Abuse is usually something that starts of as external in nature. This means that one is abused through the people around them and this could be limited to one environment or it could happen in a number of environments.
The type of abuse that I am talking about here is the abuse that goes in one’s mind. However, due to the nature of this kind of abuse, it is often hard to notice that it is taking place.
It is natural to think of abuse in terms of what is going on externally and what is going on internally is often overlooked. And this is perhaps a result of it being invisible to the naked eye. One has to be aware of the different clues, when it comes to recognising internal abuse.
There are undoubtedly extremes when it comes to describing what abuse is and the meaning that I will be using here, is anything that makes one feel unworthy or alters ones internal wellbeing,
Because no matter where on the spectrum this abuse is, it will lower ones sense of confidence and how they feel about themselves. And if this is something that has always gone on, then it may even seem normal and how life is.
How This Can Look
Self abuse can be experienced in many ways and this will depend on numerous factors. One may continually behave in ways that lead to the opposite of what they want to achieve and into situations that compromise who they are.
The thoughts that one has could be classed as negative and disempowering. And this will mean that one then becomes a prisoner and not necessarily of other people, but of their own mind.
And along with this; one’s emotions and feelings could be overwhelming and unsupportive of who one is or who one really wants to be.
There may also be the tendency for one to engage in destructive habits’, which sabotage ones true nature and act as a validation to this internal abuse. This then becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and not because this internal abuse has any validity or truth to it, but because one has identified with it.
These habits’ or behaviour tendencies can include, but are not limited to: excessive drinking, over and under eating, drug addiction, self harm and many others.
If one is internally abusing themselves, it is unlikely that they will value who they or the time that they have on this earth. To value our time, we have to value ourselves. And to have to experience all this internal pressure, it is going to be difficult to appreciate what is good and to be grateful, if one is overwhelmed by such inner pain and suffering.
The ego mind will use everything it can to escape from the pain that is being experienced and this is what has its hand in the self sabotage mentioned above. On one side there is the urge to escape the pain and to regulate oneself through external stimulation. And on the other side there is a feeling of being comfortable with the pain.
Although the act of escaping from this inner pain provides a certain amount of relief, it never lasts. And through the mere fact of running away from it, the pain will only get stronger and gain in its intensity.
To say that one feels comfortable with this internal abuse sounds absurd and on the surface this does sound ridiculous. With people who are abused in relationships for example, there is often a pattern of this person being continually attracted to abusive partners. And it is also not much of a surprise to see this person go back to the abuser after a break up.
This all looks very dysfunctional and illogical. And this is because the ego mind works on what is familiar and once something is familiar, it becomes associated as what is safe.
The External Mirror
As a result of the external abusive, mirroring what is already going on inside, it is not much of a shock to that person. To the people on the outside, the abuse may seem destructive and dysfunctional, based on their outlook, but to the individual that is being abused, it is probably no different to what is going on inside their own heads.
The ego mind can identify with or attach to anything. This is why it is often described as a parasite. And like a dog with a bone; it will hold onto whatever it is familiar with. This makes the ego mind very simple in one way and yet complex in another. Simple in how it functions, but often challenging in changing what it is functioning on.
In order for one to let go of the internal abuse and the external abuse, what the ego mind associates as safe has to change.
And if one is abusing themselves internally, it has probably gone on for a long time and for so long that it might not even be questioned any more. It might be the only thing their ego mind knows.
What the ego mind comes to associate as being familiar and therefore safe; is typically formed in ones childhood and even in the womb itself; according to the latest research done by Bruce Lipton and others. However, no matter where it actually started, these early moments create our perception of others, ourselves and the world.
The ego mind then identifies with them and from that moment onwards, the lenses through which we see life out of will be set.
Fortunately we are more than our ego mind and this means that how we perceive ourselves, others and the world - can change. We are the watchers of our mind and this means that we can chose what we identify with. If our perceptions don’t work, they can be changed.
In order to realise this one may need the assistance of a therapist, coach or trusted friend. Because through all the emotional build up and through all the ego minds defences; our awareness and the ability to observe is likely to have been blocked. And like ice, it will gradually begin to melt and our true nature can be revealed.
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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.