Just as we can be in fog about what we’re living with, just as we can be desensitized to enduring abusive behaviors, it stands to reason that a person could be equally dull and blind to their behaviors, and disconnected from their true motives.
There’s no way to know in any particular moment or situation what exactly is in another person’s heart or thoughts (although there are times they seem to make it perfectly clear).
There is one point of accountability that I now consider.
A person may not know why (truly) he’s driven to diminish, obstruct, or control another, but in the moment of speaking, behaving, or withholding, a choice is being made. Being unconsciously disconnected from the subterranean fuel that drives the choice doesn’t exonerate the conscious acting out of it. In other words, it’s not as though the words or behaviors were said or done during a blackout. There is no clinical temporary amnesia to fall back on.
Furthermore, the results and impact of abuse are usually there in plain sight:
A partner who goes quiet or begins to desperately argue with confused tears and pleading.
A partner who is depressed, discouraged, exhausted, sad and hurting.
This is the point where reasons or excuses must fall away.
Aware or not of the true why and even at times disconnected from the actual doing and acting out, this is the irrefutable place of reckoning: If someone LOVES, what does it mean to them when their beloved is in pain?
The first response should be empathic and compassionate sorrow, followed by a desire to address the pain in a way that heals it, and protects the beloved from being wounded in such a way again.
If I communicate…
and he responds
That makes me angry. Your hurt is the problem and it’s your fault.
then where is love?