• Marta May

What is abuse?

Abuse is every where. Even if we try not to be abusive, some of our actions may be perceived as so by their recipient or the people around us. Human beings tent to be reactive, and in doing so we may hurt others. We must "count to ten" often. Take a break when you feel a wave of anger taking over.

I was having breakfast in a cafeteria and was given food for thought. I accidentally overheard two ladies talking about an abusive male. I heard the word "Isolation" While it is believed that abuse is perpetrated 50% by either sex, we hear more about men abusing women. If a female is the abuser, it does not get reported as often. First, men do not want to seem "weak" by confessing their wives beat them up. Second, traditionally the courts give custody of the children to the mothers. If the mother is indeed the abusive party, the men have to work very hard to prove it.

How do you prove abuse? Recognize it as such. It took me $10,000 worth of therapy to do so. My mother was verbally abusive. I had it reversed. I thought the abusers were the people that said "no" especially to my Mom. Report it as soon as it happens. Sign the paperwork. Create a paper trail; Keep a diary. Use a notebook which pages are not removable, (no three ring binders) so your entries are in sequence....date them.

My father used to say that my mother "had a tongue so long she could step on it" Well, it made more sense in Spanish, but he meant that she could verbally reduce anyone to rubble through her speech.....especially himself (in front of us children). One of my first co-dependent actions, was to try to take care of my dad's feelings when it was happening. The marriage lasted 15 years. At first I used to pray "Santa Maria, don't let my parents get divorced" but after the ashtrays started flying around the house I reversed my prayers......"Please, Please, Please let them get divorced!" I was fourteen years old.

So, mothers and fathers, please be aware of your behavior. Educate yourself. Having children is a big responsibility. You are bringing up our future! Not everyone is born knowing how to raise healthy children, especially in our very complex society. There are parenting classes, mostly mandated by court order, but why wait? These classes are available now!

But overall, treat others as you wish to be treated yourselves.

Marta

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