Things my mother would have liked...
She transferred her own addictive personality to religion, and I grew up in a shame-based existence with an elephant in the living room...where getting sick was forbidden by our religion, and my parents were so dedicated to it they moved over 800 miles to put myself and my sister in a school based upon that religion. My father and his whole family were also dedicated Christian Scientists.
I'm so glad, as a boyfriend once told me, "that I maybe turned out as normal as I did...having been raised in such an abnormal household." I hope my children (and theirs) have finally broken the craziness of dependencies and can solve their problems without a substance or a "rote system of prayer."
I once drew a picture of my childhood survival as a person (me) inside a mason jar, who had no space in which to grow...all twisted and squeezed into a limiting area that I could see out of...and of course I eventually broke out, or perhaps emerged from the lid that was opened at some point. So I made a tee shirt for myself as an abuse survivor one year with that image on it. Abuse takes all kinds of forms...and once we survive it we need to learn a new way to be in the world...breaking all the victimization cycles one by one.
So my compassion for the abuser is difficult, but now I do understand the system and it helps me to love her.