“He also said that he can’t understand why I can’t accept an abusive comment now or then (once a month on average) since he says he doesn’t do it intentionally. He has said that if he apologizes, I should be okay with it. I’ve tried to explain why this doesn’t work for me using explanations, feeling statements, analogies, book references, flow charts, puppet shows, etc., but he doesn’t want to (and really seems psychologically unable to) hear anything that doesn’t agree with his theory that I’m too sensitive.Years ago, I tried to confront my STBX about his abusive comments. He said, “I’m only kidding.” When I replied that they bothered me, he said in all seriousness, “Whenever I say something mean to you, just assume I’m kidding.”
(COMMENT: Now there’s a familiar line. He wants a permanent, laminated “get out of abuser jail free” card to carry around in his wallet, doesn’t he?)
Knowing what I know now, it seems absurd that I actually did try to always assume that he was kidding. I was willing to try to believe – – – you know, I don’t know what I was willing to believe! I can’t imagine why I even considered doing that. Maybe it was the fact that he had me convinced that I was too sensitive. I think I lasted about two days, thinking, “I know this isn’t right, but I just can’t figure out why.” Always ignoring my gut. Always willing to see things from another side.
Thank goodness I’m more enlightened now. I now see this for what it is. His attempt to pass the blame over to me and not take any responsibility for his own actions.”
–Tracy18 – 20070220
_ _ _ _ _THE MORAL OF THE STORY_ _ _ _ _
If anyone ever tries to tell you you’re “too sensitive” after they’ve said or done hurtful things to you, then they are trying to get YOU to take responsibility for THEIR behavior. This is unacceptable. You, as a victim of their abuse, are not responsible for their behavior. You are not responsible for anyone else’s behavior. Ever. You are only responsible for your OWN. They are responsible for their own behavior. Always and all ways.
What “you’re too sensitive” really means is this: “I don’t care about or respect your feelings and I’m going to blame YOU for that.“
Another victim we know received email from her ex, telling her that SHE didn’t handle HIS anger correctly. (?)
It is never, ever a victim’s responsibility to “handle” an abusive person’s anger or any of the abuser’s behavior. THE ABUSER him/herself is 100% responsible for their own behavior, NOT the victim. The victim didn’t CAUSE it, and (s)he is not responsible for it.
Abusers will always try to blame their victims and convince them that THEY are responsible for the abuser’s behavior. They’ll claim the victim is “too sensitive“, or say things like “you didn’t handle my anger correctly” or “well if you did/didn’t …. then I wouldn’t get so angry!” But the abuser OWNS his/her own anger. The target/victim is not responsible for it – or for “handling” it or for “controlling” it.
Remember that abusers are experts at pointing fingers and trying to make someone else responsible for their behavior – usually the person(s) they’re abusing – whoever is closest to them. Their agenda is to deny, blame, minimize, and justify their abuse. If you’re a victim of abuse, do not accept this. You are not to blame. You are not responsible for their anger or for “handling” their anger – THEY are.
A good answer to the “you’re too sensitive” meme from an abuser is: “YES. That’s right! Please respect that.”
Whatever you do, don’t argue with their assertion. As soon as you argue with their statement, you’ve validated it! Besides, it isn’t true. The abuser is the one who needs to develop some sensitivity. You are not too sensitive. The abuser isn’t sensitive enough – and that’s the problem. By responding with “YES. I’m too sensitive. Please respect that.” instead of arguing with or denying what they said, you are asking them for what they SHOULD be giving you in the first place: Recognition of and respect for you and your feelings.
If they respect you, they will not verbally, emotionally, or physically abuse you.
If you’re being abused, you are NOT being respected! That’s the bottom line.