There is a familiar pain that follows it though, and if one is sensitive enough, that familiar pain is all the trigger you need to know when something isn't quite right. Unfortunately not everyone has had the 'good fortune' of the experience to know that feeling I am talking about. Some people don't even make it past that first abuse. Others simply chose selective amnesia and therefore go through the cycle several times because they have forgotten the feel of that warning sign. A few selected lucky others are able to feel the trigger and get themselves to safety.....or not.
One thing I can assure you is that I have never known any abuser that think or even are vaguely aware that they are abusive. As a matter of fact, abusive people are quick to point out abuse in others and they pride themselves in NOT being abusive. There is always a logical explanation to bad behavior and sometimes it is really hard to see the dividing line, not only to the abuser but also to the victim.
From the outside, we see a situation, or hear a story of abuse and see clearly that something is wrong and therefore it becomes VERY EASY to say we won't put up with certain behaviors from anyone.
You see, the truth about abusers is that they are NOT mean people in their daily life. They go about their lives trying to be as decent as the next person, but there is something deep in there eating at their core that they have carried about with them. It's been there for so long that it feels like an acceptable part of of them, of life. It feels normal, like the nose on every face. They actually do think everyone of us has it deep in them to feel or react in like manner given the 'right' triggers.
Most abuser have an acceptable name for their behaviors and a logical legit explanation why the name of their action fits it. They are model citizens, if anything they have some really good qualities that put them above the average person in terms of generosity in sensitivity and kindness in areas where the majority take for granted. Plus they don't set out deciding to be abusers and are therefore unaware that they are.
Abuse is a very complex matter and I have a personal opinion about it based on my experience, but I will save that for another day.
I wrote this poem, not in support of the victim nor in condemnation of the abuser but simply to give words to that which is.
How easy it is to choose the wrong bedfellow!
Our past, it is said, shapes and dictates our present.
You’d think that should teach us to see a lot better,
To hear a lot clearer
To feel a lot more sensitively
That familiar thing
That cuts right through the gut of our very being!
It is sad to admit, the heat from past hurts
Has set the heart to a rigidness to demand a right,
It is sadder still to realize
That in the very core of who we draw to us
Is that familiar thing
Needing to conform and possess us.
It beggars the question
“What heals the past?”
Do we have the courage to break or be broken?
Do we have the sensitivity to not break or be broken?
Are we capable of compassion?
Do we even know what it means?
Now lines have been crossed and boarders invaded.
This is simply the start of wounds to avoid.
The trick is to decide if a new line is required
While trust is rebuilt
Or if broken walls are best left undone.
We choose wrong bed fellows; yet it’s hard to define ‘wrong’.