Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Let's Re-Define "Abuse"
I'm up on my high horse, again, but the view from up here is cloudy. I'm all for abolishing abuse of all kinds, but I think we need to be clear about what abuse is and isn't. I would say that anytime another is treated without respect and dignity, they are being abused. What would you say? Of course the severity of abuse varies greatly, but mis-treatment is mis-use of another, or ab-use.
If a child is raised to think they are "golden", is that a good thing? What happens to that child as they grow into an adult, having lived their entire childhood revered, praised without exception, almost worshipped. What if not once in a child's life the parent(s) says, "What you did was absolutely unacceptable and you need to atone." Or, God forbide, "No. I don't agree with that decision."
I know people that grew up thinking everything they did was wrong, that they were nothing but failures. I know people that grew up thinking everything they did was right, and guess what, they grow up thinking they are failures, too! I think both are forms of abuse. So what gives? I think the answer is in what we believe about ourselves, without regard to the external "voices".

12 comments:

Prema said...

I'm seriously grappling with this myself. Mothering River now, having had an abusive mother...wow, looking at my own responses plainly. So far, and within reason, it seems important to be able to own the way I am in relationship. That's with my child and everything else. It's about allowing things to be messy and trying to be present in the midst of it all. Making amends is a lovely thing.

Ziji Wangmo said...

You said it sister -You HAVE to believe in yourself, it's the only way to make your life your own.

Jerri said...

Raising children to believe they are perfect is a twisted form of abuse, in my book. So is giving them so much for so long that they have no idea how to work toward what they want.

Reality works. Boundaries work. Loving affirmation works even better when reflected against these things.

Believe in yourself, Carrie, as we believe in you.

Michelle O'Neil said...

All we can do is model. All we can do is fix ourselves.

kario said...

It is sometimes so difficult to remember that one's children are simply human beings, too. They are not perfect, nor are they less deserving of the courtesy and respect we want for ourselves. Once they begin to be able to articulate their needs, it is too late. We need to treat them as sacred, flawed beings from day one. I used to believe mine were perfect, but every time they displayed an imperfection, it led me to doubt my parenting (how did I mess this child up already?!). That was too exhausting! I think you and Michelle are both right. Trust yourself.

Back At'cha said...

If I whack you over the head, that's abuse. If you whack me back, it's retribution and abuse. If I whack you back, it's retribution for the retribution and abuse. If you whack me back, it's retribution for the retribution for the retribution and abuse, if I whack you...I think I'm lost here...

the point is...just be nice already...be human, make mistakes, say you're sorry, make a nice cup of tea and take it easy.

Carrie Wanna Be said...

Well, in your case, of course you ARE perfect, so there's a no brainer right there. That's not abuse, rather it's abuse if you were not recognized as such, since you are darn in and if anyone wants to disagree with me, I might have to abuse them!!!

carrie Junkie said...

Wanna Be has got it bad...dump her!!!

Paulie Ana said...

Perfection is the natural state of being yet we become confused in the rhelm of nirvana and linger too long...empty the mind and remain in perfection and you are one with all things...OM!!!

jennifer said...

Can we be more specific in this article, can you put it "on the body" and give some salient details???

Suzy said...

How about the people that are raised to think they are golden and still, when they are grown, think that everything they STILL do is right? And oh, by the way, carry the abuse right on through.

free spirit said...

first, I really love what "Paulie Ana" said...and second, "Carrie Wanna Be" needs to become a critical thinker! because you/we can't grow if all we hear is "you are perfect"

thus, my point...it is abusive to parent in a way that does not teach children to BOTH love their whole selves AND see their whole selves critically

we all have greatness and we all need improvement...this duality lives within each of us and it is wonderful! I think, if one can teach their children to embrace it then one has succeeded

however, you bring up an interesting point about "how kids turn out" versus how they were parented

heredity versus environment?...this question often come up when referring to adoption but I think it pertains to ALL of us

the answer is...it depends...it depends on not only heredity but also the overall environment AND the sub-environments within each persons life...it depends on the deliberate and random acts of others...it depends on timing and finally, it mostly depends on how individual personalities react to all of the above