomfortable in. At age six I was forced to ride on a big ferris wheel and my mom and dad didn’t care about my fear of it and the reason why I was scared was because I was worried it would give me this feeling in my stomach that some rides give you and I didn’t like that feeling and I had been on a ferris wheel that gave me that feeling so I felt too nervous to ride on one again that went too high up. Lot of people will agree that it is cruel to scare your child but that is what my parents did to me, they scared me and forced me into something I feared and got mad at me for crying and for being scared and didn’t give rats ass. I would call this unintentional abuse. I don’t think they did it to be cruel. Most people are not afraid of ferris wheels so how were they supposed to know my fear was real? They were ignorant then. My dad is still ignorant about my anxiety. I don’t fear ferris wheels anymore. Back then being forced on it was like walking the green mile or walking to the torture device because you know what is going to happen and you don’t know what is going to happen like how much pain you will feel, if it will hurt or not. That was how I felt going on that ride. I didn’t know how bad it would be, how much it will be scary and how bad the feeling in my tummy would be when we go down. I realize I probably did have anxiety as a young child but it wasn’t prominent then so no one knew. Instead I would be told to stop or being called a baby so therefore my feelings would be invalidated and I did feel then as a young child that my mom didn’t care about me. I just assumed then she knew because I didn’t know my feelings were not normal and my mom had assumed my feelings were normal but was over reacting or just whining. Ironically my mom is against people scaring kids and breaking them by making them fear you so they will listen but yet she did the exact same thing to me when I was a kid. Then the time I didn’t have anxiety about being dumped on the side of the road because I figured I would just hitchhike home, my mom was mad because I didn’t have beg her to not leave me on the side of the road. Yes that is fear right there you are doing to your kids and you say it’s not good to scare your children?
Then there is ADHD. I can’t count how many times I have read online by people who grew up with undiagnosed ADD or ADHD, they always got in trouble for losing things and always got in trouble for not being able to sit still or pay attention or for forgetting things, etc. It was as if they were abused. I would call their abuse unintentional because no one was aware of their ADD then. I can’t imagine how hard their life must have been the the anxiety they must have had growing up and the low self esteem.
But because abuse implies intent, people will say they were not abused or say someone they know isn’t abusive because they know their partner or child doesn’t do it on purpose. Then of course when someone has a mental illness, their victims may still call them abusive and say their actions are intentional.
What about those who suffer from NPD or BPD, they tend to lack self awareness. They may not see themselves as being abusive. I noticed on the forum on Reddit by BPD victims that the borderliners tend to rewrite history so they have “amnesia” about their abuse they did to their child or partner. Jerry seemed to have rewritten hers when she said she did none of that stuff I said she did except for “taking too long” to give me back my Dish Network piece. Also people with BPD don’t realize they are being manipulative and may not see their behavior as manipulative because to their perspective they are just trying to get their needs met like everyone else. But that never matters to the victim. It only matters what the borderliner is doing, not their intention behind it.
Then there are people who have NPD and they also seem to lack awareness of their own behavior so to me it seems like their behavior is unintentional if they are unaware which is why it’s probably a disorder, an illness. Many people disagree that personality disorders are a mental illness and want to keep these separated from mental illnesses. But the truth is mental illness is also a spectrum. It can range from evil to none evil. Maybe people like to separate personality disorders from a mental illness because they don’t want the stigma on mental illness.
In a way I do feel sorry for those who have NPD and BPD because they are their own worst enemies and they didn’t choose to be that way and I can’t imagine having those disorders and hurting people and not even being aware and seeing myself as the victim. I cannot imagine having a disorder only to find out my own emotions are wrong and my feelings are wrong and not knowing when they are valid and not being entitled to them. We often hear that everyone is entitled to their feelings and that people should trust their gut instinct but that doesn’t seem to apply to those who have BPD. That only applies to “normal” people. Most stuff we read out there is aimed at normal people assuming whoever is reading it is “normal.”
I have anxiety but stuff I find online about what to do about yelling at your kids, none of the advice I read is helpful because it’s all about staying calm and stuff but what do you do if your kids are the ones giving you anxiety and you can’t be calm unless your kids stop? There is no parenting articles out there aimed at parents with autism or anxiety about yelling at your kids. And too much yelling is abuse so that would mean I am doing unintentional abuse.
Because abuse often implies intent and also has a bad stigma to it, no one wants to see themselves as an abuser even if their actions are abusive. Even the loved one doesn’t want to see their child or partner as abusive especially if they have trauma or a disorder or came from an abusive background themselves where they grew up around anger and abuse or neglect. I didn’t want to see Jerry as an abuser when I was with her so I always defended her and made excuses for her like she has anxiety, she is worried about what people might think of her, she has PTSD, she has AS so she is just being honest, her ex called her a pedophile so now she ignores me if I am not acting mature enough for her. But all that did was it hurt me and I let that all happen instead of sticking up for myself and now I have myself to blame. So that is why I will never ever let anyone abuse me again and no disorder or mental illness will change that and only their actions and how they treat me matter, not their intentions and I don’t care what their intentions are or if it’s on purpose or not. I need to care about my own mental health and protect myself from any abuse. I also need to stay away from anyone who is abusive. I still get triggers to this day from certain things I read when something reminds me of Jerry. I even had to block someone on a forum when she made a trigger post and what she was writing were similar feelings to what Jerry had so I took a great dislike to her and blocked her because she was triggering. But I wasn’t the only one who had blocked her because she had left that forum and I saw her posting elsewhere online saying she was ignored because people didn’t agree with her views. Her views? Is she shitting me, she was a bigot on ABDLs and then pulling the “I still love you” crap like Barney. Ugh.
Now here is an article that talks about unintentional abuse but it’s about parents doing it: