Abusive People – The Icky Feeling
of Interacting with People Who Batter
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
Most everyone has had an encounter with someone who leaves you feeling icky. These interactions are usually loaded with pitfalls, bullying and dead-ends. You want to run. You feel your body taking you out of the encounter and your spirit goes numb. In the moment you may not even realize how toxic the exchange is, until it is over.
And then, you find yourself hearing, seeing and feeling each blow one-by-one. The way it lives in your body and emotional memory erodes you of your own life force. It’s depleting and in chronic cases debilitating.
The icky feeling in mingling with a person that thrives on abuse defines itself. The feeling tells you that this person—as they are—is not good for you. You know you are diminished in connection with this person, and your inner being seeks to heal.
Choices in an Abusive Relationship
When people are enmeshed in these relationships, they strive to correct the endless circumstances as though they are making it better. The abused assumes responsibility for the battering person’s negativity, and in so doing enables the abuse dynamic in and of itself.
This never works to heal; it only serves to sicken both the batterer and the abused. Whether partner, parent, adult child, co-worker or alleged friend, the battering experience in the relationship serves to strengthen the power and control dynamics and weaken the abused.
What are your choices when you find yourself in one of these abusive relationships? The most responsible move for you is to draw the line in the sand and establish a “no abuse” policy. The message given in this declaration is that the abusive person must change or expect the relationship to be over.
The Courage to Heal
The courage to heal is the key to taking this stand. The desire to be the wholeness that you are outside of the abusive relationship is the inspiration for change. As you can see, the real power held in abusive relationships rests with the abused. Through their declaration, individual and/or relationship healing and positive change can evolve.
The survivor’s “no abuse” avowal is often the inspiration for the batterer seeking change. In working with people in abusive relationships over the last fifteen years, I am keenly aware of the fact that this is the single most significant “change driver.” It ignites the personal desire for things to be different. It inspires change from within.
If you are in a relationship in which you identify the icky feeling described here, assume the power vested in you and make your personal declaration. As soon as you do, you will be opening the door for peace and well-being within and around you.
For information on therapeutic change in abusive relationships visit http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/spousal_abuse_tx.php and claim Free Instant Access to The 7 Realities of Verbal Abuse. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps individuals and couples worldwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.
© Dr Jeanne King — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention
Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.