Saturday, November 18, 2006

State Of Victimness

This Metafilter post seeking help for a woman in an abusive relationship has some very thought provoking comments from readers. Anyone who has either seen a bad relationship at close quarters or been in one themselves will be able to relate to the themes that come across. In the final analysis there is no silver bullet in the form of a combo involving getting a restraining order, packing her bags and leaving, calling the women's shelter and such like.

Like Leo Tolstoy said "All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Similarly each abusive relationship is abusive in its own way. There is a fine balance of power between the abuser and abusee that lends many shades of gray to their relationship. To reduce all of that to black and white is over simplistic and does not help anyone. It takes perspective to see an abusive relationship for what it truly is - something that friends or family privy to only one side of the story most often lack.

There are a lot of generous and principled people out there who will root for the victim and do their utmost to rescue them from a toxic relationship. While they may be successful in extricating them from it, they can't do much to change the relationship copybook that the abusee creates for herself - it is fairly common to see the very same abuser-abusee pattern repeat itself in future relationships.

The medevacing of the victim by concerned and well meaning outsiders is akin to treating a slightly gangrenous wound by amputation. A more holistic approach would be to seek and remedy the root cause of the condition. Not many victims get the support they need to reach an honest assessment of how they contributed to and fomented their own victimness. Until they are able to do so, their self esteem will continue to be depleted causing them to gravitate to their comfort zone where being abused is a natural state of being.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the last part of the "State of Victimness" post. Yes once you mentioned gangrene its dangerous if its not amputated. That Gangrene may spread to the whole body and the person will die of Gangrene which is fatal. So whatever the part is diagnosed as Gangrene remove it totally, poison should be removed completely. Domestic Violence is poisonous Gangrene. Better to live amputated than dead. You can find lot of continuous support once you walk away from Domestic Abuse.