Posts Tagged 'emotional abuse support'

More Sins of Omission – Hiding your Light Under a Bushel


Good people often feel that they are promoting good when they simply avoid doing wrong. The new age movement promotes this by preaching non It takes courage to shine brightly.judgment without understanding the concept, and suggesting that inner peace means passivity.

When the enlightened practice non judgment and inner peace, they act, or refrain from acting, from a state of being centered.  Ghandi practiced passive resistance and love, certainly, but his was acourageous stance which he discerned would avoid violence.  He was not passive to avoid action.  When I am passive or non-judgmental to avoid taking a stance, it is a cop out.

More than most people, I understand the power of the unseen and what can be done with energy.  I practice a number of energetic or mental techniques which are invisible and yet quite profound in their results.  But if I see someone drowning, I think it is more appropriate to go physically to their rescue than to send them good energy.  If someone is trespassing, and doesn’t listen to reason, then litigation may be more appropriate than love.  (If you are capable of litigating lovingly, then that’s even better.)

Bullies, abusers, those who lack empathy, sociopaths without conscience…none of these people respond well to good energy.  People who cannot relate to or connect with their fellow humans are often quite oblivious to the energy of others.

In dealing with these selfish forces, those of us who are good should be positive forces for good, rather than passive lumps who are satisfied with simply not being bad.

What does it mean to be a positive force for good? It involves using power appropriately.  We all have god-given power to wield.  It was not bestowed upon us to be hidden or to atrophy from disuse.

Positive goodness may involve speaking up, enforcing boundaries and not allowing trespasses, protecting our dependants, and taking action to promote positive outcomes.  Positive goodness almost always involves courage and risk taking.  It certainly takes discernment to stand up for what is right without continually focusing on what is wrong.

Positive goodness almost always creates a kind of magic in the life of the person who practices it.  Whether you win or lose your particular challenge, the courage you practice and the boundaries you fortify put you in a wiser, more centered place.  From this state of being, your energetic influence on the world is huge and beneficent.

The prize is that you shine more brightly as your true self and experience deep joy rather than fleeting happiness.

Sins of Omission

Survivors of abusive relationships are often accused of choosing to be in that relationship. Yet, I have never met anyone who became involved in an emotionally abusive relationship on purpose or felt they had even an inkling of the abusive nature of their relationship until they were well and truly involved.

Abuse generally doesn’t occur on the first date or even during the first weeks or months of a relationship. People put up with control tactics in the workplace to keep their jobs. When control tactics sneak into a relationship, it is almost always after a commitment is made, and some of these tactics are very subtle.

The accurate hindsight of survivors of verbal abuse can be used as intelligent foresight.  There are some important social behaviors which seem to be lacking or inconsistent in people who are emotionally abusive and controlling.

Covert emotional abuse is very hard to detect by anyone who hasn’t already experienced it! The most insidious emotional abuse involves sins of omission rather than overtly controlling behavior. The abusive behavior is often interspersed with loving behavior, which confuses the situation. The inconsistent loving behavior provides aperiodic conditioning, which is the most powerful kind of conditioning.

Here are some sins of omission that are emotionally abusive and are often precursors to more overt behavior. When you encounter these behaviors in a relationship on a consistent basis, I suggest you stop giving the benefit of the doubt and run like hell in the opposite direction.

Failure to Respond. In the absence of a severe hearing impairment, anyone who does not respond to your greetings, comments or questions is controlling the communication in an anti social way. Relationships in which power is shared involve two way communication. Refusing to respond could be hostile or it could be an indication of a personality problem. You cannot have an equal relationship with anyone who gives you the silent treatment.

Withholding. Whether it is information, affection, approval or resources, withholding is the sign of a competitive relationship. A competitive relationship is not an equal relationship. When you meet someone who fails to make eye contact or say “hello,” I’d recommend you leave skid marks rather than stick around and invite more of this behavior.

Countering.  It may be disguised as a simple difference of opinion, but whenever someone immediately dismisses your point of view without consideration, you are not being treated as an equal.  Argument and discussion involve listening to each others opinions and this should go both ways. 

Forgetting. Some forgetting is simply a failure to remember, and is really a form of withholding if it happens all the time. There simply is not any good excuse for not remembering a spouse’s or partner’s birthday. Subtle forgetting is forgiven more often than it should be. A person who has been a close friend or partner for many months or years, should know who you are, remember important details about you and your life and remember the details of plans you have made together.

In a potentially romantic relationship, forgetting can include forgetting earlier encounters and this can get very confusing. The man (or woman) who looked deeply into your eyes last week and told you that you were significant, but barely remembers who you are when you next meet, is either severely impaired or abusive. This on again off again behavior also has a lot of power to condition you to hang in for the next reward.  In the long run, it won’t be worth it.

When you detect any of these sins of omission repeatedly, stop hanging around. Get out of Dodge! If sins of omission are interspersed with attentive or loving behavior, this is an even worse sign! This is not the behavior pattern exhibited by anyone who can engage in an equal relationship.
These sins of omission don’t just occur in romantic relationships, they are quite common in business and voluntary organizations. If you always volunteer but don’t get recognition, your boss takes credit for your work, or your team leader fails to greet you, you are experiencing control tactics. Start looking for a new organization to join.

Stick with people who give you positive and consistent social cues that they recognize your existence and respect it. Anything less is not good enough.

Coping with Holiday Age Regression.

I remember a disjointed discussion with my father in the nursing home.  He said something that made me feel like a child and I asked him, “How old do you think I am, anyway Dad?”  He looked confused and said, “What are you, 15?  No, that can’t be!  You must be at least 20 now.”

My father had developed dementia at the end of his life and yet, long before this incident I felt as if he had me frozen at some earlier age.  For instance, he always seemed to be shocked that I could drive a car.

As the holidays approach, we may spend more time with family, and as we get into the family force field, we can be immediately regressed to some age between 4 and 18.  In most cases, the family’s view of us just never grew up with us.  The family force field is very powerful, and we may contribute to it ourselves, seeing our parents as all powerful or our siblings as brats.

It’s difficult to be a powerful 50 year old when the whole clan treats you like a pre teen.  Even if your mother coddles you, the price for this coddling is to go home feeling quite depleted.  Avoiding the gathering can make the problem worse, you naughty brat!

This phenomenon is the family’s collusion to stay in the past and avoid of the present moment.  And sometimes, they will vigorously reject your attempts to change the dynamic.  After all, it’s comforting to believe that Father knows best or that your sister doesn’t have emotional problems.   But assuming you want to live in the present, how do you keep your power and sanity without giving up your relatives?

It might help to move the festivities out of the parental home, but the siblings can still be expert at keeping you regressed to that teen who snuck out the bathroom window to see her boyfriend.

The solution, of course, is to spend the holidays somewhere far, far away, from which airfare is prohibitive.  However, if you cannot swing relocation or you live in an airline hub, you might try getting completely centered and staying in the present moment.  This can be done with martial arts, mediation, or yoga.  You may not convince your family that you’re really 45 now, but then again, you might.  The point is to convince yourself of who you are right now.

You can also borrow a tactic from NLP (neurolinguistic programming) called a pattern interrupt.  In normal parlance, this is a distraction.  When your brother begins his recitative about your disastrous choice of mates, you say something like, “Is that a bear in the yard?” or “Who’s peeking in the window?”  which jolts everyone’s attention away from your brother and into the yard.

Of course you must use this sparingly or you’ll end up like the boy who cried wolf.  And, for safety reasons you should avoid distractions like yelling “fire!” in a movie theater or out on the rifle range.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your special turkeys!

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