Hurting People Hurt People
Have you ever really cared about another and been stunned by their words or actions, by the malevolent and emotionally charged force of their words? Were you really so wrong about them; is it possible that you missed so badly on your assessment or is something else very wrong? Characteristically when we collide into unexplained abusive, hateful behavior we have just experienced a head-on collusion with moments from the past of the person who is before us. We may not have been wrong; we may have simply failed to look behind them to see what they were likely to become.
Abusive people issue a 'don't tell' mandate to their family and friends. It is a sacred promise to them, breaking it will likely cause them to act against the offender. And so, their bully club of fear has taken control. This is what lies behind your misjudgment. No one was allowed to show or tell the truth. Great acting skills can be borne from abuse. It is a pretend reality that shores up the abuser and enables him or her to continue their existence in the manner that has held them captive, maybe since birth. Abuse is generational; it's effects as strong as DNA.
We teach our children to read and write and to exist in society in an acceptable manner. When we do this, we are teaching them about love, life and responsibility. When either parent is an abuser, we are teaching them the sacred code called 'no telling.' Strangely enough, these people are frequently brutally honest in other areas of their life. Worse still, those who are most affected by their behavior are often their strongest shields from retribution. They accept the blame on the behalf of the person who inflicted the pain. It is a learned response and a part of the cycle.
The only effective treatment for the abuser is healing the gaping wound that is causing so much personal pain that they bleed all over their own victims. Their abuse is the blood seeping from an infected wound. Their victims become the bandage that hides it from the eyes of the abuser and the world. Doing a good job at hiding is the best assurance of avoiding more pain from them; hence their highly skilled acting abilities are born and honed to perfection.
We begin to weaken and break the chains that have imprisoned them when we meet their wrath with understanding, scorn with compassion, spitefulness with tenderness, and sneers with patience. Love is a mightier than the bully club of fear they depend on. It forces them to a place of temperance where they can finally acknowledge their wounds and begin to heal. Sometimes your safety may depend on your doing it from a distance. Love is a powerful force of energy that has no boundaries or space barriers; it deflects weapons that have never met defeat.