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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » The excuses you made for them.

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Author Topic: The excuses you made for them.
Executive Director & Founder
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So often, it's clear that until someone gets out of an abusive relationship, they don't recognize how often they make excuses for a partner's abuse, self-blame or rationalize their abuse away with a million different excuses and fables.

If you've gotten out of abuse, what excuses did you make for an abusive partner? What did you tell yourself or others to try and diminish or explain away the abuse? What were the things you thought or said to deny the abuse or deny that the abuse was something they chose to do and were responsible for?

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Saffron Raymie
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He was way, way insecure.

He was spolit as a child.

His parents couldn't say no to him.

He didn't understand no.

He saw no as rejection.

He was still screwed up over his ex-girlfriend

He was too immature

He couldn't control his anger or sadness

Or love. He loved all his partners way too much.

He needed more love than I could give.

I was paranoid.

I was insecure.

I was too high maintainence.

I didn't live in the real world and expected things I couldn't have.

My boundaries weren't clear because I had low self esteem.

I was driving him crazy.

[ 03-23-2011, 07:51 AM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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I said it wasn't his fault, he had learning disabilities, he had a rocky relationship with his dad, he was struggling and felt alone. I told myself he only acted like this because we were long distance (during the part where we were long distance) and it'd be different if we were together long term. I told myself, convinced myself, it was just what boys did.

Never mind I was also struggling, never mind he acted the same way when we were together, never mind there is nothing that is "just what boys do."

I was able to ignore the never minds though, because I kept most of it secret, and sugar coated everything to my friends. And, if I couldn't down play it, if my friends called me out, I'd cope out by saying "oh, there are good things too, it's just I've only been coming to you when I need to complain."

Keeping it a secret is what I regret most, because if I had faced it I would have been far less likely to stay in it, but avoiding it was all to easy to do. I've made a very conscious effort since then to be very wary of when I feel I need to start hiding things from my support system.

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Saffron Raymie
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A rocky relatinship with his dad and 'just what boys do' are excuses I used too, SkiesofGreen, and I really understand the friend thing, I'd overhype the good things when they said he was abusive.

'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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that he was rich, spoiled, had a different life style, or different' culture', that this is how he interacted with everyone

that he was just alcoholic and didnt' have anything better to do, that it was his legacy/elite life style and i was just very privledged to experience it

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thumb tack
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"he was aiming for the wall, only he missed and hit my head/neck/shoulder/arm instead" - and I really, really believed it was true (the only visible signs of abuse were on my head, conveniently out of view under my hair, conveniently enough for me to pretend there was no abuse).

"this is how he learned to love, if I show him enough forgiveness, he'll unlearn it."

"if it was REALLY bad, I would just leave." Never mind that the number one reason that was keeping me from leaving once it WAS really bad was that I was terrified of what he would do to me and the people I loved if I did.

skies of green: I totally agree with hiding-things-from-my-support-system being a huge red flag now, or exaggerating the good and minimizing the bad

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I only ever had to make excuses to myself about my ex-boyfriend sexually assaulting me. I never bothered trying to makes excuses to some of my friends after I told them--they wouldn't have any of it either way.

-I must have been mistaken. He loves me, what he did couldn't possibly have been rape.

-It's my fault, really. I should have been more clear.

-What happened isn't really that bad. I need to stop being a baby about it.

-Did it even really happen the way I think it did?

I still question myself a lot. But I need to remember the fear and pain I felt when it happened and I reassure myself that yes, it was real, and it definitely happened.

But before the sexual assault, he would pressure me into doing sexual acts I wasn't ready for or comfortable with, and I'd make excuses to myself again.

-He loves me. I should be willing to do things to make him happy.

-We'd probably end up doing these things anyway, so what if it happens sooner than I wanted?

-He's had bad experiences with girlfriends in the past, I want to show him that I'm better than them so I don't disappoint him.

-He had a bad week. I should be more than willing to do anything that would make him feel better.

The list goes on for a while with those. I'm grateful that I don't have to make excuses to myself anymore.

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We were already fooling around. I couldn't just "stop" him even though I kept saying he was hurting me. And I believed him.

I wanted to use condoms. But no, we could do it without condoms, doesn't my school give out free Plan B? And I believed him. And missed a day of class in bed, in pain. For his pleasure, not mine.

He didn't have to ask for consent, we were already dating-- right?

He was just thinking with his dick. He said he was sorry. He really, really likes me, he doesn't want to lose a good thing. He was sorry.

But he got mad when I didn't want to have sex with him. He got mad at me because I'm the one who got him turned on and I didn't feel the same.

He was not sorry, at all, for hurting me, because then again, how could he possibly control himself?

I finally stopped accepting his excuses and decided to hold him responsible. He felt entitled to my body because we were dating. And I believed him. But not anymore.

[ 04-22-2011, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: sweet_etcetera ]


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-I wanted it to begin with anyway

-I can't just say yes one time and no the other

-There was a language barrier, how is he supposed to know that I really don't want to

-No one else would love me anyway, so this is the best I'll get

-He says he loves me and pays attention to me, even if it's mostly sexual

-All the other girlfriends allowed him, what makes me better than them?

-We didn't have any condoms on us, it's not like it would happen this one time

-He says he loves me for me, not for the sex, so why not just give in?

-He's the one, I just need to help him improve

-I'm just too much to deal with, no wonder he got mad at me

-Of course he's upset, I can't even be a normal girlfriend to him

Worst is that I was making all of these excuses when I fresh in my teens [Frown]

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That I'd promised him I wouldn't be 'frigid' like I had been the last time I'd seen him, that he probably didn't realise my 'no' was a 'no', that he thought I was enjoying it, or that I'd led him on to the point where I was obliged
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My biggest thing per making excuses was most often the things that came from his mouth... those thoughts like "If I hadn't made him so mad he wouldn't have to treat me like this." and "He only does this because he loves me and wants me to learn to behave in a way I'll be safest." and of course the "I knew what would happen if I provoked him when he was already mad... so I should have just sat quietly and let him yell."

Though I also often thought that he really was different and only did those things because he wanted what was best for me and for us. When I told any friends, it was often just explained away with something like, "I know he gets angry when I _____ so I shouldn't have."

"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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I was a difficult child, and had a hard time getting things through my thick head. (LD) What else was he going to do? (A lot of things he could have done)

He's never hit me or tried to. (Mmmmhmmm... that's such a wonderful achievement /sarcasm)

He couldn't know he was hurting me, when I was hurt by weird things. (except for maybe, the crying?).

We are all made of Star Stuff...
-Carl Sagan

...Their eyes beheld, first of all things, the stars of heaven.

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-He said he was sorry, so it won't happen again.

-It's ok, he can't control himself when he's horny.

-He loves me, there's no way that was rape.

-I should have been more clear with my boundaries.

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Moire O'Searcaigh
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-- HE promises he's in love with me.
-- It's just that he's older, he has more experience so he must be right.
--This is the way love always is, right.
-- How was he to know that rope would burn my wrists so bad?
-- I just don't speak up enough.
-- I let him because I didn't want to bring him more anger.
-- He just had a hard day at work.
-- He was drunk.
-- It was an accident, we were ina small space.
-- I shouldn't have pissed him off.
-- I must have used an English phrase that I didn't understand properly, and didn't go over well.
-- He's just stressed.
-- I was imagining things.
-- I was high/drunk/in an altered state.
-- It's really not that bad, just a little bruise/cut/burn here and there.
-- I can trust him on this, we're practically married anyhow.
-- I was going to wear that long-sleeve turtleneck sweater tomorrow anyhow.
-- I was asking for it.
-- It was dark/He didn't have his specs on, he couldn't see me there.
-- He meant to use that knife on my clothes, maybe if I hadn't struggled so much I wouldn't need stitches. (which looking back is a pretty sh--ty excuse.)
-- I should have said x instead of y.

Which are all warning flags for 'He's a jerk.'

A few of these were said by friends, to which I should have promptly replied, 'No, he's just a proper wanker and you've got to get away from him now.'

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-- if I don't he/she will be disappointed
-- I'll make him mad
-- it was for the best
-- he swears he loves me
-- we were just playing a game
-- I made him/her do it
-- he didn't hear me
-- I should of been more clear
-- I'm overreacting
-- I deserve it
-- he didn't mean so he just can't control himself
-- he said he was sorry
-- its my fault...

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It's my fault. It's ALL MY FAULT.

How should I go about remedying this situation?

"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Thyme Black
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He was an idiot. And I truly felt sorry for him for that. I was 6 years younger, 17 years old, and tutoring him in math I self-studied in 8th grade. He had flunked out of community college. Twice. This was his third try. Our conversations -- my attempts at them -- were as if we were speaking a different language. We have to be two standard deviations apart in IQ -- that point at which thinking processes become so radically different communication becomes near impossible. He wasn't mentally disabled in any recognizable way, just dense. He fit in with society and the local social circles better than I, so I think it's safe to say he way only slightly, maybe moderately, below average: I was the freak of nature. We once had a discussion, if you can call it that, about tools vs. technology and what the words meant. He just kept repeating his impressions without thinking about what he was actually saying. He couldn't find more than one sentence to describe his ideas, and all he could do was say them over and over and over again. When he couldn't grasp what I was saying, he belitted me for being smart and got angry.

He was depressed. Probably clinically, though not being treated. He felt life was hopeless, as a third time community college dropout living with his parents and not able to get a full time job, it was understandable.

He had anger issues. He didn't think. He just felt, and did. He justified, but he didn't think. He made some shallow attempts at introspection on rare occasion, but he didn't have the capacity nor the courage to make anything of it or develop any real self awareness.

And as a result of all of this, he was a robot. An automaton. I genuinely pitied this man, and somehow, allowed myself to feel guilt for his sorry state. He internalized everything from his culture -- he was a racist for Christ's sake -- let himself be regularly twisted and turned by the psychological whirlwind life throws at us. There was no questioning, no conscious decision.

I believe humans have to earn our free will. We get there by plunging the depths of our soul and refusing to ignore what we see; when we take what we mine and shape it into art, and learn to love the forms and crevices that we leave as nature hew them, we give ourselves free will: We earn it.

Sometimes, I let those facts and beliefs lead me to conclude that was all it was: a robot that raped me. It wasn't. Though I know this sad man was living in darkness, and was no more his own than a cliff face shaped by the waters, winds and sands of time, he was a human being and an adult. He was the cause of his actions. His body and mind did these things, and his body and mind are accountable. He is the one with the mark to bear.

[ 05-18-2012, 11:05 PM: Message edited by: Thyme Black ]

You are not what you've been told.

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- That his parents didn't love him enough so it wasn't his fault.

- That I just needed to wait and he'd grow up, too.

- That he loved our son to the best of his ability and that's all I could ask for.

- That I provoked him by asking him to do too much.

- That people just didn't know him well enough to like him.

- That it was an accident when he physically hurt me.

- That everyone fights in relationships, so it was normal.

- That we needed each other for financial reasons, and that was most important and insurmountable.

- That I needed him because of my seizure disorder - that I shouldn't be alone with a baby.

- That reporting a sexual assault would make our son's life worse, that my son didn't need to see his biological father as a legal sex offender in the future.

- And so, so many other things which seem so very silly now, two years after I left him.

The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

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His culture apparently doesn't respect women. I should be culturally accepting, not dump him because he doesn't show me any respect. It would be disrespectful of me (because I'd be holding his cultural upbringing against him) to end the relationship just because he hits me and pressures me into sexual activities I don't feel comfortable doing. (By the way, it disgusts me that I could/can make these generalizations about an entire country. I guess the fact that I did make these generalizations instead of recognizing that he was abusive shows how deep into it I was.)
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(Just a general shoutout to everyone here for sharing such hard, personal things. I think this is one of the most amazing, educational threads on our boards. Big, big thanks to all of you.)

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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