Fellow survivor, you make some really good points!
I don't know (hard evidence) and yet I know
(discernment, "reading the signs") that my mother, my primary perp, was in some way sexually incested, verbally abused, emotionally abused, and probably physically abused as well.
Just like me. Hmmmm...
Now of course this is in no way justifies her abusing me, and I know you're not saying that it does. However it is, if nothing else, a warning to me about "the vampire syndrome" (never heard that before; fitting analogy).
Very insightful stuff there on self-abuse, too! Self-abuse is in general more socially acceptable or tolerable than "others-abuse." And it, again in general, does have less negative influence & impact on others, at least immediately & directly.
But none of us lives in a vacuum or is an island unto ourselves. What one person does inevitably affects those around him, who in turn affect those around them...This ripple effect may fade, or it may build into a tidal wave of overt & violent behavior in someone somewhere along the way.
Dave/Lloydy posted an interesting article about this in the public forums, about the aboriginal Indians in Canada and their communal way of dealing with sexual offenders. It points out that sex offenses are considered to be rooted in broken relationships within the community that need mending, not isolation. That's what we're talking about here.
If I abuse myself I'm not loving myself. If I don't love myself I can't love others--which means I might abuse them. If I abuse myself it affects my attitude & my actions, making them more abusive, even toward others.
Now I haven't repeatedly ran & bashed my head into a brick wall or anything. But I have over & over again smashed my head against walls of addiction & compulsion, obsession & loss of self-control.
Among other things, this has been corrosive of my relationship with my wife, including sexually. Is that a crime? No. Is it a sin? Yes!
IMNSHO, no abusive action, not even toward oneself, affects only oneself. Even if it did, it would still be abusive, and wrong.
"I have seen the enemy, and it is I!"
How many people can say they've never abused?
As another wise man once said (in the context of an act considered, at least in his time, sexually abusive; ie adultery), "Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone."...
Let's see: alcohol & substance abuse, anger, adrenalin & other addictions & compulsions; fighting, hitting, berating, road rage...
As clearly as with someone in a glass house, I am in no position to throw stones...
Whether those things are now totally or largely in my past or not.
Rax, I too am very grateful for the therapist, doctors and support friends who help me move beyond abuse: the abuse perpetrated against me, and the abuse I perpetrate against others.
Thanks & take care