Everything generates trends nowadays – even recovery from abusive relationships.

Whereas logic tells us there could be numerous explanations for the way a relationship evolves, even when abuse (or aggression) is present, self-appointed experts in “healing” generally take two approaches – that of tearing the perpetrator apart or that of slapping the enabler around as a helpful wake up call.

Obviously, both are just as wrong and damaging, since they fail to consider human nature – that every individual is different and so is every relationship, regardless of common traits which make some of them comparable.

“Victim blaming”

Putting people down for being too credulous or hopeful is indeed a toxic attitude and those who routinely use other people’s mistakes to feel better about themselves are indeed pathetic. However, as with everything in life, extremes should always be avoided in order to preserve one’s sanity, especially if the person who is turning to such groups for help feels responsible as well for the relationship failing or for starting it in the first place.

Personally, I disagree with the idea of codependency, as people are so complex and evolve throughout life; they may be willing to accept abuse for some time and radically change later, without the need to brand themselves with lifelong personality issues. It has become a plight of our times to label ourselves with all sorts of abstract concepts which cannot be accurately identified and there are plenty shysters lurking to take advantage of our fear of being abnormal.

Then again I may be wrong and this approach may work for some people. It’s not for me to say what their approach should be and I find it totally ridiculous for them to be rejected by a peer support group as if they were “traitors to the cause”.

On Psychopath Free, one is expected to place all the blame on the person who was more aggressive and absolve oneself of it entirely. That cannot lead to realism or growth and can only help momentarily. Whilst not blaming others for their predicament is only fair, one should be given the chance to speak their mind about their own, otherwise support becomes a travesty.

Also, this article is great food for thought regarding one-sided views.

“Tough love”

Whereas persisting in a victim mentality doesn’t do people any favours, being bullied by overconfident (anonymous) “advisers” is just as toxic. This is known to happen especially on Lisa E Scott’s forum, not so much by the founder herself but by the two people who run the site, as seen here in numerous testimonies as well as on complaints.com.

You can read more about similar forums here and here.

A mixture of both

Another aspect I find odd is the refusal of Psychopath Free and The Path Forward alike to support those who cannot break away from the relationship in question (sometimes it’s simply impossible due to living arrangements, children etc., and other times members are understandably confused). These people are so self-righteous they reject anyone who deviates from the  sacred “procedure” they have established.

Of course, it becomes really twisted when they alternate the two approaches; Psychopath Free probably coined the unlikely combination. First they reassure the member to the back of beyond it was not their fault for persisting in the relationship and label those who accused them of being weak as cruel and superficial.

However, if that person refuses or fails to permanently break contact, they are swiftly booted out the back door. Hence someone can be considered normal while rejecting others’ warnings for years, but if God forbid, they do not apply the advice given on PF right away, they must be hopeless. Staff members will treat them with arrogance and disdain, as if they had failed to embrace the ultimate answer, the ultimate revelation. Beyond ridiculous, as usual.

While these two paths might keep a person above water for a while, in the long run they will lead to anything but sanity.