As I wrote this now I found the tingles deep within me. A truth that can’t be unlearned and the regrettable moment at which you had to learn it. It’s a boundaries thing. It’s a consent thing. It’s an addiction thing. It’s a trauma thing. For some reason, it’s not fully known that those that abuse have been abused. That every abuse is an attempt to feel powerful. It’s an attempt to regain control. It’s a beautiful thing to understand and witness as we watch the bullies of the world wreak havoc on the lives of millions. Needless to say, abusers have mental and emotional health issues. If we wanted to take a kinder approach we might find say that they have unmet emotional need. After all, that is where I believe all mental health arises from, our unmet needs.
If you ever wanted to under the darker sides of human consciousness you must fully understand that all of us have an abuser in us.
In the true reality of the world as it is I have had countless thousands of conversations about abuse and consent and how it is constructed in the world. Only in recent years has the power of consent been fully understood as a powerful tool of empowerment for those of us in relationship. (isn’t that everyone). Consent is simply a conversation where everyone is very clear on what that they agreed too. And indeed what they are responsible for. I think the only thing that we are every truly responsible for issuing a clear yes or a clear no. Unfortunately, the way in which I clearly understand abuse is a very clear violation of a clearly articulated boundary with complete disregard for the consequences.
This can be incredibly challenging to articulate clearly and well when we seek to create a peaceful outcome. Where we are accommodating of someone’s needs and that accommodation is taken to be tacit consent. Let me explain for example my experiences in shared living accommodation over COVID19. When I allowed an emotionally vulnerable adult at risk of mental break down come visit me in my shared home as a way of a community invention while maintaining social distances. In a very short space of time it became clear that this person was no doing the same in other households. This was done without asking for consent. I expressed my concern and yet the behaviour continued. Now a sensible person would have stopped it right then and there. However my housemate had got used to the visits and seemed to have also become quite reliant on this social interaction. Despite having a heart murmur and technically being at risk I fully understood how the impacts of the lockdown might have on households and particularly single people alone in their houses. I had already predicted that suicides rate would increase immensely as a result of the social isolation many people would be newly experiencing. In the vacuum of having very few other people to talk to my shared housemate and my friend quickly for a romantic relationship.
Before I copuld even blink I no longer had any say who comes in and out of our shared home. I repeatedly and persistently refused the right to consent by simply not being asked. Even though I continually state my need to be asked. This need is ignored. It becomes very clear that neither of the two parties has any understanding of active consent and literally continue to do what they please.
Though I continue to ask for consent or indeed simply information regarding the use of the house I am continually ignored, until such point as the noise on one particular day becomes too much tolerate while working from home.
Literally the deathly blow was when they decided to go on holiday, despite 14 day quarantine rules, even though it was explained to them that I am at risk due to having a heart murmur. Apparently it’s their house and they have the right to expose me to deadly virus without my consent. Needless to say, I moved out before they got back.
The point at which you have to argue for your right to be heard and in the most extreme cases life you are speaking to an abuser. If anybody tells you otherwise they are gaslighting you so that they feel safe. The world is a treacherous place full of betrayal.
Yet we must remember the way someone treats you in the way that they have been treated. Hurt people hurt people. Also top tip you allowed to change your mind at any time about giving consent to let people have sex with you and/or harm you.
When we talk about abuse on a systemic level it always comes back to the personal. Someone is always personally deciding to ‘abuse’ you and breach your boundaries. Abuse is a personal decision not taking in the full impact of a detrimental decision for the other person involved.
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