Hurt, hated, or…?

13 Mar 2012

Adele’s eyes filled with tears as she said: “I can’t bear for people to hate me.”  Who were those “people” she was talking about?  Why, her abusive ex-partner, and his family – of course. The same family, you understand, who had welcomed her with open arms, and even told her – rightly – what a “scumbag” their blood relative was.  But when push came to shove (quite literally), they’d closed ranks behind him.  So, Adele stood to lose 3 generations of her abuser’s family.

And what a family they were!  Mum, who’d stuck by the philandering, violent prototype through thin and thinner.  Mark, Adele’s very own chip off the old block, and Brandon, Mark’s Mini-me, who, in his early teens, already showed serious promise in the abusive text message department.

Adele, understandably, was struggling.  She had given up on the hope of getting back with Mark – or nearly given up on it, you know how these things work…

Hope springs almost eternal in the abused woman’s breast.  Adele was angry, alright.  But beneath the anger lay the hurt that was howling for resolution.  Despite all that had happened, she still wasn’t ready to close the door on the relationship.  As she saw it, if she couldn’t have the love she wanted, at least she could have some liking and validation.  She didn’t want to be hated.

She still needed Mark, and Mark’s family to validate her.  She certainly didn’t want them to hate her.

So, what do you do in such circumstances?  You try to get people to listen to your point of view.  And of course you apologize like crazy for any inconvenience to them – not least because you are more than a little crazy at that point.  Becoming a little crazy is what happens when you love a crazy-maker, after all.

Adele had been advised by the police to send Mark a single text to sort out ownership of a car they had in common.  What did she do?  She sent him a long text apologizing for disturbing him on the weekend, telling him she’d caught him out in a lie, mentioning the car, explaining why she wasn’t speaking to him anymore, and wishing him a nice life.

The result?

Predictable enough.  Mark sent an abusive text back… and she replied!

Adele was hurting.  It’s incredibly hard when you feel that bad to think clearly, or know how to contain that hurt.  Adele didn’t want to contain that hurt.  Adele wanted Mark to make her feel better.

Not that that’s what scumbags do.  But, hey, if we’re deserving enough then maybe even a scumbag will see the light and change – or, at least, that’s what Adele was hoping.  For his part, Mark was very proud of his scumbag heritage – he idolized his dear old philandering, abusive dad – and he’d already lined up his next victim.  Very carefully.  Mark had spent long enough listening to Adele’s successor to discover that she’d already been through at least one violent relationship.  That made her was his perfect prey.

I pointed out that Adele didn’t have too many options under the circumstances.  Where Mark, and his family were concerned, she only had two options: if she quit playing welcome mat she could be hated.  Or else, she could go through an action replay of the whole sorry scenario, in the hope of a different outcome, and she could be hurt again.

When you play the game by an abuser’s rules, you lose.  Every time.  The game is rigged right from the start.  The outcome is a foregone conclusion.  Most everyone can see it, except you.  (Unsurprisingly, Adele said her friends and family had been unimpressed by Mark, all along.)

So, what you can you do when it seems there’s nothing left to do?

First, you need to remember that Abuse World is not The World.  And an abusive man’s game playing is not real life – any more than a video game is real life.  A video game can be a very absorbing waste of time, it can take you on an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s still NOT real life.  The Abuser’s game playing is intended to estrange you from your own life.

For as long as you remain fixated on Abuse World you have no real choices.  You’re bound to get hurt.  Since you can’t control other people’s emotions – no matter how hard you try – you’ll just have to come to terms with some people hating you for their own reasons.  (It’s just what they do.  Think guard dogs.  Would you take it personally if a working guard dog reacted badly to you being on its territory? By the same token, is it surprising if a man who hates women hates you?)

Only start to look beyond the confines of Abuse World and you’ll see you have other, better choices, like happiness, and wholeness.  Adele can’t see that yet, butI’m hoping you can.

Why would you be hurt, or hated, when you can be whole, and happy​?


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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