Abuse Awareness: Take 2

After my last post, several people reached out personally, and it made me realise one thing. Very often, in order that we conform to a set standard, there is repression / suppression of all kinds, and that is why though people were agreeing, there was this general feeling that this isn’t a talked about topic.

If you think about it, are we then living in a healthy society? The sooner we understand, the better it is for us and our future generation. We should make more room for open, honest and civil discussions in our society. 

Let me share excerpts of what stood out to me, and let’s take a moment to absorb that this is what our women feel today:

“I’ve always felt and wondered why people don’t think like that…”

“Thank God you have brought it up”

“We need to talk more about this.”

“Emotional abuse is something that is not widely discussed and recognized. Also, what is that, that makes many women not accept that they are indeed being emotionally abused. I hear a lot of women defend this sort of abusive treatment.”

“Some say that it is the women that need to adjust…”

“Some way or the other we face such things directly or indirectly”

“This is much needed.”

“Some of the abuses in some degrees are accepted and taken for granted. Wondering if we will ever have a world of equals in it’s true sense”

“Emotional abuse is unseen and neglected and hence all the more dangerous!”

We are all different, we are all unique. Can we name one person who is exactly like us, 100%? We cannot, and if everyone were to be like us, this world would be plain boring. Firstly, let us be thankful! 

Inequality & Abuse:

I probably will be blurring the lines between equality and abuse in my post, but people are treated differently or abused, most often, because they are DIFFERENT; stemming from the feeling that ‘the other party doesn’t belong’, ‘they are not our tribe’, ‘they don’t conform to our ideas of right / wrong’, ‘they are weird’, ‘this is not what I would do’, ‘this is not our culture’, etc. (generalising ofcourse!)

That is why this post doesn’t necessarily address the extreme cases of abuse, it deals with those everyday things, which has been made a norm, or is overlooked, or tolerated, or most cases desensitized as normal behaviour, but is an abuse / inequality.

Once we get into physical / sexual abuse, it is very apparent, there are no two sides to it. On some levels, even verbal abuse has some ground in all societies, but once we get into emotional, like someone told me in the message, it is plain dangerous, cos there is nothing tangible out there, and anything becomes acceptable, while it clearly is not. 

[If you or anyone you know are facing severe issues of abuse, please contact a professional right away. Whether you are a man/ woman/non-binary, young/old, irrespective of your caste, religion, sexual orientation, race, throw any label in there, it doesn’t matter. No one has any right to harm you, or make you feel less!]

Keeping my geographical location in mind, what I say may also be heavily contextual, but I am assuming there will be similar, if not same contexts everywhere.

It was not women alone whose comment stood out, there was a particular person who shared similar ideas on equality, and he reached out to say, how he plans to ensure he has an equal marriage with his fiancee, and how by his actions he hopes to contribute in changing the world. It was heartening to hear that, and we need more such people in this world.

Again, I know there are many people out there, who already have a healthy and equal marriage/r’ships, and my shout out to each of you! While it feels ironical that what should be a norm, feels like a special case, but I think we are slowly getting there. 🙂

Here are some basic videos for our awareness: to teach ourselves and the world around us, to treat the other person (even other beings / nature) as we treat ourselves. 

Types & Signs of Abuse
10 Red Flags

 Things our society could do without:

(cont. from previous post)

–> I live in a society, where it is apparently acceptable for educators/teachers to beat the kids, more so in rural or semi-urban settings, cos parents themselves thrash their kids. (I heard a writhing story of how a kid had a swollen arm and had to be hospitalized, because she didn’t do her homework.)

I understand there are difficult kids out there, but what I don’t understand is society’s ways to use their authoritarian power as a teacher / parent, to ensure discipline, or ‘their ideas of discipline’. What’s worse, some of these kids who suffer may not even be difficult kids, they might have just been kids, but they are being punished for that. Hearing some of those stories had me reel in shock.

–> Here is another archaic expectation that we should throw out the window: how men are meant to be tough, and not cry or get emotional, or that they are providers and caretakers.

Everyone is responsible: let us not unnecessarily burden someone, instead share and contribute, show your support.

  • Let everyone be who they want to be.
  • Let us do what we can/want, and let others do what they can/want.
  • Let everyone express in a healthy way. BALANCE IT OUT! 

An ideal relationship is where there is give and take, and efforts on a daily basis, where you have their back, where you reach out and support, where you don’t keep counts, where you know their strengths and weakness, being honest, yet not crass or vulgar, not judging their flaws, where you appreciate, acknowledge, most of all share – the good, the bad and the ugly! 

–> We are so particular about making everyone conform, but we are failing: it’s time we get the drift!

We are meant to be different, but in the uniqueness, we will share a commonality. Let us give respect and take respect. Let us live and let live. 

–> I mean, haven’t we heard, that if humans were to die, our planet will thrive

We talk about what is right, when if our history showed us anything, our behaviour has been nothing but so wrong. Let’s look at this, we bred dogs from wolf, do we all take ownership of dogs today, cos we brought them into existence, we don’t. We use milk, but do we care about the cows? We are worried about internet, do we worry about oxygen? If each of us, contribute even 10% of what we spend for dairy / other animal products, internet, etc., on a monthly basis the world will be tad better. 

If there is a talk on rights, but never responsibility, it’s dangerous. If you say, I didn’t breed the dogs, why should I care if they suffer, you also didn’t invent fire, don’t use it. It is clear that we use and believe what works for us, and throw away all else. It is important to understand that humans are not special, nor is our labels, we are part of the whole

–> It is important to understand that verbal and emotional abuses, or those socially convenient behaviours which are labelled as ‘I am only advising you’, ‘I care for you’, ‘This is the right way to do things’, ‘You are man / woman, so…’, ‘This is your role, so this and that is expected out of you…’, etc., are making our people feel miserable, limited, constrained, judged, lack self esteem and even suicidal.

The way forward:

Let us please unlearn, and relearn our idealogies. Look at each moment anew – consciously, mindfully, reasonably, holistically, without labels, without bias, without expectation, without prejudice, without knowledge that was passed on.

Let us not teach our sons and daughters archaic, inhuman values, which derogates another life to passive submission. Let us learn about equality in true sense of its word! Let us understand ourselves better, so we don’t unconsciously create a cycle of abuse. Everyone deserves to feel loved, respected and supported, be it in their homes or elsewhere!

Here is a short Abuse 101 playlist, that will create a bit of awareness. Trust me when I say this, Asian families especially have a lot of behavioural and cultural conditioning, where authority is always right. Sorry to break our righteous bubble, it’s not true at all. To err is human, so anyone can make mistake! It is important that we are open enough to put ourselves under the scanner! 

People tend to say anything – That you are not good enough. That you are somehow inferior. That you don’t have values or culture. That you are weak. That you will get no one better than them; or worse nothing at all, ‘silent treatment’ as they call it — did you know even that is an abuse. [I had hyperlinked an article on emotional abuse in my last post, if you want to revisit, please do.] 

As part of the playlist, I have added a brilliant TedX talk on narcissistic personality traits in our societies. I loved the speaker’s deep insights on the subject, and as she said, “Don’t let the global epidemic of incivility infect you!”

We’re a fortunate society, where help is available online, and there are plenty of resources to understand human behavior. Lets make our future better! We are not worth based on what we can give/do, but need to be valued for who we are. If we have messed up, due to our limited understanding in the past, whats the big deal. Make that change now! No one is here to judge, if they do, they have a lot of work on their shoulders. 

This is not to point fingers at our society: we are society! This is a shout out to take a break in this pandemic inflicted world, so we know how to reform ourselves, our families, our societies, our nations, so we don’t repeat the cycle of abuse / inequality. 

May we all have an equal, harmonious and fulfilling lives, for the world is one family! Much love… SB ❤

Would love to hear from you, dear reader :)

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