TRAITS of VICTIMS (Part 3)


 

TOO PROUD TO ASK FOR HELP
AND I don’t trust anyone to come thru

PREVIOUS: Traits of Victims. Part 2

See ACRONYM Page for abbrev.

 

VICTIM CHARACTERISTICS (cont.)
3. EMOTIONAL
Re. Abusers
• Vs are emotionally dependent on the good-will & validation of others (just like the P), while believing that NO one can love them
• terrified of any form of disapproval, anger or the threat of being lchained to perpeft
deeply loyal to the abuser, even with constant proof that the P. does not deserve it and is never loyal to the V. – BUT (ironically) —
• — have ‘learned’ that no one is safe & therefore no one is to be trusted
• blame all their problems on others, both the P & non-P. – to not have to be responsible for their own life

Re. Self
• Vs are overwhelmed by S-H (self-hate) & FoA (fear of abandonment) & SHAME
• under it all, are intensely fear-based, so become control-freaks
• driven by guilt (not doing everything right) & shame (not being sin-less)shame
• have a submissive aspect or style of interacting (not the native personality), always feeling inferior to others, even when hidden behind a facade of competence or bravado
• are depressed (overtly or covertly), even numb, &/or visibly nervous, subject to periodic anxiety attacks
• great difficulty expressing anger, tend to internalize it & then act it out in other ways
• convinced they’re incapable of ever being able to love others
• afraid to see any good in themselves, take in compliments or value their accomplishments
• not allowed to be happy, comfortable or comforted

4. MENTAL (Toxic beliefs, CDs)
Re Self
• believe they don’t deserve to be respected as human beings
blame themselves for other people’s problems, or blame problems on the world, life, luck or a given situation
• actively defend against hearing any criticism of abuser
• think they need to be controlled (or “protected”) by others
deceive themselves into thinking that -one day- magically, the abuser will change. Belief that “it will change if I just try harder”

accept total blame & guilt for violence, believe social myths about batteringaccept blame
• always apologizing for something – blaming themselves for never doing things right or well enough
• have unrealistic expectations of the relationship & themselves
• believe in stereotypical sex role requirements
• aren’t able or willing to speak up on their own behalf (their rights)
• not aware that they allow abuse to occur (not the same as causing it!)

Re. Abusers
• believe they need the P. because they don’t think they’re capable of succeeding by themselves
• have a hard time setting boundaries/ limits, and saying “No”
• repeatedly make excuses for and forgive their partner’s unacceptable behaviors, allowing them to continue
• make up stories to others about how good their relationship is (not!)

don’t give their opinions, make comments, reveal anything about themselves (stay invisible)bad boss
• expect others to just “know what I want/ need.” They can’t ask directly, from being disappointed so often as kids, so they stopped trying
• always seem confused & surprised by other people bad behavior, insensitivity… even when they know someone for a long time

COPYING the Abuser
All long-term abuse Victims, coming from emotionally volatile relationships, create defenses which make them sometimes act like the abuser – as a preemptive strike (the V thinks it’s a protection):
a. TO Others: before someone can do you in, you do them first (treat others the way you expect to be treated)- criticize, stonewall, demean, abandon….
b. TO Self: tell everyone how terrible, bad, weak you are – before they find out for themselves AND leave – which S-H says is inevitable!

NOT HELPFUL – In spite of the reality that Vs consistently under-estimate & under-report harmful behavior, many ‘helpful’ people give exactly the wrong advice when listening to a V.  They may insist the V. :
• be self-righteous, without taking any responsibility in the relationship
• minimize or justify their own aggressive behavior
• completely dismiss the other person’s perspective (the P), & have no empathy for them
• never acknowledge the good things the other person does, or assumes it’s always for a negative reason
• define the other person’s essence using negative labels (pig, bitch…), rather than correctly identifying their actions as abusive

HELPFUL
• build up the V’s strengths, expanding the good things about their basic nature, which will ensure their safety and growth
• encourage the Vs to have compassion for the abuser, WITHOUT white-washing their actions. This helps the V to see the damage the abuser does to themself – by harming others, especially loved ones
• understand that the V can leave the P out of that compassion, for the abuser’s own good, as much as for their ownleaving them
RESULT:
• prevents the V’s highs & lows of abandonment pain & stress relief
• V. can feel this reason for leaving is authentic, preserving their dignity & minimizing rage & bitterness
• coming from this attitude may prevent the abuser wanting revenge, from feeling humiliated by cruel words & the loss of relationship
• can eliminate enough of the personal attacks & aggressive behavior (when leaving) from pent-up resentment & hatred, which makes many Vs go back to the abuser – out of guilt & shame.

NEXT: Traits of ABUSERS – #1

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