In my last article, we understood that Is abuse just a phase? The majority of individuals can’t even recognize that they have gone through any abuse unless they have been made aware of it. Unfortunately, the awareness happens at a later stage when we have learned the art of navigating. This navigation is different for each one of us. Before we even question ourselves about acceptance of abuse, let’s understand are various forms of abuse.
Even the slightest comment, unwanted touch, and unwanted look from people who we trust more, especially in childhood scars us for life. Abuse comes in many forms.
Usually, we know only two categories of abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional abuse
When it comes to emotional abuse, we often discount certain hidden forms of abuse. No matter what kind of abuse one goes through we all know that we live in the shadow of it. When life is going great, no one can make it if anyone has gone through any abuse. However, in the moment of crisis or challenging situations , we often experience that the shadow of abuse surfaces. There are various ways it surfaces. (discussed later) . Let’s understand a few hidden forms of abuse.
Go through the list below, if you have or still experience these continuous patterns and you have NOT done anything about it yet, then undeniably you have accepted the abuse unconsciously
Here is how you will experience a subtle form(s) of abuse from others
- Abrupt ending of relationships from close / best friends
- Finding faults in everything you do
- Taming you down/avoiding you with a fear of outshining others
- Making you feel wrong when you are just different
- Giving harsh reactions / silent treatment when you speak aloud the first time
- Isolating you when you confront/defend yourself
- Choosing your best friend or sibling more in front of you
- Comparing you with unloved/unwanted member of the family
- Shutting you down when you praise others
- Conveniently contacting you when suitable for people
- and the list continues
When the time passes, we often feel that we are healed because the people are no longer in our contact or we have learned the art of forgiving or we have moved on. But that’s not the case. When we say that I have come out of it, this means we have just figured out a way to either manage it, deal with it or put it under the carpet. You have truly moved on when you respond differently to old people, comments or behaviours of people. You have come out when your quality of self talk changes.
If you have gone through any kind of abuse or are still going through it, please try to understand the impact it leaves on our personal and professional lives.
Here is the checklist for you if you have “accepted the abuse (verbal/physical – consciously or unconsciously”)
- You thought it’s appropriate to surrender to the abuse due to the situation
- You convince yourself “it’s not a big deal” and wait for the other person to change
- You thought it’s no big deal as I am paying the nominal cost of what I am gaining instead
- You are accepting this because you have nowhere else to go
- You have no clarity of what “standing up for self” means
- You have no environment where you can freely express your emotional needs
- You anticipate the outcome of ‘voicing out’ as being lonely again
- You accept as you are tired of starting over again.
- You make yourself available every time person needs you ignoring your priorities
To understand how abuse leaves a shadow on our present lives, let’s understand what makes people usually accept or surrender to the abuse itself and how people figure out their way of navigating it.
- Accepting the abuse
Most of the time the abuse is always from known members, especially in our childhood or formative years. Age is not important but what’s more important is what makes people accept abuse. When people go through abuse, they accept the abuse because of primarily 2 reasons. Based on my own experience and sessions that I have done with my clients broadly there are two reasons
- Victim of circumstances
- Fear of exclusion
We will understand this in detail in our next article.
Please note: The views expressed in all articles are my views based on my reflections and my client’s experiences. This article is not aimed at anyone specific.