Don’t Expect Everyone Else to “Get it” About Abuse – They Won’t

In regards to telling others what you’ve experienced as a target of an abuser, don’t expect everyone to “get it” about what abuse is unless they’ve been abused themselves.  Being target of abuse is something that is not all that well-understood unless a person has experienced it.  Anyone who hasn’t lived with abuse is likely to be very flippant about what it means to be abused, whether physically, or emotionally. They don’t “get it” and are liable to simply blame you for being “too sensitive” or for “putting up with it” or for not recognizing it in the beginning or for not “knowing” what you were getting into.

Don’t bother trying to explain that abusers do not start out in their relationships being abusive and that abuse begins gradually over time and escalates – or that typically there are few, if any, signs that a person is abusive in the beginnings of an involvement – or that once abuse begins, there is considerable emotional attachment and investment in the relationship which causes difficulty and confusion around any decision to end the involvement – because THAT is how abusers – and particularly sociopaths/narcissists – operate.

For targets of abuse, it’s best to limit talking about our experiences to understanding and supportive friends and family, other abuse targets or DV counselors or therapists. Abuse is far from taken seriously or even understood by modern society – except by those whose job it is to help abuse victims, or those who have actually been abuse victims.

Keep to those who can offer you positive support and understanding and leave the ignorance of others alone. The ONLY way they could possibly understand abuse is to have EXPERIENCED it. And, if you’re like me, you wouldn’t wish that type of experience on anyone.