Richard’s lack of action made him a passive abuser

I thought that Tracy was the abuser, and Richard the long-suffering victim.  In many cases, he did note Tracy’s abuse of him and of the children, and did try to stop it.

But as I’ve already shown, he excused far too many of her abuses.

He excused her jealousies toward him, said that she would get jealous because of pregnancy hormones or abusive because of stress,

excused her bullying of me because I wasn’t being social enough for her (as if she’d ever be satisfied),

excused her smacking their tiny 3-year-old on the back of the head,

sometimes got mad at her for screaming but at other times excused screaming as somehow necessary in raising a respectful child,

excused her verbal abuse of me and even got upset with Jeff for objecting.

He already knew she was never satisfied, since a family member had noted it, so how could he expect me to ever satisfy her demands of me?

He was right there as she bullied me again and again with snarky comments, yet he defended her verbal abuse of me as somehow “justified” because I was pulling back from her to avoid more snarks.

(Why shouldn’t I stop posting on her Facebook if she twists everything I write?  Why shouldn’t I avoid talking to someone who ridicules me just for putting sunscreen and bug spray in a backpack and taking it into the backyard?)

So even though he may not have been abusing the children or me himself directly, he became an abuser by excusing the abuse:

When I was forced to admit by dint of my father’s letters to me over the summer and fall of 2005 that his sympathy was all for my mother I labeled him an abuser from that point onward.

This is because of the bedrock reality that those who excuse abusers are themselves abusive.

No matter the appearance of a mild-mannered nature — if a person excuses abusers it is because there is some space in their minds which accedes to the notion that in at least some cases abuse can be justified.

In the case of my father there was some evidence of aptitude for abuse, but it was rare enough that I could easily forget and thereby resume my opinion of him that he was not abusive.

His unmitigated support of my mother, his lack of having ever protected myself or my daughter from my mother’s abuses, his absolute demand I be the one to apologize, move on and forgive my mother in the absence of any sincere effort on her part to make things right,

his unsubtle reminders of the sins of my youth to try to prove I had no right to hold my mother to any account…all these things proved to me once and for all that he is an abuser himself.

Only abusers are willing to grant other abusers the right to abuse! It is at its very root a pass they are giving to themselves. Excusing abuse is abuse in itself. It is a red flag that the person has themselves a propensity for abuse.

Granting absolution to abusers is always an extremely selfish thing to do; it ignores the humanity of the person abused and preserves compassion for the one doing the abusing and by doing so gives the person excusing the abuse a pass for the abuse they may decide to dish out themselves. —They DO Have Empathy…Just Not For You

[Note written on 5/2/12: This turns out to be true.  I wrote this section before learning that Richard is indeed an abuser himself, that in September 2010, he nearly choked one of his daughters to death!]

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing