by Rosie Bason, Mullumbimby, NSW
I used to hear the word abuse and what came to my mind was someone getting beaten up or bashed.
To me the word abuse looked like a physical blow to the body by someone else, or the verbal abuse when someone was being spoken to like a piece of…
What I had not ever seen was that abuse in the body can mean so much more, and that it can be done by me, to myself. I wasn’t even aware that I was being abusive… self-abusing, that is!
Here are Some of the Ways that I have Noticed How I was Being Self-Abusing:
- The way I spoke to myself, the voice in me always critical and hard.
- The way I dressed, just throwing any old clothes on, and wearing clothes that were uncomfortable all day long, as if I didn’t think I had the choice to change what I was wearing. I would often get dressed and then think, “no, I can’t wear that, that’s too pretty” and just put my jeans back on.
- The way I would throw myself into the seat of the car, just shoving myself in.
- How I would do the same when going to bed, just chuck myself in, without any care whatsoever.
- How I would eat foods that I knew my body would react to, and I knew that they weren’t good for me, but I would eat them anyway without any consideration of the reaction I would experience shortly after. I did not stop to feel if I was actually hungry, or if I really felt like eating a particular food. I would just eat it.
- The way that I would move, without any real awareness, meaning that I would often bump my body into the wall, the chair, and end up with bruises.
- How I would drink 2 glasses of wine and then vomit all night. My body could not handle the alcohol but I would do it anyway.
- If I was in pain I used to suffer through it, not take pain killers and not take myself to the doctor because I was a herbalist and therefore thought that I didn’t need any support!
- How I hadn’t been to the dentist in years because I didn’t think I needed to and didn’t want to WASTE the money on ME.
Things have changed these days and I am so much more aware. I have started to really love and cherish this body that I am living with. I take care when I am getting dressed, I gently get into the car, and when I go to bed at night I prepare my bed and put myself to sleep as if I was putting a child to sleep.
My Perception of Going to the Doctor has Changed
Going to the doctor and/or dentist no longer leaves me feeling like a failure having asked for their support. It feels great as it makes me realise that I am not all alone. In the past, I was so held in my beliefs that I was a herbalist and therefore doctors were the bad guys and I would prefer to suffer and be in pain rather than seek their support. I felt that natural medicine was the only way to go and that doctors were only into prescribing the drugs regardless if it helped you or not. I was in a strong belief that doctors only treated the effect and not the cause so I did not trust them. Since I have opened up and allowed myself to feel the support of the medical world I have had awesome experiences and realised the belief I once held about the medical profession is not true.
I no Longer Need the Stimulation from Unhealthy Food like I Used to
My diet has changed and I no longer eat dairy, gluten, deep-fried food or much processed foods because I have a connection now with my body that I was never aware of in the past. I sometimes want something sweet so I have a gluten and dairy free pancake or a piece of cake. For me it’s not about trying to be ‘good’ or having a strict diet. For me it’s about honoring what my body is feeling at any certain time. If I do crave something sweet, I can normally see that it is because I am tired and wanting a pick-me-up. When I do eat something sweet the results are so obvious now that I’d rather not get the consequence of feeling tired, bloated, grumpy, or feel the pain in my stomach just for those few moments where the food tasted good when I put it in my mouth.
I no longer bump into things, and I have started exercising regularly. I realised recently that although I was not overweight, I had very little core body strength. My body is loving the daily exercise routine and I always feel so great afterwards. My mind tries to get in the way, telling me that my bed is warmer and I could just lay there… but when I make the effort for me and my body the results are so much better than lying in bed! I can really feel that taking time to exercise my body is a really loving choice, and the choice to stay in bed and not move my body is just another way that I can be self-abusive.
I no longer need to drink alcohol or smoke because I am now looking after myself on a whole different level and no longer need these things to get by through the day – I feel great without it and I have absolutely no desire. I don’t feel like I am missing out at all.
I get regular esoteric massages, esoteric Chakra Puncture and I get support from doctors and dentists to ensure that I am taking the best care possible for me.
I used to think that abuse only came from others, but I now take responsibility for the abuse that I was doing to myself: that hidden self-abusing that I was unaware of for so long.
I have been inspired to this new level of care for myself by the Esoteric Women’s presentations, Natalie Benhayon and Serge Benhayon of Universal Medicine present.
504 thoughts on “Self-Abusing – Not What you Think it Is”
I love how when I read a blog again, it’s a message for what my body is going through in that moment. So you get to a point and things have refined, but there is more the body is asking for me to observe to support it even further.
So definitely agree with the title, “self-abusing – not what you think it is”, is so correct and needs to be revisited time and time again. So thank you, I have just received another awareness about myself.
This is an interesting piece of article to read. You are correct in saying abuse is the domestic violence we commonly hear about and yet its still an issue despite countless campaigns to squash or reduce it.
The abuse you’re talking about is subtle but deadly, as it leads to abuse of us living a life from the gentle loving souls we are all from. Anything away from who we truly are is abuse, full stop. What you have demonstrated here is that it is never too late to go back to being who we truly are and it simply begins with lovingly taking care of ourselves, and there are a few examples listed in your article.
It doesn’t matter how and what it looks like but the main thing is that taking the first step towards staying NO to self abuse is just it. It doesn’t have to look in a certain way, it is very personal.
This needs to hit the headlines more and more. We highlight domestic violence but not the abuse we do to ourselves. From anything we put into our bodies, whether it’s a substance we ingest, to the thoughts we feed ourselves, it’s abuse. This stems from the supplier but also the demander. It is that insidious…
Great to read this again Rosie, and for me to feel where more self love and self care is missing in different areas of my life. So much of life now is based on self abuse, we don’t question it because it’s pretty widespread and we see it as normal. I appreciate your blog on this as it’s a great topic and very practical. To be honest I could be coasting a bit because based on how my life is now in terms of self love and self care to the self abuse and self neglect I used to live it’s pretty good, but your blog has shown me there is actually much more love to live.
I agree Melinda from time to time it’s good to refer to this blog. It allows us to check in as to where we are in the self-abuse scale. As we pay more attention to it, it becomes more and more refined. And what we thought was the norm, becomes more apparent the abuse we allowed in, in the first place or has been normalised.
Shushila it occurred to me that we have standardised abuse as our normal, and we have had to fight our sensitivity, the connection to our body, and our awareness to do this… so we must ask the question, why? In self neglect and self abuse we have to live against the very harmony of our bodies, and force our sensitivity down to not register it, and abuse of the very vessel that gives us physical life. As babies we are not self abusive intentionally, in fact we cry when we bump or hurt ourselves. For me it wasn’t until I understood the difference between spirit and soul and how we source ourselves from one of the two available intelligences that I could see how and why I used to live in such self abuse and self neglect, and conversely how naturally loving life can become when I’m in connection to soul.
Looking after ourselves is so important – from the little things of putting on an extra layer if we are cold, and having a drink if we are thirsty or going to the toilet if we need to wee etc to the bigger things such as seeking medical care when we are unwell or going regularly to the dentist to ensure our dental health is good too. This self care is part of the foundation of loving ourselves and the body and is a large part of what supports us to build on what is called self love, the foundation for saying no to abuse.
The medical profession certainly has so much to offer us and it is about being open to what support can come from them just as much as how much support can come from complementary medicine too. The combination is super powerful!
Awesome blog Rosie, that really exposes how we can be the greatest instigators of abuse towards ourselves, And in that process, the more we abuse ourselves the more we give permission for others to get away with behaviour that is not appropriate towards us too. The opposite sits true to, that when we up the standards for ourselves, then we also stop allowing others to abuse us in the same way.
It is great you show some of the ways we can abuse ourselves, as we build love for ourselves and deepen our awareness we can choose to let go of the abuse, ‘I used to think that abuse only came from others, but I now take responsibility for the abuse that I was doing to myself: that hidden self-abusing that I was unaware of for so long.’
The way you have shared Rosie, it feels like the KISS principle and deepening the KISS with internal hugs of Joy as we no longer succumb to external pressures that allow us fit into other disregarding patterns. So KEEP INVESTING IN SUPPORTIVE SOUL-FULL-NESS!
What I can feel from this is how honesty and humility play a big part in bringing more awareness to our choices. I used to be so stubborn and justify my choices and I think I even used to think being defensive was about protecting and sticking up for myself. Weird.
By consistently taking care of ourselves we become more careful and the bumping into things and leaving things in a mess becomes less common, our standards change and if we stay true to ourselves we just keep refining the way we move and speak and everything. Life becomes simpler and lighter and more spacious
The more I deepened my relationship with honouring and cherishing my body and being the more revealing it was of how and where I was abusing myself, with thoughts, how I moved and what I ate. In appreciating the love we are in essence you get to feel what is not honouring of this love and how disturbing and tense this feels in the body.
Well said Carola, when we care for ourselves it highlights those areas where we do not look after ourselves which essentially is a form of abuse.
My awareness of the detail of abuse expands as I let go of more of what does not serve and honour my relationship with myself and others,
It is so true Jenny and I can absolutely relate – as the more I get to feel the depth and honoring of all that is love the more it is obvious that anything that is not of this love is abuse.
This is a great point Rosie on how we abuse ourselves through neglect, “How I hadn’t been to the dentist in years because I didn’t think I needed to and didn’t want to WASTE the money on ME.” I feel this one is generational, we love and support our kids never skimping on their care for example, but we self sacrifice putting their worth ahead of our own and going without care ourselves. I see this over and over in generations in both men and women, yes we feel we love our kids but essentially we teach our kids through role modelling to not value themselves as adults and the cycle repeats through generations. We put our kids before ourselves instead of caring for the whole family (including ourselves) equally.
Yes, if we abuse ourselves, how can we say ‘no’ to abuse from another? ‘What I had not ever seen was that abuse in the body can mean so much more, and that it can be done by me, to myself. I wasn’t even aware that I was being abusive… self-abusing, that is!’
You have nailed it Melinda – the picture of the self sacrificing mother who gives up on herself to look after others only achieves in confirming to the children that we are not worth looking after and that we are there only to look after others. How different would it be to have a mother who looked after herself just as much as she looked after her children and rest of the family? How much more inspiring would this be?
We have an amazing capacity to come up with different ways to abuse our bodies and even though I am much more self loving than I used to be I am still uncovering ways that I treat myself that I deeply know are not loving such as driving myself to complete something when I am tired etc it never goes well as the tireder I become the harder it is to keep working and the more likely I am to make mistakes but I can be very resistant to recognising the consequences for myself and others until they are staring me in the face.
If anything other than love is abuse, we need to deeply understand and feel what love actually is before we can truly expose the full extent of the abuse. The two go hand-in-hand, but I still have much more to see.
I know the more I am open to seeing abuse, either towards myself or from others I am exposed to seeing abuse in all the various ways it plays out – the subtle and the not so subtle abuse.
Self-abuse is a constant pattern of movement aimed at controlling that no spark of light will ever be able to come out and be seen.
To be content of where you are at with yourself is a game changer for the abusive thoughts we can go into, this inner crtic voice that will never stop if we are not willing to see it as abuse and to say no and start to apply selflove instead.
Yes self acceptance is key to stilling the inner critic that is always ready to try and drag you down and the more we do this the more open we are to loving ourselves and not entertaining any abuse.
Rosie, it was great you touched on lying in bed. I love sleeping in especially if it is cold however, when I do it does not setup my day in what my responsibilities are asking each day. I then get behind — I now have many things that should of been completed to support me and others. This is abuse.
Hardness can be so apparent in our voices if we just choose to start to listen.
Hardness can be so apparent in our voices if we just choose to start to listen
There is an immense amount to be learnt about what abuse is, including self-abuse, and the first step is honesty. The work of Serge Benhayon offers great insights into self-love and I’ve found that work has highlighted by own self-abuse whether it is the way I talk to myself, see myself, what I eat, and how I exercise. Its been a fantastic path to start exposing the abuse, and then change it to care, and love.
I find it very interesting what we think supports us actually is abusive and I could say this relates to us all at some stage as what once supported us can become harmful and abusive as our sensitivity increases.This may not make sense to most but take alcohol for an example. I once drank alcohol. I gave it up and then drank lemonade. Now I’m not saying that lemonade was any better for me than the alcohol with the amount of sugar that is needed to make lemonade but it was a step taken to support me to stop drinking alcohol. I then stopped the lemonade and felt content drinking water. In the refining we get to sense what works for us and what doesn’t and this is a process that keeps evolving.
Rosie I know exactly what you mean when you said because you were a herbalist you thought you could avoid the doctor. I was the same as well. Herbs are amazing, however they do not replace the care of a doctor when we are sick. I have gotten to know quite a few doctors in my current role, and what blows me away is there dedication and commitment to their patients. Something I really did not appreciate when I was younger (by not that much).
So often we think of abuse as what another is doing or has done to us that we forget it starts with ourselves, then the more we honour ourselves and treat ourselves with the love we are the more, without thought, we stop any sense or notion of abuse not only from ourselves but also from others. It is like there becomes no space for it in our lives any more. It is then a choice we make to let it come back, even if we do not really want to admit it – we are usually getting something out of it.
Great expose on the true way we self-abuse. By starting with this understanding we can look at self-care in a whole new way.
What a great reminder of the many subtle, as well as the not so subtle, ways that we abuse ourselves. In fact, I would suspect many would not even consider some of the ways on your list to be abuse. This only goes to show how much abuse we have come to accept in our lives as normal; there is nothing normal about any form of abuse.
I agree Ingrid, I was thinking about how self abuse is not just normal it is our entertainment. Going out drinking alcohol til you are sick, maybe having sex with a stranger because you’re so drunk, vomiting and being ill the next day, having memory loss, some may even get hospitalised from alcohol poisoning, etc, this is not just our norm but considered fun. Self abuse is deeply socialised. I used to drink and go out with friends as a teen and in my early 20’s, it was just so normal, it wasn’t until I came across the self care philosophy of Serge Benhayon and the deep honouring of the body and our being, and the preciousness of both, that these kinds of things really stood out as abuse.
I found myself squirming when I read your summary of the self-abuse that so many of us have inflicted on ourselves in the name of having fun. Looking back now that was definitely not fun, as I know it to be today, but the abuse of our very precious bodies with no consideration in the least as to the consequences, and if there were consequences, many were quickly forgotten by the time the next weekend came around. Like you, my eyes have been opened wide to the truth of the extent of how much we abuse ourselves thanks to the very wise and common sense filled ‘self care philosophy of Serge Benhayon’.
A very relatable blog Rosie – I sure have done a lot of these – not wasting my money on the dentist was a big one… I really had this whole thing about putting people first – but at the expense of running myself to the ground. It’s pretty exhausting and great to share the journey back to you and more love.
It’s impossible to know how abusive we are being to ourselves when we are disconnected from the love that we innately are.
It sure is, I have found it is only when I connect more and more to the love I am that I start to see all the areas in my life I am being abusive to myself. Things I used to think were ok and normal when I use love as my gauge are far from ok. The question now comes what standard do I want set as my basis?
If our movements are aligned to love we would never allow or accept abuse in any way, shape or form.
Very true and well said – it really is this simple.