On the blog A Cry for Justice, there was a post about how to tell the difference between a true victim and an abuser pretending to be the victim. But some of it was things I do and see fellow abuse bloggers doing. I wrote,
In my own writings about the abuse I’ve experienced from friends and from ex’s, I go into a lot of detail, get angry, and do a lot of research into such things as abuse and personality disorders. …
I don’t normally mention Personality Disorders when talking to most people. But when I write about abusive experiences in memoir, I pour everything in, all the details I can think of, along with trying to figure out what drives a person to act like that, quotes from my research which describe common abusive behaviors, to help others recognize for themselves what is abuse and what is normal.
I have a strong will and don’t just figure I deserved what I got; I get very angry when I get abused. I believe that’s why my abusive ex finally left, because I refused to just accept that I deserved it.
But when I speak about being abused, I’m not making it up, I’m not the actual abuser slandering the victim, I’m opening up about what really happened and how it makes me feel.
I hope that these comments/blogs are not saying that if you’re angry, if you’ve done a lot of research into personality disorders and do know family history and have good reason to think disorders are at play, that it automatically labels you as the abuser playing the victim.
In my case, the anger is part of the detachment/healing process and a natural response to being abused, and learning about Personality Disorders has reassured me that I did not deserve what I got. —Original Post
Blogger Barbara Roberts wrote a whole post based on my comment:
Marks of a pretend victim versus a true victim
I’d been gone from the blog for a while, then came back to find this. 😀
And this isn’t the first time I’ve made a comment on a blog, then come back to find a whole post responding to it. Fortunately, it’s been favorable. 😉
Some people will make snarky comments and then get whole posts in reply, blasting them out of the water….But I tend not to make comments like that. If I don’t like a blog, I just move on.
I found Nyssa’s comments quite thought provoking. Here are my reflections so far.
When a person says “I’ve been abused, and I’m angry about having been abused!” that is not necessarily a sign that they are falsely playing the victim. Like Nyssa, I believe that anger is part of the detachment/healing process.
When a victim gets in touch with their anger and channels it to assist their recovery or to raise community awareness about abuse and so help with prevention, that is a good and healthy sign. It shows the victim is making an excellent recovery, in my opinion.
Perhaps we need to further refine our articulation of the marks of abuserese versus the language of genuine victims.
As this research quest leads to material that labels the abuse as the problem (rather than blaming the victim), the victim begins to express more anger and outrage. This is a good sign of progress in recovery.
Recovery isn’t simply about becoming angry, but when self-blame and shame are dispelled, healthy anger can come to the surface because anger is an appropriate response to injustice. Such healthy anger can then be channeled into social change and advocacy for other victims.