“The book on the tractor.”
“Okay, which one?”
“I told you, already,” Riley said shouting.
“Well, if you did, I didn't hear it. Tell me again,” she said, trying hard to stay calm.
Shoving her, he growled, “I don’t know why I ask you to do anything.”
“I’m sorry if I missed which tractor you said. Just tell me again!” she pleaded.
Raising his fist, he said, “I should just send you into next week. All you think about is yourself!”
Physical violence is the immediate thought process of domestic abuse. What I find interesting is how “physical” can mushroom. I always believed it wasn’t abuse unless the victim was actually hit by the abuser. It turns out I was wrong. A push or a shove is included in this definition, as is shouting right in someone’s face and there are more behaviors, by definition, which qualify as physical abuse.
A friend tells of a time she was beaten by a relative with a chain. The relative had likely been drinking, but that did not excuse the beating which was delivered. Other situations include being held forcefully against the wall. Still another form of physical abuse is using the index finger and thumb and applying pressure on pressure points under the jawbones near the ear, especially while simultaneously lifting, which can be both frightening and painful. There are many other ways to physically abuse and never leave a mark.
Physical abuse should NEVER happen under any circumstance. To abuse in any form is a form of control and no one has the right to control another person. Relationships are built on respect, love, trust, service, honesty, patience, loyalty and kindness. When any of these traits are missing or are broken, the relationship will suffer. Once there has been a betrayal of any one of these, the trait must again be earned, and sometimes that takes time. When more than one is broken, often fear can set in. Love and fear have a real difficult time living in the same house.
Disagreements in any relationship are bound to happen. People don’t think alike on all matters. Opinions are different, likes and dislikes are different and perceptions are also often different on some subjects. That doesn’t make either of them wrong….it’s just different and that is okay! It can make for a lively debate and that is also okay. It’s only wrong when one person feels they only have the right answer, opinion, like (or dislike) or perception. Anything beyond their personal parameters is unacceptable. This wrong attitude is compounded when it brings on physical abuse.
It doesn’t always have to be a disagreement which brings on physical abuse, however. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the victim at all; she/he is just there and is handy to receive whatever is frustrating the abuser at the time.
Abusers often don’t see themselves in this light. They don’t recognize the anger or “demons” which possess them. They often are truly remorseful when a fit of anger has harmed another person, and when not angry are wonderful, kind human beings. But I urge you, if you are in a situation where any kind of abuse is present, seek help. As I have written in this series on abuse, there are many different kinds or levels: emotional, verbal, financial-economic, isolation, mental, neglect, intimidation, sexual and there are more. I have not written about all of these, but I wanted to make you aware there are some real issues in our homes and in relationships. And if you face this situation, you are NOT alone. There is help out there!
No one should have to deal with the pain and sadness abuse brings. So again, I urge you, as I have in previous posts; if you find yourself in any of these categories, seek help, and sooner not later. The longer you stay and deal with the situation, enabling your abuser to hurt you, the harder it is to leave and the more likely the abuse will escalate to the point of physical harm.