I’m gonna drive right into this list, but before I do, I want to preface it with something to keep in mind.
Remember, that you can read all the blogs and watch all the YouTube videos, but at the end of the day, only you know your story. And each video and blog is from one person’s perspective.
I’ve come to find that abusive people are’t really anything new. And neither are their tactics. Personality and character will always play a role in your abusers actions, of course, but Abuse is it’s own set of traits and behaviors: and the heart of it varies little.
So, here we go…
1. They never actually apologized.
If you’ve been hit, threatened, called names and cussed at, manipulated, and lied to, you better believe your britches you deserve a heart-felt apology.
An apology offers to you with open palms what was never offered to you in the darkness: the respect of common decency and the acknowledgment of the reality you lived in for so long.
2. They won’t admit what they did.
This better send up some serious red flags. Like MAJOR.
It’s not that you should expect someone to relive and relive the trauma they caused. This isn’t about vengeance. Check your heart here.
But God spoke words and life burst into being. And when we speak true true words we accomplish the same, although, obviously on a less cosmic scale…
If you’ve had lies and lies poured over you. If you’ve been left with bruises. If you’ve had to dial 911 while your hands shake and the bathroom door is being kicked in…then you deserve the respect of an admission.
Half-hearted attempts such as, “I know I wasn’t the perfect parent,” ARE NOT ADMISSIONS OF PAST BEHAVIOR…it is just another tool of manipulation used to minimize the abuse and make YOU seem like a jerk for expecting “perfection.”
Healthy people admit their behavior. End of story. Manipulative Abusers don’t.
3. They won’t do anything to earn back your trust.
You want to know if someone loves you? Then they will work to earn your trust back.
THEY WILL WORK TO EARN YOUR TRUST BACK!
Healthy, changed people do the work, make the effort, go the extra mile, say out loud the truth of what they put you through.
I’ll say it again…
Manipulative Abusers don’t.
4. They’ve replaced you.
I’m gonna say something hard…
That chances are, if someone won’t apologize to you, won’t admit the trauma they caused you, and won’t do anything to get you back…they probably never loved you in the first place, and it is highly likely they don’t now.
Maybe they thought they loved you. Maybe they knew all along that they didn’t. I don’t know. But this might be the first time you are hearing it: that’s NOT love.
Love is patient and kind. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. It always hopes and helps and forgives even when it is impossible hard. It believes all things, even when it is impossibly impossible.
Abuse doesn’t. Abuse is harsh and cruel. It remembers every word you ever said, so they can be used against you. Remembers words from weeks and decades ago. Abuse discourages, undermines, lies, and it’s goal, it’s main mission, is to steal and kill and destroy your soul.
Abuse tells you you are ugly and have no worth. Abuse spits on you while you cry hot tears and smiles that evil, crooked smile while your heart breaks right inside their open palms across your cheek.
Love adds value…if it doesn’t, it’s something else. Love sees the best parts of you and believes them. Love sees the worst parts of you, and stays anyway.
Abusers do not add value. They cannot. Not really. You’ll notice this over time…people in relationships with abusive people never really thrive. They are fearful, anxious, depressed, stressed, jumpy.
Kids with abusive parents, the kind of abusive parents who hide in plain sight, these kids have a lot of unresolved issues: risky sexual behavior, anger, violent episodes, unexplained rashes and allergies, panic attacks and most of all, a self-esteem so low it pervades every moment and every aspect of life.
These kids will probably be extremely good liars. Because the truth of what they endure is too painful to speak the truth about. They learned to lie. And they learned young.
Your abuser will replace you, because they never actually loved YOU. They loved their control of you. They loved the way they could manipulate you, use you. You were a game to them. A thing to have. And never a soul to love.
Never someone worth fighting for.
Because Love makes immeasurable effort to love.
5. They do not respect your boundaries. And even deeper, they will use your boundaries against you, twisting what you said so plainly.
Set a boundary with a Abuser and watch them absolutely lose it. It’s kind of like a front row seat to an adult temper tantrum. And it’s neither attractive nor fun.
In my experience, for my own story, my abusers’ response to my boundaries verged on demonic.
They howled at the mention of a line drawn in the sand to limit their treatment of me. And they routinely lied about my boundaries to other people…causing further pain for me and further confusion for everyone around us.
I’m not saying that all Abusers are also Narcissists. BUT I AM SAYING that all Narcissists are Abusive and it’s more likely than not that your Abuser is a Narcissist.
The good news? Narcissism isn’t a Mental Illness…it happens to be a choice.
It is not recommended that you hold your breath waiting for an Abusive Narcissist to change their ways.
6. They search for alternative ways to get back into relationship with you, even though nothing has changed on your part.
I’ve literally never understood this. Why on earth do Abusive people want you back?? Are they obsessed with control? Are they feeling guilty on one hand but too proud on the other to actually change? Do they think you’ll have forgotten their treatment of you?
I don’t get it.
Maybe they will send you gifts, send messages through a mutual friend or a family member.
Ultimately, they want you back without having to do ANY of the work.
Again, it’s like a toddler throwing a tantrum…they want what they want, but lack the maturity and self-awareness to express themselves as adults. They are throwing a fit.
Alicia Dean is the creator of the blog She Writes It Plain. She is passionate about shedding a light on Child Abuse, and offering hope and healing to victims of abuse through her writing and her own story.
You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram for more content and encouragement.