After all, we talk a lot on this blog about how perpetrators pose as victims in order to recruit allies and supporters. Jeff S recently said (in another thread) that the central question he would ask himself in this situation is is “does this person sound like he or she feels entitled?”
It’s an excellent question. I think we can use that question as a sea anchor when we are in these kinds of conversations.
Pam Gueron last month, I went with my new Rehab Counselor Alex Smith to try to obtain
my art supplies and other things that I need for my freelance art business that I have been trying
to build with my DORS Job Coach Alana. I asked Pam to leave the room I used as an art room but Pam angrily said
that she wanted to make sure I didn’t steal anything. which was her usual technique of throwing an mud on the wall
I have never stolen anything of Pams while she almost stole my life with her abuse aided and abetted by her friend Chris
who illegally lived in the HUD home in Pam’s bedroom. Both Chris and Pam can be seen in the video at Rainbow House homeless shelter.
My former art room AND my former bedroom were stacked high with huge plastic boxes of Pam’s possessions. She is a true shopaholic and hoarder and
I have written about her very very conspicuous consumption and wonder how someone with that much money is living in
a house meant for people who really need a home.
“Does this person seem to feel unjustifiably entitled?” is the basic question I’m asking myself when I’m listening to a person who is complaining about their spouse or their marriage. The word “unjustifiably” is important in that question, because survivors of abuse may so yearn for justice that they can come across as if they feel ‘entitled’ to justice. But victims of abuse are justified in yearning for justice – it’s not wrong for them to feel that way.
side note: When I was in early recovery from my first husband’s abuse and the ensuing abuse from the church, I saw a counselor who, to my face, seemed to totally support and validate me. Later, when applying for crimes compensation, I asked that counselor to write a report for the court about how I’d suffered psychologically as consequence of my husband’s actions. Her report was scathing: she described me as motivated by vindictiveness! I am convinced that she made that judgement because I talked quite a lot to her about how the church had mistreated me after I separated from my husband. I think she interpreted my feelings of outrage as vindictiveness. It was devastating when I read her report. I told the Victims’ Assistance Program staff that this counselor had maligned me unfairly, and they made a note not to refer clients to her again. But God, in His marvelous way, is now using that experience of mine to make me underline how important it is to ask “Does this person feel unjustifiably entitled to certain treatment?” – because there is all the difference in the world between justified entitlement and unjustified entitlement.
To ascertain whether the person’s feelings are justified or whether they are due to hardness of heart and overweening entitlement, I need to listen to the person’s story and keep my antennae alert for various markers.
Vagueness and contradictions
If I discern vagueness or contradictions in the person’s story, I ask them to clarify. Usually in their clarification I can start to tell whether they are being deliberately (evasively) vague or whether their vagueness comes from something like PTSD, or can simply be explained by the fact that they haven’t told this story to many people who really want to listen, so they may be gushing and stumbling over themselves because the top has just come off the pressure cooker.
Hi. New here. Just stumbled on to this wonderful website. I too, have wondered how people could possibly believe the craziness that comes out of my ex-abuser’s mouth but I have to remind myself I was fooled by him at one point too! I noticed in this article when there was a paraphrased description of an abuser’s response and I noticed right away that he was condescending by immediately lashing out. I often wonder who all actually believes my ex is a victim of abuse because he is such an excellent performer and I am no longer a victim, as I once was.
So if you were to hear my side and hear his side, I was once a victim, but I no longer am because I escaped him. I was very unsure of myself when I was still a victim but now I am not. So when I say I am 100% sure he is a pathological narcissist. I know it is true. but I didn’t at first. (At first, I ignorantly assumed a narcissist was simply a vain person). I noticed he kept calling other people (some of my friends, etc.) narcissists constantly. Over time, I noticed he kept accusing me of things I knew I was not doing. I later found out he was doing those things he kept accusing me of doing (projection). I finally googled that very sentence, “what does it mean when someone keeps accusing me of doing something he himself is doing” and the word narcissist appeared. I was floored. I then learned about projection and discovered I was being emotionally abused. I could not believe I did not recognize I was being abused. I stupidly assumed it would be an obvious blatant thing. But no one intentionally enters into an abusive relationship, it is subtle and clever how they fool you.
I know what you mean, and I agree with the spirit of what you said. But I think that rather than calling it ‘projection’ I would call it simply say the pastor is falsely blaming the parishioner of character defects or sins that he has himself.
Why do I think projection is not the right word? Dr George Simon Jr has taught me a lot about this. He is a clinical psychologist and has a lifetime of experience in working with manipulative people and those who have been oppressed and afflicted by manipulative people.
Here is what he says about projection. It comes from his article Commonly Misused Psychology Terms – Wrap Up
Deliberately finding scapegoats or blaming others when things go wrong or to take the heat off oneself, preserve one’s image, and manipulate others is not projection. It’s simply blaming, and it’s both a major way of avoiding responsibility and a manipulative control tactic.