This is probably the one area where we disagree, to a point. There is a lot of help out there for the victim, the 'doormat' personality. But often these people's self esteem has been so damaged they do not recognize they need, can get, the help they need. For some, the very idea they can exist without the abuse or the abuser is something they simply can't fathom or feel they deserve. It's a little different for the volcano personality who is often keenly aware of his Jekyll and Hyde personality (ie a great guy at work, a raving maniac at home). The 'doormat' personality may be actively complicit in the volcanos reactions and use them to deflect rage from his/herself and onto others, sadly often the children in such a home. Other times, this victim will shield the children. Obviously one type is more complicit than the other, and less deserving, if you will, of sympathy.
It is unreal. Now how to get the victim to seek help or step away from the abuser? I think it's a question of how aware she is that she is part of the problem and/or part of the solution. If you've ever met anyone convinced they aren't worthy of anything good, you'll know what I mean. They expect insults, negative comments, etc. They don't know how to process praise, complements, etc, and can be suspicious of them since many abusers will sometimes feel guilty and shower their abused with praise because the abused has at least in the moment corrected the fault that sets the abuser off (it's never their fault). Faulty logic for all, but if it's all one's ever known, then when does reality get a chance to break in?
I guess for many of the 'doormats', some responsibility is needed, but I think that to truly break the cycle, they need to get away from the abuser (how to convince them to do so, I don't know) and realize they don't have to live in such a world of reward/punishment that is radically opposed to the real world.
It is UNBELIEVABLY sad for the children who learn their respective roles (volcano or doormat) and will, without fail, repeat the cycle.
Yet, some can and do break away and break the cycle. And live normal lives. Our answers lie in what gives them, and the victims and abusers who truly change, the strength and courage to live differently. It is terribly sad for the kids. That is where some sympathy, some recognition that the abused and even the abuser deserve some sympathy and a chance to change, so their children can live differently and see their parents truly change for the better.
I guess what's so annoying is that when the volcano erupts, the doormat weeps to the world. All the hankies come out IN SUPPORT for the doormat.
Some weep in silence, hidden from the world, they are deserving of all our sympathy. Remember, the 'doormat' is a victim and does deserve some of our sympathy. It may be a fear response, the weeping to the world, to hold back our hand, a tactic that may have worked with the abuser. They are operating on faulty logic.
This story provoked a lot of feelings, didn't it?
It really does.
Having strength and courage has NOTHING to do with gender. REAL men are attracted to REAL women and vice versa....both which have strength and courage to go through life and its troubles, woes, crosses and griefs.
I didn't mean to imply that. Nor does it assign victimhood, men and women can be either role it seems, abuser or abused. I agree. But not all abused are doormats. For some of these victims, it's all they know and they've been browbeaten into thinking it's all they deserve, much like prisoners of war or kidnap victims can be browbeaten into a complete personality change. I'm not a regular listener of Dr. Laura. I know I do agree with at least some of her points. But for the person who knows no other way, to tell them to no nonsensely take charge of their life is to no avail because they know no other life than abuse. Those are the smaller amount truly needing some sympathy and serious help to get away from the cycle.
Well, I've gone on quite a bit! ;-) Michaelangelo was a smart man! I'm still learning, too.
I agree with some sympathy.
Have you ever heard of Delancy Street? It's a rehab/detox place for drug/alcohol abuse, especially for the former.
They give their people only ONE chance. If they blow it, they are out. They are very successful.
There are (mostly) men there who come in AT THE VERY BOTTOM of the pit of life. Their stories of home abuse would rip your heart out. From their stories you would believe that they were DOOMED forever.
Yet, they dig themselves out of the pit. Delancy Street gives them the chance....no tears, no sympathy, no whining, no victimhood...just the chance to be some place where they can learn to be clean and sober.
The strength of character that it takes to do this is incredible and many people simply do not have that in them.....ever.
That doesn't mean that those sad sacks ought to get a pass on trying to do better, ought to be enabled, wept with as hopeless, given money because they are "disabled" and certainly not rewarded with sympathy and money because they are weak. NO ONE is completely "helpless" except for the mentally ill/deficient, children and sick elderly.
Misplaced compassion gives HAND-OUTS; true compassion gives HAND-UPS. Huge difference. Going on and on and on about why they CAN'T defies the very meaning of being an AmerICAN.
I've heard ALL THE STORIES OF low self esteem, damaged lives, codependence, enabling -- all the jargon, drama and tears that women (and men) can dredge up on a DAILY basis. I call it the Land of 1001 Excuses. WhineyLand. he "Yeah...but" Excuses.
It will never stop, imho, because people WOULD RATHER do nothing, suffer, weep and weep some more....because what they would have to do to change things is simply TOO difficult to do. They will doom themselves and their children to repeat this horrific cycle.
The self-pity, misplaced compassion, victimhood and tears have to stop at some point. Often the point is when these women STOP thinking of themselves (Poor pitiful Pearl syndrome) and start thinking of their babies.
It's good that there are people like you and me. You weep with them and I tell them to stop weeping and grown some backbone. They need both, I suppose.
It's just that on this thread I only saw YOUR type and not mine.
Balance is needed, don't you think? [It's a rhetorical question. You don't have to answer. :o)]