"I am lucky in that I have never experienced physical abuse, but I have experienced verbal and emotional abuse, and strangely enough, I have recently realised that some of the worst of it has been from myself! How many times in the past have I verbally beaten myself up for making mistakes or doing/not doing something I should/shouldn't have done?" So wrote one reader recently.How many times have we all done that? And how often do we continue to do that? I know I have.Sure, we weren't born like that.
And it is never anything we should blame ourselves for. You were most likely taught to rubbish yourself by an abusive partner or parent; or maybe you learned in the schoolyard, thanks to someone else's abusive parent(s). It happened. And it was a powerful, life changing experience - sadly, for the worse ? that was all too frequently reinforced over time.
Whenever and wherever it happened, you weren't equipped with the defences or the resources to deal with it. Why would you be? Most people choose not to bring up children programmed, from an early age, to engage successfully in extreme verbal combat. (Although some children who grow up in a violent home prefer to identify with the aggressor rather than the victim.
).Still, the point remains, you can walk away from an abusive relationship and continue to do the abusive partner's work. Every time you harbour a negative thought about yourself, you are doing your destructive ex-partner's work.
You are giving credence to his harmful, distorted view of the world and the place he ascribed to you in it.Your view of the world is quite different.How can I be sure? Because, whenever I talk to abused women I invariably hear two versions of who they are. There is the negative one, which has become as familiar, as much a part of them, as an old smelly trainer. And there is the realistic one; the account of their qualities that they recite, but don't dare to internalize and believe.
If they really were as good as they think they might be ?which they unquestionably are - then why didn't their partner acknowledge it? Why didn't the people who have ill-used them, hold back, blinking, dazzled by the light they cast?.I believe their partner did notice, and was attracted by the light, at least at first. But setting the lowest value they could on you, was the most effective way they had of locking you into a binding contract. If they let you really feel you were worth more, why on earth would you hang around and settle for second and third best? If you felt like a pearl would you really settle for the pig sty? (Whereas if you felt like swill, a sty would feel just about right.).
In the end, the point of view that is shouted longest and loudest prevails. And that point of view was not yours.Yet the small voice of self-worth will not be silenced completely.There is a learning in there, somewhere.
Shouting down is effective, but so too is nurturing 'talking up'. And it is something you can do for yourself. You don't even have to worry whether you believe it or not.Experience has already shown you that you will believe what you hear. So you can say to yourself ? preferably out loud, because that works faster ? that you've made an honest mistake and you're doing pretty well; you're coping the best you can in the circumstances and, you know you will go on to cope even better.Simply by doing that you start to replace the abusive partnership with a nurturing supportive partnership ? with yourself.
The truth is you are ok and valuable irrespective of what you get right and wrong. The only question is: how quickly are you going to see it?.(c) 2006 Annie Kaszina..Annie Kaszina Ph D, is a coach and writer who has helped hundreds of women to rebuild their confidence and their life after an abusive relationship. Annie is the author of "The Woman You Want To Be".
This ebook will teach you how you can love yourself first, so that you can create strong self-belief and build the fulfilling future you're looking for on firm foundations.To find out more and sign up to Annie's free bi-monthly ezine visit http://www.EmotionalAbuseRecoveryNow.com You can email Annie at: annie@EmotionalAbuseRecoveryNow.com.
Feel free to reprint this article on your website or in your ezine, just include the resource box.
By: Annie Kaszina