Understanding the abuser.

For sometime after I figured out that both my parents were emotionally immature and narcissists, I just wanted to wallow in self-pity and hate them with all my might. It was the first instinctual thing for me to do because all the nonsensical emotions I carried with me all these years made perfect sense. I was so elated with finding an answer that I did not want to move on from that and think about what happens next. As you might know, this stage doesn’t last long if you truly want to recover from the abuse and heal yourself.


The obvious next step for me was to confront them. Again, as you might have guessed, that did not go well. I did not try much either on that front because by then I had read enough about how the confrontation with narcissists never works. So I decided to leave that altogether, though I do lose control and ask them when some situations provoke me. I cannot be always so in control around them. At least not now.


So the next step and the only sensical step for me was to understand them. Forgiveness was not part of the process. Just understanding them as to why they turned out that way. The answer was simple as in any psychological trauma do get carried through generations. My parents did not have a good childhood. Especially, my mother, I would say. They both had absentee father figures. My dad had to deal with the loss of his mother in his teen years and was deeply traumatized by the world when there was no other adult to replace her. He was never cared for. My mother, on the other hand, was one of the last in the many children my grandparents birthed and was least cared for based on her accounts. She was ignored, she was teased for being ugly, she was not listened to and she had to care for her sister’s children when she was figuring out her life. She grew up feeling she was not valued.


Even the glimpses of family history were enough to make me realize that my parents did not know any better. But I could still not forgive them because they could have stopped the abuse with them. It was not like they intentionally carried forward the abuse but they did not try enough was what I feel. Maybe I will be able to move past it completely one day. That day is not here yet. I do feel a lot lighter nowadays having found the heart to understand them and not be angry. That is mission accomplished as of now.

2 thoughts on “Understanding the abuser.

  1. This resonates only too well with me. For my own emotional peace I’ve learned to accept apologies I’ll never receive, knowing that their limited emotional capacity for others is the sum of who they are. I can be in their company for very small doses lest the atmosphere become toxic with my reaction to their negativity.

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    1. “accept apologies I’ll never receive”..very aptly put. I am really happy you were able to find ways that work for you. I hope to do the same.

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