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From My Heart: Abuse

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 23:13:00
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To Whom It May Concern:

Hello, it’s me again. Just one person talking to another from the heart. I would like to talk about physical and mental abuse. This is one part of my life that has affected me profoundly. Growing up in the area that I did, I was witness to, victim of, and perpetrator of abuse. It seemed to be all around me. It was in my home, my friends’ and neighbors’ homes, out on the streets; it seemed like I couldn’t escape it. Due to this, I have seen so much destruction in my life. I have seen it leave families barely existing.

I always knew in my heart that this type of behavior was wrong, because how could I say I love someone, and treat them so disrespectfully with no regard for how they feel or how my abuse impacts their life? I wouldn’t physically and mentally abuse myself. If someone is important to me, and I spend my life with her and she is the mother of my kids, why would I impose any type of abuse upon her? It was my erroneous impression that abuse was a form of control, but I came to realize that no one is in control of anyone else. That is just an illusion. I learned that abuse just took her out of her first nature, which is nurturing. She needs to nurture our kids, and for me to take her out of that state of mind exposed my complete disrespect and dishonor to my own family.

Above all else, I truly believe it is my duty to take care of my family. I was always told that the man was the head of the household. Some of us men mistake that for a dictatorship. I have learned over the years that I want to be the head of my household, I want to know what is going on because it is my job to be concerned about my family. I have realized, though, thankfully at a young age, that I must put my wife in a secure and respectful position in my life, which means she’s in a position to respect me and look up to me as her husband. The only way to achieve this is to communicate with her respectfully and reasonably, listen to her and encourage her self expression and individuality, at the same time working towards mutually agreed upon goals.

Many say that people don’t change. To me they’re saying that people should just continue wrong behavior with no hope of forgiveness or progression. Everyone has the capacity for change. Every man and woman I know who has dealt with this and has made a change in their life came to the same conclusion. They accepted the truth – it is wrong to abuse anyone, mentally or physically. As a man it is one of the weakest things you can do. It takes away from your power. It is a misuse of the natural power and strength that men are born with. It is disrespectful. How can I say I love my kids if I would hurt the person that brought them into this world.

We as men have a lot of healing to do. We need to confront our past experience of witnessing and receiving abuse and then our own use of abuse as a tool to control those we love. We have to forgive ourselves and ask for forgiveness. This process will break the cycle. Until we forgive ourselves, we will not make the necessary changes to discontinue unhealthy behaviors. When we accept the truth it can hurt. A good cry can be very cleansing, and after that the healing can begin. It is very important to get to know yourself – your strengths and weaknesses, your insecurities – at any age so you can become an understanding, reasonable man.  1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong.”

Please don’t think this type of behavior is limited to one type of person or any particular group of people or specific neighborhoods. Through my travels and walk through life I have seen it everywhere – in other ethnicities and economic backgrounds, young and old, tall and short, etc. These are just my experiences. If I have reached the heart of just one person, I will feel I have been of some worth today. I am not judging anyone, so please do not judge me.
Your Humble Servant

 
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