Hey there. It’s been a while.
I could go into a whole tirade full of cliched excuses, but… that’s too much work, plus it’s not what this blog is about really.
No, today I’m going to rant a little bit about abuse. Because sadly, that’s the society we live in now and is easily covered over with comments like, “Well, that’s how I was raised,” “I have a mental illness,” or “Clearly they were asking for it.”
I’m no stranger to mental illness, let’s be clear about that. I understand that there are things we can’t always control when it comes to how we handle things (I tend to hide more often than not because it’s easier than confronting the situation head-on), but that shouldn’t be an excuse when it comes to respect.
I was in an intimate relationship where the common joke was, “I’m going to throw this out the window just to test it,” if it said something about being impact resistant. This joke was upsetting because it was referring to gifts that cost me over $100. So when someone does this for you, don’t make light of it. Just accept the gift. If you do want to test it, do it on your own time.
Why is this mentioned in a blog post about abuse? Simple. Because it can come across as insensitive and rude. Often the little things become the most memorable. Because the person saying or doing them doesn’t understand the impact they have or they just don’t care.
We often think abuse is only physical, because they leave marks that we can see. But abuse, in my experience, is more than just physical. It’s mental and emotional. It’s making jokes about someone’s appearance; it’s making jokes about gifts that are given out of care and attention; it’s not listening when someone is talking about something that they clearly care about.
Abuse is also hurting yourself because you aren’t getting something done, it’s swearing under your breath about yourself as you realize you screwed up, it’s not taking care of yourself and letting things fester. My heart always hurts when I see self harm, because I feel helpless and unsure how to help. If self-harm applies to you and you haven’t already, look into finding a counselor or take classes that can help you address the problem as it comes up rather than let it fester.
Maybe by pointing out what can count as abuse, we can start to move forward. We can learn to focus on ourselves and what we are or are not doing when it comes to certain situations in our lives. Because while we can’t control external situations, we can learn to set healthy boundaries and at the same time we can learn to control the way that we handle ourselves.