Abuse is probably more accurately described as the human condition. Relationships and divorce act as catalysts that make the abuse remnants bubble to the surface. People that go through a divorce face the flawed human condition head on. These interactions are cyclical. Past child abuse in whatever the form impacts the developing brain and as adults without mindfulness spills over into all relationships especially those who are close to us. It’s imperative that we ALL rise above relationship abuse, divorce abuse and child abuse.
Rising above something that is difficult to identify personally or something that usually is an involuntary response to environmental stressors is almost impossible to do without help. The brain is one of the most complex organs in the human body and brain surgeons are still stumped by most of its functioning. Do not under estimate the power of awareness; the ability to redirect thought processes, and reprogramming learned (subconscious or conscious) behavior. Eventually everyone is affected by abuse indirectly or directly; know how to help someone when they need help and know how to help yourself. The first step in helping everyone with abuse is acknowledging there is a problem and having the willingness to work together to address the problem (if you are facing life threatening abuse call 911 immediately and extract yourself from the situation). Leave the blame game at the door, shed the negativity jacket and take off your angry shoes. Listen. Talk slowly. Allow others’ input without feeling their input is a put-down or a disrespectful interruption. Rising above is absolutely critical if you are a parent.
- Everyone needs to acknowledge there is a problem. Avoiding a problem makes the problem worse. Avoiding a problem seems easier on the surface; however realistically avoidance leads to more dysfunction – the relief you get by avoiding is a lie and only temporary. If avoidance is used as a solution, the problem will manifest itself in a multitude of ways down the road.
- Everyone needs to take RESPONSIBILITY. If you have not been abused directly, you will eventually come across and interact with someone who has been abused. If you have been abused directly you will have triggers that bring up past experiences that impact your present relationships. DO NOT LET YOUR PAST control your present (easier said than done). People that have not been abused directly have a responsibility to everyone in their lives to rise above and lead by example. It is your job to be COMPASSIONATE. It is your job to LISTEN. It is your job to CREATE A SAFE PLACE for interaction. People that have been abused, may not remember their past or why they feel the way they do in certain situations.
- Everyone needs to check their emotions. Everyone has moments of weakness. It is critical to stop the cycle of abuse by being present and recognize when these moments are unfolding.
- Are you unusually irritable?
- Are you experiencing level 10 anger?
- Are you abnormally tired?
- Do you have a short fuse?
- Do you flinch when certain things happen?
If you or someone articulates they are struggling in the above areas and you recognize it and/or hear them say it, STOP and LISTEN. Neutralize the situation by being calm and sympathetic. Reacting appropriately in these situations creates stronger relationships.
Practicing the 3 ways to rise above abuse in your personal life will break old patterns and restore equilibrium. If you are a parent have your children practice these as well, so they can react appropriately. In some cases, abuse may be extreme and these 3 ways to help will not be enough in your circumstances, do not pacify your situation or explain your situation away. Reach out for help from your local community. Do not isolate yourself from others. Do not only reach out to one person. One person will not have all the answers and it is good to have support in all areas of your life. End the crazy cycle of abuse, you will be a trailblazer in a world where everyone typically lives for themselves, rise above abuse in ALL relationships by acknowledging the problem, taking responsibility and checking your emotions.