Victim Turns Abuser

A sad outcome but how do we change it

Victim Turns Abuser

Its a sad sad world we live in when people are brutally and willingly harmed by others. It will never stop. Hopefully overtime it will decrease if mankind can find love and compassion to support others.

How does it happen?

Someone gets into a relationship with the partner of their dreams. The one you think you’ll spend the rest of your life with. The one who will always be there for you and with you. You have the wedding, it was perfect everything the way you wanted it.

Life continued on. No real signs. Yes there were arguments. But everyone in a relationship have one right. Life isn’t perfect. And all you have to do is be a better person and it will stop. The arguments that is.

Finally the next stage in our relationship, kids two, one after another. Such a great time in life. People around congratulating us. New goals and new thought processes. Life is now complete. A family finally not just a couple. All the little steps they take and the celebrations. We were now complete.

Or were we. As we settled into our routine. Work, kids, play, work kids, play, bills, work, kids, play, bills, tiredness...

At first it was a little disagreement about the dishes, then it was that the clothes weren’t folded, then sex wasn’t enough. I wasn’t sexy enough. I was too fat. Not fit enough.

I would work on the house and make sure it was clean, I joined a gym to tone up and I read books about how to be sexy.

It was fine for a short time and then it changed. Once again I wasn’t enough but I stood up for myself. I confessed to dealing with that issue by going to the gym and I’ve cleaned day after day. Then it came... wham. A slap across the face, with a closed fist. The burning seemed to last forever. I fell to the ground and looked back in disbelief. Question. What? Why? And all I received was a laugh and a boot to my chest to push me back down. “That’s where you belong. Keep your dirty mouth shut and start pulling your weight around here. Start being worthy. Don’t look at me like that you’ve asked for this and there will be more if you can’t play your role properly. You have been getting more and more slack as time has gone on.”

So that was the beginning. My life’s routines were now clean, go to the gym, clean, workout, be polite, prepare for the nightly rituals hard sex. Unwanted. Apologise. Excuses for bruises. Panadol.

The beatings got worse. A few broken ribs. Swollen eyes. Too many doors in the way. And finally hospitalisation. Unconscious and close to death. I didn’t know much of anything for 4 weeks when I finally came to.

The first person I saw was the nurse. She was lovely. She had a warm smile and pleasant nature about her. Soft, caring nurturing. She informed me that while I was unconscious I had a regular visitor. Someone who obviously loves you very much. I was intrigued in the last ten years all my friends have slowly left, my family don’t bother anymore. A warm feeling came over me. It was nice to think that someone cared for me so much. Then guess who walked through the door with flowers.

Once I was released we went home. It was from here that I learnt if I showed real pain and harm I got the attention I was yearning for for years.

It started with cutting. It turned sex into pleasure and a real show of affection. So I did it more but I got hooked. I started to cause myself more harm. I used bricks to bruise and cut my face. Dropping heavy items on my hands at the gym. The more harm the more love I received.

There were times when I would slip up, usually because I was in too much pain and I was reminded of the painful days inflicted by someone else besides me.

Then it just happened without warning. I was alone. Why it happened I have no idea. The day started like normal. Kids caught the bus and we both went to work. That was it. No letter. No phone call. Nothing. All belongings still remained.

I found out 3 months later. A better, younger fitter option presented itself. I became determined to go on and live my life. To enjoy and feel love again I started to attend the local night spots, bars and pubs. Dressed to impress.

But I didn’t impress.

What was wrong with me?

One night out on the town and hungry for affection. It was the cold of winter and the warmth of another soul certainly sounded good. I should have been focusing on what I was doing and not dreaming. The next minute I was down on the ground.

Sore cheek bones, and a warm trickle of liquid going over my chin. I had tripped and stumbled over the raised concrete pavement. Just outside the pub.

Before I knew it I was being assisted inside and given some tlc. It felt so good. I felt warm again and cared for. The touch of another human being, even if it was just to wipe the blood off.

That’s were my role changed. I was no longer the victim. I was the abuser.

I learnt that by being a victim I received the attention I needed. I went back to my old ways and created injuries. When that didn’t work I’d tell people about my life and the abuse I went through. Many people were concerned about my wellbeing.

So I started to push it more and as I was still alone I increased my comfort companion, alcohol. Felt good to share my night with someone or something. 1 bottle 2 bottles. Who cares it numbs the emotional pain.

Overtime I became increasingly more obsessed with causing pain, ringing, texting people telling them I’m in danger. Won’t someone help me.

At times I would connect with someone and it would be wonderful. We’d go out together, laugh plan things together. Once the honeymoon phase was over. It turned ugly again. I talked more about my past life and it dragged me down. At first it was working for me because I was getting more attention. Some sweet soul who thought they could save me. They thought saving me from the trauma of my past abuse by others. But what I really needed was saving from myself. So once again the self harm would start all so I didn’t lose the attention I needed.

They would all leave in the end. Poor souls.

People wisened up with my antics. Slowly but surely what friends, acquaintances I did have became a blur.

Word had got around and even the lower part of society avoided me. I had to change my shopping paths and find some new bait.

Hanging out at the pubs I’d hear people complaining about their partners. So I’d befriend them. Soon enough it would lead to sex. For them some comfort for the short term to help deal with their pain. For me grasping at straws, wanting what others had. That person to go home to. The person to have normal disagreements with.

I wasn’t going to find it here. Deep down I knew that. But I kept hoping that maybe the next one will be the one who will free me from myself.

When this didn’t happen I started to cause trouble in their lives. Hoping that it will turn to shit for them and they’d have to come for me.

I don’t know how many relationships I split up. Lost count. Too many partners heartbroken by my actions and some I had befriended so I could get in sweet and be around them more so I could have a part of what they are having and then we’d have sex later.

Where does all this end? I don’t know. Being a normal human being was so long ago. I don’t remember how to do it. How to live a normal day. How to survive without alcohol. How to not seek affection comfort through self harm and attention seeking.

All I see in front of me is a slow spiral down to the deepest of all darkness.

People have genuinely tried to help me. But I don’t want to let go of my safety net, the attention I receive from others when harm is caused. I have to have it. It’s like a drug.

Does this still make me a victim?

Yes, and an abuser.

This story is fiction but it happens out there in our society. Communities need to work together at recognising and supporting the weaker members. Stand up for the wrong and guide to the better part of life.

Sometimes though time comes when you need to realise something.

People don’t want to be changed and until they do you can’t do anymore to help.

Sad but true.

Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Susan Martin Dalzell
See all posts by Susan Martin Dalzell