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Saturday, June 22, 2024

The Far-Reaching Effects of Abuse

Depending on the type of abuse and the severity of it, there are several consequences. However, in general, there are a few far-reaching effects that are often the result of abuse. To list some of them, we have:

• Vulnerable state. When the abuse begins or increases beyond what you’re used to or prepared for, you may be caught off-guard on many levels. This is more the case if the abuse was specifically directed toward exploiting your weaker points and ultimately messing with you. You might have been stripped off what made you stable and secure. You might have been exhausted of your resources and/or blocked from gaining and accessing them and were left with little or nothing to support yourself with. You might feel exposed and at the mercy of violent forces that are out of your control.
• Loss of trust and trust issues. It is not unusual for abusers to come in disguise. Furthermore, it is not unusual for them to be VERY skilled at acting as though they’re trustworthy allies. If you were taken advantage of by somebody like this, it becomes more difficult to trust them and others again. You may have learned for the first time that people aren’t always as nice as they’d seem and you don’t want to risk going through the same again - not with them and not with anybody else. To some extent, it is simply a part of maturing to realize that it is not wise to trust everybody too soon. However, without the ability to trust others, we lose the opportunity to form meaningful relationships and instead corner ourselves, staring at a scary world that we cannot discern.
• Normalization of abuse. It can become a way of living and pass off as “normal.” Maybe it has been going on for so long that it now seems normal. Maybe so many people joined into it that it seems normal. Maybe the same can be found in so many other places that it seems normal. Maybe, technically, it is “normal.” Nevertheless, how “normal” something is, doesn’t necessarily make it worth adapting to and enduring.
• Adjusting to and becoming abusive. “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Naturally, for the sake of survival, we evolve. But into what? It is said that it’s not uncommon for victims of abuse to grow into abusers themselves for they didn’t learn any better and believe that they are stronger for this. At least they’re no longer the victim, no? It is this or somehow managing to instead go another way, doing all in their power to not allow this to continue.
• Distorted worldviews. Abuse is confusing. And some types of abuse can be particularly confusing and designed for this exact purpose; there’s not much you can accomplish when you’re disoriented - when you can’t tell true from false, right from wrong. If you have been severely abused, chances are your mental and emotional states are out of equilibrium. There’s also the chance that you were led to believe whatever was most convenient for the abuser that you believe, no matter how nonsensical. It can take a long time for you to be able to again grasp reality as it truly is, even if you knew it well before the abuse began.

The good news is that all of these can be remedied with proper and sufficient care. The bad news is that it is unfortunate that anyone would have to go through this and spend so much of their lives caught up in it.

See also: What is abuse?