One day I woke up to screaming and shouting. A woman who lived below me in my six floor apartment building was shouting to her sister, “I’m taking a shower, shut up!”, “Go ahead call mom”, “You’re a homeless dirty slob and everyone knows it”, “You haven’t taken a shower in two days”… It bothered me so much, I wanted to tell them I was going to call the police to try and stop the yelling.
Abuse is by far the most hurtful, addicting, contagious, and impulsive behavior to be accustomed to. We all have been introduced to abuse one way or another and some of us become abusive as a result of it. Most of the time, abusers don’t know they are abusive because they have persuasive reasons they “believe” putting someone down, neglecting, hitting, or yelling negatively, is called for.
There are different forms of abuse, different definitions and different types. In my opinion, abuse is the opposite of positive reinforcement, the opposite of support and is not the best way to convey love.
Here are some definitions of Abuse
To get inside of an abusers mind we must understand “why” this person is abusive, there are many reasons but mainly it is because someone has been abusive to them. Some people distance themselves, and other just copy and repeat. Let’s delve into it…
An abuser unaware of their abusive behavior will often try to relive their past in their present relationships. They take on negative habits in hurting others because of the way they feel about themselves. They want full control and often desire to dominate other people in order to feel powerful. There are many conditions in an unhealthy mind that contributes to what abusive people gain when they feel a sense of power. Some of them subconsciously believe having a sense of power means they are worth something great and in turn, aren’t fully aware of the pain they cause others.
Here are some characteristics of an abusive person:
Fantasies of Success: This abuser has fantasies of being rich, famous, or extremely successful and believe they would be if other people weren’t holding them back. Because of this belief, the abuser feel justified in getting back at them, which leads to abuse. The abuser will also put others down as a way to build up their own self esteem.
Blaming: This abuser will shift responsibility for their aggressive actions onto others, which allows the abuser to be angry at the other person for “causing” the behavior. For example: “If you would stay out of it while I am disciplining the kids, I could discipline them without hitting them.”
Making Excuses: Instead of accepting responsibility for their actions, the abuser will try to justify their behavior with excuses. For example, “My parents never loved me,” or “My parents beat me,” or “I had a bad day, and when I walked in and saw this mess I lost my temper,” or “I couldn’t let him talk to me that way, there was nothing else I could do.”
Redefining Their Behavior: The abuser may redefines the situation so that the problem lies not with the abuser but with others or the outside world. For example: The abuser doesn’t come home at 6 p.m. for dinner as prearranged; he or she comes home at 4 a.m. The abuser says, “You’re an awful cook anyway. Why should I come home to eat this stuff? I bet the kids wouldn’t even eat it.”
Making Fools of Others: This abuser combines tactics to manipulate others. The tactics include lying, upsetting the other person just to witness a reaction, and perhaps provoke a fight among others. The abuser may try to charm the person they want to manipulate, pretending to show a great deal of interest in and concern for that person in order to get on their good side.
Assuming Without Communicating: Abusive people often assume they know what others are thinking or feeling. Their assumption allows them to justify their behavior because they “know” what the other person would think or do in a given situation. For example: “I knew you’d be mad because I went out for a drink after work, so I figured I might as well stay out and enjoy myself.”
Emotional Dependence: Abusive individuals are usually very emotionally dependent on their spouse or anyone close to them. The result of their inner rage at being dependent means that the abuser acts in controlling ways to exert power and to deny their own weakness. One major symptom is strong jealousy and possessive actions, normally sexual in nature. The abuser will spend a great deal of time monitoring their spouses activities. The abuser lacks support in their relationships. Another sign of dependence is the effect of what happens when the abused person leaves the home because of the abuse. It is common for the abuser to make extraordinary attempts to persuade them to return.
Lying: The abuser manipulates by lying to control information. The abuser may also use lying to keep other people, including the victim, off-balance psychologically.
Uncompromising Attitudes Towards The Opposite Sex: Abusive spouses tend to have more inflexible beliefs about roles and functions of their spouses in the marriage. For example: A wife may expect the husband to over fulfill all the financial needs and household/parenting chores.
Dramatic Behavior: Abusive people have trouble experiencing close, satisfying relationships. They substitute drama and excitement for closeness. Abusers find it exciting to watch others become angry, get into fights, or fall into a general uproar. Often, they’ll use a combination of tactics to set up an exciting situation.
Closed Off: The abusive person does not tell much about personal details and real feelings. The abuser is not open to new information about herself either, such as someone else’s thoughts about them personally. The abuser is secretive, close-minded and self-righteous. Abusers believe they are right in all situations.
Ownership: The abuser typically is very possessive. Moreover, the abuser believes that anything desirable should be owned by them. The abuser also believes they have the right to do whatever they want with anything that belongs to them. The same attitude applies to people. It justifies controlling others’ behavior, physically hurting them and taking things that belong to them.
Poor Anger Management: Individuals who have experienced a violent and abusive childhood are more likely to grow up and become spouse abusers. A person who sees violence as the primary method for settling differences as a child is not going to have very many alternate ways available to channel anger. A person without an everyday outlet for anger risks exploding toward the people closest to them.
Fragmenting: The abuser usually keeps the abusive behavior separate from the rest of their life. The separation is physical. For example, the abuser will beat up family members but not people outside the home. The separation is also psychological. It is not uncommon for an abuser to attend church Sunday morning and beat the victim Sunday night. The abuser sees no inconsistency in this behavior and feels justified in it.
Pride: As mentioned earlier, abusers generally believe they are better than other people and so don’t have to follow the rules that ordinary people do. That attitude is typical of convicted criminals, too. Each inmate usually believes that while all the other inmates are criminals, she is not. An abuser will display this pride by saying, “I don’t need counseling. Nobody knows as much about my life as I do. I can handle my life without help from anybody.
Self-glorification: The abuser usually thinks of herself as strong, superior, independent and self-sufficient. When anyone says or does anything that doesn’t fit this glorified self-image, the abuser takes it as an insult.
Inability To Express With Words: This type of person is rarely capable of true intimacy and may feel very threatened by the prospect of being open and vulnerable. Particularly when frustrated, the abusive person expects instant gratification from their spouse who is expected to “read” their mind and “know” what their mate wants. When the mate doesn’t know what is expected the wife may interpret this as meaning they do not really love them. Therefore with an abusive individual, rejection usually results in violence.
Vagueness: Thinking and speaking vaguely lets the abuser avoid responsibility. Example: “I’m late because I had to do something on the way home.”
We all have been a victim of some kind of abuse. Being involved with an abusive individual can be disheartening, dangerous, and confusing. Please practice patience with yourself and learn to love yourself, know your worth, and get help. If you have the option to have your own space, stay away from the abuser. Be with family or get help. Be sure to think logically. You must understand this is a sickness, a mental health issue.
If you are dealing with an abusive situation try not to respond aggressively. Instead, find a way to make your exit. Until they get help for themselves, they will always desire to hurt you to feel better about themselves. If their abusive behavior is somewhat tolerable and you want to make an effort to resolve an issue, allow time to pass and talk it out. Discuss the desire to have a healthier relationship and suggest any kind of therapy. Inform them of the pain these situations cause you and the relationship without blaming them or putting them on the defensive side. If they agree by acknowledging and wanting to change, then offer them support, but if they continue, you will have to separate yourself from them.
Please remember that an abuser is typically dishonest and displays the characteristics above. In certain cases, it can take a year or so for an abusive person to show you this side of his or herself. If you are someone who is experiencing emotional or physical abusive, you must get help and find a way to get out of that situation.
If you are a victim of abuse and have no one to talk to, please, go to Abuse Victim Hotline