This month's Series is on Abuse. The previous ten posts looked at the ten characteristics of the mentality of an Abusive person. For this section of the Series, I referenced "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft. Here is a brief summary...
We have found that Abuse has three general stages.
The first stage of Abuse consists of what I have been calling the trinity of Abuse: Entitlement, Disrespect, and Control. These first three characteristics of the Abusive Mentality have a causal relationship. Entitlement leads to Disrespect and Disrespect leads to Control. This is what makes a person an Abuser. This is the OPPOSITE of LOVE.
The second stage consists of steps towards convincing the Abuser and the Abused that the Abuser is LOVING and NOT Abusing. This stage consists of the next three characteristics of the Abusive Mentality: Reversing Reality, Manipulation, Confusing Abuse And Love. With these three characteristics, not only do we have PROOF the Abuser is doing the OPPOSITE of LOVE, we see that the Abuser is intentionally trying to convince the Abused that the Abuse they have been receiving is LOVE. This is the Ultimate Unprofitable Effect that one person can give to another person.
The last four characteristics of the Abusive Mentality (Striving to Have a Good Public Image, Feeling Justified, Denying and Minimizing Abuse, and Possessive) make up the third stage of Abuse. The Abuser's spirit is looking to be confronted by believers so their soul can be saved. However, the Abuser's flesh can use this third stage to cause people on the outside to lose their Salvation. With Possessive, the Abuser's goal is idolatry and isolation. The Abuser is attempting to make themselves into a god to the Abused AND the Abuser is isolating the Abused. Both of these goals are Satan's strategy.
Possessive leads to Entitlement...which was the first characteristic of Abuse, and the Unprofitable cycle continues. Lundy Bancroft wrote this:
"Abuse grows from attitudes and values, not feelings. The roots are ownership, the trunk is entitlement, and the branches are control." (page 75)
Lundy summarized the ten characteristics with this:
"Abusiveness is not a product of a man's emotional injuries or of deficits in his skills. In reality, abuse springs from a man's early cultural training, his key male role models, and his peer influences. In other words, abuse is a problem of values, not of psychology. When someone challenges an abuser's attitudes and beliefs, he tends to reveal the contemptuous and insulting personality that normally stays hidden, reserved for private attacks on his partner. An abuser tries to keep everybody - his partner, his therapist, his friends and relatives - focused on how he feels, so that they won't focus on how he thinks, perhaps because on some level he is aware that if you grasp the true nature of his problem, you will begin to escape his domination." (page 75)
Lundy states the best way to deal with Abuse is to name it...to state the characteristic of the Abusive Mentality that is being used on you to the Abuser.
I believe there is a spiritual principle at work here. When you name the Abuse, the Abuser has to state their will on whether they will intentionally continue the Abuse or not. Stating their will allows God to equal out Justice...
The issue is that what the Abuser SAYS is very different from what the Abuser DOES. Notice, the majority of characteristics of the Abusive Mentality focused on rationalizing to one's self, the Abused, and people outside of the situation that what is being SAID is the same as what is being DONE.
For the rest of the month, we are going to look at this difference between SAY and DO. For now, I'd like to present a practical example from Lundy Bancroft's book of how these characteristics can work together in a specific type of Abusive person.
Lundy presents nine types of Abusive men. I will share one of them here. Lundy calls this type of Abusive person: Mr. Right.
"Mr. Right considers himself the ultimate authority on every subject under the sun; you might call him "Mr. Always Right." He speaks with absolute certainty, brushing your opinions aside like annoying gnats. He seems to see the world as a huge classroom, in which he is the teacher and you are his student. He finds little of value in your thoughts and insights, so he seeks to empty out your head and fill it up with his jewels of brilliance." (page 80)
"Mr. Right's superiority is a convenient way for him to get what he wants. When he and his partner are arguing about their conflicting desires, he turns it into a clash between Right and Wrong or between Intelligence and Stupidity. He ridicules and discredits her perspective so that he can escape dealing with it." (page 80)
"When Mr. Right decides to take control of a conversation, he switches into his Voice of Truth, giving the definitive pronouncement on what is the correct answer or the proper outlook. Abuse counselors call this tactic defining reality." (page 82)
"Besides knowing all about the world, Mr. Right is also an expert on your life and how you should live it. He is especially knowledgeable about your faults, and he likes to inventory what is wrong with you. He may seem to enjoy periodically straightening you out in front of people to humiliate you, thereby establishing his unquestionable intellectual superiority." (page 82)
"When Mr. Right's partner refuses to defer to his sophisticated knowledge, he is likely to escalate to insulting her, calling her names, or mocking her with imitation. If he's still not satisfied that he has brought her down low enough, he may reach for bigger guns, such as ruining evening plans, leaving places without her, or saying bad things about her to other people." (page 82)
"In short, Mr. Right finds some way to ensure that his partner regrets her insistence on having her own mind." (page 83)
"...Mr. Right's control tends to be especially focused on telling his partner how to think." (page 83)
"Mr. Right tries to sanitize his bullying by telling me, "I have strong opinions" or "I like debating ideas." This is like a bank robber saying, "I'm interested in financial issues." Mr. Right isn't interested in debating ideas; he wants to impose his own." (page 83)
Mr. Right is NOT a believer. He exhibits all of the ten characteristics of the Abusive Mentality.
Unfortunately, I have met A LOT of Mr. Right's in the past four years and for the most part they have been Pastors and Elders.
For example, there is one pastor I have been dealing with for two years and he fits the Mr. Right description perfectly. He even created 200+ factual inaccuracies about me and published them on the internet. He has Abused me. He has helped others lose their Salvation. There have been NUMEROUS pastors who have witnessed this Abuse....and they have ENDORSED AND ENCOURAGED IT!
Just like Mr. Right, these people are NOT interested in Understanding me. They have REFUSED to meet with me. THAT has opened my eyes...
I have struggled with how to respond to Mr. Right. I have asked over a hundred people how to deal with this Abuser and haven't heard one non-contradictory Biblical explanation. Earlier this year I wrote:
"However, it looks like I will be the first person to know how the law relates to these methods of conflict resolution in the church because NO ONE has had any answers in the past three years."
I now know how to deal with this Abuser in a non-contradictory Biblical manner. This also relates to the question that began this month's Series concerning our role in bringing an end to this Dispensation.
Tomorrow, we will cover some necessary background that will lead to understanding the Biblical answer to these questions...