First off, is this an oxymoron? Is it impossible to have an abusive character that is at least sympathetic? If not, has it been done before in literature? This has been something that has been bouncing around within my stories for awhile. Right now, I have at least two that involve abusive mothers(I mean like beat their sons until they bleed type of abuse, not just verbal) and both stories depend heavily on them being at least somewhat sympathetic.