Abuse has nothing to do with Love, It’s about Control!
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I was sitting at the table. My face smeared with the dinner which I had prepared. For him. For us. He had taken me by my hair and shoved my face into the plate. Hard. Viciously. Then told me to clean up “my” mess. Humiliated. Angry. Terrified. Ashamed. This was not the first time. Nor would it be the last. My primordial instinct was to KILL. But I didn’t. I stayed.
I had the proverbial fairy tale wedding. At the time, I did not know that I was pregnant. Three months later, I was divorced. In retrospect, all of the signs were there. Somehow, I chose not to think them through. At times, during my short-lived marriage, I had to sleep outside. In winter. With only my pyjamas to shield me from the elements. Heavily pregnant.
To escape the reality of my domestic hell, I turned the tables in the workplace. I would be the aggressor. I would be in control. I would take you out, before you had even contemplated it. I became the abuser. I did what I had to do. This had a profound effect on my daughter’s perspective on life: my hate and anger became the boogieman with which she learnt to solve her own life adversities.
What I only realised later, is that there is always a bigger bully than what you are. As time went on, I was subjected to many of my peers who proved to be even bigger and worse “bullies” than what I was. I was flabbergasted.
During my 25 years of reign and rule in the corporate world, I became resentful that I was being abused to do better and to participate in “instructions” that I was not comfortable with. Life had turned the tables on me. I was not pleased. My feeble attempt at dealing with this, was to become even more aggressive and even more alienated from who I really was. The more I was “abused” the more I let it filter down into my depths to achieve targets and to achieve the wishes of my peers. I was a person who wanted to be accepted and no matter how I resented some of the situations, I was not a quitter and neither was I going to let anyone see that I was being affected by this. I was bartering with my soul.
Abuse and or bullying became part of my facade (the mask). Although I had my own morals and values (of which some left much to be desired), I started on a path of self-abuse and self-destruction – just to be accepted.
Stop! I did not physically hurt myself and I am aware of a lot of people who revert to self-harm, I just became so hard on Nelie. The more I wanted everyone to like me, the more I started disliking myself. I looked in the mirror for years, justifying my various actions. If you look hard enough, you will find a reason – I was first-rate at that.
I was so trapped in this vicious cycle of abuse that I lived various practices of it in:
- WORK ENVIRONMENT
I became prolific at wearing a mask for each occasion. I was dishing it out as much as I was receiving it. I do, however, wish to say that not all people were like that. I shall, in my talks, truly go deeper into how I justified my actions when I was bullied or abused and how, in turn, I could justify to MYSELF why I had to make another persons’ life miserable. Sad, isn’t it?
In 2016 I made a firm decision to no longer be a victim of abuse or bullying of any kind. Even better…..I had made that decision to stop. Right then. The buck stopped with me! I started morphing into the person who stood up to her abusers and bullies. This also became the person who would no longer subject anyone to her abuse or bullying any longer. She became the victor! I started to sincerely care about myself and started looking at situations and people in a totally different light.
I made a promise to myself that I would never, ever be an abuser or a bully again – and I am proud to say that I am a woman of my word. I have become the defender of the underdog. A nurturer of all of the broken and hurt. I now look in the mirror and see a happy Nelie: a strong, independent woman who will fight for the rights of ALL who ever find themselves in such hopelessness. My experience was that I have the power to choose my battles and that I cannot please everyone.
You need to do what is best for you. Through becoming a restored person, you will “take yourself out” of certain situations where you are either the abuser or the one being being abused.
Practice the PAUSE method:
u PAUSE …….YOU PRAY! I assure you that you will find another manner of dealing with that particular hurtful emotion.
Many of us face some kind of bullying or abuse daily. I do not preach that this is going to go away miraculously, as Good and Evil will always be in conflict in our daily lives. You might choose to be good, but this does not mean that Evil will stop haunting and attacking you from all directions. In fact: quite the opposite often happens. As God reminds us in Ephesians 6:12 “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (NLT) Remember that this battle starts within yourself. Every day.
The one thing I can promise you, is that you will have to cut ties with people – sometimes even family, or very good friends, or your job….but stay true to yourself and stay the course. Remain focussed on doing what is best for you and stop trying to please the world around you. Instead of dying a little more each day, you will become a warrior of note….standing on the victory which is already promised you! This is where you will build your strong character to deal with life as it happens.
I truly do believe that most times when I failed in life, it was because I quit too soon and reverted to a counter attack which had the perfect recipe for yet another stressful event….and so it goes…on and on…until you learn to not give up. Now I DO NOT QUIT being positive. I love and live in peace. I have God and Faith to hold onto even if it is like a hurricane outside. I have thrown anchor in a strong port, to which I always return after the storm.