With my previous counsellor, we discussed the need that I have to look after those who are outwardly cruel to me. How in the aftermath of their cruelty, I put myself aside and feel sorry for them.
How bizarre that sounds. Imagine taking care of the very person that hurts you. Imagine feeling their hurt instead of your own.
I have done this with my ex-husband who was physically abusive when we were married and lately has taken to ignoring me and even turning his back to me in a very noticeable way when he comes to collect my son for his weekend visit to his dad’s. Even my son has asked why daddy doesn’t look at mummy. How pathetically and childishly he behaves. He has sent me very insulting texts and called me a bad mother etc etc, yet there are times that I can forget all his cruelty and feel that I want to give him love and take care of him. Is that what’s known as Stockholm’s syndrome; being conditioned to look after the people who abuse, neglect and negate you the most?
From the outside people are able to say ‘Forget Him’ “He’s a moron” “He’s a fool” but why don’t I, the victim, feel it that strongly. How am I able to weaken my boundaries so easily and forgive and feel for people who clearly don’t deserve my kindness.
I have been thinking again about this as a man I slept with told me that I am not relationship material because of my ‘attitude’. This was following a message in which I expressed myself honestly and told him that I felt he was being deceptive by stringing me along and not really caring for me. He then said he would no longer be nice to me and that I could still call him for sex but that was all he was and that I should look elsewhere for something serious. He did this after learning about the abuse I suffered as a child without so much as a word of empathy or sympathy.
Yet still there is a part of me that feels responsible and accountable. A part of me that regrets expressing myself and wishing that things could be different. A part of me that thinks he could change and become kind with all my love. This is a pattern of dysfunction I notice in me. I want to reach into the fibre of my being and remove it. I want to be kind to those who deserve it only. I want to stand firmly and protect my boundaries jealously from those who are so cruel and self-serving. I want to walk away from these people and not want to stay and love and look after them. It is deeply frustrating and confusing to feel this way.
I think it does have a lot to do with taking care of my father the abuser and my mother the conspirator. It has everything to do with feeling responsible for everything they did and didn’t do and feeling that somehow it was because of me that it happened. So I want to change cruelty in the present and somehow undo the past subconsciously by trying to make that cruel person love me. A part of me painfully aches as it tries to make that love come from that empty place and when it doesn’t it tells itself that it’s because of who I am that the love is not forthcoming.
Yet rationally, the love is not forthcoming because these are people who are empty themselves and cannot love. The man who said I was not relationship material has never been in a proper relationship because all he does is have casual sex. He knows nothing about me nor has he tried to know. He cannot show empathy because he has none. I am just a warm body for him. And my ex is bitter and hateful towards me; making himself the victim yet he lost his wife and child due to his anger problem.
I want to reach deep within and rip out that bias towards cruel people and that need to be loved and loving and pleased and pleasing to everyone. I want to replace it with a steely nerve and strength to move far away from toxic people who don’t care for me at all and don’t see or hear me. I don’t want to understand and feel their pain and emptiness at the expense of mine. I want to understand this and change it at that very very deep level. I don’t want to be attracted on any level to cruelty and dysfunction.It’s so hard.