Warning: I’m ticked.
There came a time when I finally began to set boundaries on abusive behavior.
However, my abusers are not known for going off quietly into the night.
Suddenly having me grow a back-bone to challenge them,
or even to walk away from them, was an affront my abusers simply refused to accept.
I may be have decided by placing boundaries I would no longer accept their abuse.
Depending on the situation, I either chose I am going to speak up for
myself and others, or chose to walk away.
Although in my mind the gig was up,
but it’s never over for them. They always have one more thing to say.
For too many years, I was the little girl in the basement.
First on the farm, and then the girl with her bed in the corner of the basement in
my foster/adoptive parents home. I was made to be the brunt of jokes
about my intellect (or lack of), my looks;
my physical scars from the burns; the fact I wasn’t “blood”;
…. the list is seemingly endless.
To survive, I even laughed along but was inwardly crying.
But the biggest thing, other than overt abuse, I was invisible.
To this day, my adoptive family members attempt to talk about me in the third
person in my presence. (I say attempt because they don’t get away with that
One of my abusers appears to feel deprived of the opportunity to vent;
to unburden himself all over me. To tell me a thing or two.
But, not to worry. As the old saying goes necessity is the mother of invention.
The fact that I may no longer in contact with them,
rest assured that my abusers will still find a way to harass by proxy.
He is simply been “forced” to become creative in order to get
their message through to me.
Many abusers either can’t handle a direct confrontation. They may realize that I may possibly
refuse to speak to them if they contact me directly.
So they will enlist someone else to do their dirty work for them. – a “Devil’s Advocate” since,
despite any claims of neutrality, what he/she is truly doing
is advocating for an abuser.
One of my abusers has point-blank asked members of his church, fellow pastors,
another relative, or even attempted to manipulate my best friend to speak with me on his behalf.
Depending on who he is speaking to about me, he might go on and on,
crying a river to anyone who will listen,
pretending that he loves and misses me so much and has no idea why I am acting this way
– in general acting as pathetic as possible.
He saves this performance for church members, fellow pastors;
even one licensed Christian therapist from his flock whom I have never once seen
to “diagnose” me; select members of his family;
until some meddling busybody takes pity on him and decides to “intervene” (translate: butt-in)
by volunteering to “help” him patch things up, or criticizing me for hurting my abuser.
When this happens, sometimes the Buttinski may pretend
that she or he just can’t stand to see the two of us are “having problems.”
This Buttinski chooses to take it upon himself to contact me, of course claiming
to be doing so without my abuser’s knowledge.
This is a lie I’m long-ago been onto. The lie I’m told to make me think the
“well intentioned” Buttinski really is neutral
and is not taking sides. That the Buttinski can trusted not to
repeat whatever I might say.
I can be sure Buttinski will report every detail back to my abuser,
who knows perfectly well that Buttinski is contacting me because he either
put Buttinksi up to it, or he has otherwise manipulated said Buttinski.
Early on, I believed most of the pastors who made phony, half-hearted attempts
to get my ‘side of the story.’
I was hurting and wanted so desperately to believe the clergy- member-meddlers
really truly wanted to hear what I had to say.
I was hemorrhaging years of emotional pain from years of abuse.
At that time, I wanted badly to believe these people were indeed
interested in helping me. I probably unloaded 20 years on them.
Because I truly did believe them.
I’m by no means the only one to fall for this tactic. In fact, I know of several victims,
or should I say “escapees”, who did indeed start unloading on their clergy Buttinskis.
Who told the ugly truth concerning years of abuse, only to have the
clergy-Buttinski begin giving advice.
Advice such as about how it’s time for the victim to give over to God, not talk about it anymore lest it
damage the cause of Christ and roots of bitterness spring up in the victim and those who the victim told.
Or clergy-Buttinksi start squirming uncomfortably and mumble something about how
it’s really none of his business anyway…
He really doesn’t want to get involved, and maybe throw in, “Oh, look at the time,
I’m running late- Gotta’ go!”
As soon as they hear what was really going on all those years,
many of suddenly get a bad case of Stay Out Of It.
One of my abusers has at least one (most likely more than one)
attention-grabbing narcissist who has been more
than happy to attempt to exploit my heartache, suffering, and distress so that he can
take the credit for trying to “make peace” between me and my abuser.
He bathes in the praise he receives for having the courage
to get involved – trying to “help.”
It makes him feel important to have everyone know about the noble and selfless thing he’s doing.
At the beginning he attempted to pry, asking all kinds of nosy questions
that are none of his business in a sham attempt at “finding a compromise”.
He wants to be the big-shot with the insider information that the abuser
wants to hear. The very first time I discovered he had announced
a very small thing
(unbeknownst to him, I was testing him)
that I’d confided in him at family gathering,
discussing our conversation, in appropriately
hushed tones and with his a phony look of somber concern,
I never divulged another thing.
The attention-grabbing narcissist thought nothing of breaking my confidence.
And how they love to cluck their tongues at my “trust issues.”
He has use my pain to get attention. All the while telling himself and anyone else
he is the “peace-maker”in this situation.
Of course he has to broadcast his “selfless acts.”
After all, what good are “selfless acts” if no one knows of them?
This particular Buttinski’s chooses moments with the most embarrassment impact.
Nothing plays into an attention-grabbing narcissists
hands better than having an audience when he chooses to face me.
The audience could be other relatives or perfect strangers in a restaurant.
It doesn’t matter much if I’m present or not. His best audience of all are friends or acquaintances of
mine who don’t know him because then,
in his eyes at least, he can make me look bad to people who know me.
He has the added plus of telling people he will never see again.
This attention-grabbing Buttinski has even gone on the internet and set up many sites.
Easter weekend he found days-old comments I had authored on a facebook page
of an organization advocating for the sexually abused just
to take a pathetic opportunity to slam me.
When he was banned from slimming his caustic remarks
on that page – he was the victim.
And the fact he was banned was my fault.
His actions had nothing to do his have been banned. Nope.
In his zeal to put me on the spot, this self-righteous
Buttinski is either completely oblivious,
or he revels in the to the pain he has caused those
unfortunate innocent bystanders on that page.
Narcissistic attention-grabbing Buttinskis aren’t exactly known for their
charm and good manners.
He didn’t spend a lot of time reading etiquette books.
He makes a habit of bulldozing through other
people’s pain appearing to be oblivious to the vulgarity
of causing a scene in public website where many
sexual abuse victims find comfort and encouragement.
I’ve learned over time, whatever method a Buttinski may use, Buttinksi’s
are not the least bit interested in the truth.
They just pretend that they are, long enough to get around to whatever points
they want to make. And Lord knows after they’ve been enlightened.
They’re sure not going to be courageous enough to go
back to the abuser nor defend me.
They’re certainly not going to be man or woman enough
to apologize for any pain the Buttinski has caused myself or those around me.
You see, although they pretend to be, they don’t really want to help.
They don’t really want to “do the right thing”. That is simply not how they work.
If the definition of “peacemaking” is “establishing a state of harmony between people”,
then the place to start is with the one who causes all the disharmony.
If the “peacemaker” were to face the abuser about his behavior.
Get the abuser to agree to admit to what the abuser has done.
Then the Buttinski can approach as me victim and soothe my anxieties
by being willing to jump through whatever hoops needed to gain my trust.
My Buttinksis won’t do this because:
***They may too intimidated by the abuser to face him, but have no problem
confronting me as the victim, whom is perceived as the “weaker” or at least too “irrational”
to be deserving of any courtesy.
I’m but an object. Not a flesh and blood human being with feelings.
***Despite the claim of wanting harmony, what they really want is the status quo.
Some thrive on a constant state of crisis and chaos,
and torturous gatherings suit them just fine. Perhaps they liked seeing me as a victim stuck
in a hopeless situation, because they were just a little sadistic and cruel, too?
Or maybe more than a little bit.
Others feel better about themselves if they can view me as still a victim
who is helpless. And because misery loves company;
feel better about their own miserable lives if I am as miserable as they are.
***Some Buttinskis may have had issues with me all along
just because jealousy and resentment – I took “their place” in the family.
Or it may be something of just the way God made me. They
like to tell me how “different” I am from the rest.
They do not really have my best interests at heart but often pressured me accept my
“place” which was remaining willing to keep accepting the abuse.
They are being holier-than-thou Buttinski.
These Buttinskis attempt to make themselves look good at my expense.
They are trying to prove to myself and to everyone else, that they are a better person than I am.
If they were me they would have long-ago just “gotten’ over it.”
***Some are looking for attention for themselves and gratitude for their efforts.
If they can succeed in smoothing things over or getting information out of me,
then the abuser will be beholden to them. There’s nothing like having
the abuser owe you one. They like having “inside information”.
They love knowing that their approval or disapproval meant
so much to me as the victim that I was willing
to once again allow myself to be abused rather than lose their love.
If they can convince me as a victim to once again knuckle under then
they get to look like the hero in their mind.
To this Buttinksi, “peace” just means everything
going back to “normal”. Just like it always was, with the abuser’s behavior
just as bad as ever, everyone else overlooking it and pretending it’s not
really a problem.
Myself and any of his other victims suffering in silence and not rocking the boat.
In this situation it could be said that everyone will have peace except the victims.
Victims peace do not count.
Victims need to be kept in line.
If only I would just suck it up, stop complaining, plaster a smile on my face.
Shut up about being abused then everything could all get back to normal.
But. I’m not that little girl in the basement anymore.
The solution to achieving peace lies not in convincing
me to accept abuse.
I’m not as I once was – cowed into silence.
A true peacemaker would be willing to defend and protect the innocent;
to have the courage to take a stand up against evil;
to change things for the better. Then, and only then, will any meddler
deserve to take any credit whatsoever for bringing for any semblance of peace.