Can anyone deny the powerful consquences of abuse on individuals?
Survivors are encouraged by the perpetrator to blame themselves for their situation. The abuser is eager to create a sense of blame in the survivor, as that adds to the power of their manipulation. This sense of blame, once kindled, can be reinforced by social criticism of survivors.
Sadly, the answer is yes, they do.
It is important for the general public to be made aware of the true nature of abuse. Abuse as we discussed in a prior article, is deliberate mistreatment that is not the fault of the survivor. The widespread failure to appreciate this fact promotes a further obstacle to survivors as they struggle to overcome the abuse.
The failure of the general public to support survivors of abuse, adds to the consequences of abuse.
Survivors are encouraged by the perpetrator to blame themselves for their situation. The abuser is eager to create a sense of blame in the other, as that adds to the power of their manipulation. This sense of blame, once kindled, can be reinforced by social criticism of the survivors. Society questions whether the survivor could have ended the abuse sooner? Couldn’t they have come forward for help sooner? Couldn’t they have resisted the abuse longer? Aren’t they impaired in some way compared to “normal” people? These are recurrent attacks on survivors that exacerbate the attack on self-judgment launched by an abuser.
The truth is that survivors are not to blame for their abuse.
This must be emphasized. They are not damaged or impaired compared to people lacking their experiences. It’s a founding tenet of Project Life Quality that persons who have withstood abuse, by the very fact of their existence, have broader experience and great reserves of character enabling greater creativity, commitment to physical fitness, encouragement of their peers, and other capabilities.
Isolation is a consequence of abuse.
Survivors are likely to isolate themselves from their friends and relations, as others feel incapable of acting firmly or with support around somebody seemingly content to put up with malignant behavior. The answer to this is again greater social awareness of abuse, the nature of abuse, and the resources for countering abuse.
Withdrawal is a consequence of abuse.
Survivors, because they are often misunderstood or judged by others, or because they anticipate this unfair treatment, can withdraw from society and the company of others. This is not a weakness or impairment of the abused, but a further consequence of their abuse and the stigma by an unaware public. This withdrawal is likely to be misunderstood by others and can lead to unfairly harsh reciprocal treatment against the survivors.
This behavior can be countered by greater awareness, by the survivor of abuse and by the general public, of the real nature of abuse and social empowerment of survivors by their friends and relations.
Distrust is a consequence of abuse.
Survivors, because of the betrayal of their hopes and expectations by abusers, can develop a deep distrust of other persons. This goes beyond simply avoiding contact with other persons. The survivor may develop feelings against other persons and disrupt their relationships with others. This is likely to be misunderstood by persons ignorant of the specific abuse or unaware of the pattern of abuse in general.
Again, this is not a weakness or impairment of a survivor, but consequence of abuse. We believe survivors can overcome all consequences and determine their own behavior.
Beyond withdrawal and denial and distrust can be depression.
Simply nothing in life is viewed appropriately or in its proper context. Depressed persons may find physical difficulty in carrying out day-to-day functions of life. Depression is a serious consequence resulting from abuse, but we stress inspiration and creativeness can sprout from adversity.
We here at Project Life Quality want to welcome and affirm everyone becoming aware of their own situation.
If you have experienced some of these emotional states yourself, or if you recognize them in a close friend or relation, we encourage you to take hope.
It is not abnormal to feel discouraged, or depressed, or afraid, or uncertain.
It is possible to live a life beyond abuse and free of the consequences of abuse.
We encourage you to experience a change in lifestyle habits that affirms and nourishes yourself physically and mentally.
This is not your fault. This is not your fate.
You have experiences and a point of view that can take your self-awareness, your conscious expression, your self-confidence, to levels you have not dreamed possible.
Please come explore the opportunities with us.
Christopher Andrew Balsz
Headerpicture credit to : Ahmad Torabi