Blog: Floating the Abyss
by SoulfulSurvivor

Predictability & Familiarity

Predictability and familiarity breeds apathy

Date:   4/18/2011 11:41:33 AM   ( 11 y ) ... viewed 1607 times

One of the insidious reasons that victims remain with their abusers is that their lives have, for the most part, become "predictable." The cycle plays itself over, and over, ad nauseum. In my case, I knew that any lulls in the abuse and violence would be followed by a predictable pattern. The abuser would believe that I was exerting independence if I wanted to engage in church functions, have lunch with a new friend, or refused to engage in his sexua| perversions. The tension would build and he would become sullen, extraordinarily critical, and verbally cruel. My inability to stop the escalating tension was amplified if I tried to leave the room - the former abuser would just follow me and attempt to goad me into a verbal altercation. I would literally beg the abuser to leave it alone as my helplessness intensified until, backed into the proverbial corner, I would turn and fight back. Rather than sock the abuser in the lip, I would just scream back at him until I would, invariably, break down into tears while the abuser would rant and rave about whatever would be most demeaning for me, and advantageous for him.

This was followed by long periods of silence from the abuser with me apologizing profusely for the fight and begging for a dialogue - the Silent Treatment could go on for days. When the abuser would deem that I was sufficiently contrite, he would launch into his pontifications during which he would dissect my faults and frailties, and issue his demands on how I was to correct them to his satisfaction. Then, there would be a period of "peaceful" cohabitation until the abuser felt the need to remind me of my lowly status by either beating the crap out of me via "horseplay," or via spousal rape. Just a gentle reminder that I was powerless.

Of course, there were other predictable patters with regard to finances and other aspects, but they were 100% predictable, without fail. For example, a spending orgy would follow a particularly intense cycle of abuse and/or violence using either a source of credit, or by the abuser "deferring" necessary financial obligations to fund the spending spree. Since the abuser insisted that he had our financial obligations "under control," I didn't ask questions, lest the "good time" end (absence of abuse). Now, the following month's bills would come in with past-due balances PLUS the current balances, and the abuser would take out his frustrations on me in some manner to remind me, again, that I was not only powerless, but the source of all of his financial woes. At times, the abuser would even spend money in anticipation of funds forthcoming - like the lottery! This is completely true and goes to show the depth of the abuser's own sense of entitlement: he took out a 6000 loan based upon his belief that he was "due" to win the lottery! When I broke my back and ruptured 2 disks, the abuser began spending and opening new (secret) credit accounts to FURTHER spend because he believed that my dreadful injury was going to result in a huge settlement. When the fabled Money Tree failed to come into bloom, the abuser would then campaign for me to beg "loans" from my parents with assertions that "they can afford it," and, "they OWE ME for taking care of their daughter!"

Predictability - it took me a long time to see the obvious patterns that were so prevalent. The abuser's sudden outbursts, violence, and rages were never predictable, but the overall patterns sure were.

Familiarity - people tend to stick with what they know. Change means RISK. For a victim of domestic violence and abuse, RISK means failure. Any time a victim attempt to outguess their abuser and do something different to avoid further victimization, those "risks" are met with catastropic consequences. An indivual with a healthy sense of Self understands that risk can be a very good thing, and that a mistake wi8ll not cause the Earth to stop rotating on her axis. When I told her of my plan to divorce and the abuse that I had endured, my own mother responded with a furious, "the devil that you know is better than the one you don't!" Now, what kind of sh*t is that to tell one's adult child who means to save her own life? Familiarity breeds and cultivates apathy - we can't FIX it, so why bother taking any action? The apathy becomes akin to a favorite comfy chair, or blanket - we settle into the comfy chair and we don't have to endure breaking in a new one to fit us. We wrap ourselves in the familiar blanket and can recognize its aroma and texture so that the apathy becomes a false comfort - we don't have to put forth any effort of familiarizing ourselves with a new blanket.

Life is, itself, a "risk." We don't know if we'll be struck by lightning, perish in a natural disaster, or live to be 104. Risk can be very rewarding on every level. Copernicus risked being burned alive as a heretic and laid the first brick in the path to the stars. Stephen Hawking risked his reputation on a theore5ttical idea. I've risked and lost financially by starting a small business. Mistakes? Certainly, mistakes have been made and that is precisely how we learn. We try, acknowledge the mistake, and we try a different approach.

To remain in an abusive environment effectively renders the victim a sterile organism incapable of realizing the joy of their true potential. Fear of "failure" prevents a victim from experiencing the sheer joy of living. If you're even just thinking about taking the first step towards becoming whom, and what, you were meant to be, please visit the website http://www.ndvh.org
to learn some of the options that are available.

We each have Some Purpose in this earthly lifetime, and being an object of abuse is not one of them!

Brightest blessings!

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Comments (18 of 18):
Re: I stayed becau… msavo… 9 y
Re: Non-romantic N… Soulf… 11 y
Re: Accepting "Tru… Soulf… 11 y
Re: Accepting "Tru… Athin… 11 y
Indeed, no remedy.… Soulf… 11 y
Re: False Hope kerminator 11 y
what the heck?! SoulfulSu… 11 y
ACK! Double post… Soulf… 11 y
Re: Fear and Explo… womba… 11 y
This IS a touchy s… Soulf… 11 y
Powerlessness of C… Soulf… 11 y
Re: Spirituality, … Soulf… 11 y
Re: Spirituality, … #1161… 11 y
Re: The "Sex Facto… Soulf… 11 y
Re: The "Sex Facto… Soulf… 11 y
Re: Divide, Conque… Soulf… 11 y
Re: Divide, Conque… #7883… 11 y
Re: Divide, Conque… Soulf… 11 y
All Comments (18)

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