When it comes to the consequences of abuse, there are many and some will be more severe than others. One of these consequences is that it usually creates uncertainty in the victim.
And this has the potential to create all kinds of problems, because to the degree that one feels uncertain within, will play a large role in how much power and control the abuser has. This uncertainly then becomes, if you will, the open door for them to enter and create all kinds of damage.
Once they have been allowed to ‘get in someone’s head’ as it is often called, they will often be able to violate the person and to do as they wish. Now for some people this may be a minor type of abuse and for others it will involve extreme abuse.
This is not to say one can be ignored and excused and that the other is more important; it is simply to exemplify that there are differences in abuse.
I will now go into what I believe are the main factors in this dynamic. This is not to be taken as the absolute truth. I am simply sharing my views with others and I encourage that people come to their own views and conclusions.
So with the disclaimer of sorts out of the way - let’s begin and take a deeper look at what may be going on.
On one side it could be said that all abuse starts on the outside and over time, this abuse ends up being internalised and then becomes self abuse. Another viewpoint is that abuse is already going on inside and this means that one will attract external situations that mirror that which is already going on internally.
This will also depend on how old the person is who is getting abused. If one is talking about child abuse, then it is unlikely that self abuse is already occurring, as all they know is what they have picked up from the people around them.
However, if it is adult abuse, this will be more likely to be true. As an adult, one will have had years of experiences that could have formed the internal voice that is creating self abuse. But, with that aside for the time being; let’s go to the next stage.
To create the uncertainty in the other person, the abuser ultimately needs to make the victim question their own reality. The more uncertain the victim is of their reality, the more vulnerable and powerless they will feel.
And then, brick by brick, ones inner house will begin to crumble and fall to the ground. This is something that rarely occurs over night, but that’s not to say that it has to take a long time either.
Ones sense of reality is made up of many different aspects. From what they believe about themselves and to what they believe about others. However, to be specific here, an extremely important part of one’s reality is made up of one’s: thoughts, feelings, emotions and perceptions.
And if this reality is not respected and honoured it can then lead to one starting to doubt who they are and their own reality. And if this happens, one will give their power away to the abuser.
This could lead to at least two possible scenarios and this will depend on numerous factors; from how sever the abuse is, to how the person responds to the abuse and how tolerant they are to it.
While one person may leave at the first sign of abuse or shortly after; another person may put up with it and become warn down over time. This will depend on many different influences; from what their personality is like, to how strong they are internally.
There will be many methods and ways that the abuser has for making another question there reality and yet there often are patterns. And what these methods will often come down to is the act of invalidating the other person’s reality.
This could be done through the abuser denying what the other person is feeling, thinking or perceiving; minimizing what the other person is experiencing; doubting the other person’s sense of competence and many other ways.
And this will of course create different consequences for the victim. At first it may have started off as an equal relationship, but as a result of the abuse, the other person is likely to end up feeling below the other person.
So while one may have started of feeling confident and certain about themselves, they have ended up filled with self doubt and uncertainty. And this can then lead to one feeling dependent on the very person they can’t bear to be with.
The Ego Mind
Although at the beginning of the abuse one may have felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave, as time went by the ego mind would have created associations of familiarity around what was happening. And the ego mind perceives what is familiar to be what is safe.
So what felt uncomfortable at the start, can soon becomes what feels comfortable as time passes by. Ones survival has then become attached to the abuser.
The ego mind doesn’t always create associations of what is safe around what is healthy or functional; as we can see. And this is why awareness is important, because if one is not aware of the how the ego mind works, it is going to lead to more suffering.
Boundaries are also important here, as ones personal space has been violated through this occurrence. Once one is aware that there is a problem, action needs to be taken.
This may just involve changing ones behaviour or speaking up. For others it may mean reading about the subject and then applying what one has learnt. And some people may require some kind of assistance; through therapy, coaching or a support group for example.
What matters is that one takes action and puts this abuse to an end.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, 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.