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 and 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 everyday lives.
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.
ABUSE : In general, Abuse is any communication or behavior designed to control & enslave others – to keep them ‘in their place’, to keep them from leaving, to punish them for not being who or what the Perpetrator expects, or wants!
It’s done by causing continual fear, humiliation, intimidation, guilt, coercion & manipulation.
Abuse is any form of intrusion into another’s psyche. It will include :
• verbal, physical, sexual and/or emotional attacks
• financial, intellectual or spiritual tactics, ranging from mild to lethal
• to not respect privacy, be brutally honest with a sadistic sense of humor, be consistently tactless,
• to expect too much, to denigrate, to ignore…. to causes pain
⚙︎ 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 we’re subjected to a bully for a short while. 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 in our emotions (Es). Since honest Es are NOT widely recognized, valued or encouraged in our society nor in dysfunctional families, we ended up ignoring or minimizing them in ourselves, as well as in others, especially if we did not get physically or sexually attacked as kids.
• Most of us never felt loved. 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 that everywhere we go, & from everyone we deal with.
This makes us vulnerable to a subtle form of abuse – being ‘over-loved’, needed & depended on too much, OR being over-protective & infantilized.
These are actually ways to treat us as an extension of themselves, as an object rather than a separate being, or a means of their personal gratification. It’s never about what the ‘beloved’ really needs or wants.
BTW,❣️LOVE is the emotion with the highest energy vibration. IT:
🔅varies in how it’s expressed & accepted, which can include letting go, so doesn’t demand continuing a relationship
🔅is an action, not just a feeling, so requires attention
🔅is unconditional, with no expectations, understands & accepts differences
🔅feels good, because it’s the absence of fear
🔅has empathy, no room for jealousy, is not needy, but has wants
🔅means putting other people’s needs equal to, or before your own
NEXT: Victims or not?