It is the essay titled, "Selective Amnesia". Ha. You can see why I went there given recent events. Here are a few pull quotes:
When your abuser claims to have no idea what he did wrong, HE IS LYING. He knows perfectly well what he did. He will try this ploy even if you have told him point blank and in no uncertain terms exactly what he did wrong, argued with him and protested his mistreatment for years, and repeated your complaints dozens of times. And yes, even if you have written him a detailed, 10-page letter listing a few decades worth of examples, which he has no doubt read a couple of hundred times. He has seen your distress every time he hurt you. In fact, that was his reward for hurting you and the reason he continued to hurt you. Because he loved knowing he COULD....There is no way he does not know what he did. That is a lie. He only has Selective Amnesia because it serves his purposes to conveniently “forget”.
I laughed out loud at the "10-page letter" remark since that is how long my letter to sister was.
How do you list 50 years of abuse? How do you put it into words? Abusers want to know “what they did wrong” as if it was merely one or two incidents, that could be discussed and settled in a few minutes. But it’s not. It’s a LIFETIME of incidents, 20, 30, 50 or more years; hundreds, if not thousands, of times. It’s overwhelming. It’s not one or two obnoxious behaviors or hurtful episodes. It’s a PATTERN of ongoing, continuous, unrelenting evil. It just never ends, until we leave.
Touche. For me it was more like 40 years, but that is a damn long time by any measure. A lifetime of incidents. It is overwhelming.
This next part says something I have felt but haven't had the heart to say it this bluntly to my sister. I was tempted to say something along this line in my last letter, but I held back. Can you believe I still don't want to gratuitously hurt her feelings? Just in case I'm wrong about her, I still sometimes hold things back. I hadn't thought it out as well as it is articulated below. Had I gotten it this well formed in my mind I very well may have said something to this effect:
The problem with trying to explain to our abuser why we divorced her is that it’s not so much what she DID, it’s WHO SHE IS. Or rather, WHAT SHE IS. With an abuser, it is NOT any one incident. It is not just her behavior, IT IS HER. It is the kind of person she is that we don’t want to have anything to do with. Abusers are evil, wicked, demonic people. Their behavior is merely an outward sign, a manifestation of the condition of their souls and the shriveled up, dead black heart within them.
The reason we stay away is that we have finally seen this. It’s our abuser’s whole persona that keeps us away, not any one incident or behavior. It’s EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM. It’s his personality, his character, his unrighteousness, his whole evil being. It’s not just this thing or that thing or any of the things he does, it’s HIM!
It would be more accurate to list her personality traits rather than her behaviors as the reason we disowned her. Imagine telling our abuser the truth- that we refuse contact with her because she IS nasty, cunning, spiteful, manipulative, belligerent, treacherous, critical, lying, untruthful, bullying, conniving, deceitful, sneaky, trouble-making, jealous, sabotaging, envious, bitter, sadistic, malicious, selfish, narcissistic, hostile, dangerous, cruel, hateful, psychopathic, and abusive? That’s who she is. Who in their right mind would want someone like that in their life? What normal, healthy person would want to deal with this, or to expose themselves and their children to it?
Our revulsion, repulsion, and avoidance is a natural, normal, healthy reaction to exposure to evil. It is our God-given discernment setting off alarm bells in our heads and telling us to run for the hills. We left because we finally realized it was hopeless, and that changing these ingrained characteristics is impossible. Our abuser would have to change her very being, and that will never happen because she has no desire to. She left us no choice but to cut her off in order to protect ourselves and our families.
The only way we can lead healthy, happy lives is to stay away from such evil people. We don’t disown them because of one or two things they did. We disown them because they are unfit as people to have in our lives. [emphasis mine]
I appreciate the affirmation of this article since it is exactly what I'm up against right now.