I can understand your desire to want to try and understand everything and why people did what they did. It is natural. I have been there myself.There was something different about our experiences of trauma and ptsd here. You may be right about it being pointless and self-destructive to try and understand a perpetrator's motives. It is a long path to there for me. My last perpetrators were people I trusted and cared about a lot. What they did ultimately may have not been personal -- it is about their sick and twisted minds and the consequent actions--but they personalized it, putting a major head trip on me, which I bought into fully because I trusted and cared for them and was basically naive about how twisted people could be.
Ultimately, I think it is pointless and self-destructive.
For me, I decided in the end that some people did some bad stuff and deliberately tried to fuck up my (not personal though) life. Why they did it - well I really don't care. They did what they did. I have no desire left to 'understand' them.
This sort of betrayal creates something called a trauma bond or betrayal bond. A trauma bond is where an intense, traumatic experience or betrayal of trust takes place, forming an equally intense relationship/bond with the perpetrator. It is related to Stockholm Syndrome, after the hostages of Stockholm bankrobbers who waited for them to get out of jail a decade later and defended them -- and one even got engaged to one of them. Its not a real simple thing to just detach from such a bond. I had no frame for understanding it. It cost me my whole community, and I ended up starting over in a new place, which in the long run was a blessing, but in the short run was overwhelming, just having gone through a series of really intense betrayals and having nowhere or no one to go with them and just vent, much less try to make sense of them.
Ultimately you are right, trying to understand stuff like this is like Nietzsche says, "if you stare long enough into the Abyss, the Abyss stares also into you." It literally made me insane. I had to learn that I was not how other people constructed me...I was and am in charge of my own identity, who I am, and why I do things. This is basic for most people I guess, but it has been a real task for me. I had to come to an understanding that what had been done was abusive, because in the manner of good psychopaths, they made everything look normal on the outside, that it was me with the problem. And so it was: their lives weren't being torn up, mine was.
I guess what makes things hard for me is that I really cared about and trusted these people, and it was so personalized, being meant to basically destroy me. I'll write more about this later maybe. I'll try and get some some sleep now.
- More on betrayal bonds.