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KickDog

How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How do you expose an undermining, but insidious, practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

It has been a few weeks since I posted about abuse.  I needed some time to refresh.  It is a tough topic to bring one’s attention to weekly.  It is challenging to discover new ways to talk about a very old topic that simply boils down to three words – it hurts badly.  As I type that, it occurs to me that perhaps the three words are – it impacts everyone.  And now I am thinking that if it hurts badly and impacts everyone, why is there so little discussion about it?  Why is the topic shameful?  Why are those speaking about it either vehemently reduced to blithering cry babies or met with silence, isolation?

Abuse is a taboo subject. Wikipedia defines taboo as “a vehement prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred or too accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake. Such prohibitions are present in virtually all societies. The word has been somewhat expanded in the social sciences to strong prohibitions relating to any area of human activity or custom that is sacred or forbidden based on moral judgment and religious beliefs. “Breaking a taboo” is usually considered objectionable by society in general, not merely a subset of a culture.”

If abuse is a taboo, then perhaps any discussion of abuse becomes an associated taboo.  Maybe it is time to consider that abuse is not a taboo in our society.  It is not vehemently prohibited, most offenders are not held accountable through the judicial system.  The statistics would support that abuse is not accursed as a practice.  And it seems that it is only objectionable in theory and not in practice.  The recent public abuse Malia Obama endured is a good example that abuse is not taboo in our culture.  Or how about the countless things Donald Trump feels free to express regarding the myriad of people he hates.  Maybe abuse is covertly hidden in our fascination with celebrities; it would seem that we love to hate them.

So what is the deal with abuse?  Is it possible we all shy away from the conversation because in our hearts we each know that our potential as humans contains the ability to abuse?  Is it possible that we each know unconsciously that we abuse daily?  Is it overwhelming to consider yourself as an abuser on the continuum of abuse?

It is for me, and I think that is why I needed a break.  Sometime to process my own resistance to my own abusive practices.  My instantaneous knee jerk reaction to a centipede, the illogical action of stomping on the poor creature.  My judgement of someone’s competence that leads me to behave inconsiderately.  My fear that I won’t be heard by another that causes me to lash out personally against them.

Abuse is a far too common practice, and the taming of it will require self-awareness and reflection.  It won’t be easy.  It will be hard.  It isn’t only about what someone else does.  It is about what we each do.


Tami Boehle-Satterfield, MSW, LCSW-C, NBBCH, HTP, a licensed psychotherapist in Boulder Colorado at attentiontoliving.com has challenged herself in 2016 to post weekly about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com

 

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How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious, practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

Adapted from After Silence After Silence

Angry outbursts and persistent irritability are common states of emotion for survivors of sexual violence. Anger is a natural defense to fear, and the experience you had was likely terrorizing. It is natural to be angry at someone who hurt you.

You may feel angry towards yourself. You may feel that could or should have done something to prevent what happened. You may blame yourself and feel shameful. Remember that what happened was not your fault and you did not deserve it. Sorting out your angry feelings will help you release yourself from the blame and begin to heal.

Here are some things to remember:

1. It takes time to heal. Give yourself the time to heal.

2. You have every right be angry because no one had the right to violate you.

3. When you feel angry, talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. Remember, that the anger you are feeling is normal and deserves your attention just like any other emotion. It is okay to say that you are angry. It is okay to say why you are angry.

4. Express your anger in a way that is safe for you and not harmful to yourself or others. Deep, abdominal breathing with the intention of releasing tension encourages a general feeling of relaxation. Movement of any kind is an excellent way to release anger and clear your mind.

Tami Boehle-Satterfield, MSW, LCSW-C, NBBCH, HTP, a licensed psychotherapist in Boulder Colorado at attentiontoliving.com has challenged herself in 2016 to post weekly about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com

Texas-a-Top-Fighter-against-Human-Trafficking
photography courtesy w.johntfloyd.com/texas-top-fighter-human-trafficking/
How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious, practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

Human trafficking is the organized abuse of men, women, and children who are subjugated into sexual and labor exploitation for a financial gain that earns it’s exploiters more than $150 billion each year. It is the second largest and fastest growing underground criminal activity worldwide, with 17,500 foreign nationals trafficked into the U.S. alone.

Trafficking largely preys upon a demographic of people who are downtrodden and are struggling to meet their needs for food and shelter. It is physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually torturous. The organization of traffickers comprises a wide variety of people from many different demographics, but share in common a flagrant disregard for human life. The trade in human life requires little start-up costs, and provides minimal risks for punishment, a large demand, high profits, and a commodity that is inexhaustible.

If we are to end the pervasive abuse within our culture, we must each address any way in which we contribute directly or indirectly to the abuse. Our polarized practice of judging ourselves and others as either good or bad leaves little room for healing from the long history of abuse within our culture, let alone our own personal histories. Without resolution to our own fear, shame, and guilt, we cannot guide each other into the freedom to choose compassion for all sentient and non-sentient beings. Instead of considering yourself a “good” person, begin to ask “What good can I do?” And then, begin doing it.

1 (888) 373-7888 National Human Trafficking Resource Center

Tami Boehle-Satterfield, MSW, LCSW-C, NBBCH, HTP, a licensed psychotherapist at attentiontoliving.com has challenged herself in 2016 to post weekly about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com

brain facts

How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

Those that suffer abuse are traumatized. Trauma causes a person to reside in the past where the abuse occurred. It is as if time stops, and their minds and bodies are stuck in the pain of the shocking event. In order to attend to the present while still in shock from the past, the traumatized dissociate from their bodies and numb their sensitivity to the physical world about them. For some the disassociation comes as a psychological state, for others it is self-induced through drugs, alcohol, food, sex, and self-injurious behaviors like cutting and burning. Trauma causes people to feel “unreal,” like they are experiencing their life through observation instead of participation. Trauma is a crisis state that can come and go with the onset of fear and pain that may not necessarily seem rational. These raw sensations can cause the traumatized to lash out aggressively, retreat into depression, or remain in a confused state of shock. The experience of trauma is stored in the body. Until the body has processed the painful experience, the traumatized will behave consistently or intermittently, chronically or acutely, as if their very existence is threatened. And for good reason, abuse does terrorize the abused and everybody around the abused.

Do you know someone whose behavior is erratic, irrational, self-destructive? Is it possible that they are struggling to survive the terror of a past or current abuse?

Tami Boehle-Satterfield, MSW, LCSW-C, NBBCH, HTP, a licensed psychotherapist at attentiontoliving.com has challenged herself in 2016 to post weekly about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com

The-Elephant-in-the-Room1

How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

 

The truth of all abuse is stored up in our body.  We can repress this truth, but our body will not deny the truth of it.  This is evidenced through physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual symptomatology.

The truth of all abuse is stored up in our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, our nations, the world, and the infinite universe.  Although we can repress it in all those places, the truth speaks through the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual symptomatology.

Our individual and collective minds can be misled, our understandings confused, our feelings distorted, and but our bodies and the collective bodies of sentient and non-sentient beings contain abuse in it’s pristine form.  Until it is processed, abuse will remain the elephant in the room.  Until we recognize individually and collectively the space it occupies, it will remain largely ignored.  It will remain the obvious, but unaddressed truth, until we individually and collectively process the experience of abuse as destructive and replace the practice of abuse with constructive behavior designed for evolution and not diminution of health and evolution.

Can we believe individually and collectively that it is the law of nature to evolve in health  and wholeness? Rest assured that our individual and collective bodies will not forget, until we individually and collective, forgive ourselves for our propensities towards harm, and act in the wisdom of having done so.

Tami Boehle-Satterfield, MSW, LCSW-C, NBBCH, HTP, a licensed psychotherapist at attentiontoliving.com has challenged herself in 2016 to post week about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com

hurt

How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

Incest is sexual contact without informed consent between individuals who share a bloodline. It is a symptom of extreme family dysfunction centered around distortions regarding the meaning of love, affection, and care. Incest propagates in family systems without healthy boundaries concerning equanimity in family power dynamics and age appropriate experiences and responsibilities. The research of Maddock and Larson proposes 4 catagories of incest:

• Affection-based: the incest provides closeness in a family otherwise lacking in nurture and affection. There is an emphasis on the specialness of the relationship, within which otherwise unavailable caring is given and received.

• Erotic-based: the family atmosphere is one of chaotic pansexuality, and it is not uncommon for many members to be involved. Its norm is the erotization of relationships. The term “polyincest” is often used to describe such multiple perpetrator situations.

• Aggression-based: the incestuous acts involve the perpetrator’s sexualized anger. The perpetrator vents his or her frustration and conflicts on a vulnerable individual, and physical mistreatment is often involved.

• Rage-based: the perpetrator is hostile and may be overtly sadistic. There may be great danger to the victim.

Learn more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/sexual-offenses/ramifications-incest#sthash.QrQE2L08.dpuf

Are you a mandated reporter? Some states require all residents to assume the legal responsibility to report abuse or suspected abuse. Abuse may include neglect alongside all other types of abuse. Revealing abuse is the first step in interrupting the cycle of abuse. Make it your business to report abuse.

Tami Boehle-Satterfield, MSW, LCSW-C, NBBCH, HTP, a licensed psychotherapist at attentiontoliving.com has challenged herself in 2016 to post week about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com

crime

How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

Physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse erodes and  will destroy a person’s sense of trust. It diminishes someone’s confidence and causes them to doubt their own experiences of demonstrated competence. Where a person may have experienced trust and confidence in the world, abuse will replace those experiences with doubt and hypervigilance concerning their physical, emotional, and mental safety.

Abuse is prevalent in our culture: the adult who uses sarcasm to belittle a challenging person or child, the adult who makes allusive or oblique remarks of a suggestive or disparaging nature to another adult or child, the adult who touches another adult or child in a way that is not suitable in context, or time, or place. These behaviors are harmful in and of themselves, but when they become a pattern of behavior they are destructive.

You can make a difference. As humans, it is likely that we all engage in abusive behavior. Bringing that behavior to your consciousness is the first step in changing that behavior – change your behavior and you change the world. This week consider how you might want to instill trust and confidence in your neighbor.

Tami Boehle-Satterfield has challenged herself in 2016 to post week about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com

abuse

How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

Abuse changes our physiology, central nervous system and brain chemistry. Memories are made as we evaluate our life experiences in terms of the worldview we continuously formulate. When there has been physical, emotional, sexual or mental abuse, the memories we form – those of the abuse and otherwise – are distorted by the painful and threatening stimulation of the abuse. Instead of simply processing and cataloguing all of our experiences as normal, they are first filtered through a heightened and primitive lens of survival that includes an unconscious awareness of the physical sensations and the visual images of the abuse. Time does little to alter the abusive experience that is now unconsciously integrated into the mind, body and spirit.  A person who has been abused will struggle with anxiety, depression, and anger.

What would our culture look like if we awoke to the pervasive practices of abuse and compassionately stood witness to the the fear and shame abuse instills in the mind, body, and spirit of humans?  

Tami Boehle-Satterfield has challenged herself in 2016 to post week about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com

sex

How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

Every 107 seconds, another sexual assault occurs.

The causality of sexual abuse ripples through our culture. It touches every one of our lives in ways that you may not have noticed. Do you know what your neighbor has endured? Or more importantly how he/she has transubstantiated his/her suffering for a greater purpose? Suppose the sufferings of abuse have not been easy? Suppose the opportunities to transform his/her experience into something greater for his/herself and for other’s has been elusive? What might that mean for your neighbor? What might that mean for you?

Tami Boehle-Satterfield has challenged herself in 2016 to post week about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com

no love
Consider.

1. Love is healing energy.
2. Healing is natural and an overwhelming biological drive outside of judgement designed to benefit evolution.
3. Therefore, love is instinctual and, by its very nature, reciprocal. Anything less is a form of hostility. To deny one’s self access to the experience of love is a form of self-hostility that compromises the system from reciprocity.
4. Hostility is not love.
5. Anything less than love is not love.

For example: X exploits Y for X’s self-preservation.

X’s Brain Cognition: “If you loved me, you will.”

Y’s Brain Cognition: “She will abandon me if I don’t.”

Y’s All Knowing Mind: Unconsciously initiates action in favor of self-preservation over evolution. This “stress state” is designed as a temporary state.

Y’s Body: Deprived of healing energy, the body stores the memory of hostility and struggles for equilibrium. Resources are limited as some are directed to “contain” hostility and can not attend fully to evolution. When this perpetuates, it may be considered a state of self-hostility.

Y’s Brain Cognition: Y shall believe, in an effort of self-preservation and to maintain cultural integrity for security within Y’s tribe, that “She loved me the best she could.” That this is the best that could be done. Y comes to believe that Y deserves less than love, a belief based in lacking and not in abundance; a hostile belief. With the installation of a hostile belief, thoughts, emotions and actions are guided without love and love can not be experienced.

Outcome for Y: The mind and body working without love, for only self-preservation instead of evolution, results in a compromised system. Without intervention, mind and body will become depleted leaving the mind and then the body vulnerable to sickness and disease.

Outcome for X: The mind and body working without love, for only self-preservation instead of evolution, results in a compromised system. Without intervention, mind and body will become depleted leaving the mind and then the body vulnerable to sickness and disease.

NO LOVE HERE.

10 March 2014