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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

People Who Abuse, Are they Evil?

Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Nov 9th 2007

There are many postings and comments from our readers about physical and emotional abuse. All of these comments are valuable and important. However, there is a trend among some of the comments towards hating those who abuse and judging them to be evil. Anyone who has survived abuse has every reason to feel angry and unforgiving towards their persecutor. This is certainly understandable when you have been severely hurt. The point I want to make in this posting is that it is important to try to understand people who abuse rather than simply engage in condemnation. In no way does this mean that I condone abuse or the abuser. Learning about the reasons and motivations is not the same as agreeing with or forgiving reprehensible actions.

We have read many times on our web site and others that the abuser is often someone who was abused during their childhood. Having been abused and having witnessed a lot of abuse during childhood they go on to become abusive towards their wives and children. In other words, these are people who are severely injured and in need of help. Being in need of help does not mean they should be permitted to be with their wives and children. Again, understanding why something happens does not mean that the survivors of this individual’s behavior should remain with him or her. However, there is value in recognizing that thee people are also human beings and victims of the events of their own lives. They, too, deserve a chance to recover and rehabilitate themselves if that is possible.

Who is the abuser? He (she) is someone who has been severely humiliated, degraded and debased by the environment in which they developed from early on in their lives. They may start out with the best of intentions as spouses and parents but succumb to the hurt, rage and humiliation and shame that dominate their personality.

People should not remain in a relationship with anyone who is abusive. In fact, the survivor of abuse should leave the relationship to protect their selves and, if there are children, to protect the children. If necessary, the police should be called and the abuser arrested in those cases that warrant such action.

The individual who is abusive needs to be in psychotherapy, very possibly with medication treatment. What I want to make clear is that therapy and medication for the abusive individual is separate from any attempt to preserve their relationships. The motivation for treatment needs to be recognition on the part of the abusive person that they have a serious problem. They may never be able to return to their original relationships because they have caused too much harm and have destroyed the ability of former loved ones to ever trust them again.

I know that anger management classes are recommended for the perpetrators of domestic violence. However, in my experience this approach is not potent enough. Intensive individual psychotherapy with group therapy is what I recommend. Medication can be an effective part of this. Many of those who commit these verbally and physically violent acts are extremely depressed and very impulsive. There are medications that can help dampen the depression anger and impulsiveness.

It goes without saying that those who are abusive when they are drunk or high on drugs need to enter intensive drug and alcohol treatment centers to get the kind of help they need. If they continue to abuse drugs and alcohol there is no way they will be able to avoid being violent.

Are too many of us perhaps too fast to yell, "Hang 'em from the highest tree," when we hear about abuse? Does abusing the abuser do anything for him or the rest of us? Is it not true that they need effective help instead of punishment?

Your comments are welcome and encouraged.

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at dransphd@aol.com for details.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Abusers - withheld - Dec 3rd 2014

I read the doctor's take on living with an abuser. Victim's must leave. I am having trouble leaving. I have a chronic illness and no job, transportation is questionable depending upon his mood. I am looking for a job and the abuser knows this and makes fun of me constantly. I am having to use him for a "reference" on job applications. In my past I have only worked for my previous husband at very little pay and mostly no pay. I am skilled, but older (50) and seem to be having trouble getting to an interview process. It is very frustrating to me, that I am trying to help myself and I am getting no where. I have no medical insurance and cannot afford insurance. On the Obamacare I would be responsible for paying for the cost of my most expensive medicine, which is about $8.500 per year. I would have to be able to work about 80 hours per week in order to pay for my most expensive medication. The other diabetic drugs are generic and very cheap. Am I scare? Yes. I was a good wife in my former marriage. In this "new" relationship I am in currently, he turned out to have lied about everything he was or is. He is married to two women. I confronted him about his odd behavior and this is how I discovered these things. I am only glad I am not #3. But I am having grave difficulty leaving because of my very rational fear about being able to buy even my generic diabetic meds and no place to store my things and no money for storage. He is verbally abusive only, as yet. Almost every day he finds something to be angry about and something to berate me for. I have a little dog too, and I would not want to leave her here and couldn't take her to a shelter with me. And the shelters say, "You must be able to take care of yourself." I have gotten so physically ill and beat down that I can barely manage.  I've tried to ask "a friend" for help. Understandably, she was very leery. My situation scared her, that I would even ask her for help. And I'm nearly certain I lost her as a friend for daring to ask. I was honest and told her I need to find work, and staying with her would only be a stop gap of weeks and hopefully a few months. I am not finding the help I need because of my age and health.

Are Abusive People Evil? - - Oct 20th 2013

Here is my thought on abuse.  Abuse in itself is evil and the abuser is giving into the act of the devil himself.  I believe that they are performing evil acts because they are hurting other human beings.  This is not normal.  While I believe that they need treatment,  I still believe that the only way that they will give into it is by punishing them using striaghforward punishment that clearly emphasizes that if they do this again,  they will land themselves in jail.  This would be like saying that a serial killer is not evil.  The plain truth is that they are.

For example,  if the abuser happens to hold a high level management position within a specific company,  then this person should lose status of their powerful position since they appear to have abused power in other areas of their life.

If they happen to live in a comfortable home where the victim is traumatized,  then I feel that the abuser should be removed from that home.  In no way should they be free to roam wherever they want in society.  They need to be pulled out so as not to inflict harm on others after they have inflicted harm on one individual already.

For instance,  one person who has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder should not even be working.  They should be closely supervised in an institution that provides psychiatric treatment to these individuals.

Does not matter who is performing the abuse,  it must be stopped and punishment should be used as a way to stop this bad behavior.

abused and now abusive - jill - Sep 29th 2013

I am 19, I was abused as a child. My fatehr had a tendancy to put everyone down verbally. my mother was more physically abusive. she wasnt at first, but she became depressed and sad when my dad hurt her emotionally.

so as a child i was put down emotionally and physically, and i am now alost 20 with severe depression and lack self confidence in everything i do. I have a fiance, he knows about my paast and know that sometimes i show absive tendences.

my mom IS NOT evil, my dad is not either. I am not evil, we have all gon through things in life and were abused by someone else. Life happened. no ,abuse is not okay, but i still love my parents (who have been divorced for 13 years) and I forgive then for everything.

now i suffer from this though, I love my fiance with all my heart and only a couple times have i done anything to hurt him. I have hit him twice, on the cheek, once i punched his nose. I take full respinsibility for hurting him and for losing contrl like i did. he says he wont ever leave me becaause he loves me. in all honety i wish he didnt love me because i hate that i hurt him sometimes. I hate that i am who i am. maybe thats why i am depressed because i have always been told i will fail, i am not good enough, im ugly ,im rude, and that im not good enough.

Having someone like my fiance in my life had really helped me with my depression, he is very good at handling me through my mood swings and loves me despite my flaws. I plan on getting medication to help with the depression soon.

I am not evil, I am beautiful and kind and considerate, loving, gentle, amazing with children, im a caregiver, a nurse u training. Im a christian, im not perfect, but im human

teacher for the abused - Ann Hicks - Mar 16th 2013

Apparently, good doctor, you have never witnessed the severed spirit of an abused child or mother.  Apparently, you have never seen a fractured soul.

Apparently, you have closed your eyes to life.

Choose freedom - Deb - Feb 1st 2013

I think that your question is not based on reality. The fact is that probably 99% of people who are actively engaged in abusive behaviour will not seek help because they do not consider themselves to have a problem. Some may be forced into thinking of themselves as abusers if they are in jail and have to take anger-management or something, but other than that, they operate secretly. 

Based on that, if an abuser does somehow come to acknowledge that they are wrong in their behaviours and consciously seeks to change, then they definitely should be helped. But I believe this is rarely the case.

The compounding factor is that abusers rarely work alone, when the abuse is occurring in families. They are extremely manipulative and manage to isolate the victim of their abusive behaviours in psychological terms. The main manipulative strategy they employ is to completely NORMALISE the abuse. This is their secret weapon and long-term goal. They create the psychological conditions that allow the abuse to occur. For example, an abusive parent will 'scapegoat' one child as a dartboard for their anger, hurt, pain, whatever. They will then manipulate any other children into viewing the abused child as somehow deserving of the abnormal behaviour. Or the abnormal behaviour itself will become completely normalised so that the other children do not even recognise it as wrong. Or even more sickenenly, the abusive parent will only show the abnormal behaviour to the poor child. This causes great confusion, distress, anger and sadness for the recipient.

I think when you talk about abusers as people who need help you need to be very very sensitive to the feelings of those who have witnessed and experienced the extreme distress, sickness, terror, shame, fear, embarrassment etc. etc. that are caused by abusive people. 

The ability abusers have to manipulate and control the psychological understanding and atmosphere of others in their environment should never be underestimated. 

I once had a therapy session with a counsellor who told me he didn't believe anything I'd just told him because he didnt believe that 'people could be so evil'. I ended my counselling session there and then. The point is I think this is perhaps why so much energy is spent in trying to find ways of 'understanding' abusers. No sane person can really understand why. But that should not detract from the fact that they do. And they choose to do so. It is their conscience and they have denied it. The victims should be helped to realise that having a clear conscience is a wonderful form of revenge. Some do and that is maybe why they themselves do not go on to abuse. Thank God for sanity and for being able to choose to detach ourselves from the evil other people have imposed on us when we were not fully in control. 

No excuses Doctor - DaniCali - Jan 30th 2013

There is no excuse for abuse. I had a poor childhood, my parents didnt love me, they ignored me, my dad criticised me for everything and made me feel ugly and stupid, i was bullied at school, then bullied at work, the had boyfriends who were men, I cried all the time, yet somehow, i didnt grow up to be an abuser. I am a nice person. but i am badly damaged by all the abuse I've suffered. i have no friends because i put up barriers, i dont trust people. i have  no partner. same reason. i am not in work, because i cannot hold a job. i suffer bowel problems, constant nausea, panic, poor sleep, depression. i am not happy. but again, i am a nice person who doesnt harm anyone else. why the h*ll would i?

I am tired of all these 'boo hoos' for abusers. they are not victims. they are perpetrators. I do not want to understand what makes my serial bully of an ex so effing blinkered on revenge against me, I just want him to stop. when we look to 'understand' perpetrators, we look to forgive them. we minimise what they've done to their victims. we minimise their victims. focus should not be on understanding them. it should be on punishing them. they are well aware of what they do, this is how they can be nice to other people, and never show their nasty side in public.

You do not have the right to hurt someone else, to try to destroy someone. And yes, these people should be hung from the highest tree, the world would be a better place

I am disappointed that yet another PHD with textbook knowledge of abuse (cant possibly have firsthand  knowledge and write a piece to forgive abusers), spends their time writing this, rather than focusing on the victims. we are the ones, or survivors, who need the understanding and the help, and the attention

father`s anger - anne - Jan 26th 2013

I can remember my father losing his temper over the stupidest things when I was a child, & he would spank me hard & often. It had nothing to do with my behaviour, but it would just be because he`d had a bad day at work or something equallt trivial, as though everthing that had gone wrong in his life was my fault. I never saw him hit my mother, & she always took his side, saying that he`d had a tough time as a child. When I was growing up, in the 50`s & 60`s, this sort of thing wasn`t classed as abuse, just discipline. Iv`e always had trouble with my relationships as an adult because I always seemed to attract men with a similar temperament to my father, controlling & explosive. I gave up on reationships 20 years ago because I`m mucch happier on my own. I know that my father`s treatment of me is to blame for this, & i`ll never forgive him for it. I don`t know if he`s still alive, as I broke of all contact with him many years ago.

different types of abusers - Anon - Apr 7th 2011

I am a survivor of spousal abuse. In my research to understand the roots of such behavior, I have concluded that there are different types of abusers. Some have witnessed abuse growing up, have low self-esteem and lots of baggage to work through. If they are very motivated and prepared to put in the hard work, with the right type of intervention, change is possible. Then there are others that do NOT have low self-esteem but have disturbed characters and feel entitled to abuse. They may blame their problem (if they ever admit it) on their past or on others, but they are simply manipulating you to believe that they are not responsible. These types don't change, even if they go to the right groups and get the right information. Giving them therapy and abuse awareness only makes them worse because they use the information to further their abuse.

I don't think my ex is sociopathic because he seems to be capable of feeling for others. If anything, he seems more borderline/narcissistic. He has been counselled and even attended an abusers program but cannot seem to overcome cognitive distortions. The denial is just too great. Yet he always gives counselors, friends and relatives hope by proclaiming his desire for change. That's what I don't get.

So is he evil? He doesn't appear that way, not by intent, but my word, the effects of his abuse on his family are certainly devastating. Maybe he never intended to hurt anyone, but it will take a lot for his children to overcome the damage caused by his physical, emotional, financial, religious and verbal abuse. He still says he loves them and can't understand why they don't respond.

 

Abused and abuser - - Nov 22nd 2010

I am both a victim of extreme long-term child abuse and also a abused other children when I was young. I can't overcome the damage and shame of being a victim of child abuse because of the hatred people have of abusers. As I managed to free myself from my abusers and build a safe life for myself, I stopped abusing others and myself. In other words, abuse, in any form, was no longer part of my life. Of course I am devastated about the damage I caused others, but I think that society's approach to ending child abuse could use a renovation. After all, what abused person can feel comfortable in a place full of smiling suns and rainbows where abusers are banished and hated when so many abused are also abusers? And the personality disfiguration caused by child abuse is more complex than becoming a psychopath who grabs kids off the street. Anger and addictions are abuses too. I'm for ending abuse entirely.

Explains but Doesn't Excuse - Abused but Never an Abuser - Aug 12th 2010

No matter how abused and injured a person was in childhood, that doesn't excuse hurting another being. I have a lot of crap in my past that was done to me, yet I made the choice to never hurt another as was done to me. I don't buy the excuses. The past can explain why someone has mental health issues (myself included), but to use that as an excuse is low. Abusing someone else is still a choice that one makes, regardless of past abuse or bad parenting.  A lot of us were abused as children but chose to never repeat what was done to us.

once an abuser... - - Aug 11th 2010

Yes, i was once an abuser, and hopefully will never be again. It started 10 yrs. ago and lasted for 8 yrs. The victims were my husband's 6 and 9 yr. old nephew and niece. I so regretted what i have done to them and was asking myself how i could do such thing, until i searched the internet and came across this forum. I am not into drugs or alcohol, so i was a sober abuser.  

I have a lot of hang ups in life. Let me tell you about my background. First of all, my parents, especially my dad verbally abused my mom daily, there was always shouting when i was home. 2nd, i was the youngest and favorite of my parents that my older siblings envy and hated me for it, hence bullied me often. 3rd, i became shy & insecure that made me easily bullied in school, even by my friends, esp. becoz i was much better looking than most of them. I lost trust in people. 4th, i developed social anxiety, becoz of this, i donot have deep, longlasting friendships, missed out on many good opportunities & social gatherings. i always stayed home, stay away from people or be very silent when artound them that people always pre judge me as stuck up, weird, stupid, etc. and always end up hating me without even trying to know me first. Becoz of this, i was often lonely, felt left out, rejected, depressed, very angry, and whats worse is that i had no one to tell these things to, i kept everything to myself. Its either school, work or house, and i rarely go out with my husband. ( to be cont....)

They are very sick - MJHealing - Jan 10th 2010

I was able to leave a long term increasingly pathological relationship thanks to emdr therapy.  It was an intense process that worked on my ptsd issues, released the introjections, and a technique my "life saving" wonderful therapist used that untrapped me.  I was out of that relationship so fast after that. Have a lot of healing yet to do in creating my new "gentle life", I have done alot of grief work over the loss of the illusion among other losses.  Sandra L. Brown has a great site on pathology that is filled with resources for those in crazy making pathological relationships.  I am greatful I am the feeling person I am and not the emotional vampire a pathological is.  How empty and Godless to live like that.  Very sad.

Don't know why?! - meli2557 - Dec 10th 2009

I believe that there is always a reason behind everything..some people are raised in an environment where they see and experiancce abuse in many different aspects!  I'm not saying by any means that this is ok for anyone to do to anyone but individuals may be abusive for the simple fact that that is how they grew up, it's what they know, they think it is normal.  Others may just like the control for the simple fact that they never really had control over anything in their lives.  Eventhough it sounds horrible, things do happen for a reason good or bad... may not seem like it at the time but something good always comes out of the bad!  We just have to realize what that is!  As hard as it seems!  Abuse is in many different shapes and forms and its important to realize what is going on when it is going on.  I know that it is hard to leave a situation as this for many different reasons but you have to know that it is not ok for any excuse the person may have.  Although, they may have been hurt n these ways growing up and seeing them...the point is they are grown now and need to do something to solve the problem versus making it more worse!!!!  Love is no reason to hang on to anything!  People can change if they want to...there are possibilities but you need to understand if they have not by now then chances are that they do not think it is worth it to change and they probably love being the way they are so do what you need to do eventhough you think it is the end of the world... things could be a lot worse!!!!  Take it from someone who has experienced abuse in every aspect it can come in for years and years....you don;t want to live with regret and i understand that everyone has to experience the storm before they find a dry piece of land to survive on.....just don't wait until its too late and you have reminders that you cant make go away!!! If not for yourself than do it for your kids...your family...your life!!!!

To YES - Baara - Dec 1st 2009

 

  Dear YES,

 Everything you wrote sounds exactly like what I go through with my parents, they abuse me and treat me like I am the scum of the earth my whole entire life already,they abuse me severely psychologically,emotionally,verbally my whole entire life already ON THE ONE HAND and ON THE OTHER HAND they always give me all kinds of MATERIAL THINGS my whole life already and still today, especially my mother,me and her do not get along ( well I don't like both of my parents really, I hated my father way before I also started hating my mother because he would vent his rage at me for no reason at all when I was a child, he would sometimes erupt into a violent fit of rage against me all of a sudden for no reason, he was a very scary abusive,threatening,intimidating,mean,cruel,ugly,foul breathed,snarling,all up in my face,screaming + threatening me with physical harm, PSYCHO A**HOLE !) well anyways, me and my mother are always getting into arguements over and over and over and over again (perpetually ! ), of course she is always verbally+emotionally abusing me and cursing at me everytime we get into it, and when we get into it I always scream out everything I think and feel about BOTH of my parents  or her ( alot of the time my father is around or will come around to try to shut me up which never works when I'm having my EPISODE OF RAGE ! )   so they both know the absolute TRUTH about how I feel about them and that I REALLY HATE THEM BOTH, and my mother will still just give me all kinds of stuff ( I'm not asking her for any of it ! ) money, chocolate, she always leaves stuff on the ledge or banister in the hallway outside my bedroom door for me (especially a few days after every arguement, this is a behavior pattern of hers that I can count on !  it's like with those abusive men who abuse and then a day or two later show up with a gift or flowers for their victim ! my mother has that behavior pattern too ! )  the stuff is left there like offerings to me. It's not that I don't appreciate the stuff like money or chocolates because I do appreciate the stuff anyway (who wouldn't !) but it's not going to change my feelings about her anymore or change our COMPLETELY DOWN THE TOILET TOXIC ABUSIVE INSANE relationship, or all of the abuse they have done to me my whole life already and my totally screwed up life and mental and emotional health, nothing MATERIAL that they give me will ever make up for any of the lack of LOVE, but if somebody gives me something MATERIAL I will take it from them even if I hate them,that is just the way I am,that is there problem if they want to give away things to someone that hates them !

 

   But see your parents seem to be very similar to mine in behavior, they don't only abuse us they also want to control us for the rest of our lives by using various means+techniques+tools to accomplish that (playing the WICKED GAME with us ! ) to dominate,control and have power over us and our whole lives for as long as they shall live !  My mother is actually the one more out to dominate and control .

 

    Yes you better believe it that you will be going around again in your same old behavior patterns with your parents and end up being abused again if you take their bait !  You can keep the stuff+money that they choose to give you ( you'd be pretty stupid if you didn't !) but for your own sake you have to HARDEN YOUR HEART towards them or they will SHATTER it again and you will BLEED again ! TRUST ME this SH** NEVER ENDS !!! It's PERPETUAL INSANITY until you manage to remove yourself out of the insanity and work+fight hard to keep those suckers out of your life and far away from you !  I'm going to have to do the same thing about my parents. After 28 years of extreme mental+emotional suffering,pain,stress,absolute misery and agony because of my parents I have finally TOTALLY HARDENED MY HEART towards them no matter what games they try to play with me and my feelings and emotions, I know now they will never change,they are totally deranged evil abusers, they never wanted or loved me to begin with or something like this wouldn't have happened to me, TRUE LOVE does not hurt and harm ( I am FIRMLY convinced of that !) it is not abusive/malicious or evil !

2 Chronicaly Abusive Parents !!! - Baara - Dec 1st 2009

 

  Dear YES, I have very much the same problem going on in my life as you do, 2 TOTALLY DERANGED/TOXIC+CHRONICALY ABUSIVE PARENTS who have wrecked my whole entire life,mental health,emotional health,education,financial/economic security,I have been cheated out of all those very important things in life because of having NO CHOICE but to live with and put up with their chronic abuse and family dysfunction. I am going to be 29 this December and I'm still living with my chronicaly abusive parents (so it's going on 29 years of me living with being abused by them )  I became stuck+dependant on the very people who are the cause of all my problems !  Believe it or not but for most of my life I DID NOT FULLY REGISTER or COMPREHEND what they were doing to me and that they really don't love me at all and never did and that everything they have done to me IT'S ALL ON PURPOSE,DELIBERATE,MALICIOUS,EVIL!!! It took me a VERY LONG TIME to finally believe myself that YES what they are doing to me my whole entire life already really is ABUSE and that they are DOING IT ALL ON PURPOSE,MALICIOUS INTENT,THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO ME MY WHOLE LIFE ALREADY,and yes I have finally come to the conclusion that they have to be EVIL! Don't nobody tell me otherwise, you don't know my parents or have lived my life with them !  For a long time I WAS CONFUSED OUT OF MY MIND WITH WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THEM !!! I still get those episodes of confusion trying to figure them and their behavior out, and I HATE FEELING CONFUSED( I feel like all they are doing to me my whole life already is SERIOUSLY SCREWING WITH MY MIND and FEELINGS and EMOTIONS, SCREWING ME OVER COMPLETELY and TRYING TO PULL THE WOOL OVER MY EYES/COMPLETELY PLAY ME AND FOOL ME AND TRICK ME !!!) you are always living with that feeling that YOU ARE ON THE VERGE OF INSANITY/ABOUT TO LOSE YOUR MIND but you know deep down inside that you are not insane or sick, THEY ARE, and your heart is telling you the truth about them and what is going on. The chronic psychological,mental,emotional and verbal abuse that I have had to grow up with and have always been how my parents treated me and deal with me is really hard to describe to anyone, it all is basically not very describable to another person and also would be very hard for another person to be able to understand any of this !  My parents and their behaviors towards me my whole entire life already are VERY TRICKY/CONFUSING/BEWILDERING/DECEITFULL/HURTFULL/MALICIOUS/HATEFULL/AGGRESSIVE/HOSTILE( I have hurt very badly in my life,mentally+emotionally because of their abuse although they NEVER really physically abused me or sexually abused me, with them it's ALL PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE,MIND GAMES,(it's like they are both playing a cruel game with me my whole entire life already and they fully know what they are doing and CHOOSE to play WICKED GAMES with me and they even enjoy it and are getting pleasure out of it,getting their kicks out of all of this ! Like SADISTS ! They have a sadistic side to them ! )  It is very hard to be able to explain this to anyone else and I don't think I'll ever be able to and that is why this kind of abuse is the kind that you can NEVER get any kind of help for(it's like being TRAPPED+STRANDED+TOTALLY SCREWED on a deserted island ! ) and it's very hard almost by the looks of it to even be able to get out of a situation like this without ending up living on the street, which would be my only way out of this at this point in my life because my life got totally screwed up and off track ( totally DERAILED !!!) because of their abuse (the wicked game) and other chronic problems in my family ! I'm TRAPPED+STRANDED in my chronic abuse situation and by now I finally WISED UP to the fact that this is NEVER GOING TO CHANGE,THEY ARE NEVER GOING TO CHANGE, not when the abuse continues up to my age and up to now they have always been treating me in the same manner since my childhood.

 

 YES I really believe that chronicaly abusive people are EVIL people( that is the final conclusion that I have come to after thinking about these issues for a very long time,all other explanations and scenerios just never sit well with me or make to much sense if you really stop and think about all this stuff !  They can't possibly be sick because they only will treat their personally selected victim/s abusively and they will act differently with other people,around other people and in different situations and circumstances,they work hard to make sure that their abuse remains HIDDEN+SECRET,they can change their behaviors AT WILL and FAST if they have to in order to not be found out,all of this demonstrates that they do know RIGHT from WRONG and go ahead anyway and CHOOSE to do wrong and inflict pain/harm/evil on their victim/s of choice ! People who are REALLY SICK would be the way they are to EVERYONE they come in contact with and would therefore NOT be able to hold down any employement,they would always end up in trouble and would most likely end up hauled off somewhere !  Most chronic abusers are able to function in society very well and at work and nobody but their victim/s will ever know about or see their abusive side !  Another good example is : my parents did NOT treat my sister in the same abusive manner as me, I was the CHOSEN ONE (scapegoat) in my dysfunctional family to be the one blamed for everything that isn't right and to be abused !  And I believe that there are COUNTLESS EVIL PEOPLE out there in our world ! I have also noticed that I have a strong tendency to attract the abuser/predator type of people to me when I'm ANYWHERE,I am always running into and bumping into and meeting people who don't treat me with any decency or respect, also abuse+mistreat me and are mean to me. No it's really not in my head it's REALITY, and my whole entire life already is like something out of the TWILIGHT ZONE, a TOTAL NIGHTMARE and COMPLETE DISASTER !!! I now know that because I was abused by my parents that is why those abusive/predatory people always end up gravitating towards me, they are like sharks attracted to a tiny drop of blood in the water ! I always knew something wasn't right just like I always knew(even as a child ) that the way my parents were treating me wasn't right or fair and that it hurt alot and I was an angry and I believe already clinically depressed child because of it all !  But I wasn't no child that ever acted out or caused any problems anywhere like at home or school. I just have an angry+depressed mood every single day of my life so far and alot of other mental/emotional symptoms and issues now after all of this ongoing abuse. I have cried so much throughout my life now, my tears that I shed through the years propably would fill up many swimming pools ! Everytime I turn around I am CRYING, I think I CRY atleast ONCE daily ! 

 

  

Yes - - Sep 4th 2009

I cut it off with my abusive parents 8 months ago. These psychos sent me $1500 worth of gifts on my birthday and are trying to contact me again. They think they can suck me in, then drop the hammer on me. I have seen it done many times before. I hate these people. I never knew people could get this bad. It's absolutely horrible. They have pulled all kinds of crazed actions and blamed me for it. They will probably do it again. I want to be left alone and will get a restraining order if necessary. I can't believe this. I can't believe that this exists. I didn't even know in my childhood. I thought all children were like this. I will do everything in my power to give my children a full and loving life. I am still repairing myself from the horrific atmosphere I endured. The only way to describe it is:

PURE PSYCHOLOGICAL TERROR

The science of evil. - JR - Sep 1st 2009

A difficult point.  That "evil" is not a scientific concept (at least in terms accepted by medical professionals) is accepted.  It is, however, worth bearing in mind that the legal system in the United States (as in other common law countries) treats the actions comprehending such phenomena as sexual abuse, physical abuse, child abuse, and so on, as "evil" (acta rea) where they are accompanied by evil intent (mens rea).  Whatever about the views of clinicians and health service professionals, lawyers and lawmakers remain reluctant to "medicalise" this problem, except in cases where clear mental illness is a factor.  Even then, the perpetrator tends to end up in prison.

I might also remark that the concept of a "Higher Power" is somewhat short of scientific - but that is part of a different discussion ...

Yours from the Second Bench,

JR 

Evil - Victorious - Sep 1st 2009

'People Who Abuse, Are they Evil?'

        Y    E     S    !!!!

An abuse survivor!

  

Evil? - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Apr 30th 2009

I must admit that the man you are speaking of does sound evil. However, I suspect that he is either sociopathic or something else. From my perspective the word "evil" is not scientific. Something drives people, men and women, to be abusive. On the average, the men who are abusive are weak, troubled, overwhelmed, feaful and themselves. witnessed a lot of abuse while growing up. However, I totally understand and am empathic with your point of view. It more than understandable.

Dr. Schwartz

Evil? Yes. - Once a victim - Apr 30th 2009

As one abuser put it to me so well some years ago, we do it because it gets us what we want!  Entitlement thinking.  I can steal, lie, cheat others to get what I want also having been a victim, I have the knowledge and the ability to do that.  I can choose to kill this person for what they done to me also.  I chose not to.  I choose not to simply because it is wrong to do that to others to get me what I want or to seek revenge.  However, these people choose not to love or be understanding or caring most of the time to get what they need so I say yeah, they are EVIL.  Where I have I been?  Is there a new definition for evil now that I haven't heard of in my 50 something years????  Is there something out there WORSE THAN THESE MEN?  These men lie, cheat, beat, steal your very sould and life away and many of them do murder their victims so what is MORE EVIL than this?  Please help we victims of these people to understand what is MORE EVIL than this if it is NOT EVIL??????!!!!  Thanks.

Realiseing Abusive Behavior - Anthony - Apr 14th 2009

Im ANthony, I grew up in a home where dad was very abusive and i swore that i would not repeat it. Several years later i ended up doing just that in my own way. It cost me a marriage,3 kids and a potential engament as of present. I m seriously trying to slay this beast in my life and when i start lookin for serious help all I could find was refuge for the victims and hopeless damnation for the perpertrator which in this case would be me!! I was relieved  to find this site where there is some hope of finding help instead of hell if you really want it. Thank you for a proactive driven site towards solution.  

some people are not rehabilitatable - not a victim - Jan 19th 2009

In my long experience with recovery as a victim of abuse and 8 years of watching abusers and abused go through counseling and group and therapy, I know of only one of the hundreds I met that actually got his act together and made great strides. For the most part, the men who abuse keep on abusing no matter how old they get, no matter what the consequences and at what point do you define evil? People who are narcisstic, who inflict pain on others to make themselves feel better or not have to face things and who show no remorse and who are not trying to helpl themselves are evil. They take up wasted space on this planet and do the opposite of what most of us are trying to do; make this life and planet a better place. I wish we could round them up and put them all together and let them abuse each other. Even if they did reform decades later, it never undoes the shearing and sharp pain that seems permanent for us who are abused. Will it ever go away?

Abusers are insecure jerks - - Nov 18th 2008

Yes abusers are evil because everyone is responsible for their own actions and if anyone has been on the receiving end of abuse it is no fun.

SOUNDS PATHETIC - DORCAS - Sep 11th 2008

Kelly's situation sounds pathetic, so unreal but I know it's true. Abraham was told to get out of his family house, because God knew he would not be what He wanted him to be with him still staying in the father's house. God would give you the abilility to cope, even to the suprise of your people. I love you for being so strong and not succumbing.

Abuse - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Aug 16th 2008

Kelly, I believe that your conclusion is very realistic and I support you. They sound very toxic and you are better off without being made to feel terrible. Some people will never change and, unfortunately, that appears to be true of them. Enjoy you life and no longer allow their behaviors to upset you.

Dr. Schwartz

I will not abondon myself Public commitment! - kelly - Aug 16th 2008

I am a middle aged woman now.  I was treated for post tramatic disorder and I am fairly healthy now.  There are of course there are more things to learn.  But I no longer have nighmares, or intrusive thoughts, for the most part I am no longer hypervigilent and I have a productive life. 

I grew up in a wealthy household.  I was constantly told by my mom that she wished I was dead, that I better behave or I would be disinherited and that she wished I was never born.  She was a quite anti religion and I was interested in spirituality.  I was ridiculed for it.  They would do something like hit me and then deny it and tell me I was making it up.  They would also tell me things that they would later deny.  But I kept a journal.  So I knew.

For the last ten years I have been trying to get them to see who I am now. A few examples I offered were spending a weekend with them one on one or by going out to visit them.  The first request was denied because they "had nothing in common with me".  In the second situation they would either not be there or they would severly curtail the amount of time they would spend with me.

They are comfortable talking to everyone else but me on the phone.  They at one point told me that it was too expensive to call, this coming from someone who travels the world and buys real estate and new luxury cars.  They spend money like it is going out of style.

I was even told not to talk to my sibling, my therapist and my own Grandma! Of course they wanted to keep their behaviors hidden.  My thought was just don't do the behavior!  Then what I say about you wouldn't bother you!  Simple

My dilema today is just letting go of my sibling, who seems to have the same boiling rage under the surface towards me.  It is my last connection to that family.  I think I am going to let go

I love them but their behaviors just make me feel crazy and they won't look at it.  They do the usual scapegoating, denials and complete and utter discounting and dismisal of me.

I accept that they do not want to see who I really am.  I accept that they only want to appear to have a relationship with me so that they appear to be normal.  I will not pretend.  I have done that to my peril.  I will not allow them to shame dump on me. I will honor my own intuitions and I will become all that I can make of myself!  I will not abondon my own self. 

Just for the record, some people are too toxic to love in person.  They will be in my prayers. I wish them well.  I will no longer fan the hope that they will have the stregth of charcter to try to have a relationship.

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