48. SEX AND ADDICTIONS: Do You Fully Understand The Process Of Emotional Abuse Or Violence Between Two People?
Emotional abuse can develop over time and it can become a serious problem if not understood fully.
Emotional abuse or violence can occur in any situation – no matter what the economic, financial, social position or class circumstances may be.
And emotional abuse can be carried out by women too – not just by men.
In order to fully explain this topic I have divided this blog into 7 sections:
1. The Process Of Abuse.
Emotional abuse is gradual and it can eventually develop into a total control of a partner’s behaviour, what they wear and how they behave.
It can even involve stalking a partner, checking their e-mails and mobile texts and so on. It is cunning and an insidious erosion of someone’s privacy, their self-esteem and their confidence.
Emotional abuse can easily be carried out by a woman. Emotional abuse can be very subtle and it doesn’t always have to involve the muscular threat of a man.
A partner can slowly be drawn into believing that what has been decided is best for them and that their partner cares deeply for their well-being. They can begin to control their every movement and consequently, anyone experiencing this can become utterly isolated from friends and family – even their children.
Often they become scared and frightened victims, locked into the manipulations of what is an insecure bully.
The bully is often someone who has either been bullied themselves or they may have experienced childhood abandonment, trauma, loss, neglect and so on.
Their fear of losing a partner usually outweighs any rational thought.
Hence their often controlling – ‘you are mine, and only mine’ kind of behaviour. This would be especially true if they were abandoned sometime in childhood.
Their partner may therefore be seen as a replacement parent which they may want to hang on to – and whom they may indeed fear losing.
Often too the abusing bully can be very clever and they can easily outwit their prey.
This is why understanding the process of abuse and violence is crucial. Abuse and violence between a two people is very complex and if any healing is to be found this is what needs to be known:
2. What Is Abusive Or Violent Anger Between Two People Actually About?
When we attract our partners and even our friends, it is usually as a direct result of sharing past childhood experiences. Why? Because birds of a feather flock together and we attract what we know and what is safe. This attraction can either be conscious or unconscious. We may not realise any of this at first however, as we get to know someone and over time what we share, eventually becomes known.
Sometimes, we can attract people that we can also project our emotions onto – emotions that we ourselves have not fully addressed or which still lie hidden deep within the psyche.
In other words, two people can share childhood issues and experiences, however one may be more vocal and able to express the emotions that they hold or feel, whereas the other may be less able, more introverted or rather reticent.
Being less able or reticent to release emotions or even deciding to keep emotions buried, means that acknowledging and exposing these feelings can be scary and very hard – especially if they have been kept dormant.
Consequently, it is often easier to find people that will do the expressing or acting out for us. It is often easier to find people who are more aggressive or who are more verbal. And it is often easier to find people who will ‘emote’ for us.
If we fear what we feel or if we find expressing our emotions hard, especially if they have been buried or suppressed for a long time or we’ve been told that expressing them is unhealthy, unladylike or just not done – then the idea of releasing them may horrify us.
Also if for whatever reason, a partner lacks self-worth and is more passive possibly even submissive, then they may attract a partner who is more outspoken or indeed more prepared to show their feelings, and so on.
Extreme forms of a partner’s behaviour could involve aggression, bullying, and so on.
But suppressed feelings have a strange way of becoming known. And when they do erupt, how they emerge – can be quite a frightening sight to behold, let alone experience.
This often happens when anger suddenly bursts out or when rage says hello but, unfortunately this can lead to vicious things being said, which can escalate into emotional abuse or indeed, brutal violence.
And when a bully suddenly feels vulnerable, when they suddenly fear being left and abandoned their outburst can be very frightening.
Sometimes the results can be fatal or it can be emotionally devastating.
This could include violent sex or rape.
It can leave two people feeling utterly shocked, emotionally drained, very sad, guilty and ashamed.
It can leave outer scars too: bruises especially around the neck, sprained wrists, broken limbs, black eyes and so on. Worse still, is that one in seven people who have experienced domestic violence, sustain a physical injury.
Sadly however, people experiencing domestic violence often cover up their injuries to avoid being questioned by others. Often injuries are explained by blaming it on either tripping or falling, walking into a door and the list goes on.
Unfortunately, chronic exposure to domestic violence can cause not only immediate physical injury, but also emotional and mental trauma as the mind attempts to process what has happened or how to protect the body.
Domestic violence can affects one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviour and it can lead to further issues around self-worth, confidence, depression and increased anxiety. It can cause PTSD – post traumatic stress disorders and so on.
However, violence and abuse often involves a series of projected emotions that both parties may have not as yet addressed.
Emotional abuse and violence also involves not only a complicated set of projections between two people, it also often helps confirm what a person may have always felt about themselves. If they were abandoned they may feel they were not worthy of better, of love and so on. They may feel that they are only worthy of punishment.
(I addressed this in Blog 4: ‘If I’ve Been Abandoned There Must Be Something Wrong with Me. If There Is Something Wrong With Me – Then I Need To Be Punished’).
And sometimes a couple can get so locked into all the projections – that splitting up can be very hard to achieve.
Friends and family might wonder why a wife or husband is so unable and incapable of leaving an abusive relationship. They may eventually lose patience. They may get tired of hearing all the excuses as to why the couple cannot find the courage to split up.
When a couple share loads of childhood experiences or feelings from the past, the connection or bond albeit unconscious, often keeps a couple from leaving one another. They become – locked, locked into a system of abuse. This is why many partners can remain in abusive relationships for many many years.
People around them might shake their heads in disbelief yet the projected system may be too powerful for the couple and sometimes the only way of disconnecting is via help, either through police, social workers or therapists stepping in.
3. Taking Back The Projections.
Many abusers often report that the violence seemed to come from nowhere and that it just exploded. Some even say that they felt like it erupted from a place that doesn’t seem to belong to who they really are.
Many recognised that they were indeed, for whatever reasons, very angry people. Yet many could just not understand the resulting extreme violence that would often develop during arguments and so on.
Without realising it, what they are indeed referring to – is the projected system of extra emotions ‘coming’ from their partner that triggers something within them that causes an extreme unreasonable and outrageous outburst.
When hearing reports such as, ‘the violence came from nowhere and it just exploded, or it erupted from a place that doesn’t seem to belong’, I was often reminded of how we project feelings we fear onto others.
It can be extremely alarming when the projection comes at the ‘us’ – forcing a behaviour that may seem abnormal. When we receive projected behaviour, unless we are ‘fully awake and emotionally aware’, unless we know how to ‘hand the projection back’, it can take us over, it can control and in some cases, it can cause people to behave in ways they themselves might find shocking.
And the projections can obviously occur in both men and women.
4. Recognising The Part We Play In The Relationships We Choose
What is so sad though is that until each individual within the couple learns to take back their individual projections, until the couple learns to take responsibility for what they might each own ‘emotionally within the psyche of the couple’, then and only then, might a healing occur.
Unfortunately, this process is a long one.
Taking back the projections only comes after childhood issues are understood, mourned and accepted. Once this is done then a couple can begin to take back their individual projections.
Often men get blamed when women are as much to blame. Sometimes women get blamed when men are as much to blame.
Also, women are usually thought of as the weaker sex, so we often forget that women can be as vicious, violent and abusive as men.
Evidence for example, shows that women are far more inclined to encourage boxers, fighting at boxing matches. As the blood and sweat flies the evidence shows that the women get more and more excited. They tend to shout louder as the punches fly and their excitement to see a boxer fall is – quite shocking.
Sometimes people also forget that they participated in their own domestic violence by egging, encouraging or daring their partners on. So that once all is done, they can point at their partners saying look what you’ve done to me, I’m the innocent victim and you’re the baddie.
Abuse is therefore complex and learning about one’s own role within the violence can be very hard to accept.
Sadly though, not all couples are prepared to enter therapy and because the process can be long and drawn out, the violence can escalate.
In these cases, the preferred suggestion is that the individual ‘doing the anger’ attends anger management classes.
Unfortunately, this does not always fully address the system of projection between couples. And, by the time any anger management takes proper effect, the marriage may have dissolved or the couple may have split up.
But if members of the couple don’t attend therapy or at least individual therapy, they may go on to repeat their behavioural patterns.
They may continue choosing ‘violent’ partners until they finally understand the process or the reasons for doing so.
5. The Choices We Make As Adults
As adults unless our relationship get chosen for us, we choose our own relationships.
Understanding exactly how and why we choose our relationships is crucial especially if we wish to make the right choices or at least a choice that does not get us into violent and co-dependent relationships.
This is why I keep repeating the importance of getting to know yourself – your childhood, your parent’s relationship (which is your relationship blueprint), your knee-jerk reactions and so on.
Then when you meet someone, look, watch, listen and ask all the right questions which you are learning about by reading my relationship knowledge.
And if you have self-worth issues remember this, the more self-worth you develop, the more boundaries you will create and this will prevent people from stepping all over you.
6. Violence As an Addiction.
Unfortunately once violence or abuse starts, unless the process is understood, it easily becomes an addictive behaviour or way of communicating.
Once the cycle begins it can be a never ending issue involving fear, walking on egg shells and a break down of confidence and self-worth.
If the bully gets off on bullying as most bullies do – then they will continue to do so until the victim stands up and says, ‘Enough is enough’.
Unless a bully is confronted they will continue. They will find all sorts of methods to squash their victim.
7. Finding Help
If you have been emotionally or physically abused you may want to get help.
Please do not suffer in silence. There are many support networks either in your area or even on the Internet.
You are not alone. Domestic violence is far more common than you may think.
Please find help. Please speak out. You do not have to live with an abusive partner – ever.
But be careful. Get advice. Find out what your best options are before you leave. Leaving an abusive partner can be dangerous and you may need support to do so.
But remember this – you are worth far more. Take courage and please find help.
© 2017 Information Copyright Deidré Wallace
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