Abuser Tactics: But He Looks so Harmless
Well, here is Tobasco the kitty, a member of our family. Doesn’t he look cuddly and cute? Last night he was curled up just like this on my wife’s lap, purring away in contentment. And then she did something Tobasco didn’t like. She moved her hand and disturbed his repose. So he fanged her. Sunk his teeth right in, then as far as she could interpret cat expressions, he smiled at her. I think he got launched out the front door.
Anyway, this is a really good illustration that will resonate with many of our readers. Abusers, like Tobasco, look harmless and sweet and cuddly at times. No one would believe us if we told them about the dark side. Listen to him purrrrrr! But make a wrong move and out come the fangs. Then the smile. ”What? What are you so upset about?”
Abusers make their victims crazy, and they do it intentionally. One of their favorite ways to do this is to practice a discord between their actions and their words. Let me use an example from the realm of sexual abuse to explain this discord. A sexual molester will do things, such as exposing himself, while talking as if nothing unusual is happening. Here he is, exposing to a victim, and yet he might be conversing with them on some “normal” topic with verbal behavior that is totally disconnected from his exposing behavior. This messes with the mind. It makes crazy. It destroys the victim’s trust in their own ability to interpret things through their own senses.
And thus the wisdom of our Lord’s words to us:
Matthew 7:16-20 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? (17) So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. (18) A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. (19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (20) Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.