There are a lot of different types of abuse and it shows up in various ways. Obviously some types are more clear than others like physical and sexual violence. These are pretty obvious; physical if somebody’s using their body to enforce power over you in some way, shape or form; sexual if you’re made to feel like you have to have sex when you don’t want to or when somebody doesn’t take no for an answer. I’m not just talking about men abusing women, it happens both ways.
And of course, there’s spiritual and cultural abuse which might fall under discriminatory abuse or prejudice when people use your spiritual or religious beliefs to manipulate or dominate you. And it’s the same culturally if they use your cultural beliefs to harm you because they’re not accepting your culture, race, or religion.
And then there’s financial abuse too. If you’re committing fraud or somebody’s committing fraud against you, or you’re robbing your partner or misusing your resources, these all fall under abuse.
And the biggest one is neglect. If somebody is in your care and you’re not taking care of them, or an institution or carer is not providing them the things that are needed, including bringing friends around to see them so that they’re not in isolation, making sure they’re well fed, dressed, warm, properly hydrated and all of that good stuff. So often, neglect can fall under the other kinds of less obvious abuses too.
That’s what I want to talk to you about now because a lot of my clients come to me and what’s happening is that they’re basically in some kind of toxic or abusive relationship and they don’t realise it because it’s happened so slowly, they are drip “fed” emotional abuse until they’re underneath somebody’s thumb.
This is where emotional, psychological and verbal abuse is happening. One of my teachers said we’re all guilty of it! If you’ve ever yelled at your kids, if you’ve ever yelled at anybody, that is a form of abuse. Generally, hopefully, most of us are good enough people where we can own our stuff and apologise and take responsibility for things. But if somebody is constantly and consistently saying, or doing something to make you feel ‘less than’ or worthless or taunting in a sarcastic way or belittling you, that falls under emotional abuse.
Abuse, because it makes you feel small, and bullies do that. Usually bullies are the kind of people who feel small themselves (at some level) so they need to make other people feel smaller so that they can feel bigger and more powerful in themselves.
Psychological abuse might be people using threats or causing fear in another person to gain control over them. So if any of you are in a narcissistic relationship, if your partner’s narcissistic or gaslighting you, that’s a form of psychological abuse, where they twist everything around until eventually you’re questioning your own sanity.
Be very aware because these things happen slowly over time and stealthily and you don’t realise that you’re losing your sense of self and giving up your power to someone.
The other one of course, is verbal abuse when somebody uses language, whether it’s spoken or written to cause harm to an individual. Now, there’s a fine line with all of these things because we’re humans and we all have big emotions and we say things and sometimes the minute you say something you wish you didn’t say, you’re wanting to pull the words right back into your mouth as they’re being spoken. These are generally one off events, but if you’re consistently feeling like you’re being belittled, or you have someone who is often yelling, screaming at you, threatening, blaming or making you feel fearful, or like it’s not safe to speak your truth to that person, or making you feel like you have to hide from them, then you’ve really got to have a deeper look at that situation.
If you have a strong, healthy, adult relationship with your nearest and dearest, your partner, children, parents, friends and colleagues, you ought to be able to have a back and forth easy exchange of communication. And if you don’t, you’ve got to take responsibility for your part of it, but also see what’s coming from the other person. And think about how you were before you met that person and how you are now, because a lot of people don’t even realise that they’re in this kind of drama, day in, day out. And it’s really not good. It’s exhausting on so many levels.
You’ve heard of people staying in physically abusive relationships and you wonder if somebody is getting hit, why they don’t get out of there? Except that, and I’m always talking about this, people stay in their uncomfortable comfort zone, because they don’t know any other way and they start to make excuses for it and justify the perpetrators behaviour, or hide it and they begin to take on that self belief of not feeling good enough. Not feeling worthy, not feeling deserving of having a clear, open, adult, healthy exchange with people.
So if you feel at all like you’re in the kind of relationship where you’re losing your power and you’re not able to express yourself without your partner (or whoever) getting defensive with you, or punishing you in some way, (silent treatment, avoiding you, verbally abusing you, blaming you, belittling you, to name but a few) I would encourage you to take some time alone and go within yourself and ask yourself some hard questions!
Retreating from someone to take some space to process something is very different than giving someone the silent treatment, the energy around that is completely different.
You’ve got to look at the dynamics that are going on. What triggers the perpetrators behaviour? And if you’re the perpetrator, look underneath the trigger so you can try to understand what it is truly about? What is your motivating factor? Are you angry? Are you resentful? Are you upset in some way? Are you frightened? What is causing your reasoning? If there even is any conscious reasoning behind destructive behaviour! Hopefully most people’s negative behaviour is unconscious, so bringing it to your conscious awareness can help you have a big ‘aha’ moment.
Psychological abuse often has an edge of conscious manipulation around it. But if you’re the perpetrator, then I really encourage you to step back for a minute and a) realise how destructive this is and b) once again look at what your motivating factors are underneath that kind of behaviour. Because at the end of the day, our behaviour is a choice.
We need to be responsible adults and take responsibility for our actions. And this is why people don’t often jump into self development courses because you have to face your stuff! You have to man up, woman up, and face your deepest stuff and start to take responsibility for yourself.
But every time you’re in a situation, good or bad, whether you’re the victim or whether you’re the perpetrator, you have a wonderful opportunity to grow, to really step back and go within yourself to ask yourself the questions and figure out what the underlying root factors may be.
What happened when I was a kid to feel this level of ….?
Fear, anger, shame, worthlessness, lack, doubt, isolation, disgust, not feeling safe, feeling alone, feeling like the bad one,
feeling like I always have to rise above things, feeling like the good girl, the bad girl, the good boy, bad boy, that I’m not enough, not seen, heard, loved…. Oh, the list goes on and on and on.
So what kind of low level, stealthy, sabotage techniques are going on in your life right now? Who are you allowing to emotionally abuse you in some way? Or who might you be emotionally abusing in some way that you have never really thought about before?
If it’s really out of awareness, and this is the kind of stuff we get down deep with in From Fear Into Love, we bring it to conscious awareness in a safe space and unpick all of it so that you can learn to love yourself the most, so you can be in a real solid place of self alignment.
That doesn’t mean that life is just going to go swimmingly along and everybody’s going to be happy all the time. No, but what it means is that you’re going to have a whole new level of self worth and self understanding. If you’ve lost your power or given it up to someone, you’re going to be able to regain that power and reclaim that sense of self coming back into the truth of who you are, into your fundamental being.
So, what are you worth? I would really love to hear from you. Book a mind shift call and let’s have that free chat, so we can see if we have a lovely energetic dance and can work together. I would really love to help you find your truest self and regain your power so that you can live a life in joy, peace and balance.
Consciously consider booking a 20-minute mind-shift call and let’s have a conversation.
I’m so excited to announce the launch of my second coaching book Dating Your Life – Using Your Emotions As A Guidance Tool now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
Check out my life-transforming From Fear Into Love course.
ALSO, if you would like to join my Facebook Group, The Spiritually Conscious Traveller.