Abusive relationships – all abuse – are about power: forcibly taking power from one person for the gratification of another.
Abusive relationships. Abuse. It can happen to anyone. Sometimes it happens as a horrific crime. Sometimes it happens in the most seemingly loving of relationships. Or, sometimes, just by accident.
It’s not just wicked stepmothers out of fairy tales, evil stepfathers with a horrendous ‘other’ agenda or deranged psychopaths who are the abusers. Although theirs may be the most dramatic and ‘newsworthy’ stories that we get to hear about on TV.
Break the chain!
Understand why and how abuse sneaks into your life today, like strings on a puppet, and dictates some of your actions. Through this part of the website, RecognizeAbuse, I hope to share with you the powerful knowledge I learned both from my own and from my counselling experience and from my work with the Red Cross with their RespectEd program.
Learn what a loving relationship looks like. Learn what makes an abusive relationship. Choose how you want to live your life. And very importantly, learn how to recognize abuse in a friend’s life and how you can help.
Knowledge is Power
Abusive relationships, significant and real abuse, also slip by us on a daily basis without our even realizing it. In fact, I would say that the effects of unkindness, ignoring and other non-dramatic abuses, present in many abusive relationships, build up over the years, causing significant – even equal – affect.
Sadly the first abusive relationships we experience are sometimes from the very people who would instantly give their lives for us. Along with their sacrifice and endless love sometimes comes abuse, physical or emotional. Parents certainly don’t mean to hurt us. In fact, they would never believe they could ever do such a thing.
This awful behaviour is not ‘in our genes’. It is simply learned. Nothing fancy. An adult experiences the pain of abuse when he was yesterday’s child and passes it on to today’s child. Our parents may have experienced less than perfect parenting from their parents, who may have experienced an abusive relationship in their past. And so it goes on, passed from generation to generation.
Adventure Into Your Past
As a counsellor I am honoured to be able to help others, first realize they can choose their path. And then to set off on it. I am grateful for this comforting and fulfilling sense of purpose.
It has taken me a lifetime to better understand abuse – and I’m still learning daily. I am interested not only in what we understand as abuse but the sarcasm, neglect or unkindness that, especially when coming from someone we love and trust, can seriously affect us. It can equally hurt us now or as the sensitive child we may have been.
This is abuse: insidious abuse. Abusive relationships grow and are made even more possible when we experience abuse as a child. When we grow up learning that this abuse is how a loving and ‘normal’ family behaves, we may unwittingly seek it out and unconsciously accept it into our lives.
My hope is that after you read the articles on this website, you will recognize abuse more easily, in others or in yourself. If you, or a friend of yours, need help, go to your school counsellor, talk to your pastor or seek out a regular counsellor. There are also links to various hotlines here on this website.
a) Adult children (and children) of narcissistic parents need to heal so they can learn what ‘normal’ really looks like and pass on good parenting.
b) Invisible emotional abuse is present in so many ‘ordinary’ families. It is often behind so-called teenage ‘acting out’ and various addictions. Together we can stop this abuse, learn other ways to satisfy our deepest needs and be the loving parents we intend.
b) Explore obvious child abuse and the forms this abuse takes. We have a duty in law, every one of us, to report it, to police or social services, so those suffering can be helped.
c) Understand and explore ‘elder abuse‘ (and elder’s abuse of their adult children); ‘institutional abuse‘; ‘wife abuse‘; ‘husband abuse‘; ‘employee abuse‘ and other forms of abuse. In understanding abuse, with help, we can break the chain.
d) Know what best to do when you see abuse and how to deal with it, legally (because every person in some countries has a legal duty to report it) and morally.
Use these pages to RecognizeAbuse and learn how to deal with it.
There are some tools available here:
- Teach about Abuse (free video presentation (coming soon) for schools and groups – register now to get your copy). Donations gratefully accepted to help create it.
- ConnectionCue™ cards. Understand yourself via CueCards and heal the wounds caused by any abuse. At any age.
- Counselling – Online or in-person counselling are invaluable parts of healing – access them on this website, through your doctor, locally to you or by internet.