Abuse – Turning a Blind Eye no More

I used to consider abuse as something that wasn’t part of my life. I saw it in the news, films and read about it in papers. Abuse to me was extreme: extreme cases of violence, beheadings, bombings, attacks, rapes, fighting, shootings, stabbings, war, domestic violence, shouting, swearing and attacking people, someone physically self-harming or cutting themselves. Never once did I consider that abuse – which we all normalise and make okay, which we turn a blind eye to daily – is in all our lives.

I have not hated abuse enough to say absolutely no to it any way, shape or form, be it in how I treat myself or what I accept from others.

I have abused myself in many ways, such as choosing negative thoughts about myself, putting myself down, choosing abusive relationships and staying in them, eating and drinking foods that are harming to my body, drinking alcohol – a known poison to our bodies – staying out till the early hours of the morning, not going to bed when I was tired, not resting when I needed to rest, not listening to my body, my truth, deeply disregarding myself, playing down my light, giving up when things get tough, being nice, having no true purpose, pleasing other people, not speaking up, not saying what needed to be said, reacting to life, being emotional, indulging, seeking drama and blaming myself, fighting my light, creating problems when there are none, sabotaging my awareness and avoiding responsibility.

All this to keep me, I would say, separated from others, being an individual and away from the true purpose of why I am here – to feel deeply where people are at and to live in a way where I do not accept any form of abuse, zero, none at all, and by that living way inspire others to do the same: to reflect to people that there is another way to live.

I was and still am at times abusive towards others from lack of understanding, judging people or needing them to be a certain way, creating drama or complications, giving up or withdrawing. I am aware of what abuse is now, and am working on my things, and on not allowing any abuse into my life – zero, none whatsoever.

In the past two years I have been on the receiving end of sexual abuse, one an online case where I was sexually harassed with vile and disgusting messages from someone I knew on the social media platform Facebook. I reported this to the police, and in turn through the amazing work of the police and myself in standing up and saying no to abuse, this person was arrested and charged with a sexual offence.

More recently I experienced a physical sexual abuse where I was getting a dress taken up, and the tailor put his hand up my skirt and pressed it against my pubic area, pants and legs when there was absolutely no reason for him to do this. When I reported it to the manager they didn’t care, like it was no big deal. I reported this to the police, and again this person was arrested but because there was no evidence, he denied it, one person’s word against another, so no case will come of it, but the incident will be held on record, so if there is ever another report of this, mine will be there to support it.

For me, reporting these instances was not only about saying no to the energy of abuse for myself and my body, but this choice was for everyone to be able to say no to abuse. This was about truth, and not allowing a behaviour that is not loving to come through anyone.

If we don’t reflect that there is another way to live, then who is going to?

But what really struck me was how many people – both women and men, people who you think would be supportive, such as some police officers, professionals and people you know – turn a blind eye to abuse like this, with comments such as: “He didn’t mean it,” “Just get your dress,” “Don’t go back to the shop.” Very few people had the same feelings as me, although there were two people who were very supportive – my partner and one amazing policeman who during our conversation quoted Einstein:

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” (1)

But before I was able to stand up and say no to abuse in its many ways, shapes and forms, not just the above, I had to say no to abusing myself. I had to get clear and re-define what abuse actually is. To be absolutely honest I still am re-defining what is abusive every day.

We cannot just go to the extremes of abuse, as this normalises all the so called day-to-day abuse we say is not abuse, such as the incident above, and lets us ‘get away with it’: for example, in how we treat each other in our own homes, with our families, partners, ourselves, those people we say we care about a lot. This can be through a touch, a tone of voice, being ignored or spoken to in a way that is not love.

Abuse is anything that is not love. Simple.

The truth is we have normalised abuse into different levels of so called acceptable abuse in our lives every single day: fighting in families, friendships and private relationships is par for the course, just something we do, even joke about with friends. Where there is any form of dis-harmony there is abuse: a person who walks through the door abusing their partner when they ignore them, people bringing home ‘stuff’ from the office and taking it out on those in the home who have nothing to do with it, the fights with colleagues, the stress, taking out our unhappiness and misery on family, friends, or partners. Just as a tone of voice can be abusive without even raising it, so can a touch which is not gentle, or someone not dealing with their anger and bringing it to a relationship.

As a child growing up, we would never dream or say this is the kind of life or relationships I want, or how I want the world to be. So, what makes us settle for less… what makes us accept, choose and allow abuse in our lives? Do we care enough about how much people suffer to live in a different way, or are we happy with our comfort and indulgences in life?

There is no middle ground for abuse, the “Oh that’s okay because they didn’t hit me or them” – no grey scale or differentiation of any kind, not allowing abuse to continue, not tolerating it, making excuses for it, and turning a blind eye to it. It is only once we choose to get very real and absolutely honest that we are willing to be open, truthful, understanding, and accept seeing abuse in this way – let’s face it, the world is very loveless. Only then can we start to heal the abuse we have created. The abuse we knowingly chose to do to ourselves and each other leaves an aftermath of emotional pain, hurts and trauma which we carry in our bodies.

Until we all take responsibility for loving ourselves deeply, which naturally leads to our truly loving and not harming another, there will always be abuse in this world.

By Anon, 40, UK

References:

  1. Goodreads.com. (2018). A quote by Albert Einstein. [online] Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/29875-the-world-is-a-dangerous-place-to-live-not-because [Accessed 27 May 2018].

Related Reading:
My understanding of abuse
Must abuse only happen in war for it to be classified as a crime against humanity?
The silent abuse – leaving an abusive marriage

522 thoughts on “Abuse – Turning a Blind Eye no More

  1. We register abuse in our own bodies, no one can convince us otherwise if what we feel is not loving or respectful of the delicacy we are. I know for me this is a building process of the love and respect I treat myself with, that allows me to feel what is not loving ie, what is abuse.

  2. When we are talking about such things as Abuse it is super important to stop and consider just how normal abuse is, as you say Anon, time to not turn a blind eye. And as part of that I think we have to ask ourselves why do we want to turn a blind eye it the first place?

  3. ‘Where there is any form of dis-harmony there is abuse’ It can be very subtle but good to discern. It is a work in progress for many of us to change our ways of being as common abuse has, as you say, become so ‘normalised’ we don’t realise it is abuse.

  4. With everything that’s in the media at the moment, this blog feels so very relevant and important. We all have free will to make our own choices in life, in order to do this, we must decide what feels true for us. It’s very easy to be manipulated by clever marketing and to abdicate our responsibility to actively make our own choices by ‘going along with the flow’ – which is a pretty slippery path as how do we really know what we’re agreeing to? What abuse are we unwittingly perpetrating? I have found that when I connect with my body, I know the truth, I may not like it, I may resist accepting it, but I absolutely know it and it’s in this that I put my trust.

    1. Accepting that we live in, and are a part of, a society that is rife with abuse, even more reason for us to deeply discern what we are agreeing to, what we are saying yes to, what feels true for us, even if no one else around us has the same interest or awareness. At heart, we all care, deeply, however, we have allowed our selves to become desensitised to the truth, to the reality of how we are living. Just because our lives feel ‘normal’ is merely a reflection of what we’ve said yes to, it doesn’t make them true and honouring of who we are.

  5. We generally recognise abuse but doing something about it requires self-love, a willingness to expose it and a deep understanding of energetic responsibility. Standing up to abuse may not be so easy if we lack some basic foundations to support us to expose it and eliminate abuse from our life.

  6. Once we start to admit that abuse is not just the more extreme in your face physical and emotional harm we can inflict on one another, and ourselves, but that in fact “Abuse is anything that is not love” we will also start take our relationships our understanding of personal responsibility to a whole new level.

  7. I have found that I have turned a blind eye to abuse if it has not been hurled in my direction or in the direction of the ones close to me… (and even then if lesser scale abuse did come my way, I used the ‘ignore it’ and ‘it will go away syndrome’ Why is it we are only ever really prepared to stand up to abuse if we are the ones affected or our close friends and relatives? Yet, abuse is prolific everywhere… in all walks of life, in every family, in every industry. It’s shocking really, not least when we begin to clock just how much we self abuse even in the smallest way.

  8. This is a great question Anon… “Do we care enough about how much people suffer to live in a different way, or are we happy with our comfort and indulgences in life?” How much responsibility are we prepared to take for our choices and how willing are we to make true and lasting change, and in that inspire others to also do the same.

    1. Actions speak louder than words, it’s not about how much I say I care, it’s how I choose to live in each moment that reflects, unequivocally, how much I do care, and this is felt by everyone. We should never underestimate how powerful this expression of love is – how much is noticed and felt, even if nothing is actually said.

  9. Without love there is no abuse as the abuse will be the norm, i.e. no awareness of abuse in absence of what defines abuse. With love the awareness of abuse being everything that is less than love is brutally obvious like blood on snow.

    1. Absolutely, and keeping things simple – awareness, acceptance, understanding, surrender, more love and setting new standards.

  10. Our self abuse knows no bounds: overeating, eating foods that do not truly nourish, having negative, self-judgemental thoughts, walking in a hard way, pushing through life, there are many ways we move that leave our bodies feeling tense.

  11. “Abuse – Turning a Blind Eye no More” – nothing makes us more blind than the slightest abuse. Nothing makes us more seeing than the commencement of love and its presence.

  12. ‘The abuse we knowingly chose to do to ourselves and each other leaves an aftermath of emotional pain, hurts and trauma which we carry in our bodies.’ And these, now in our bodies, are fodder for more abuse being expressed from those very hurts and reactions.

  13. Whatever we feel is intrusive and causes us disharmony within must be honestly looked at and considered. So often what may be considered the smaller abuses of life are swept under the carpet – but never truly hidden as they remain within our body as a marker to be healed. As you say Anon “Until we all take responsibility for loving ourselves deeply, which naturally leads to our truly loving and not harming another, there will always be abuse in this world’.

  14. Anything less than love is abuse is simple but such a huge thing to get your head around but now that I am realising more and more that when I am abusive to myself it effects everyone and everything around me I am far more inclined to be more loving to myself which also has an effect.

    1. So true kevmchardy… when we are loving of ourselves, people around us just melt – it’s like they are given permission to be what they innately know as true too. And there are some who react to loving ways because it exposes their own lovelessness but that’s great too as it presents them with a choice – to be loving with themselves or not.

  15. Anon, it feels great to make everything about love and to say no to abuse in whatever form, this feels like our true way of living together.

  16. Anon when we are willing to see just how deep the levels of abuse go it eventually becomes clear that the wars, domestic violence and celebrity suicides are the very pinnacles of the iceberg. Below that is the society that we say is working when abuse is woven into the everyday norm, abuse that we don’t even consider is abuse until we peel back the covers.

  17. It is beautiful to unravel something one has accepted for so long knowing all the while that this was not right and true. To be standing firmer on one’s feet and claiming the love we all so very much deserve is a blessing for us all.

  18. Abuse is like a splinter in your finger! You may not even be able to see it, but you can feel it! Are hurts we carry around not the same? Often, you must dig deep to remove that which is causing physical pain. And then, there are the splinters that if left and not dealt with, can fester and infect the whole being!

    1. That Steve is a brilliant simple understanding that if we do not deal with our hurts they can fester the whole being and we can spend a whole life time jaundiced towards ourselves and other people.

  19. Thought provoking article, which made me ponder, as I can see myself being abusive towards others. I now realize this can only happen when I choose to be abusive towards myself. And to that I did not claim a full stop, not tolerating any abuse more.

  20. In essence our understanding of abuse and decision to eradicate it from our lives is a never ending job because it is clear when we look at the world events, we have slipped a long way off the mark.

  21. There are lots of forms of abuse – some you can act on right away, some you can respond to by not reacting and somethings are so appalling that you simply choose to live your way even if it will take a while for the truth to be recognised.

    1. True Christoph there are lots of forms of abuse, this blog and these comments ask us to redefine abuse and its different forms, from a stand point of our innate and sensitive nature rather than the slipped and accepted ‘normal’.

  22. Also to realize that when we say no to abuse people will react.
    So it is shaking our comforts which is good but sometimes challenging.

    1. Absolutely – because currently most of us are not being honest about what abuse is and, therefore, how abusive we are all being, to our selves and each other.

    1. And in so doing, we support each other to know that there is another way to live, a loving way that honours us all.

  23. It is interesting how we coin the phrase a blind eye, when in reality we actually do feel and know what is happening just don’t choose to attend to it.

    1. So true Jenny – everything is felt and we all do know the truth, we just resist by choosing to not be aware, which takes so much more effort, not to mention the harm we cause our selves and each other in the process.

  24. If anything that is not love is actually abuse there comes this feeling of purpose to be loving with myself in all that I do.

  25. We are all crushed by abuse in different forms and ways in our lives in the smallest of ways that makes so much difference to us making us less with the crushing and shrinking that occurs hidden within us with the allowance to what is not us innately and the acceptance of this.

  26. ‘Abuse is anything that is not love ” is a very true and an amazing understanding that would change the world with the depth of abuse exposed and the way we live and what is considered normal. Loving ourselves and respecting ourselves in every way is very beautiful to feel and honour amongst each other with a new raised bar of integrity and love in society is much called for with abuse having got so far and so accepted as normal. A brilliant call and level of livingness shared here for all to ponder on.

    1. I agree, Tricia – understanding that life is, in fact, very black and white, in the sense that everything is either loving or it’s the complete opposite, abusive, has been a massive revelation. I’ve spent most of my life in the ‘in between’ grey area, which I now realise is all of our own ‘creation’ to avoid taking responsibility for our abusive ways.

  27. ‘I was and still am at times abusive towards others from lack of understanding, judging people or needing them to be a certain way, creating drama or complications, giving up or withdrawing.’ love the responsibility this demonstrates in us living only our loving nature and being aware of anything which does not come from it.

  28. I have learned that standing up to abuse does not need to be crushing… quiet the opposite intact. It’s the allowing of the abuse that crushes as there is an internal withering from not expressing. Speaking up frees us up and is expansive.

    1. Very true Rachel – speaking up is liberating and expansive while holding back from calling it out enables the abuse to not only continue but to magnify.

  29. When we make life all about self, we are very selfish and individualistic, thus it is easy to self-abuse as self likes to indulge in the comforts and the many distractions in this world. The game changer is when we heal our issues and hurts, and learn to let go of self, we are able to see the bigger picture and our life becomes infused with purpose and service as we are all here to work together to evolve one another.

  30. Anon, I would agree with this for me too; ‘I have not hated abuse enough to say absolutely no to it any way, shape or form, be it in how I treat myself or what I accept from others.’ I am finding that recently this is changing and that no longer can I turn a blind eye and stay silent when I witness abuse in its many forms.

  31. “If we don’t reflect that there is another way to live, then who is going to?” This is so true Anon. If we know there is a way to live that truly supports us to be healthier and more loving with all our relationships then we have a responsibility to share that with others who may not be aware that thye too can make similar changes in their lives.

  32. Surely saying that abuse is anything that is not love revolutionises the way we interact with people in society? If not then have we really listened?

    1. It also revolutionises the person who lives it, especially if it is not a slogan but a way of living or a livingness.

  33. When we experience abuse, in the moment straight afterwards, if we don’t immediately say no, but instead, start to normalise what just took place in the context of there are so many worse things happening every day, or, what difference is it really going to make anyway ….. this is what we need to remember – ‘This was about truth, and not allowing a behaviour that is not loving to come through anyone.’ In so doing, this does make a difference and it does become easier for others to also stand up and say no to abuse.

  34. Although when you reported the tailor incident to the police Anon, supposedly ‘no case will come of it,’ in many ways things have ‘come of it’ already… you have spoken up, taken action, the tailor is on warning that this behaviour is not ok and now has a choice to not do it again… and at the end of the day your report is sitting there waiting to support another if he does repeat the offence. So all that you have done in saying no to abuse is on record and telling the world this behaviour is not acceptable and won’t be tolerated – a powerful stand we can all take.

  35. Anon, I can really feel how the things that you have listed below are abuse; ‘I have abused myself in many ways, such as choosing negative thoughts about myself, putting myself down, choosing abusive relationships and staying in them, eating and drinking foods that are harming to my body.’ It is great to call these things out as abuse rather than just accept them and keep these unloving and harmful behaviours going.

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