I am always glad when I see insight into abuse and those who choose to abuse.
I see people rationalising all the time. Perpetrators rationalise (e.g. avoiding accountability and facing what they truly are), abuse survivors will sometimes rationalise as an maladaptive coping strategy (e.g. if the victim makes excuses for the abuser it may feel like the abuse was less harmful than it actually is) and society often generally rationalises. (e.g. the perpetrator couldn’t help it, they were abused as a child).
I don’t make excuses, to make the abuse seem less harmful, or to make the abusers seem less intentional in their motivation.
I deal with the reality, which is far more painful to process.
From this article…
Sometimes the disordered character will go to great lengths to attempt to “justify” a behavior he knows is wrong or knows others regard as wrong. Disturbed characters are forever making excuses for their harmful or hurtful conduct. They have an answer for everything they’re challenged about. When others confront them, they come up with a litany of reasons why their behavior was justified. In my work with disordered characters, I’ve heard literally thousands of excuses for irresponsible behavior.
When disturbed characters use the responsibility-avoidance tactic of rationalization (alternately: justification, or excuse-making) they’re not primarily trying to reconcile their conduct with their consciences, but rather trying to manipulate others into getting off their case by getting them to “buy into” the excuses they make. Their rationalizations are part of an external dialogue designed to cast the disturbed character as not as bad a person as others might otherwise think he is. So, their excuses are also part of their impression management scheme. Habitually attempting to justify behaviors they know are regarded by most people as clearly wrong is also another way the disturbed character resists internalizing appropriate standards of conduct and controls and therefore makes it ever more likely he will engage in the wrongful behavior again.
I am so glad to see this written and it expresses what I understand fully.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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