Abuse is such a loaded word. It’s extreme. It’s heavy. And as we all know, abusers are evil, bottom-feeders with hearts full of sticky, black tar. They’re inhuman. They’re irredeemable sinners, sociopaths and psychopaths. They feel no pain, and they have no conscience or remorse. They are loathsome and disgusting people. Abuse is reserved for the worst of the worst.
But what if abuse is not that simple?
I’m a firm believer that all people are good at heart, that that our true nature is altruistic, but life has a way of happening, and the most neglected and abused among us usually struggle to break free of the cycle of abuse and trauma. We’ve seen it time and again on the news. So, how about the rest of us that don’t live in the extreme? When abuse doesn’t fit into a traditional model of what we think abuse looks like, we may have all the symptoms and never know what the underlying cause is. It’s impossible to break the cycle at all if we don’t actually know that we were abused.
HOW ABUSE GOES UNNOTICED
No one wants to think of their parents as being abusers. No one wants to think of themselves as being a victim. I think we all have an idea of what an abuser looks like in our minds, but all you have to do to see what an abuser looks like is to look in the mirror. Does that surprise you? You and I are the faces of abuse. Abuse is being unloving. It’s being unconscious. It’s wounding others from our own place of unhealed wounds. We are all capable of it. Abuse and trauma are generational. It’s passed down through learned behavior and beliefs. And while abuse is subjective and varied, some forms being far more harmful than others, it impacts us all deeply. In our lives, we have all abused or been abused to some extent, whether it was intentional or or not.
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