Abusive behaviour can include all that makes one feel compromised, undermined and taken advantage of. It can be in the relationships one has with: friends, family, colleagues and in intimate relationships.
The type of environment it is, or whether one is male or female, the race or the religion that one has will not make a difference. This is something that can affect people of all backgrounds and walks of life.
For some people, abusive behaviour is resisted and challenged when and where it is possible. These people won’t stand silent and simply take this type of behaviour. And yet at the same time they seem to constantly attract it. So it ends up as a constant battle between them and the abusers.
And the other type will neither challenge nor stand up against the abusers. For them it is something that they just put up with. They chose to remain salient in many ways and to shoulder all that comes their way.
To the outside observer or to the individual that doesn’t put up with this type of abuse; the first type of behaviour will make more sense than the second type of behaviour.
The second type of behaviour will often come across as illogical or irrational and not make any sense at all. Here they might offer suggestions, advice or even try to save or rescue the individual that is being abused.
Now, for some people, assistance will be accepted and appreciated; with it being the start of them standing up for themselves and having better boundaries. This can mean the beginning of the end, of abusive behaviour or at least when it comes to putting up with it.
And when it comes to others, this assistance may be accepted or rejected completely. It may be that it is consciously taken on board by the individual, only to disappear when it comes to real world experiences. Others may deny that anything is wrong and ignore all assistance and support that is offered.
At the first glance this type of behaviour makes very little sense. And whether it is the outsider seeing how dysfunctional this is or whether it is someone trying to offer assistance: doesn’t matter here. In both cases it comes across as very strange and inexplicable.
Consciously, it is clear that it has not benefit to the individual and is only causing pain and suffering.
What is going on consciously then must be in conflict with what is going on unconsciously. And this is then creating conflict in the individual’s life. However, although this type of behaviour is only causing pain and suffering now, it is likely that at one time or another in their life, it had a purpose. And this purpose would have been to do with ones survival.
What the ego mind does is interpret life based on what happened in the past or a combination of what happened. And even though a present situation may be nothing like the past experiences, to the ego mind, there is no difference.
This is one of the reasons why the observer who has a history of no abuse or very little, will find it hard to comprehend what is going on. To the person that is being abused, it is highly likely that it feels normal on some level.
And if something is classed as normal or how life is, it means that the ego mind has associated these experiences as what is safe; with the ego mind functioning on what is familiar and not on what is functional or empowering.
Original Reference Points
This could be that this individual was continually exposed to this type of behaviour in their younger years or perhaps it was later in this person’s life. What these experiences do is cause ones ego mind to create and association of familiarity and safety around abusive behaviour.
And if it was during ones younger years, it will mean that it wouldn’t have been safe for this person to stand up to the abuser and neither would they have the cognitive abilities to question what was occurring. So one would have had to put up with it and if this is all ones ego mind knows; this is all one will expect to experience from others.
Which will include; interpreting events in a certain way and attracting people that validate these early experiences and all because ones ego mind was programmed in the very beginning to tolerate this kind of behaviour.
During the time that this behaviour was carried out, one would have felt certain emotional responses, but would have been unable to deal with these emotional consequences. These would have been repressed and denied to ensure ones survival.
This means that they would have been pushed out of one’s awareness and frozen in the body. Here, they will not simply disappear, they will become what is known as; our shadow side. So now that these parts are no longer conscious, it will mean that they will show up in other people..
But due to this repressed pain being outside of one’s awareness and being projected onto other people; it is easy for one to feel victimised by their own projections and to not realise this.
Giving support to people that are being exposed to abusive behaviour is an important step. As it will allow them to realise, that there is another way and that they don’t have to put up with it. It is also important for them to see the role that they are playing; if they are categorised as a victim, it will only cause them to feel that they have no choice.
And if one doesn’t have a choice, then it is impossible for there to be another option. One does have a choice and this is why there is another option available.
Because if one is still holding onto these past associations, one will be destined to attract the same situations again and again; until the past has been truly left behind.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.