Continued from "Grounds for Divorce"
I highly encourage you to read the following two posts BEFORE reading this one so as to hopefully get a better understanding of what I am trying to communicate: "Semantics, Language & Prophecy" & "Why Criticize a System and Not People?"
If you are short on time, here is a quick summary of these two posts and one more note:
1) I use language as much as I can metaphorically. I use it to paint a picture in a physical world of my abstract world that lies in my mind. Since I can think at a much faster rate than I can write or that you can read or talk...I aim at using descriptive words that are meant to get your attention, turn your ear, to raise an eyebrow. I use language to hopefully get you to think a little deeper, a little harder...perhaps a little different than you have before to see if you can expand your mind...which I strongly believe is a step that is needed for healing and in order to Practice Joy.
2) I am attacking the System of the Church, which is upheld by the Doctrine of the Church and I would argue the cultural System of Patriarchy/Hierarchy. I am not attacking any one person or group of people that make up the Church. I strongly believe it is this System that is driving the people to act they way they do within the Church. I strongly believe that in blaming the System, I can see my fellow brothers and sisters as my fellow humans and NOT AS ENEMIES. It helps me direct my focus, my energies and my love. It helps me extend forgiveness while "keeping up the fight" to set people free from bondage.
It has come to my attention that this series keeps growing as I continue to evolve in my thinking. Because I want people to read each one in the series and because I want to take my time to properly write, rewrite and rework as needed, I will be aiming to publish once a week on Mondays for as long as this subject keeps going.
It also has come to my attention that no matter how much I try to explain myself, my thoughts/beliefs/faith to others, there is most likely always going to be a gap between what I am trying to say and your ability to fully understand what I am trying to say. Since I do not have all the time in the world - neither do you I imagine - I will have to accept that some things will just get "lost in translation" between my brain to yours. With that said, if I might suggest, instead of trying to figure out what I think/believe or the like, may I ask you to turn the focus inwards to your own thoughts? Your own heart? What are your own thoughts? Where can you see yourself in me? Where do we differ? What am I perhaps reflecting back to you that you like or do not like about yourself? What can you learn from what I am saying? What can you discard? What is your own truth, right here, right now, at this very moment for you?
MY THEORY ON ABUSE
I think before we can talk about Spiritual Abuse, I first need to define what I understand abuse to be in this present age.
First I would say that I cannot say this enough: Abuse happens all around us all the time. I would argue that it happens in almost all of our relationships in one form or another.
How can I say this?
- As I've researched, grown, come to awareness on my own...as I've read, studied and interacted with people with more and more consciousness - I see that the fundamental structure of our society is based on the very dynamic that makes abuse thrive: the unconscious desire to control another.
- This unconscious desire is routed in the subliminal notions that Patriarchy sets up in each of us (more to come on this). My theory is that Patriarchy has taught us to disown our own soul - whether male or female.
- When we disown our own soul, we automatically and subconsciously reject our own internal world ==> we reject ourselves ==> we give up control of our own internal world.
- Yet, since we will always look for a way to have some type of control in our lives - we then therefore look to control something external to our own inner world.
- This "looking" for control leads more often than not to other people, even if there are other addictions laying on top. Since people are merely reflections of ourselves...in a way we are looking to control aspects of ourselves through controlling other people.
Said another way:
When I am unable to accept myself, I do not think I have control over myself, my life and my choices. If I think I do not have control over myself, then I do not have to take responsibility for myself. When I do not have to take responsibility for myself, I feel out of control....so I look for ways to get back into control. I've already decided my internal world is not a place I can control so I will look to control outside myself. If I look outside myself for control, I need to find something similar to myself that I can control so it makes me feel like me...so I look for another person similar to me or at least to what I would like my outward world to look like. If this surrogate me starts to show up as NOT ME, then it will throw me back out of control...which I cannot have...so therefore I must make sure their world is the same as mine. This surrogate me must act/say/do everything that I can see myself acting/saying/doing in order for this picture to remain intact...or else it will threaten my picture of myself and my "control" I think I have through you.
Therefore, in order to stay in this world of "control", I must make sure your "separateness" doesn't show up. If it does, I must be sure I reject you as an individual having your own internal world. So instead of allowing you to show yourself as an individual separate from me, I look for ways to shut you down with my language (both verbally and nonverbally) so I can continue to live in denial. In denial that you and are are separate. In denial that I think I really do not have control over my own soul. In denial that I am actually causing harm to another person...because that would mean I am harming myself.
To you, my attempts to keep you as an extension of me, as a surrogate of me...while I see them as loving ways to keep us one...you will experience them as a complete violation of your own internal world. You might not be able to name this violation or describe it...it might just be this internal uneasiness in the pit of your stomach you get...but you hear my words of love and oneness and connection and decide your own internal world must be the problem. So that little "gut check" each time becomes less and less noticeable. Eventually instead of trusting yourself, and since you too have rejected yourself and therefore reject the notion you have the right to control yourself - you look for a way to "balance" yourself with some type of control. The control you have is really no different than mine. It is external to your internal world and looks towards me as a surrogate place to house your control. At first you simply submitted your control to me and allowed me to do the "controlling" for both of us...and that worked great!
You continued to listen to my words that tell you your own internal world is "off", and therefore I continue to have control over you...and in an indirect way over me. And anytime that internal world that we both by now know is "off" - anytime that internal world shows up...well I will gently use words and reminders to nudge you back on track of staying as my segregate. If my gentle reminders do not work, then I will find other means to ensure that we stay on track...I will get louder, uglier and scarier so we can both keep your internal voice from growing too loud.
But then you decided you didn't like me controlling both of us. You decided you didn't like my reality so much and that you had your own view of the world you wanted to show me. Your internal world started to get louder and more defiant, which of course we know is wrong by how obviously wrong it feels for me and therefore you...I'd almost say it was abusive the way you are treating me...like you are trying to control me and make me into something I am not.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Did you catch all that? Did you catch the subliminal way each party begins to think inside a relationship that looks like it is based on mutuality but instead is based on one person wishing to control the other? Did you catch how both parties are really looking for control? How they thought they didn't have the right to control their internal world, so they therefore look externally for ways to "balance" themselves with the control they both feel they need and are entitled to? Do you get a picture of how elusive this abusive pattern is...how hard it is to spot and recognize once it is further down the path? Do you get a sense of how hard it is to keep one's boundaries?
If this all seems very confusing and mind-boggling - that is not just you. Abuse, the power and control dynamic is VERY confusing and hard to unravel...and once unravelled it is very hard to keep it unravelled. There are many reasons for this...which I will continue to address on my blog. For now...
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS: ABUSE IS SUBTLE.
It ALWAYS starts subliminally, underneath the radar...and always starts with little attempts to discredit another. Attempts to invalidate their point of view, whether it is because they are female, or tall, or black or white or Asian, or Latino...we are ALL experts of finding ways to discredit what another says not because of these or other reasons - but simply because the other person is not us...they are an "other." (To fully get this point will take watching all 6 seasons of the series called "Lost.")
HERE IS ANOTHER NOT SO WELL MADE POINT ABOUT ABUSE:
Not all abuse is physical, and not ALL abuse is verbal - but ALL abuse is emotional. Not all abuse leaves physical marks, not all abuse ends with hospitalization and broken bones....but ALL abuse breaks the WILL and soul of both parties and ends up killing the relationship and maybe even the souls of those involved.
TO BE CONTINUED WITH ABUSE: ONE DEGREE OFF