I run into it all the time and have actually changed the way I talk about domestic abuse; I leave the word “narcissist” or “psychopath” out of the conversation. For whatever reason people just shut down when you give a name to the abuser. It’s like, yeah, he is abusive but he’s not a narcissist or a psychopath.
Ok. I don’t like labels either, we can call him “abusive” if that makes you more comfortable. But refusing to acknowledge they exist (narcissists and psychopaths) does not make them go away, they are still out there and they are still in your life whether you know it or not. They are living in your neighborhood, teaching your children, they are doctors, police, soldiers, bankers and many of them are sleeping in the bed of a totally unsuspecting woman. A woman who is laying there wondering what the hell happened to the man she fell in love with, wondering what she did wrong and what she can change to bring the loving sweet man she met, back.
When someone you love changes so drastically from a sweet caring guy who thinks the sun rises and sets on you into a evil, cruel, man with loathing in his eyes; you automatically look for a reason why he changed, brain tumor? People envision a psychopath looking like a psychopath! eyes that burn into you, an evil smirk, disheveled hair, they are sure they could pick a psychopath out of the crowd. They would never fall in love with a psychopath.
People get stuck on what to call them, are they sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists? They are all Anti-Social Disordered. That is a mouthful.
I was listening to a woman speak on domestic abuse survivors going back to their abuser. They go back on average 7 times before they leave for good, the reason for this is because as long as they think they have the power to fix the relationship they will keep going back. They will not stop until they have done absolutely everything they can to fix the relationship. That is what helped me stay away; every time I started to think I wanted to go back I would think about all the things I had changed trying to make it work, make him happy and nothing had worked; NOTHING! I tried to think of something I had not tried and couldn’t think of one thing, he had crossed every single boundary I had.
I didn’t know what I know now, what this woman was talking about; THEY CAN NOT CHANGE.
*NOTE I said they CAN NOT change, not they won’t, not they will not change, they can not change!! Their brains are wired differently, they do not have the capacity to feel guilt, empathy or remorse.
This woman said she showed brain scans to the victims of abuse and when they realized their ex was physically disabled and unable to change they were able to walk away.
I guess that is why being able to label the abuser becomes so important. The victims need to know, they can not “help”, fix or change him.
In order to stop domestic abuse, in order to save lives and educate society we have to call a spade a spade and admit they exist.
This is a link to a post I did a year ago