A person who has been previously abused by a parent, but who did not suffer absolute obliteration of their spirit and drive as a result, will often display unique, conflicting, and paradoxical behavior towards different people in their adult life.
For those they perceive as being submissive to them or nonthreatening, more specifically noncontrolling, in any shape, form, or fashion, they will conduct themselves as laid back, aloof, and free spirited. This is their “excuse” to rationalize to themselves that they haven’t grown up to become the same type of bully that their abusive parent was. This is pseudo-behavior or convenient mimicry. A bully can always appear laid back or aloof or even fairy like as long as they are getting their way regarding everything that they want at the moment. It can be even further confusing and enabling to such a bully if they happen to be a teacher, business owner, or similar person in a position of authority and those who are subservient to them shower them with praise for being so fair and honest and understanding. But, we must remember subservience is the key to the reality in these cases, not the praise.
You will not see the true colors of such a bully come out until they have to compromise or share or yield to better judgement in a relationship that might temper their spoiled brat behavior and impulsivity of action. You will not see them display anxiety or suffer from significant delusional perception (PTSD if you will from their previous parental abuse) until they interact with a person who is more dominant than themselves. The dominant interaction or challenge is the trigger to their selective delusion because they viscerally sense that such dominance perceives the genuine reality of all of their bully behavior.
This bully will counter the true dominant figure in one of three ways. First, they will try to charm the dominant into letting them continue to get away with their spoiled brat antics forever by suggesting that “it’s just the way they are or just the way that God made them.” This, of course, is only an elaborate excuse for them to be selfish and not have to answer to any other authority figure. Secondly, they will bombard the dominant with delusional parameters, assumptions, and fears, in an attempt to destabilize and overwhelm the dominant into “caving their better judgement” or “over-nurturing” them because of their supposed “trials and tribulations.” Third, they will create a self fulfilling prophecy of events and perceptions that will implode the relationship while putting the blame on the scapegoat dominant, so that they can escape the dominant oversight, and resent in a relationship with a submissive to retain the confidence of their previous pseudo-personality.
The greatest and almost insurmountable fear of this secret bully adult who was once an abused child is that they might become their abusive parent. Because of such fear this type of bully will go to any length whatsoever to avoid recognizing the reality of what they have allowed themselves to become via reverse imprinting. That includes the sacrifice of a loving mate and the perpetual destabilization of their own children. This dynamic can easily inflict severe mental illness and suffering on future generations before they even have a chance to protect themselves or understand that they are being imprinted upon. It is imperative that this pattern of behavior be brought to light for consideration and open discussion with those who have suffered from an abusive parent.