13 September 2007

Getting Well, Part 5: Staying Out

Oh, the siren song of abuse.

The hope that the abuser will miss you, that they will see the light, value you and change.

It will not happen.

When you leave, which you must, close the door.

Don't go back to see how they are doing.

Don't go back to see if they care how you are doing.

Don't go back to see if it was really all that bad...

When you leave,

which you must,

close the door.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this post. A timely reminder. I keep going back to check on the website of the religious cult I came out of. It achieves nothing.

25 October, 2007 01:20  
Blogger Stormchild said...

But it's entirely human. I think looking back is a universal temptation... going back, though, is dangerous; it never ends well. I too have tried, all too often.

No Contact, when we can manage it [or bring ourselves to enforce it], is the only totally safe option.

I also believe that truly abusive behavior [as opposed to emotional clumsiness, or processing deficits like Asperger's syndrome can create] is a conscious choice. Given that premise, there's usually nothing worth saving in any relationship once abuse begins.

25 October, 2007 20:38  
Blogger Stormchild said...

I inadvertently deleted the comment above. Apologies to the author!

Here's my best reconstruction of her statement:

"Don't you find that there is always someone or many who coax you to come back? I think it's the old adage, misery loves company. It is like someone leaving means there is something wrong and we can't have that. So we encourage that person to come back, so everything will be okay again. It's collusion, coercion, entrapment and codependency at its worst -- at least that has been my experience."

Jeannette, I agree. In some cases; it's the 'crab pot' theory. Nobody can escape the pot because the other crabs pull them back in.

In other cases, though, such as serial scapegoating [workplace version], the group chooses a member to blame for everything and drive away. But, since that was a displacement activity and did nothing to solve the real problems, the catharsis is short lived and another target must be found.

Or, bullies target the people who see through them, and want to drive those people away permanently before others learn anything useful from them!

I think you might be describing a kind of yo-yo dynamic, where a group drives someone away, then discovers they now have no scapegoat, and tries to draw the target back in again. Abusers do this with romantic partners one-to-one as well - the old 'break up to make up'.

After a few rounds of this at various times in my life, I think it's best to let go. With blessings if we can, anger if we must. But best to let go.

16 November, 2007 21:33  

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