Many things hurt us as individuals.  Some of these hurts we can control…but often some are beyond our reach. God often deals us tests and challenges as does Nature. Understandably, we are hurt, dismayed, and feel “lost.”  These hurts are part of life and are for the most part uncontrollable.  Hopefully, we weather them with dignity.  I try to control how much I am hurt by others…if only in the way I react to their injuries.  It is better for me to turn the other cheek when I am hurt or offended, but I am not always successful; however, each and every time, I do try. 

 The statistics of those who have been abused themselves, now going on to be dysfunctional in some fashion… is astounding.  However, what is more astounding is that many who have been abused, now CHOOSE to hurt others. The dysfunction is perpetuated if they now, as an adult, abuse alcohol or drugs; this affects their loved ones.  Likewise, the abuse is perpetuated if the sexually abused child, now a full grown adult, tries to verbally or emotionally abuse others; this affects their families, friends, co-workers and neighbors.  Because they were hurt as a child…they somehow feel it is ok to hurt others… now!   The irony here is that not only do they not feel better, but now the abuse is being perpetuated by them…even if thinly disguised.  They have bought into the statistical odds of being an ABUSER themselves. 

 Making someone else hurt: physically, emotionally, or verbally, rather than healing yourself from the inside out, is similar in my mind to putting a gauze bangage around a cut that really needs twenty plus stitiches.  It will sort of look like it’s healed, in time…but there will always be a constant reminder of the event(s) that brought the injury to light in the first place.  We, as children who were abused, need to make a decision that the abuse stops with us.  It need not and can not be passed along to yet another generation.   sue

What constitutes abuse?

If the physical action or spoken words are consistently/constantly  directed  in a hurtful, negative manner and are damaging to the receiver that is abuse. 

 However, be careful. 

 I am often asked , especially by adolescents, if a parent being overly critical is considered “abuse.”  If a parent repeatedly calls you something unfounded, such as, “You’re a waste of space on this Earth and no one will ever love you.”   Yes, I believe that’s verbally abusive.  Those kind of words lower self esteem and self worth.  However, if a parent says:  “You are wasting your time, and much of your life, with your friends who always get into trouble and also, they don’t seem to care very much if you get into trouble with them,”  then that’s responsible parenting and setting boundaries.  In fact, that’s what parents should do.  There are always back walls and guidelines for parents/guardians or they are not “parenting” but rather just existing in a safe and comfortable environment.  Parenting is the toughest of all jobs.

     Also, if you are physically hit by someone who “loves” you… it “might be” abuse.  If it happens more than once … it is abuse.  If you are hit often, for no apparent reason, by the same person… it is without a doubt physical abuse and it needs to be reported.  Adolescent or adult, constant words of negativity or continual physical punishment to your body by another person is… NEVER ok.    Do not mistake this for love.         Sue