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Posted by: Tyllo ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 07:53PM

It seems to me that abusive people lack empathy and that they do not understand that they hurt people because they get angry when people tell them to stop.

When people try to stop them they defend themselves.. And so on and so on.

Is it possible to reach them in any way and make them understand what they are doing?

A person in my family acts emotionally abusive and he gets offended when people try to make him stop. This last week he walked straight up to me and told me with a grin that I was worth the cheap clothes I was wearing.

My hopes are fading because it does not seem to stop. It only get worse and worse.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 08:03PM

He's trying his very best to rattle you (and to get your attention,) so don't let him do that. Have a calm, world-weary response at the ready, such as, "Is that really the best that you've got?" Or, "Did that comment work for you in middle school?" Or, "You really need to work on your insults. That one is just pathetic." Or just roll your eyes at him. Treat him like an immature, misbehaving adolescent.

But ultimately, I think you will need to steer clear of him. It would take a professional to fix his problems, if they can be fixed.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 08:16PM

Abusive people do lack empathy. Some don't understand that they hurt people, most know that they hurt others. And hurting others is sometimes the point of their actions.

I have a dad who's emotionally abusive and likely an undiagnosed narcissist. Mom keeps insisting that she's trying to help him become a better person, I've tried pointing out how he treats us is wrong, my sisters also tried it. Our attempts to get him to stop taught me that you can't pull someone's head out of their ass for them. If he doesn't face consequences for how he treats us and can't claim we just "have a victim mentality" or are "spoiled brats," he'll just keep doing it.

As harsh as this may sound, you may have to cut the bastard out of you life. He won't change if he doesn't want to and abusers NEVER want to change. You can't save them and they will continue to hurt you. Just torch the bridges.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 09:05PM

There are many good people in the world. I wouldn't waste my time on someone who thinks they can insult me in such a rude way.

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Posted by: anon for this comeback ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 09:42PM

"that I was worth the cheap clothes I was wearing"

The correct response:

"Says the guy that can't count past 20 unless he's naked – and even then can only get to 20-1/2."

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Posted by: bobofitz ( )
Date: January 12, 2019 11:52AM

Yes, that’s a clever response. However it’s too canned and takes too long to say. Besides if you roll in the mud with a pig, you both get real dirty...and the pig loves it.

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Posted by: doyle18 ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 10:04PM

I also think it's best to just cut this abuser out of your life as they're never going to change. They really don't care that they're hurting anyone, actually they enjoy it. Unfortunately, it might mean having to cut off contact with the person's flying monkeys, or those who support him. It's hard when it's family, but life is too short to put up with toxic people who are abusive.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 11:51PM

It might help for you to read about sociopaths and psychopaths and narcissists. These personality types all are in a category named "Cluster B." These people are behavioral types, and not in the "psychotic" spectrum. A person with a psychosis is out of touch with reality. A Cluster B knows exactly what he is doing.

There are a few valuable bits of information, that I got from my studying:

First of all, your abuser already knows what he is doing. There is no need for you to bring him into "awareness." My brother used to break my toys, and trip me and cause me to fall, but would say "oops...sorry," like it was unintentional. My other brother and I knew his actions were deliberately meant to cause HARM TO OTHERS.

A Cluster B is never accountable for his actions. My brother never had to replace a broken toy, or a broken chair. He never apologized for breaking my nose (right before Prom) or hurting my pets (I would not have pets in our house), or anything else.

My abusive, psychopath brother was 6 years older than I, and very large and frightening. He was allowed to beat me, any time he felt like it. Our TBM parents' response was, "You know we can't control your brother. We warned you to stay away from him." When I got big enough, I learned to kick him hard in the shins, to defend myself. The problem was, that whenever I did, he would yell and swear and throw a huge tantrum, and my parents would punish ME for kicking him. He would turn everything around, so it was MY FAULT--or anyone else's fault, but his.

Cluster B's are very manipulative. My brother evoked pity from all our Mormon friends, because he always got picked-on at school. In reality, HE was the school bully! He bullied little girls, mostly, and he got some harsh beatings from their brothers. I was at the same schools as my brother, so I knew, but my parents would not believe me. They were in denial.

My brother couldn't get any girls to go on a date with him, so well-meaning Mormon ward members would fix him up with their daughters, including a few of my friends. The reason girls would not date him, was that he objectified women, and talked dirty to them, and threatened them. He was very creepy and scary. He was more of a psychopath than a sociopath, so he lacked the smooth manners and pleasant appearance of a sociopath. He could bear a powerful testimony, though, and made a big deal out of going on a mission. He was absolutely false. His mission president wanted to send him home after a few months of his mission, but my father bought a car and drove it down to my brother's mission, and donated it. Nothing was ever said. Horrors like my brother are kept secret, and the secret was kept by the entire Mormon community.

When my brother got older, he was into voyeurism, and would walk in on our nieces when they were getting dressed, and he stole their underwear, which I found in his drawer--but, again, when I warned the family about him, they just laughed at me, and said he was just a harmless crazy uncle. These nieces (from two separate families) are in their mid-thirties, now, and have never had boyfriends. I can't help but think my brother had something to do with this, but their secrets are well-kept, too.

As for me, I have PTSD, and married not one, but two Mormon sociopaths, and have been twice divorced, and I will never get married again.

What stood out in capital letters in your post, Tyllo, was the sentence, "My hopes are fading because it DOES NOT SEEM TO STOP." (caps are mine).

My brother never stopped. My parents couldn't stop him. The Mormon mission didn't stop him. Being kicked out of BYU didn't stop him. Being fired from countless jobs didn't stop him.

I became an athlete, because I learned to get away from my brother. For me, throughout my life, running away has been one of my top solutions. Several times, fleeing has saved my life! I would spend my growing up years at school, the library, on the sports fields (my refuges that were adult-supervised). At home, I would bolt my door, and when he would break that, I would climb a tree or jump the tall backyard fence. I lived in constant vigilance. Perfectionism and criticism from the Mormon cult, anxiety attacks, stomach aches every night, and a feeling that I wasn't worth saving, made me feel like a "nothing."

I felt horribly guilty about cutting off all contact with my brother. It was difficult, because he lived with my parents his entire life. When he started abusing my children, I could no longer have them stay at that house. After we moved to Utah, my brother would fly over here, uninvited, and bang on my door, for me to let him in. I had to calm myself down, and remind myself that he was an adult with a ton of money, and could afford a hotel. We all told him he was not welcome at our house, and he knew why. My poor old mother would cry, and say, "Your brother loves you, and would give you the shirt off his back." My reply was, "But he won't stop abusing us."

My parents and other brothers and their families would come to my house, and I never did take my children back "home."

When my brother died, he had two lawsuits against him for sexual harassment, from two different neighbors.

Honestly, in my life, I have never seen a bigger, more grandiose Mormon funeral. He had been a huge tithe payer.

"Steer Clear"
"Burn the Bridges"
"I wouldn't waste my time"
"No contact."

Best advice ever, from the posters here.

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Posted by: reinventinggrace ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 06:05PM

exminion -- this is an epic story.

I'm very sorry that you and your family members were let down so many times by systems of authority that should exist to prevent harm like this.

You should consider posting it in a new thread, to see what types of memories it compels other people to share. As is -- no need to edit or elaborate, unless you have more to say...


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Posted by: Tyllo ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 01:31AM

Wow! Love your support.

Yes, I suspect this is a question about narcissism.

The pain is that I loved him for the person I thought he were but he seems to take it as a offence because he only wants supply.

- He must be the "Best"
- And I must be the "Less"

He does not see the whole picture and lack empathy but blame me for lacking empathy because I do not say that he is the best. I "only" love him.

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Posted by: lisadee ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 12:17PM

My usual response to such people is "Your life must be really miserable..
So, you're STILL having a bad childhood...I rebuke your demons in the name of Jesus."

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Posted by: OneWayJay ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 12:29PM

Let him know a repeat and he's cut off completely. NO more contact at all.

Now, if a physical abuser - you report to the cops. Push it no matter what anyone says. Way too many know of this, especially against kids - and keep silent. They are as guilty as the abuser because they allow it to keep happening. They and the abuser can be dealt with later, as the abused victim grows up and gets the power to screw them in so many quiet and legal ways.

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Posted by: Lake ( )
Date: January 12, 2019 10:42AM

Interesting you should bring this up. I have a couple of abusive tbm relatives (not sexual but verbally bullying and occasionally physically abusive; a very short temper that they mask by appearing especially sweet outwardly) and we are not quite sure whether or how to warn others about them. Their personalities are not immediately obvious, as they are great manipulators. Their true characters are only obvious to those who live with them daily, but they can mask or hide it quite well at least initially. For example, one is about to be engaged to an unsuspecting non-Mormon whom he is trying to convert.

My gut says yes, but the problem with doing so is that doing so could find its way back to the abuser, and then some sort of vindictive behavior could be attempted against me/us. This is the challenge that affects anyone who tries to stand up to or even estrange themselves from a bully. If you cut them off but stay quiet about the reasons for doing so, they can leave you alone but continue the cycle with others. If you try to speak out or warn people, or stay engaged with them and expose what they do, they will usually try to come after you.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: January 12, 2019 10:59AM

I can only relate this to my relationship with my mother. I grew up being constantly criticized. I was never praised. I could never do anything right.

Finally I'd had enough and I announced that any time she criticized me in the future, I would simply walk away and I did just that. Following through with the threat was important.

One time I drove an hour to visit her. I walked in the door and the first words out of her mouth were negative criticisms, so without a word, I silently pivoted and calmly walked out the door.

The friend I was with was stunned that I'd done that and said that my Mom looked shocked. I'd just reached the point where I wasn't going to put up with it anymore.

I think my mother does lack empathy and I've realized that she's simply not capable of it. But things have been a lot better between us since I made that decision years ago. We have a fairly decent relationship today.

I think she thought I was weak before and had no respect for me, because she saw me as having no self-respect. She seems to respect people more who stand up for themselves.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: January 12, 2019 01:58PM

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Posted by: Lake ( )
Date: January 12, 2019 04:50PM

Tylo and Exminion, so sorry for what you've been through. I would say yes, abusers sure seem to lack the "empathy gene" but have also noticed some bullies also try hard to win people over with flattery or other means and attempt to fake being empathetic, which seems real for a moment or two. But in my experience, it doesn't last - and they soon show their true colors. The fakery can work wonders on unsuspecting folks who don't know them well or see them every day etc. Only those who live with them or see them on a day to day basis know what they're really like, unfortunately.

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