Abuse is not limited to who it affects, and no form of abuse is okay by any means. There are several types of abuse one can endure from physical, sexual, mental, emotional and psychological, abandonment and neglect, self-neglect, and even material and financial manipulation. Many people have undergone some form of abuse or another in their lifetime.
A lot of people hide the fact they’ve been abused out of shame, risk of judgement or ridicule and speculation, or denial of being helped or “saved” from the abuser. Some are even afraid to leave their abusers. No one is isolated from abuse. Not children, young adults, adults or the elderly. Abuse does not discriminate.
Most abusers have been subject to a form of abuse which has caused the dysfunctional behavior of an abuser. It may not justify the abuse but it does clarify the reason for abuse. Some people are abusers and don’t even realize they’re abusing others because it’s abnormal behavior they’ve learned or been taught by the other people have treated them. Many times it starts from childhood.
I am guilty of becoming an abuser without realizing I was abusive to others. From a child, I was exposed to a volatile environment. A child’s very first communication and social development skills are learned from the parents or adults taking part in raising the child. If a child is in an environment filled with verbal and physical abuse, the child will begin to mimic the communication and behaviors at some point.
From that point forward, social and developmental skills are expressed by the child through mimicking what has been learned from the parents, and home environment. So how does this affect the short term? A child either becomes introverted and withdrawn, or the child turns into a bully. How does it affect the long term of social and communication development?
As you develop your own social circles, and intimate relationships the source of your learned behaviors show the effects on how you react in all types of communication processes and social settings. For example, your intimate relationships can become verbally abusive and hostile, or you become accustomed to individuals who verbally abuse and control you. Either way there are dysfunctional behaviors and patterns which are picked up from being exposed to abuse of any kind.
Other long term effects of abuse come in the form of drug and alcohol addictions, retail therapy, and other forms of self-medicating coping mechanisms. I learned through my own experiences of being exposed to abuse at an early age that, I too had become an abuser in my own way. It took a bit of time for me to realize that despite how beautiful a heart I have, and how giving a person I am, I too had been an abuser that used to abuse others.
Learning the source of why I was the way I was, I begin to correct the issues and root out the cause of the behaviors. Learning to change and grow from traumatically impacting situations is necessary to become free of the bondage created by people and environments that influence you to become who you are today. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It just means it’s time to take accountability and responsibility for your actions and change them.
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