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    • I have more than 5,000 contacts. I have more than 5,000 contacts. Saturday Evening Post | Momma's Money Matters commented on Momma's Money Matters: [...] physically and mentally. We go blithely on our way as though the abuser (even when it is us) will come to some kind of epiphany and independently decide to cease and [...] July 28, 2012 18:09
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  • And Now For Something Completely Different.

Saturday Evening Post

This has to be the feature I missed the most during April. We have a lot to cover before we get to Clyde, so grab your cuppa and snuggle in because the fans are blowing away the humidity and the mosquitoes. Here’s hoping it does not rain for a while, as we are going for a walk.

Before I get any further, I have to admit…I have been thinking about this post all week. I had my mind set on what I would be writing by Wednesday. As luck would have it, that train of thought has derailed…there were no survivors.

Instead, I want us to take a short tour. (Each will open in another tab, so you will not lose this page as we walk.) Across the blogosphere, a theme has emerged this week in some of the blogs I visit. Each of them were talking about different instances, but they were all talking about the same thing: Abuse.

The Same, But Different

Over the last few decades, people are treating one another with less respect. For some people, it is about lies and failing to protect. Even when we can understand the explanation, it does not mitigate the damage.

For others, it is betrayal and physical pain. The truism of added insult to injury is a physical altercation with someone you considered a friend, after you find out about the team effort betrayal.

Still others fall prey to the desires of narcissists who cannot see beyond having their perverse fantasies fulfilled.

Then, there are the ones who never walk away from the abuse. Those left behind after their deaths are left to cope with the insanity of it all.

While we never truly understand what makes the abused stay without screaming out to those who dearly love them, or even those whose authority should protect them, we never understand the abusers. None of us want to identify in ourselves the inner demons necessary to survive merely by the pain inflicted on others.

Behind the Curtain

In all of the non-understanding, we have to ask ourselves if we are part of the problem or the solution. The short form to what makes abusers abuse is a single word:

Power

If you have not read the poem, click the link. Skip down to the end of the post. It is the mentality of the abuser (in 51 words). Abusers need the euphoria of being in control, having power over someone else (sometimes many people).

They do not recognize their own bully instincts when they are picking victims who are weaker (children) or not manipulative. Very smart people are abused because they lack the capacity to see manipulation for what it is. Most every person who is abused is in a situation where they seek the love or approval of their abuser. It is why they stay.

But what of contributors?

Parents

You just never know.

The underlying desire of all (marginally functional) parents is to provide better for their children than they had. It is the generational jet fuel which powers innovation. Unchecked, it is also fuel for entitlement.

It is also a battle axe wielded to smash the dreams of grandeur. When parents do not see the potential in their children, whether intentionally or through practicality, they instill in the children feelings of inadequacy which can last a lifetime and become the bequeath to the next generation.

Everyone

When you step back and ask yourself if your message is getting though to your audience, you may just find out you are not conveying the message you thought. In this way, we foster abusers. Think not? Let’s look at a familiar scenario.

Teen has a cell amongst his collection of gadgetry. It is the first edition of the latest model, and it has fallen onto the concrete whilst Teen was horse-playing with friends. No visible damage is evident, but it no longer works.

Our customer service hours are 8:30 to 4:30 Central Standard Time...

Parent calls the telephone provider to get a replacement, despite lack of insurance. Denials are made as to culpability for the non-performing cell. After much manipulation and lying, a new cell is delivered, overnight express for no extra charge.

Teen has learned there are no adverse effects to misbehavior, against which warning issued. Teen also learns to lie to get what he wants.

Teen becomes Twenty-Something and marries. TS sees nothing wrong with using these tactics on Mate. Isn’t that what TS is supposed to do? TS is convincing arguing how everything in the relationship is Mate’s fault. Each victorious argument strengthens TS’ penchant for abuse.

Mate has no knowledge of the lesson Parent (did not realize was) conveyed to TS. Mate feels inadequate in the relationship, endures increasing abuse from TS and eventually begins teaching Child how to please a domineering mate, by example and design.

Quaint asks Mate for the latest news. Mate tells of how Child is not performing up to par. Quaint offers advice on how to demand obedience and command respect. Quaint has no idea what Child is not doing…being submissive to abuse.

Break the Cycle

The cycle is not always about abusers who raise abusers. Sometimes, abusers raise victims, who never have any idea they are victims. All they have ever known was abuse. How do we make a positive difference?

Education

Admittedly, although formal education about and against abuse as a normal function of social studies would be a nirvana scenario, it is unlikely for a plethora of excuses…not the least of which is varying opinions as to what constitutes abuse.

There are simple things you can do to make a difference in abusive situations:

  1. Never be silent. When you see abusive behavior, report it to authorities. If sacrificing a friendship is the cost for saving a life, it is worth it.
  2. Avoid being abusive. Be cognizant of others’ reactions to what you do and say. Consider how you would feel if someone else were doing what you are.
  3. Listen. When a friend tells you of feelings of inadequacy, bullying, violence and/or verbal, sexual or physical abuse, get the facts. Your friend may not know what they are going through is abuse.
  4. Know where to go. Locate a shelter in your area. Periodically, (when you set the clocks back/forward) check to be sure it is still there. Even if you never need it, someone you know might.
  5. Raise awareness. Participate in conversations and events which demonstrate the definitions of abuse.

No, Clyde.

Dearest friends, this message weighs heavily on me. But, that is what the SEP is for…how I affect M3 and how M3 affects me. This week, I expected a lighthearted return to the Saturday Evening Post. Alas, it was not to be.

Where the SEP normally turns abruptly to another subject, this one cannot. It is a subject which requires attention now.

I am going to ask you to take a poll and talk to me about this subject, as it was one which was to follow the Quaint & Mate series. Part of me was grateful for the challenge to have left this subject untouched. After watching the posts in the first section develop and discussions begin, I knew I needed to get with the program and finish a task left undone.

Please enter some of the many forms of abuse I did not list in the poll. If your answer will not fit, refresh the page and add another choice, or comment below with the remainder of your other answer, if you do not mind talking about it publicly. Please forward the poll or the post to anyone you think would give any feedback whatsoever, hatemail included. I know this will generate much of that.

When the series concludes, you will have a better understanding of why I do not broach it often any more.

Until next time,
Red.

~~~~~~~~~~


Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? Do you know someone who is currently in an abusive relationship? Have you ever helped break the cycle of abuse?

If you have never met Quaint, Parent, Teen or Child, visit The M3 Players to discover who these people are.

The blogs linked in the first two sections are, in order of appearance:

Swept From Under the Rug
QBG: Tilted Tiara
Aurora Morealist
My Inner Chick
Somkritya

Thank you for sharing your stories.

(c)  Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
Re-Blogging of this or any other post on Momma’s Money Matters
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54 Comments

  1. Anyone can be an abuser, and anyone can be a victim. Sometimes abusers meet and join and abuse each other in a twisted relationship. I’ve seen this for myself.

    Abuse is cyclic because it is learned. In order for abuse to end, the cycle must be broken somehow.

    In some cases, the victims recognize the patterns of abuse and end the cycle. Others do not and continue it.
    MJ Logan recently posted..JD to the Rescue!My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 20, 2012

      It has been said here…they do not wear uniforms so we can pick them out of a crowd. The mutually abusive relationships are hard to stomach and difficult to comprehend. In the end, it is what they know.

      The cycle is always a spiral, not a circle, as many envision it. We will discuss this in greater depth in another post. Thank you for your comments here, MJ.

      Reply
  2. While I truly hate bullies of all descriptions it still amazes me how some women that do suffer horribly from these creeps still choose to defend them even whilst being punished, beaten or whatever.

    Some years ago whilst driving home late from a party I witnessed a man beating up on a young woman, clothes ripped from her person and her face bloodied by his attack. After pulling over to the side of the road and hastily making my way over to them I was shocked and astounded that she actually defended him after I pulled him to one side.

    Okay a dangerous encounter perhaps and maybe a little nuts of me to intervene but I felt the need to protect her from this aggressor, the crazy thing about this story is that she chose to attack me for helping her and shouted insulting and offensive language at me for what I thought was showing some compassion, but she definitely let me know that I was not wanted and my actions not warranted.

    After that I left them to it so to speak but how ridiculous is that? Of course I would still offer the same level of protection against any man that would inflict such rage upon a woman but at what cost, it seems to me that some women enjoy this disgusting behaviour, whilst others that are treated in this very same way absolutely hate the ordeal and would do anything to escape the tortures of a hounding encounter…

    Have a very nice rest of evening Red :)

    Androgoth XXx

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 20, 2012

      I always intervene. Call it stupid if you feel the need, but the bottom line is this: If even one victim turns away because I rushed in where I was unwelcomed, every other time is justified. When so many have given up for the advertised victims who return, it takes even more vigilance to continue to intervene. The first time the cycle is truly broken, however hard the change is, the gratitude is nothing compared to seeing a new life formed.

      Thank you for adding your thoughts and story here, Andro.

      Reply
  3. Mia

     /  May 21, 2012

    So often, Red, I remember how I’ve always remained good friends with my most important Ex’s… except the father of my kids. It’s not a coincidence this isn’t my true name and this isn’t my main FB account (well, these days it is). I’ve been hiding for two years. I saw where it was going, I recalled how he’d treat his mother and his sister. I was lucky enough to own my apartment, so… out he went. Then he took revenge – not going to talk about it. Then we went to ‘war’, to Court. Very recently, last Friday, I had a 2 1/2 hour ‘interview’ with Social Security where I was, let’s say, ‘made’ to bring up all the aspects of this failed relationship, and I mean ALL, The Lady Psychologist wanted to know everything from scratch, how it began, how it was and how it ended. Mine wasn’t a merry speach at all, having to review all the details again brought up nasty memories, feelings, emotions… Altough I know my kids are suffering from the separation, in the end I also know I did the right thing! That thought is where I go for consolation and relief, when all else seems to be crumbling down. Now, I worry how he will raise his son, showing him ‘it’s ok’ to ill treat women, and his daughter, showing her women ‘are’ (as in ‘fact of life’) ill treated by men. Fortunately, I left when subtlety was becoming not so subtle.

    On another note, in my country physical abuse (eg. ‘domestic violence’) is a public crime, I don’t know if you have that name. We are obliged, as citizens, to point out to the authorities any case we know about. In a pink shaded world, that would work. Also, your response to Laurie made me think of the Kitty Genovese murder case…

    In other comments, I very much related to wordings like ‘masters of manipulation’, smooth talkers, charming…

    Thank you for the post, I’m looking forward to the ‘sequels’!

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 23, 2012

      We do have domestic violence laws. They are currently in jeopardy at the national level. I am so very glad you are away from your abuser. <3

      Reply
  4. ~~~Excellent- Interesting Post, Red.

    Somebody asked me the other day, “Kim, what is abuse to you?”
    Without hesitation, I said, “abuse is when somebody spurts out words that makes you feel small, stupid, less than, & inadequate.”
    My sister was hit with those kinds of words thru her entire marriage. When she finally decided to leave (for good), the monster KILLED her.

    Oooo, The sun shines so much differently now.

    Thank you for spreading the word about this silent epidemic. Xxx
    My Inner Chick recently posted..REVOLUTIONMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 23, 2012

      I covered verbal abuse tonight, Kimmy. We are going to explore all the types of abuse before I finish this series. Love, my friend. Red.

      Reply
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