PREVIOUS: Principles of Character
SITE: re. Categories of abuse
NOTE: This series will have many lists of abusive behaviors, in many categories, & from different perspectives, so there will be a lot of over-lap in headings & examples. This is deliberate. As kids we HAD to ignore, trivialize or forget what was done to us, & then act out those self-destructive patterns in our adult life.
We must identify exactly what happened before we can change it, & repetition is useful in breaking thru our denial. Also, reading or hearing something in different wording & context can more easily get past our defenses. The main (but not exclusive) focus of these posts is on Emotional Abuse.
DEF : Abuse – are all the painful things done to us & around us as kids, & comes in each of 4 PMES categories,
and Neglect – are all the good things we didn’t get, growing up
ABUSE : In general, it’s any communication or behavior designed to control & enslave someone. In alcoholic & narcissistic families it was to keep us ‘in our place’, to prevent us from leaving home, to punish us for not being who or what the Perpetrators expected, or wanted!
It is & was done by causing continual fear, humiliation, intimidation, guilt, coercion & manipulation.
Abuse is any form of intrusion into another’s psyche. It will include :
• a desire to to denigrate, to ignore, to causes pain
• financial, intellectual or spiritual tactics, ranging from mild to lethal
• ignoring or making fun of basic needs
• verbal, physical, sexual &/or emotional attacks
• not respecting privacy, being brutally honest with a sadistic sense of humor, be consistently tactless, expect too much
⚙︎ Most people automatically assume ‘abuse’ only refers to physical harm – yelling, hitting, beating, broken bones …. so will firmly state: “I was never abused growing up”. However, because human beings are made up of 4 interlocking categories (PMES = Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual) we can be wounded OR encouraged in many ways at each level.
Being abused can happen just once with someone, or when subjected to a bully for a short time. But usually it’s a long-term pattern of behavior by a severely damaged, cruel, angry &/or mentally ill person who uses their position (as parent, boss, teacher, mate, older sibling or friend, community leader…. ) to:
▷ intimidate others who have less personal or social power, OR
▷ take advantage of those who by nature or training are more accommodating & compliant
While most people on occasion act unkindly, even cruelly, when provoked or under great stress, what we are looking at here is ongoing attitudes & actions that tear us down, body & soul. Even when they seem intermittent, over time they wear at us !
Therefore ACoAs can honestly say that we were severely & regularly abused by our damaged parents (& other authority figures) , especially re. emotions (Es). Genuine Es are NOT widely recognized, valued or encouraged in our society much less in dysfunctional families. So we ended up ignoring or minimizing them in ourselves, as well as in others, especially if we did’t get physically or sexually attacked as kids.
Most of us never felt loved but blamed ourself for the lack. Regardless of what our parents said or how they felt about us in their own minds & hearts – their distorted way of treating us was not an expression of healthy Love.
So to compensate, we look for it everywhere we go, & from everyone we deal with.
This can make us vulnerable to a subtle form of abuse – being ‘over-loved’, needed & depended on too much, OR being over-protected & infantilized.
These are actually ways to treat us as an extension of the person who claims to love us, as an object rather than a separate being, or a means of their personal gratification. It’s never about what the we the ‘beloved’ really needs or wants.
LOVE is the emotion with the highest energy vibration. IT:
🔅feels good, because it’s the absence of fear
🔅is an action, not just a feeling, so requires attention
🔅is unconditional, understands & accepts differences
🔅has empathy, no room for jealousy, is not needy, but has wants
🔅means putting other people’s needs equal to, or before our own
🔅varies in how it’s expressed & accepted, which can include letting go, so doesn’t demand continuing a relationship
NEXT: Victims or not?