Dealing with It

I’ve found that recipients of abusive behavior act in one of two ways: they either externalize it (act out the same abusive energy on others) or they internalize it (take the abusive energy into themselves as shame or self-abuse). Both methods perpetuate pain. The externalists tend to be male, and they tend to end up in prison. They will typically wear their anger on their sleeve. Women tend to internalize the abuse, and rather than carry out the act on others, they will bottle up their emotions, often resorting in self-medicating behaviors such as overeating, over-exercising, compulsive behavior, and occasional volcanic fits of rage.

What both methods have in common is that the abuse continues in a new manifestation. It is difficult yet possible to stop the cycles of abuse. I believe the energy of abuse does need to be dissipated in a controlled setting. The victim should be allowed to scream, cry, punch/kick inanimate objects, throw things, in a way that does not harm them or anyone else.

They also need to develop an understanding of their abuser as someone who was not an evil person, but was someone who was certainly a victim themselves, and who did not understand how to properly expel the demon of abuse. And they need to understand that nothing their attacker said to them or did to them had any merit or meaning, as they did not have their victim’s best interest at heart when they spoke or acted.