Yeah....I guess I gave that example as a here and now example. My sister and I are both in our 40s. So the manipulation of telling us both different things so that he looks good/gets sympathy etc is something that happens now. I think, for him, it maintains the codependent relationship he has with my sister and is meant to elicit sympathy from me as I think I'm meant to say 'ah, poor you!'As a child, if someone (and not just someone, but a parent), manipulates to get their needs met, we learn that we are not important enough, that their needs overide ours, and that our role is to tend to their needs and ignore our own.
My T would say that is relational trauma.
That's true...I'm just not really clear....don't have a very clear recollection of what he was like back then...just because he isn't currently mistreating you doesn't mean he hasn't mistreated you in the past.
Yes, true and a useful remindersome times people can behave abusively even if they aren't aware of it
You're right. I do sometimes push back and tell him that something he's said wasn't kind etc. He generally looks baffled and shrugs it off as though it's my problem that I interpret it that way, rather than something he could have done differently. Or, if I'm saying something about him not being kind to my sister/niece, he'll look annoyed and put the blame on them. He won't change. No matter how many times I flag these things. He things he's always in the right.you could just tell him how he is behaving is unkind and harmful. i doubt he would take a serious inventery and change. he would blame you and refuse to apolegize.
Yes it is :-(it sounds harmful to me. it's stressful.
Yes and I do set boundaries anyway. I thought that, if I accept the behaviour as abusive (rather than say, is it me being over-sensitive that I have these reactions) that might mean I wouldn't feel guilty about setting boundaries, which I sometimes do. That I'd be more able to put some responsibility on him, perhaps. That I wouldn't feel like a bad person who is punishing him, sometimes?you mentioned that labeling as abuse would help you to soledify bounderies but is that really necessery to do this? these are bounderies that are necessery regardless.
You can only be abused by someone you are dependent on in some way and the abuse is about your boundaries not being respected.
Not sure I quite agree @DodoBird but I do think I understand the distinction you're making between the experience of someone's behaviour if you're dependent on them compared with if you're simply a colleague/neighbour etc.It would be very difficult for him to be really abusive right now as you are less dependent
indeed. but you do not need to except poor treatment regardless of whether it fits your defenition of abuse. it does not make you bad and you are not puneshing him by establishing this bounderies.That I'd be more able to put some responsibility on him, perhaps. That I wouldn't feel like a bad person who is punishing him, sometimes?
Not sure I quite agree @DodoBird but I do think I understand the distinction you're making between the experience of someone's behaviour if you're dependent on them compared with if you're simply a colleague/neighbour etc.
Even though I live independently of him now, he could still engage in abusive behaviours towards me?
Thanks. Had a quick skim and will revisit for a proper read tomorrow…some bits initially resonate others not really. But, yeah, the bits around not being able to talk about what is wrong…yeah…
My understanding of your thoughts were maybe you were speaking of "power" imbalance rather than dependency but I think you explained it better this time. Power differentials cause harm (abusive causes harm) and not so kind people hurt but may not harm and there is extremely huge difference fundamentally.Thanks for pointing this out. Yes, I see my point of view hit some disagreement here and right now I‘m wondering whether this may be linguistic (not a native speaker and the word „abusive“ as adjective doesn‘t exist in my mother tongue). To explain my point generally - without trying to disvalidate your personal experience with your dad or any other point of view here - I was wondering whether anyone could be abusive independently of the reaction of the person the abuse was directed towards. That is where I came to the opinion that that may be difficult - if someone displays abusive behavior and I walk away, ignore it, set a clear boundary or just think „what a jerk“, then it may not be abusive.
With that being said, the only real question is: were my ramblings any helpful? which can be answered with a clear no in this case and that‘s ok. You got a lot of useful input from others.