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Unveiling the Shadows: Understanding and Escaping the Grips of Abuse in Relationships



Understanding Abuse: Recognize, Address, and Overcome Abusive Relationships

What constitutes abuse, and who qualifies as an abuser? In straightforward language, abuse refers to a psychological personality disorder wherein an individual strives to subdue another person, sometimes without even being aware of it themselves. Abusers subconsciously strive to put themselves in a position where they can dominate others psychologically, emotionally, and energetically. At the core of abusive relationships is, of course, the classic Karpman Drama Triangle, which is a model of "persecutor-victim," where the abuser always plays the role of the persecutor, and the other side is always suffering, that is, the victim.

Psychological Causes of Abuse

The foundational roots of such psychological trauma as abuse lie in early childhood relationships. The theme of aggression and suppression begins with the perception of the parent of the opposite sex. For example, if a man is an abuser and constantly seeks to dominate women, he likely has a strict mother who broke his will, and now, as an adult, he is simply taking it out on other women. Of course, the victim of abusive relationships also has a role to play, and they are not just ordinary personalities; they also have psychological problems, such as a need to be humiliated constantly.

Both of these positions stem from childhood. It is essential to assess the situation objectively. If you find yourself in one position or another (perpetrator or victim), you need to acknowledge it and understand that you need to seek help from a specialist - a psychotherapist or a family constellations therapist.

People often mistakenly equate being mistreated, humiliated, or having their freedom restricted with great love. This is most often seen in romantic relationships between men and women. Still, abuse can occur in any relationship: at work, in education, with friends, with acquaintances. Therefore, the first step is to take responsibility and honestly answer whether you are part of the "perpetrator-victim" dynamic.

Types of Abuse

Abuse within the family is widespread. Often, parents become abusers of their children, and this is one of the most frequent and complex situations because if parents raise their hands, pressurize, or emotionally suffocate their children, the child grows up with severe traumas. Therefore, every parent must monitor how they communicate with their children, ensure they are not causing harm, and replace such behavior with more democratic and modern parenting methods.

Physical abuse in a partnership is characterized by threats of bodily harm and actual violence causing harm to one's health. This category also includes restrictions on personal freedom and property damage, usually accompanied by emotional abuse. It is a prevalent form of abuse, predominantly used by women, but men can also exhibit it.

Throughout centuries, it has become a tradition for women to protect themselves from abuse through manipulation or psychological violence. By psychologically tormenting their victims, women can drive them to hysteria or even suicide. When they assume the role of the victim, they start launching psychological attacks, establishing themselves as the dominant manipulator in the relationship.

Narcissistic abuse is perpetrated by individuals known as narcissists. They view themselves as exceptional, stemming from a deep sense of self-rejection. Through abuse, they degrade those around them to boost their self-esteem and elevate themselves at the expense of others. They cannot tolerate competition or rivalry, especially when someone is more successful or looks better than they do. This is where the battle begins: they must recruit everyone and everything to their side, emphasizing that they are the best and unmatched.

Signs of Abuse:

  1. Lack of personal space: When your relationship starts to involve panic, uncontrollable states, excessive control, persecution, and freedom restrictions instead of mutual support, you are in an abusive relationship. If your self-worth is suppressed, you don't feel a sense of shared goals, and you are periodically humiliated or offended – it's abuse.
  2. Constant manipulation with grievances and complaints like "you don't love me," "you don't think about me," "you don't care about me," "I need more of you," "you are not behaving correctly," "you should be available," etc. The person sows complexes and guilt in you, forcing you to justify yourself constantly.
  3. Devaluing your partner, diminishing their significance: When your partner systematically lowers your self-esteem, makes hurtful jokes, mocks, and humiliates you. Devaluation can also occur in a more delicate form but is still present.
  4. Freedom restriction: Isolation from friends, family, hobbies, and profession. Often, it may appear harmless with statements like "I just want to be with you, and I want you to prioritize me as I prioritize you," but this is the beginning of the abuse.
  5. Emotional rollercoaster: It alternates between amazing sex and super romance, where you are adored and heading for marriage, to days where the person disappears, doesn't answer calls, hangs up, and becomes cold in communication. This is pure manipulation.
  6. Inducing guilt: Encouraging you to give up important activities and joys in life that bring you pleasure and happiness. You will always feel guilty: "You're standing wrong, sitting wrong," this discomfort and suffering make them happy when you are on their leash.
  7. Constantly provoking emotional outbursts, tears, hysterics, and conflict. When you notice this in yourself, it's essential to seek help from a psychologist because the root cause may not only be childhood trauma imposed by parents but could also be related to family or even karmic issues. Family constellations can be very helpful in dealing with this.

What to do if you find yourself in an abusive relationship?

If you have ended up in an abusive relationship, the first thing you need to do is admit to yourself that you are in a dangerous situation. Abuse is violence in its broadest sense, and an abuser is a person who commits violence without controlling their destructive behavior.

It is essential to understand that the abuser is a sick individual who requires therapy. The abuse can persist for years without cessation, and the person seems to be under a sort of hypnosis, which explains their lack of control over their behavior.

The victim ends up living by the rules set by the abuser and often doesn't even realize the problem or consider ending the unhealthy relationship because they are not aware of the issues.

An abuser is dangerous to those around them both psychologically and physiologically. Therefore, addressing the issue should be taken seriously, starting with dealing with traumas such as low self-esteem, loss of self-worth, self-doubt, feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, and depression. You should address these issues while avoiding escalating physical aggression because when an abuser is in a rage, they are not in control, and you can suffer serious harm.

  1. The first thing to do when you realize you are in a traumatic relationship is to seek help from a specialist.
  2. When it comes to emotional or physical violence, do not remain silent. Seek help from your family and close friends. It may even involve contacting the police, and it is essential to understand that this outcome is entirely normal.
  3. The third step is to remove the rose-colored glasses and objectively assess the person's behavior, weighing their actions against their words and not harboring any illusions about them.
  4. End the relationship. Leave, turn off your phone, and cut off communication. Refrain from holding onto any hope that something will change. It won't. The situation will only worsen and drag you deeper into this nightmare. An apple cannot become a pear, just as a person cannot change. The only thing you can do is leave these relationships; the sooner, the better. This will free up space for a different, deserving partner.
  5. The fifth and most crucial step is to love yourself. You need to love and respect yourself, not allow anyone to hurt you, and accept yourself for who you are. You are the one who should care for yourself first and foremost and firmly establish your boundaries.

In conclusion, abuse is a complex and destructive issue that encompasses various forms of psychological, emotional, and physical harm inflicted by an abuser upon their victim. Recognizing the signs of abuse and seeking help are crucial steps in addressing this pervasive problem and providing support to those affected. It is essential to remember that no one should endure abusive relationships, and seeking professional assistance and support from friends and family is essential in breaking free from such harmful situations. Ending the cycle of abuse and promoting healthy, respectful relationships is a shared responsibility that society must uphold to ensure the well-being and safety of all individuals.

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