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Thread: Big Little Lies and Abusive Relationships

  1. #11
    Member JoyfulCompany's Avatar
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    I used to watch this series on repeat. I love it. Read the book later and was disappointed because the book left me more with a chick lit feeling (and I didn't have it with the TV series).

    Just wanted to point something out - Perry didn't rape Jane before meeting Celeste. The twins and Ziggy are roughly the same age (after all - they are in the same class at school). And I think Celeste mentioned to the therapist that her and Perry had hard time conceiving. So, it happened while Celeste and Perry were together (with an implication that it may have not been the only occasion Perry has done something like that while being on a business trip).

    As to the abusive relationship dynamics... My personal feeling is not that Celeste is provoking Perry on purpose. More like she is having some clear moments here and there when she's able to clearly see the abusive behaviour through Perry's attempts to mask it as being overly concerned for her. And thus - gaining the courage to stand her ground (and yet, he was able to twist it again as her 'provoking' him - textbook classic abuser).

    My experience with abuse is definitely milder (on the emotional side). But I don't see abusive people as completely inhuman villains. I see them as very damaged people who are incapable of any kind of introspection and actually tend to feel the victim of circumstances and other people's deeds themselves. As frightened narrow souls. As sensitive egos. Maybe this doesn't apply to all cases and is just my experience, of course.

  2. #12
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    ^^Thank you for chiming in JC! I was hoping someone who had been abused would comment with their thoughts and insights.

    Great observations about Perry and Jane (him raping her while married to Celeste), I think you're right! Which just goes to show how important our environment is when growing up.

    I mean look at Ziggy (Jane's son by Perry through rape)-- sensitive, empathetic, sweet, shy (according to the psychologist).

    And look at Celeste and Perry's son, Max (who was actually the bully who choked and bit Amanella at school).

    Both have the same father and share his DNA, but because they were raised in different environments, they have completely different natures and personalities.

    I agree that Perry was very damaged, he even admitted during the final episode in the car with C telling her how sick he was and stuggling with demons.

    Course by then C was totally done.

    Prior to watching this, I was also under the mistaken impression that abusers sought out "weak" women who they could control and eventually abuse.

    Not true! I mean look at C, a successful lawyer, and even throughout their marriage she remained strong, fighting back (physically) and screaming "If you ever lay another hand on me again, I'm leaving!!"

    I admired her being strong like that!

    It didn't matter though, he still continued to abuse! At times her fighting back made it worse!

    Just speculation, but I now think perhaps abusers choose independent, strong, accomplished women precisely so they can break them down. An ego boost of sorts, makes them feel powerful. It's a slow and insidious process.

    To all victims of abuse -- I apologize for misjudging, I understand better now why you stayed and how difficult it may have been to break away.

    I hope you eventually were able to though, that you recovered and living a happy stable life!
    Last edited by katrina1980; 07-23-2018 at 11:07 AM.

  3. #13
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    One - she did not get off on it. It's a coping mechanism very common with people with people being physically abused that they enjoy it or deserve it, or else there they think there is something really wrong with them. No one gets off on actual rape. Dominance is one thing. Rape and being beaten is an entirely something else.

    Love the show. I feel it's the best ending I've ever seen on HBO in a TV series.

  4. #14
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    Originally Posted by tattoobunnie
    One - she did not get off on it. It's a coping mechanism very common with people with people being physically abused that they enjoy it or deserve it, or else there they think there is something really wrong with them. No one gets off on actual rape. Dominance is one thing. Rape and being beaten is an entirely something else.

    Love the show. I feel it's the best ending I've ever seen on HBO in a TV series.
    Sorry I was just going by what Celeste herself told the therapist.

    Not that she "got off" on being abused per se but that a part of her enjoyed (not sure if that's the word she used) their dynamic - because it always led to passionate sex (angry but exciting in her mind) even though she knew it was extremely toxic and dysfunctional.

    Which is why they started seeing the therapist in the first place, to break out of the toxic cycle.

    She took responsibility for her role in the dysfunction too which I admired her for.

    That said as I said before in response to limichelle's post, I think that mindset was due to Perry's manipulation and the control he had over her.

    Toward the end, she recognized none of it was her fault, that she should have left him a long time ago, and she began to emotionally (and physically) break away from him, and his abuse escalated.

    Again, just going by what she herself told the therapist.

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  6. #15
    Member JoyfulCompany's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by katrina1980
    ...
    a part of her enjoyed (not sure if that's the word she used) their dynamic
    ...
    Again, just going by what she herself told the therapist.
    Celeste wasn't completely honest with the therapist, especially in the beginning. But it was more like she wasn't honest with herself in the first place.
    The heart of the issue was so utterly disturbing and shameful to her, that she had put a thick defence wall around it, thus living in a partial denial.
    (She never told about it to any of her friends.)

    To accept one's own responsibility for the abuse, while being the victim, is just another complicated trap the victim had fallen into. It takes away part of the abuser's cruelty ('it's not their fault, I make them upset'), it makes the situation look more normal and less of a serious problem and it gives them something to fight for/improve on their own part - i.e. it makes them further tolerate the abuse, having the false sense of control over it (through their own deeds).

    There's also another complication in these types of situations. As I stated before, people who are capable of abuse are rarely a pure evil. They have a bright (possibly even warm) side they have shown in the beginning and maybe continue showing here and there. Have you read/heard how their partners would complain of certain behaviour but when the outside opinion weighs towards 'run away and don't ever look back', they would turn around and say 'but they are a lovely person/husband/wife/father/mother otherwise' or 'but I love them and want to help them see how it's wrong'.

    Anyway, apart from all that and much more that could be said on the subject, I agree that toxicity runs in all kinds of social circles and people from the whole spectrum of intelligence may find themselves in such situation. It depends on too many factors on both sides.

  7. #16
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    Originally Posted by JoyfulCompany
    Celeste wasn't completely honest with the therapist, especially in the beginning. But it was more like she wasn't honest with herself in the first place.
    The heart of the issue was so utterly disturbing and shameful to her, that she had put a thick defence wall around it, thus living in a partial denial.
    (She never told about it to any of her friends.)

    To accept one's own responsibility for the abuse, while being the victim, is just another complicated trap the victim had fallen into. It takes away part of the abuser's cruelty ('it's not their fault, I make them upset'), it makes the situation look more normal and less of a serious problem and it gives them something to fight for/improve on their own part - i.e. it makes them further tolerate the abuse, having the false sense of control over it (through their own deeds).

    There's also another complication in these types of situations. As I stated before, people who are capable of abuse are rarely a pure evil. They have a bright (possibly even warm) side they have shown in the beginning and maybe continue showing here and there. Have you read/heard how their partners would complain of certain behaviour but when the outside opinion weighs towards 'run away and don't ever look back', they would turn around and say 'but they are a lovely person/husband/wife/father/mother otherwise' or 'but I love them and want to help them see how it's wrong'.

    Anyway, apart from all that and much more that could be said on the subject, I agree that toxicity runs in all kinds of social circles and people from the whole spectrum of intelligence may find themselves in such situation. It depends on too many factors on both sides.
    This is great insight once again, clearly there are still many things I don't quite understand about abuse and the mindset of those involved.

    Perhaps after reading the book I may gain a bit more, I may watch the series again too.

    I often gain new insights the second time around.

    Anyway, thanks again for chiming in, I know how sensitive this subject is and appreciate all the respectful responses. :)

  8. #17
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    All abusive and manipulative people will make you think it's your fault. and that you deserve it because of this or that. Once they have you believing it's your fault in some way, it traps you into thinking you like the abuse. Nope. No child or person deserves physical or emotional abuse. Last time I checked, getting kicked in the stomach repeatedly is not cool even when you leave toys on the floor your kids were just playing with.

    It wasn't toxic. He will just physically beating her.

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