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Friday, June 25, 2004

The Five Cycles of Emotional Abuse

The shoe that fits one
person pinches another;
there is no recipe for living
that suits all cases.
~~Carl Gustav Jung~~

The 5 Cycles:

The anger that permeated your home frightened you so badly that it
kept you from thinking for yourself, learning to trust your own judgment
or creating your own paths, as well as left you ill-equipped to deal
with the legitimate emotional reactions of others. The rage of others
you experienced filled you with terror and helplessness. The outbursts
you endured were not a "cry for help" within a relationship. Rather they
were displaced outbursts that the abuser used in order to achieve a sense
of power, control and domination over others.

In your family, there was the expectation that everyone needed to be
together all of the time. There was no place for a closed door for privacy, for individual thoughts. The family was expected to be one enormous entity
with no boundaries separating one from the other. Your joint interests were
mandated and implemented with homemade psychological glue. You acquiesced
because you felt you had no other choice. If those you cared about deeply
tried to enter the family circle, they were treated as outsiders
until or unless they were willing to become part of your family enmeshment.

Extreme Overprotection
Just when you were at the age to express your own individuality and
seek a measure of independence, you were smothered by extreme parental
overprotection. With extreme overprotection, there are the crippling
messages of needing to satisfy parents, being the center of a parent's
happiness, and the inability to be safe without a parent's care.
The result of suffocating individuality and independence in a child
is not only the endangerment of a lack of confidence and inappropriate
expectations, but frequently feelings of guilt.

If you voiced an opinion with which your parents or caregivers did
not agree, they withdrew their love for you, leaving you feeling
isolated and terrified to think for yourself. Only if you agreed with
them completely and saw everything through their eyes, never your
own, would love be shown to you. Understandably, you learned to
view love and control as one and the same, trusting neither.

Complete Neglect
No one was there for you, ever. Your basic needs such as food and
clothing may have been met, but there was never a feeling of emotional
closeness or any substantive conversations. This cycle is in many
ways an extension and extreme case of the rejection/abandonment cycle.
Yet, within it, there is no semblance of calm or acceptance, however
false and fleeting these may be.

0 Broken Heels: