When I think about stigma of abuse, I think about many things. I think about how abuse shaped my emotions and informed my brain on things that were not true. I don’t think just on the verbal or the emotional aspect of the damage.
Fear – A defence Mechanism
There’s many types of abuse: emotional, physical, verbal, sexual, financial, and spiritual. At the core of any type of abuse there’s the hunger for control and manipulation. Abuse is when an insecure person persecutes someone else’s freedom for the only reason of having a sense of control. You see, an abuser, when stripped down to the core, is a very insecure person who has been bruised repeatedly in life. The insecurity is rooted in fear. Fear of being left alone, fear of not being highly esteemed in public, fear of being humiliated, fear of taken advantage of etc. You might ask yourself: “Oh well doesn’t everyone struggle with insecurity?” Yes. It’s how an individual navigates through the murky waters of insecurity that makes them an abuser or not. What a shame! For someone feeling so low about themselves to conclude that the only way they will ever feel loved is by controlling every situation and person around them. I’ve never met an abuser with a healthy self-esteem. The only thing they do is project they have a great self-esteem, which is obviously reversed or nonexistent. This portrayal of “Look at me! I am great!” is actually a defense mechanism for abusers. It’s the hook they use to convince people that they don’t have a control problem. Have you heard of the phrase Hurt people, hurt people? Well that is exactly what abusers do. Most of them have been hurt in life, but this does not serve as an adequate excuse of why they should be repeating the same things to others. More than the unfortunate situations that a survivor had to go through, I define abuse as the ultimate projection of a person’s self-hate towards a completely innocent person. Abuse is the final painting which reflects the inner turmoil of a selfish person. Abuse is just not a push, an insult, a silent treatment, a forced lewd act, controlling finances, or reversing scripture to get away with questionable decisions. It’s about a distorted philosophy of self. Abuse is a prison for the mind, soul, dreams and words. Abuse infects your life with false responsibilities and false ideologies. Abuse is a spider web of lies and confusion.
I freaked out. I wonder why before investing my time, energy, and feelings into previous relationships, I didn’t notice the buttons in other people’s faces.
There’s a movie called Coraline. I am sure many of you have seen the movie, read the novel, or have heard of it at least once. If this is not the case, I recommend it. The impact this film has made on my life cannot be translated into words. The reason for this, lies within the different topics and messages it communicates. Coraline is an animated synonym for Russian dolls. Every object, character, scene, and detail reveal silent messages. Yes, it’s a kid’s movie, but personally it’s something more. Well, let’s be a little bit realistic…it can be creepy for some children! And I am not suggesting that this film is a horror movie (because it isn’t) or that I like horror movies, because I don’t for many reasons. But many details of this film may seem uncomfortable for certain viewers. But isn’t abuse disturbing as well? However, society seems to glance over it and sweep it under the rug many times.
The film discusses abusive tendencies and psychological traps in a way that is subtle but clear at the same time. Not only that, but it dissects the mind of an abuser; their motivations and how they operate to convince others. Whether it’s warning signs transmitted through dialogue, obvious traps that the main protagonist ignores, unnerving characteristics of the villain, I always learn something new every time I watch it. Without giving away too any details, since this is not a movie review, I would like to examine a certain scene. The first time Coraline enters the ‘Other World’ she meets her ‘Other Mother and Other Father. But before that encounter, everything seemed flawless. It seemed as if everything was perfect at first glance because of the carefully decorated house along with the inviting smells coming from the kitchen. Home sweet home is what this world reminds you of the minute your eyes come across this whimsical world. However, once I saw that these figures portraying the main protagonist’s fake parents had buttons as eyes, I freaked out. I wonder why before investing my time, energy, and feelings into previous relationships, I didn’t notice the buttons in other people’s faces. I am talking about the specific implications slipped in the dialogues serving as red waving flags to my mind. To me abuse is the pursuit of gaining a false sense of happiness and freedom from the abuser’s point of view. It’s an unending cycle for both the victim and abuser. The abuser thinks controlling someone will make him or her happy, but once they notice it doesn’t work they start resenting the wonderful person they have in their life and attempts to transform the person into a thing. It’s a cycle that can be ended if you choose to. For me abuse is many things. I leave you with an exchange of words between the protagonist and villain. It’s definitely food for thought.
“You know…I love you…”
“You have a very funny way of showing it.”