Newest Members
0128, jeremywickers, JScott12, TMatti2, DaiseyLady
12502 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
fakir (71), HelpMeHelpHim32 (41), motherstars (65)
Who's Online
3 registered (Shyshark, don64, 1 invisible), 14 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12502 Members
74 Forums
64191 Topics
447937 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Topic Options
#469248 - 08/22/14 02:27 AM Recognising Manipulation and Blaming the Abuser
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 289
Loc: Europe
Way, way back in my recovery I was talking to my therapist about what my brother had done to me and how, when I asked him about it, he said he didn'T remember. He questioned my sanity, which made sense to me, because I was questioning my sanity, too.

I seemed to me that my brother was being more reasonable that I was. Saying he cared, but he would never do anything to hurt me and didn't remember doing that, and that maybe it was a dream.

I felt sorry for my brother at the time because I though, even if it DID happen (which I wasn't sure), if he doesn't remember, what could he say? Nobody would admit to that kind of thing if they didn't remember it.

What stays with me about that therapy session so long ago is at least three times the therapist asked, "Do you believe him?" and I never answered. And that stayed with me. Why was the question so important to her? Why did I talk about everything but that?

I brought this up with a newer therapist, and she helped me think about it. I think I just wasn't ready before. One thing she said was, "Sometimes not answering is an answer. If you aren't ready to answer, what is it you aren't ready for?" It was much more gentle then that, and more gradual, but she sort of held my hand as I thought through it all.

I could type a lot here, but the main thing I realised was that IF he remembered, then he was manipulating me even decades later in my recovery. Realising that made everything fall into place. By that point I was sure it had happened, so no longer dependent on his remembering. Once I was confident it happened, I still sort of let him off the hook as he himself said he didn't remember. How could I hold something he'd forgotten against him? Especially when the person he is now said he woudl never hurt me.

Then I thought about things he said. ("I never made you give me oral sex, but I think it is ok for a big brother to flash a little brother." and "Do you want to re-enact some of that to see if it helps you remember better?"

I was so injured I didn't see those comments as abusive, as giving him away. Now when I think of him as remembering, a lot of behaviours adn comments fit together better.

Not only do things make more sense, but it affirms me. I had come to terms taht it DID happen, but now I am seeing that he IS an abuser. He was then. He is now.

And seeing him as an abuser has reminded me that I'm not crazy. He almost won that one a while ago. I really thought he was the normal one. I think my therapist then saw all of this and was trying to guide me, and she helped tremendously, but this part I just wasn't ready for then, and then I had to move.

KNOWING what my brother did to me has somehow now also removed all doubt about what Mom did to me. If I'm not crazy regarding what I remember with him, then I'm not crazy about memories with her either.

This is all big, but I'm not sure why I'm posting here. I'm not sure what I'm "asking". I think one thing I am curious about is whether you, too, have recognised manipulation and how it hit you or how you dealt with it. To me it seems like the ultimate trait of the abuser, though I know not only abusers manipulate.

Anyway, realising the adult manipulations of my brother gave away his teen (and later?) tendency to abuse has really been a healing step for me.
_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

Top
#469252 - 08/22/14 04:49 AM Re: Recognising Manipulation and Blaming the Abuser [Re: learning2remember]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3517
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Learning - i think that this is a hugely important post for you.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
about what my brother had done to me and how, when I asked him about it, he said he didn'T remember. He questioned my sanity, which made sense to me, because I was questioning my sanity, too.

this is called "gaslighting" and is a classic technique of abusers to get the victim to doubt their own perceptions and sanity.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
I seemed to me that my brother was being more reasonable that I was. Saying he cared, but he would never do anything to hurt me and didn't remember doing that, and that maybe it was a dream.

another divesionary tactic. it attempts to puts the blame back on YOU.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
I felt sorry for my brother at the time because I though, even if it DID happen (which I wasn't sure), if he doesn't remember, what could he say?

sounds like he was trying to trigger a Stockholm Syndrome effect - get you to sympathize with him.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
What stays with me about that therapy session so long ago is at least three times the therapist asked, "Do you believe him?" and I never answered. And that stayed with me. Why was the question so important to her? Why did I talk about everything but that?

I brought this up with a newer therapist, and she helped me think about it. I think I just wasn't ready before. One thing she said was, "Sometimes not answering is an answer. If you aren't ready to answer, what is it you aren't ready for?" It was much more gentle then that, and more gradual, but she sort of held my hand as I thought through it all.

could be that you couldn't face the truth then because it was too hurtful to admit it. but you knew the truth deep down and could not deny it.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
the main thing I realised was that IF he remembered, then he was manipulating me even decades later in my recovery. Realising that made everything fall into place. By that point I was sure it had happened, so no longer dependent on his remembering.

YES, YES, YES!!! absolutely - it IS manipulation.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
Then I thought about things he said. ("I never made you give me oral sex, but I think it is ok for a big brother to flash a little brother." and "Do you want to re-enact some of that to see if it helps you remember better?"

This is SUCH blatantly abusive behaviour! he was essentially propositioning you - offering to do it all over again. it is a virtual admission of guilt!

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
Not only do things make more sense, but it affirms me. I had come to terms taht it DID happen, but now I am seeing that he IS an abuser. He was then. He is now.

you have come to your senses and broken free of the lies and deceptions. WELL DONE!

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
KNOWING what my brother did to me has somehow now also removed all doubt about what Mom did to me. If I'm not crazy regarding what I remember with him, then I'm not crazy about memories with her either.

sounds like you have lots more to process. take it easy - but don't back down.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
This is all big, but I'm not sure why I'm posting here. I'm not sure what I'm "asking". I think one thing I am curious about is whether you, too, have recognised manipulation and how it hit you or how you dealt with it. To me it seems like the ultimate trait of the abuser, though I know not only abusers manipulate.

this is an important truth. one of the cliche statements about sexual abuse is that it is not about sex, primarily - it is about power. that is the same thing that is true of manipulation. it may be more indirect and devious - but it is still about POWER. and the resulting feeling in the victim is the loss of power and control over their own body, mind and life. the two types of behavior - abuse and manipulation - are very closely connected and often intertwined. and often - for abuse survivors - manipulation feels like abuse because of those old associations.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
Anyway, realising the adult manipulations of my brother gave away his teen (and later?) tendency to abuse has really been a healing step for me.

you are so right. thank you for sharing this. keep up the good work!

LEE
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#469272 - 08/22/14 04:41 PM Re: Recognising Manipulation and Blaming the Abuser [Re: learning2remember]
don64 Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 827
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi learning2remember,

In my forties, a hypnotherapist I went to for smoking cessation told me I fit the profile of a sexually abused person.

I called my mother and told her, and asked her if she thought it was possible. She said, "Oh son, no. I never let you out of my sight." I knew that was a lie. But, I had no memories. At age 53 I began to remember sexual abuse from my father. At age 63 I began to remember sexual abuse from my mother. My father is a simpleton compared to her. Manipulative, narcissistic, very crazy making.

Congratulations on working through the lies. This stuff runs deep, and it may be unwinding for a long time. Be very patient with yourself. You deserve as much time and as much space as you need.

Sending you love and support.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

Top
#469279 - 08/22/14 09:35 PM Re: Recognising Manipulation and Blaming the Abuser [Re: don64]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Interesting--

I've become convinced that I was hypnotized on several occasions so that I would NOT remember anything.

Puffer

Top
#469307 - 08/24/14 01:01 AM Re: Recognising Manipulation and Blaming the Abuser [Re: learning2remember]
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 289
Loc: Europe
And using sexual stimulation to MANIPULATE: the flattery from my Mom, the touch which got a reaction I know I should hide.

My brother made me think the things he did were games, and there was one I liked so much...I didn't understand then what that kind of liking was...that I asked for it. I literally asked him to do that to me again.

They manipulated my not understanding these things; my innocense.
_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

Top


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.