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    • I have more than 5,000 contacts. I have more than 5,000 contacts. El Guapo commented on Momma's Money Matters: And yet it's surprising to me that there is such a wide range of what's considered abusive. Glad to be here. Made myself a snack,and will be scrolling through the archives for a bit! May 19, 2012 22:20
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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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Copyright and Privacy Policy available
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54 Comments

  1. Karen Anne Higgins Brown

     /  May 19, 2012

    Awww…Thanks Annie….I think you are right and I know the same about you my dear ;) Love ya!!

    Reply
  2. I have a 2 part write in.
    I think education is a massive part of the solution, but I also think all of society has to agree on what abuse is. Unfortunately, some see as normal behavior what others see as abuse.
    El Guapo recently posted..Beatnik Poetry Slam – Infinite MysteryMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 19, 2012

      You are correct. It is very much an issue to get people to agree to what is abusive and what is not. It is a big part of why I wanted this poll…which may or may not be acting appropriately now. The M3 Readers are a wide-ranging group of people who hold a lot of different views. The results so far show that. They also prove agreement is not so easily found.

      The bigger part of this experiment will be the poll at the end, once we travel the path of abuse. There will be some enlightenment as to the truth of the darkness. Good to see you tonight, Guapo.

      Reply
  3. It’s so sad the problems we create for one another and ourselves. There is little reason for these kind of situations. If we were smart enough to be reasonable to each other and to respect each other things could be so much better for everyone.
    Binky recently posted..Extra Healthy WeightMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 19, 2012

      It does boil down to the simplest form as respect. That is why I opened with that line. In the course of things, little acts of kindness go a long way to opening the eyes of those who have known nothing but abuse. It shines a contrasting light on what they know and what exists outside their microcosm.

      Reply
  4. Oftentimes, the abusive pattern starts off with subtlety. Teasing comments that subtly humiliate the victim. Continual verbal quips that dismiss and demeans the opinion of the victim. And then there is the isolation factor. Abusers seek to eventually isolate the victim from any support mechanism, and making the victim more and more dependent upon the abuser for financial, emotional, and physical support. Once the dependency is rooted, the abuse can really begin.

    Great comments by others Red. Interesting topic for a Saturday night.
    Phil recently posted..Preakness Stakes 2012My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 19, 2012

      You have the meat of the cycle down pat. That is precisely how it develops. We are going to dissect it in detail. There are a ton of subtle mechanisms which most people overlook as abuse. The saying If there are no bruises, it is not abuse is a scary reality for many people. They have no concept how destructive words and emotional abuse/blackmail can be.

      As much as we have hashed out identity around here, you knew we would eventually tackle this one. Not an easy one, but as you can tell from tonight’s comments, a full interactive one. Glad to see you tonight, Phil.

      BTW, who won the race?

      Reply
      • I’ll Have Another went neck and neck in the final stretch to beat out Bodemeister. It was an exciting finish for sure. I posted a link to the video of the race in my comments section after the race.

        I look forward to this discussion. Let’s hope I don’t fall asleep in the middle of it though – it was a long day for me.
        Phil recently posted..Preakness Stakes 2012My Profile

        Reply
  5. Laurie

     /  May 20, 2012

    Abusers don’t wear signs, they’re not branded and all too often they are masters of manipulation. Getting someone, anyone to believe the truth about them is virtually impossible. When abusers are the ones that you rely on for everything there is a sense of hopelessness, and no where to turn. The hell that you know is not nearly as scary as the hell you don’t. You hear something long enough you start to believe it. Leaving when you get beat regularly not as easy as it sounds. Threats are used to keep victims as victims. If someone is beating someone regularly and tells them if they leave they will kill them, they tend to believe them. Abusers take funds, freedoms and self-esteem. If you are lucky that is all they take. Leaving generally means a coffin. No one wants to get involved with abuse, people can witness it in public places and keep walking. Too often when people step in the abused go home with their abusers anyway to be abused worse than before. No one wants to get involved because abuse victims too often return to the abuser making them think it is a waste of time. Little do they realize simply being there, truly being there whenever they are needed instead of merely giving lip service could make a world of difference.

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 20, 2012

      They absolutely do not wear signs. We had a report recently of a woman who was nearly beaten to death in a park. When they interviewed the people who lived around the park, they all said they heard the screaming for nearly 30 minutes. Not one of them called 911. This is where the cycle can never be broken. There has to be an intervening act and the victim has to be willing to go along. No matter how simple it sounds, it never is.

      Thank you for responding to this one, Laurie. I am glad to see you tonight.

      Reply
  6. I am a child sexual abuse survivor so i cant tell you these people( abusers) look no different from others..they dont have horns,and they are 24/7 on power display…they will be smooth talkers,charming and very close to your parents , they will block all the inspiration and sunlight coming your way,they will isolate you in such a way that you start feeling you are responsible for it,you invited it and what is most disturbing is that inspite of having very open and liberal parents i could never tell them what was happening…
    we have to teach our kids to say NO/STOP/PUSH/RUN
    but before all that we have to be very good listeners..our kids should know it in their soul that we love them not for their abilities or good marks but simple cos they are our kids
    This is such a lovely post..Thanks Red you are just the Best :)
    Soma Mukherjee recently posted..Just a woman…..My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 20, 2012

      I am very glad you came by tonight, Soma. Listen is one of the absolutes. We have to know what is going on in our children’s worlds and validate the things they tell us. Some of it is very subtle. If our relationships are strong, we can hear the things they do not tell us, as well. We are going to delve into the path of abuse over the course of this series. I appreciate your comments and support, Soma. {HUGZ} Red.

      Reply
  7. Years ago a friend of mine, who was a primary school teacher, noticed that there was a much older student hanging around her grade 1 kids. She spoke to the headmaster about her concerns but it continued. She made notes in her diary every time she saw him with her kids. With alarm bells well and truly ringing she confronted the headmaster again who in turn asked the mother to see him. My friend was then given the task of raising the concerns with the boy’s mother.
    What was the mother’s reaction?
    She burst out crying and said thank god someone else noticed it. She had been concerned about his behavior at home for some time and noticed he was hanging around younger children in his street. She was too embarrassed, afraid and not sure her instincts were right to say or do anything.
    I’m guessing this probably isn’t the normal reaction of a parent and most would be reactionary to someone suggesting their child had issues.
    Sadly, all too often teachers and people in authority feel they are over stepping boundaries to confront a parent.
    Friggin Loon recently posted..Pope Not Happy About VatileaksMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 20, 2012

      To be frank, parents are not infallible. In fact, many parents suck. Yes, I tell parents to their face, “You suck as a parent.” Those are the parents who think when their children are wretched it is ALL ABOUT THEM. I have said it before, I will continue to say it, it is disgusting it is necessary to have license to drive a car, but reproducing is available to all with the equipment to breed. Ugh.

      When a child is in a position to be abused, the parents either do not know or do not care. Whichever is the case, an adult needs to step in on behalf of the child.

      Reply
  8. Abuse in any form at any age is a horrific thing that no one should endure. After experiencing and witnessing different forms of abuse myself, I know that the abuser usually has some abuse they have suffered as well, but sometimes compassion is hard to find.
    I’ve tried hard to find it in my case. The important thing was to get it out and take it’s shame away.
    lorrelee1970 recently posted..Friday Frenzy (5/18/12)My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 20, 2012

      I am glad you are out. The shame has to be dissolved. Acknowledging it happened and admitting the victim did not cause the abuse does take the shame away, but even still, it can take a long time.

      Reply
  9. This was a well-written post, which is leading to important conversations.
    I’ve kept a lot of things in so I wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, but I realized, I was neglecting mine.
    My plan is to visit the other sites you mentioned and read their stories. Thank you again.
    madi recently posted..A Match Made in DenialMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 20, 2012

      I firmly believe the relationships which dissolve secondary to admission of abuse are those which truly needed to be dissolved before the admission. Thank you for sharing your story, Madi. I hope you get support from those who come to visit. Red.

      Reply
  10. Abuse is most often about self aggrandizement of the perpetrator himself(herself0 which is accomplished by demeaning others emotionally, physically, fiscally, or whatever. The abuse is usually cowardly, insecure, and highly manipulative, but in denial of all of those characteristics. I put a major foot down on abuse at one time; the perpetrator specifically thanked me before he died.
    What does that tell us? That to stop abuse from occurring is the right thing to do, no matter how awkward it may seem to be. Real people do NOT abuse those less powerful, less wealthy, or less fortunate.
    Raymond Alexander Kukkee recently posted..Special Techniques in Bonsai: Grumpy UpdateMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 20, 2012

      Thank you for standing up to an abuser. It is good to hear someone got a chance to realize the error of his ways. No, abuse is never right.

      Reply

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