My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
It is an established fact that abuse in all its manifestations, verbal, psychological, emotional, physical, and even sexual, co-occurs, happens with intimacy.
Most reported offenses are between intimate partners or between parents and their children.
And this of course defies common sense.
Emotionally, it should be easier to batter, beat, molest, assault, or humiliate a total stranger.
It's as if intimacy causes abuse, incubates it, and nurtures it.
Well, in a way it does.
Many abusers believe that their abusive conduct fosters, enhances, and cements their intimate relationships.
They equate violence and aggression with enhanced intimacy.
To them, pathological jealousy is a proof of love. Possessiveness replaces mature bonding, and battering and beating is a form of paying attention to the partner and communicating with her.
Such habitual offenders know no better. They were often raised in families, societies, and cultures where abuse is condoned outright, or at least not frowned upon.
Marking treatment of one's significant others is a part of daily life, as inevitable as the weather, or force of nature.
Intimacy is perceived by these people to include a license to abuse.
The abuser treats his nearest, dearest, and closest as mere objects, instruments of gratification, utilities, or extensions of himself.
He feels that he owns his spouse, his girlfriend, his lovers, children, parents, siblings, or even colleagues.
As their owner, he has the right to damage the goods, or even to dispose of them altogether.
Most abusers are actually scared of real intimacy and deep commitment and mature relationships.
They lead a pretend, confabulated life. Their so-called love and so-called relationships are gaudy, fake imitations.
The abuser seeks to put a distance between himself and those who truly love him, who cherish and value him as a human being, who enjoys company, and who strive to establish a long-term, meaningful relationship with him.
He is terrified of intimacy, and they frighten him a lot.
Abuse, in other words, is a reaction to the perceived threat of looming intimacy. It is aimed at fending intimacy off.
It is intended to decimate closeness, tenderness, affection, and compassion before they thrive and consume the abuser.
Abuse is a panic reaction.
The batter, the molester, they are scared out of their wits.
They feel entrapped, shackled, imprisoned, and insidiously altered.
They fear that they are losing their uniqueness.
They are becoming average, common, like everyone else.
Lashing out in blind and violent rage, they punish the perceived perpetrators of intimacy.
The more obnoxiously they behave, the less the risk of lifelong bondage. The more heinous their acts, the safer they feel.
Battering, molesting, raping, berating, taunting, they are all forms of reasserting loss control or the perception of loss control.
In the abuser's thwarted mind, abuse equals mastery and continued, painless, emotionally numb and detached survival.