A/B FAQ:I’ve been abused and bullied by so many people. Why does everyone want to hurt me?
This is a question asked by many people because unfortunately individuals who have been abused once, (especially sexually abuse) are often abused again. If you have asked yourself this question I would like to reassure you that there is nothing wrong with you. No one can do anything to provoke any kind of abuse, assault or violence.
In bullying, bullies tend to target people who appear to be somehow “different”, have low self-esteem, submissive personalities, are physically smaller, low income, and possibly pre-bullied or abused. The bullies exploit these traits in their victims, which often exacerbates the victim’s feeling of low self-esteem and other negative emotions. This creates a feeling of helplessness that often leaves the victim suffering for years, sometimes under many different bullies and abusers.
When it comes to being in emotionally and physically abusive situations with friends or significant others, people sometimes find themselves in a rut of abuser after abuser with every new boyfriend or girlfriend (or just friend). To protect yourself from this occurring again, make yourself aware of red flags of abusers. These may include:
-wanting to know your whereabouts 24/7
-isolating you from family and friends
-changing or trying to change things about you such as appearance, interests, or hobbies
-insults or talking down to you (this in itself is emotional abuse)
-throwing or hitting things
If some of these things start to show up, you should realize that this person will most likely hurt you and it’s time to break up.
With sexual abuse, recurrences are very painful. People often feel something is wrong with them after one instance of sexual abuse or rape, but multiple times can make people think that there is something inherently wrong about them, or something that provokes abuse. Even something as terrible as thinking they were born just for the sexual pleasures of others. NO ONE is ever born for this purpose. At least 30% or more of children who are sexually abused are abused again. This is not because you are “dirty” or “bad,” but because of the people that abuse others. Like bullies, rapists and child molesters target their victims carefully. People who prey on children almost have a kind of sick “sixth sense.” They are able to pick out which children are emotionally vulnerable and easy to control or groom for sexual abuse. The same things go for when you are older, that controlling abusive people pick up on your submissive or fearful nature. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with you if many people have abused you. Remember that predators noticing your fear or mannerisms does not mean you are “damaged goods” or that everyone can notice this. No matter what your age, sex or the situation, being sexually abused is not your fault and you can never do anything to provoke it.
Another factor in this situation of continued physical (and sometimes sexual) abuse in adulthood is that you might be consciously or unconsciously attracted to abusers. Your first impression and idea of what a woman and man should be are your mother and father. For example, if your father was an abuser and mother an abuse victim, it might be etched into your mind that men are naturally abusers, and women must accept abuse as a fact of life. This of course is not true. Even if you know that abuse is wrong and all people are not like that, abuse and violence might feel comforting in a familiar way. However unpleasant and painful they might be it reminds you of home and childhood, and is therefore familiar and comforting.
For recurring child abuse with many adults, the reason is often a “birds of a feather flock together” system. People often spend time with and develop relationships with others who have similar views. People who think it’s okay to hit, berate or neglect children may be surrounded by people who also find that behavior acceptable. Abuse cycles also run in families, so if someone’s mother is abusive, his or her grandparents might be as well. (This would in fact be where Mom learned the behavior!) In child sexual abuse, it’s very common for there to be “pedophile rings” of adults who molest children together. This is very common in cases of ritual abuse, and can also create beliefs in the victim that all adults (or all people) are dangerous and will hurt them.
You should know thatnot everyone you meet is going to hurt you. You were not born to be hurt in any way, and no one else was. People who hurt you were wrong, no matter what the circumstance. The most important thing to remember in this is that no matter how many people have hurt you in any way (be it 2 or 200) it is NOT your fault.
Farewell the Ashtray Girl
July 12, 1987-April 30, 2010
Thank you! I have been asking this over and over, since I was bullied and then the othe rthing happened and...it kinda makes you feel like if something happens once, it could have been just bad situation, but even if it is first bullying then sexual abuse or something like that, it makes you think that people constantly hurt you and you have to wonder what you did wrong...
So THANK YOU:)
My Blog about Trauma & Recovery:http://seekingafrica.wordpress.com/
"It's astonishing, numbing, to find out that inside you, there is a stranger. One that has your arms, your legs, your eyes. A sleepless, restless stranger, who keeps walking, keeps eating, keeps living..." The Brave OneMovie(2007)
This is great thanks for posting. I think for a lot of people the first response to multiple cases of abuse would be to look to yourself to find some sort of defect as a reason for it happening. But like you said there's nothing dirty, bad, wrong etc with you.
I think my vulnerability was used to pick me out, and used against me. I feel I was drawn back into abusive relationships by subconsciously thinking I could make it work this time, this one won't end like the others.
I've stopped blaming myself now, and it's reading things like this that just reaffirm it for me, thank you
thanks for posting this. i was just asking myself this question because i am now dealing with a new bullying situation (after having been bullied throughout middle and high school- only this one is substantially worse) and i had abusive boyfriends. i just don't understand why it always seems to happen to me. and how verbal/emotional bullying that is right now is affecting me so much. like it would make just about anyone upset but its really hard for me right now
Thank you for this. My partner asked this question a few times. And I have a bit to add.
There are bad and abusive people out there. It is not your fault if you were raised surrounded by them. There is nothing wrong with you. No one can see your past abuse. There is no marker on you that makes you different or makes people want to hurt you. You aren't doomed to be a scapegoat and a victim. You are a survivor. You had no choice in the people you were surrounded with when you grew up. Your caregiver put you in the situation to be abused. It's not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you. It will get better.