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- They are abusers. They target people with their abuse. Some target animals. Many target themselves. But most target other people. Why? because they at the moment they decide to abuse, they are sick. Sick personalities.
- You specifically were abused because they needed someone to abuse, they chose you, and you are not stopping them. Now before you start pointing fingers at me saying I am blaming the victim, I want to make it clear I am not. I am not blaming you for not stopping them. But the reason they were able to abuse you is that you did not or could not or chose not to stop them. This does not mean you are weak, vulnerable, have a weak personality or any of these things. So stop telling yourself that. It is as simple as you did not stop them. Maybe you could not. Maybe they are too powerful. Or they caught you at a weak moment. They are sneaky that way, you know.
Abusers try to guess by looking at people and observing them who they should abuse. they start with a mild abuse intervention. Like saying an implied insult, or put down. Maybe by a snicker, or a demaning look. Then they wait and see if you tolerate it. Tolerate it means you do not take action to stop the abuse. So, if you act in a way to stop the abuser, they usually stop and go target someone else. But if you do not and only show fear, anger, hurt, but do nothing about it, they will continue further to more hurtful actions.
Sometimes the action you take can be passive and that is OK. You can just leave the room, avoid this person, etc. But sometimes you cannot. In that case you have to confront. Confront might sound harsh, but confrontation might be as simple as saying “stop it.” or “don’t do that that.” Sometimes you cannot even say these things. And that is understandable. But one needs to know unless an action is taken to stop the abuse, it will probably continue.
Some make the mistake by returning the abuse, then you get into a messy situation. The abuser probably wants a fight of abuse back and forth. It shows him that everyone is like that not just him. Not wise. Walk away, tell them to stop, talk to someone who can make them stop, or anything you can do to make it stop.
Abusers are sick people. They want to ease their sickness through abuse. That is their problem not yours. Take action. You are worth it. You can do it. Try it. the first time you stand up to an abuser it might be tough but it becomes easier once you do it.
Most should be clapping right now. I really thought I was the most relaxed man on earth. Little did I know that I was under a lot of stress. It is amazing to me that one can be stressed and not know it. I think because we assume stress means that you are not happy. When in reality, unhappiness comes with later stages of stress, when the symptoms become very apparent and one is already too stressed.
Another reason people do not know when stressed is that stress sometimes is considered weakness. If you are stressed that means you “cannot handle it.” So we are taught to “suck it up” and take it like a man, or a woman.
Stress is a killer, we all know that, but we just do not realize or admit stress. Unless a doctor points it out to us that our symptoms are stress symptoms. Unfortunately the problem is not solved then. Because most doctors will subscribe medicine like anxiety pills, blood pressure pills, cortisone for eczema etc. Of course if you need them, take them, but that does not solve the root cause of the problem.
The root cause of the problem is not stress. Stress itself is normal. We are all stressed, especially in this day and age. The real problem is poor stress management. Recognizing this in itself helped me a lot personally.
Stress management means you have to learn how to deal with stress. Not deny it. Not try to eliminate it.
For example, some people say “I am not stressed,” until it is so clear that they are and they start showing symptoms of stress mentally and physically. Then they get depressed because they consider it a sign of failure that they are stressed. Then they run to a doctor who subscribes depression medicine.
Managing stress requires an objective look at one’s lifestyle. In a demanding world everybody wants something from us, on top of our own high expectations of what we must achieve and do. All of this is stress.
It is a good idea to observe stress symptoms as they arise during the day. For more on this, please read my previous blog. See “who” and “what” and “when” you get stressed. For example, I notices, that a slow mood before sunset becomes interpreted by my body as sadness. And I get a bit down before sunset. Since I noticed that, I have been enjoying that time a lot. It iis amazing the tricks your mind can play on you.
Another good idea is to take a walk. Half hour walk daily alone, or with your best buddy if possible can help a lot reduce stress.
Here is another great mood lifter: A cold shower. Not hot. Not luke warm. But freezing cold. Jsut for 2 minutes. Of course you need to easy into it gradually, maybe start with hot then gradually turn water to cold. It is amazing how “present” you become after a cold shower.
However, the best techniques that helped me with stress management by far where breathing techniques. It took me a long while to find that out but I am glad I did. There are thousands of ways you can alternate your breathing. But I will share with you one simple technique: counting as you breath in, hold, out, then hold. over time, the count becomes higher per breath, which shows relaxation. excellent exercise.
I have been researching this subject for fifteen years now. I have tried so many techniques. Most did not work. But some worked marvelously and I practice them weekly, and some daily. I cannot right about all of them here, but I will be happy to share with you some of these techniques for free if you drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
People around us can teach us a lot about ourselves. Unfortunately, sometimes in our emotional state, we miss these valuable lessons.
Next time you become emotional over a situation or something someone says or does, take a closer look at that emotion. What is it? label it: is it anger? sadness? happiness? pride? shame? what is it that you are feeling? sometimes we get overtaken by emotion we forget to even label them. Labeling helps you manage the emotion. Instead of being overtaken by it.
I know this is easier said than done but it is worth trying believe me. As soon as you remember to label the emotion go ahead and label it. Try your best to do it while it is still there. Once you try this you will know why. You will feel in control again. If you need help determining what emotion exactly you are having, here is a link to a list of all human emotions, more or less. Download it, and look at it once in a while as emotions arise.
And then you can go the next step which is describing how the emotion “feels.” Sit back and observe how the emotion feels. How does it manifest in your body: Do you feel it in the neck? stomach? heart? hands and feet? what is the feeling like? which muscles are affected. How about your breathing? posture? There is a lot to take note of, and that teaches you a lot about your self.
Then comes a lot of insights about why that emotion arose, and how is it triggered, etc. This understanding will lead to acceptance and clarity. It is beautiful.
PS. If you try this simple exercise and you like it, please share your comments below on your experience: how was it? did it help you feel in control? was the emotion one emotion or a mix of many? Please do tell.
Of course the smart comments, put downs, and harsh sudden remarks will not go away. Abusers cannot change. Accepting that they are who they are and they will never change is part of your own growth.
Getting to a point where they stop bothering you is also tough. However, to what level they bother you and for how long is what changes. Also, how you look at them changes. When they no longer have the power to completely knock you off your balance. When they no longer get into your very inner thoughts, emotions, and nerves. You know then that you are free at last.
Abusers are two types: A type you can choose to walk away from because you owe them nothing. However, when there is an obligation, like when the abuser is a family member, then things become a bit more complex. I always thought that being in a relationship of obligation with an abuser is a curse. I am now more inclined to consider it a learning experience, even though a very tough one.
After a long journey of self discovery, one might reach a level of being free from the spell abusive family members put on you. Then amazing things happen: It becomes easier to see the abusers’ vulnerability, and how they are not as strong as they try to look. You also see how they start adapting to you being strong, and showing you respect. You also see how they keep making the abusive behavior, however less often and they quickly retreat from it as they see you bothered but not shaken by what they did. What amazes me is when they even become apologetic.
The cycle of abuse is totally different after you regain power.
The traditional cycle of abuse might resemble something like this: Abusers look for when you are most vulnerable, and strike hard. You retreat feeling sorry for self and bad about you taking the abuse. You start thinking about how unjust the abuser is to you. The abuser sees you in that state and feels powerful and in control. They are in control. You are not. Abuse becomes more frequent and harsher. The cycle continues.
After regaining freedom, the cycle changes; They cannot find a vulnerable moment in you. They make a lot of preparation to put you in that weak psyche. You do not go there. They get impatient and throw that harsh remark. You show discomfort. Showing discomfort is a sign of being strong. There is a difference between showing discomfort but accepting self, and showing discomfort and feeling sorry for yourself. The former is strength the latter is weakness. So since you are not weak, that means they have to retreat. This is amazing because if they cannot break you, they try to pick a fight to get you weak. Then they might try to make you feel guilty for misunderstanding their intentions. It is very funny when they do that by the way. If you still do not break, they will retreat and start showing you respect. More respect than before the incident because they now know you are strong. Abusers only respect power. Nothing else. Humanity, kindness, humbleness, and similar good traits are signs of weakness in their book. So when they see strength and confidence, they retreat and show respect.
Do not misunderstand power in its superficial shapes. Power is not physically power, or cruelty, or fighting, or shouting. All of that actually is weakness. Real power is accepting self and being confident. Staying genuinely calm and unshaken.
Some people only respect those who are powerful. So you show power they will go look for someone else to abuse. Once in a while they come back forgetting that you are powerful. But they again find out you refuse to play victim. The abuse subsides. Then a new relationship forms, with you being in control of yourself.
This is one of the strangest change in relationship dynamics I have ever seen.
When a lion stalks a herd, it is the one that does not run that gets targeted first. The morale of the story is: It is better to run than to get eaten. Same with human abusers. There is no valor in getting devoured by an abuser.
When one is verbally or mentally abused, his worst enemies are tolerance, bravery, and patience. While in 99% of situations, these are good traits to have, however not when being abused. Actually abusers thrive because of people who think they “can handle it.” While they cannot continue their favorite sport of abusing others if others have a shorter fuse.
I have seen abused people boast about their ability to withstand abuse: “It does not bother me.” or “I have a thick skin,” are all signs that one might be too tolerant to an abuser.
Even abusers encourage their victims to have a thick skin and not run. They say things like “Come on, can’t you take a joke,” or “I thought we were friends, and friends tolerate each other.” No, I am sorry, I cannot take a joke, and no I do not want to tolerate you neither do I want you as a friend. But unfortunately few do that. They succumb to the trickery and stick around for more.
It is like boasting about your ability to take punches in the face. Why? Just leave, if you can. If you cannot stay away from things that trigger the abuse. Move aside, reduce interaction. Anything but “taking it.”
Acceptance, self esteem, confidence, understanding, and peace of mind. All are sought after qualities, but can we achieve them? The road to discovery is challenging, and this is why many of us settle for the “fake” version of these qualities.
So, one can find “fake” self confidence and settle for it. When we have fake self confidence, we go overboard by thinking we cannot go wrong. Then we become very tough on ourselves when we fail to achieve objective. If someone is tough on self in a negative way, that results in low self esteem. Fake self confidence results in denying fault in self and blaming mistakes on others.
Same applies to fake self esteem. True self esteem results from accepting oneself. Acceptance means being merciful towards self. Allowing self to “be” true, instead of wearing masks to pretend to be someone else.
Acceptance results in true love. But love also can be fake. Fake love is negative. It is based on hiding reality and trying to cling to something that does not exist. For example, fake self love results in putting self above others, greed, and all sorts of narcissistic behavior.
To feel true love, one needs to be accepting of self and others. Accepting means clarity, accountability, and understanding. Understanding self means understanding strengths, shortfalls, ambitions, challenges, temptations, etc. Just Understanding. Neither exalting nor demeaning self or others.
Understanding is important, but it is not easy. It takes a lot of objectivity and maturity to observe ones actions carefully to reach understanding. Sometimes we are not willing to be.
Once understanding and accountability are there, clarity results, leading to tranquility and real confidence. This is the confidence one needs to aspire to, not the confidence based on fake belief that one is better than others or does not err. Fake confidence leads to disappointments, stress, and many other problems. Real self confidence and high self esteem are the result of accepting oneself.
Even acceptance can be fake, if it is mistaken for complacency. Real acceptance is the beginning of improvement, based on understanding, and that is the best way of improving, because it builds on clarity.
The oasis is here. Those who believe they found it tell us it is closer than we think. Maybe we just need to stop looking and just “be”.