Several things happened in the last few days reminding me of how easy it is to forget minding our personal emotional health. We all get tired and I’m no exception We get distracted, don’t feel well, or simply complacent and abuse slides into the gaps of our defenses.
Everyone has abusive people in their lives. Some are better than others at recognizing and setting limits to abuse. I’m always hopeful the abusers won’t try again but I know the nature of abuse.
Abusers like to test the limits. They think with enough passing time we will forget the grief they cause and they can come back to test our defenses again. If we have spent that time well, we became better at evaluating the abuser’s past actions and quicker to recognize and react to their next effort. It’s always going to be an unpleasant experience though, and bring up memories of previous events.
This is the point someone asks why I don’t kick all abusers out of my life. They are going to say; Seriously? You allow people you know are abusive to stick around? It’s a valid question to anyone who doesn’t realize what abuse means and hasn’t recognized the abusers in their own life.
For some reason, we assign the term abuser to only the worst people, the child, domestic abusers and the horrible misogynistic power controllers in the workplace. We reserve the term abuser for the worst of the worst and allow ourselves to grow accustomed to the dull roar that assaults us on a regular basis. We don’t count everyday assaults from abusers that don’t meet the definition of worst.
By allowing abuse to go unchallenged when it’s not an immediate threat to life or emotional and mental well-being, we become desensitized. We forget to challenge these actions as abuse at all. We become apologists to ourselves and then to the abused who depend on our protection.
for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.” ~Charles F. Aked
If only the nature of evil were simple, forthright and if it would announce it’s presence before entering the room. Even then, with time to prepare, we can find ourselves standing alone against many with their own interests to protect. We would always like to think of ourselves as doing the right thing, that it would be an easy choice we would always make. Honesty, if that’s true, and we all agree, why is there so much evil?
Not only is the crisis we face today one of great social evil, but a bombardment of cowardice in those around us and cowardice in ourselves. We don’t always stand up for those things we know we should. We justify ourselves by saying we have to pick our battles, we can’t fight them all, and such excuses go on.
It’s the abusive co-worker who glares if we balk at their bullying or misuse of company policies. It’s the controlling neighbor who suggests the new people aren’t good enough and shouldn’t be associated with. It’s the racists we are afraid to speak against. When our goal is met with the backing of the group around us, we are more willing to put up with hatred from individuals in the group as long as it doesn’t interfere with our goal very much.
It probably began with family group members who always kept a tight rein by belittling, shunning, gaslighting, and projecting blame on the ones who wouldn’t stay in line. The dysfunctional family tyrants trying to dis-empower and detach as a means of control.
I wonder sometimes if dysfunctional family groups might outnumber emotionally healthy families willing and able to pass along their loving supportive skills to another generation.
Let’s face it, we are surrounded by abusers each day without a thought. We have become desensitized to abuse and now, we ask ourselves why we face such large social problems? We can’t expect help and support from others until we are willing to learn how to help and support those around us.
Like an ash cloud, the abuse rains down and we are the oblivious residents of the sleepy seaside town, buried under tons of ash. When we don’t expect, it will be volcano day.
Yes, I do think going to the boats now is a good idea.
Be a hero and a star. Grab someone who also needs to escape and take them with you.
Photo by: Rule Britannia1