Thank you so much for your email. I finally got a
chance to get on last night & spent 6 hours running
around the site. Today I went out and bought Patricia
Evans' book The Verbally Abusive
what a book!
Your site is wonderful! I have one
question for you though, is it possible in a
relationship for both people to be abusers and both
people to be victims?
I think I know the answer but
I'm not sure if I'm right or if I'm brainwashed into
believing that some of it is my fault. I just didn't
feel like I totally identified with the "Partner" in
Evans book. When he does something abusive, I get mad
as hell, because I know he's doing it. Most of the
time anyway. But I don't always know how to stop it.
And I end up in the same circular dance of trying to
explain myself. Instead of feeling confused about what
has taken place, I just get enraged. But there are
times when I doubt myself. "Did I really say it in
that tone of voice?" His favorite thing is to tell me
that my tone of voice said something completely
different. There are times when it is true, but not as
often as he says.
I think (Hope) that he will be willing to make the
necessary changes. We have two beautiful girls aged 3
years and 19 months. His biggest fear is losing them. He seems to be open to help.
Thanks Again, Betty
Thank you for your
feedback. I'm glad you found this stuff useful.
Please realize that
I often get victims in my office who think they
are abusers - and tell me the exact same thing about the Evan's book
"I'm not sure who I am!" I also get abusers who think they are
victims. It is more than the abusive behaviors you want to look at, and
this is exactly why it is so hard sometimes to tell
who is who.
Given what your mom
said, you are probably the victim: feeling too guilty, over-identifying
with everything you are doing wrong, taking on too much blame. Maybe you
would be the abuser if you were paired
with a man who brought out your own contempt for weakness. Who knows...
You are also acting out. Don't mix up acting out with true
angry control, though its hard not to, especially if you are married to an
abuser who thinks they are the victim! Both of
you can be controlling and abusive, but, ask yourself, who is the person
comfortable with closeness and wants it? Who provokes a fight just when
things are going well? Who is (or one time was) the primary emotional
giver? Who is being picked on and who is defending themselves?
Who has the power in this relationship?
One of the primary
reasons I ask my victims to stop acting out is because then the abuser
can't turn around, provoke you and say "See...look how badly YOU
behave!" Its a good place to start.