Today I was on the receiving end of cyber-abuse because someone in the world did not agree with my opinion over the current USA President’s actions. That’s cool, in my mind we are all entitled to our own opinion on topics that mean something to us. But to then go into an attack with the intention to cause mental and emotional harm is not acceptable behaviour.
I won’t go into the whole Trump debate here, but I will say that I’m not a Trump hater, but neither am I endeared to his decisions or behaviour. Nor do I know the full story of what is happening in a country that is not my own. I can only gain a perspective from what I see, hear and experience through the lens of my own world.
My topic here is about the effect abuse has on my ability to hear the argument or message the abuser is trying to get across, and how to take my power back.
Basically, I don’t care how much someone wants to fight for their opinion – writing abusive comments will not open me up to hearing another side of the story. This type of behaviour has only one effect – shut down.
If a person feels strongly about a topic (so passionate that the first reaction is to be abusive) then maybe they do not have the vocabulary at hand to articulate the feelings that are going on inside them?
I do wonder.
People who abuse others are not strong. They are weak and their decision to indulge in harming others show that they do not have the tools at their disposal to make reasoned arguments.
They may have learned this abusive behaviour from parents, friends or other people of influence which gave them permission to be abusive.
People do what works for them. And based on that revelation I can safely bet that an abuser online has done it before to many people and has little or no remorse for their behaviour because it has a pay off for them. They get to feel fantastic as they have emotionally raped another human being.
Do you think I know nothing of abusers?
I lived with one for 24 years of my life. Someone who abused alcohol and when the barriers were down, they let the truth of their inner feelings have voice. That someone was so close to my heart and I loved them beyond all rational reason but suffered their mental and emotional torture. That someone was my father.
Parent and child thrown into the crucible – both swirling around in a vat of pain and suffering, neither able to escape for a time.
As the alcohol took hold and his lips loosened, he changed physically and emotionally. His temper flared at the slightest thing and his abusive words struck out. Each one intended to maim the heart and slash the soul.
I know abuse better than I can say and I am aware of the profound mental and emotional effect it can have on the psyche of another human being not just in the moment but for years to come. Mental and emotional abuse is insidious and it takes root in the receiver if they have not learned to pluck that weed before it takes hold.
Despite my father’s addiction and his serious short-comings I loved him. Oh God, I loved him so much. But behind closed doors he was as nasty as a person could be. He sought to cause mental and emotional harm and to continue to compound the pain in others as he strove to make himself feel better.
He was miserable. And he learned it from my grandmother – although her approach was much more manipulative and subtle.
But you know what? I love my father even now, almost 17 years after his death. His actions and his cruel words taught me to be strong in the face of adversity. He didn’t mean to teach me to stand up for myself and to put down boundaries but he did.
My father’s painful words were intended to cut deep. They were weapons used in such a way as to break down my psyche and instil the belief that I was worthless.
He meant for his words to infiltrate my self-esteem and destroy me from the inside out.
But what my father really did was give me the gift of seeing abuse for what it is – weakness on the part of the abuser.
He taught me that the words he chose to speak were only a reflection of how he felt about himself. He couldn’t look at his own failings and so he projected.
People who abuse others do it for control. They want power over others and they feed off it like parasitic vampires.
What they can’t handle is when you do not buy into their abusive world-view. They don’t know how to handle someone calling out their behaviour. They do not have the tools in their mental and emotional backpack to deal with someone who uses the curiosity of an adult to find out what is going on inside them. They feel exposed and hurl more insults, some even resort to other forms of violence.
It’s all too common I’m sorry to say.
Their words spill from their lips like blood from a cut so deep and ugly within their own sense of self-worth they no longer know where their aggression comes from.
Abusive people are scared. Truly frightened. And their words can only hurt me if I open up and take the toxic nastiness of their opinion deep inside me and own it as if what they think really means something.
Sorry, been there done that.
Abusers try to defecate on others and leave their ‘shit’ behind. That’s what they’re doing – it makes them feel good. Well, they can try to give me the manure but I’m giving it right back. Take your toxic poop and move on!
People who choose to be abusive to others are powerless. Their actions speak volumes of how they feel about themselves on the inside. And to me … it’s clear as crystal.
Abusers – Move On! You have no place here, you have no power, your words mirror the way you think and feel about yourself.
Please Note: I am not a psychologist, but someone who has experienced abuse and rarely speaks of it. The writing above is my opinion, my observations and my experience. It is what I believe to be true. It may not be so for others.