From sanctuary to the storm

Something took me away from sanctuary, out of a haven. Back into the cold of my past.

It is being relived. Being abused is like having your self-esteem gouged out, day by day.

Looking for things to do outside the home, locking doors, trying to work out the abuse-cycle, trying to appease the abuser to offer a day’s respite, checking mistakes haven’t been made. Anything to avoid stepping on a mine and triggering another wave of abuse.

There is no way to avoid it. The cause of abuse is not in you. It is in them.

The worst thing about abuse is that it truncates my natural impulse to love, to be open, to be an emotional being. Perhaps this is the world saying such feelings are for utopia, that the world is a darker place than humanism would have you think.

You cannot love an abuser. You cannot heal them or be there for them. You cannot do anything for them. Nor should you strive to.

They understand silence and force. Nothing else. It is not your responsibility to change them, but to find your way to safety.

Everything they do is manipulative, to the end of breaking you down. A false sense of concern ‘I went into your things to make you comfortable.’

False sense of duty: ‘How can you treat your parents like that?’

(Never mind the question ‘How can you treat your children like that?’ It does not occur to the abuser’s mind.)

False sense of victimization: ‘Why won’t you listen to me, you are undermining me.’

You cannot feel any sense of guilt or failure, for you have done nothing wrong. Nor a sense of frustration that someone is attacking you for no reason. The world is full of chaos, chaotic people and chaotic happenings. This is its axiom.

You cannot feel pity or sympathy for these people. It is almost as if they are not people. They are hollow shells, untreated wounds, drained of dignity, now come to drain you. Wraiths in human form, too dangerous to be pitiable. To be an abuser is to be supremely ignorant, to attack outwards and never look in.

They are why I believe evil is a force in the world, a historical-psychological blight upon the psyche of mankind, carried through the ages. I have spent my whole life confronting this reality, it is not something I found through ‘enlightenment’.

Why don’t people who are being abused just leave? Why don’t they turn to help?

When you are under constant anxiety and pressure it is hard to find a way out, especially in a society where even normal people are struggling.

When your energy is drained every day by abusive people, when you are emotionally truncated and numbed, it is hard to see friends and return to the reality of your true self. Who you are is lost in the mire of another person’s endless abuse.

And of course there is the emotional attachment to the abuser. It is tragic that we developed a sense of attachment to parents as a means of ensuring our survival and yet it can so easily be an instinct against our own survival. To be falsely attached to dangerous, abusive people.

Abuse is like having your self stolen from you, destroyed grain by grain.

It is a dead end. There is no path through it. The only thing you can do is leave.

Gather yourself as much as you can whilst you are there, look for the next rational step, and take it.

The suffering is for nothing. There is no purpose. This abuser has no centre and no goal. A broken, scattered creature tossed out into the world, a vortex which will suck others in and destroy them.

You cannot use reason and you cannot expect Order to triumph in an abuser’s castle.

Every day, attacked and belittled. My ability to love truncated and battered. I cannot bend and I cannot break, I am too strong for that now. But I can be diminished and have more of my days wasted, that much is clear now.

But I came back to this environment from a sense of safety. Why?

The sanctuary was itself stifling. Something deep inside wanted to return, to re-experience abuse as an adult. The inner-child, ignored and defiled, would lead to eventual death of the soul and the degeneration of the self into an abuser.

To return to abuse was the most direct way to force the self to integrate the wounded child again. To become whole again. This is in alignment with Yin/Yang philosophy – that opposites are not only part of the whole but compliment it.

You are never less afraid of a lion then when you share its cage and you have just defeated it. You love yourself never more than when you must recover yourself from attack.

(But this is dangerous work and not to be taken lightly. Work to be taken only when truly ready).

That moment of triumph is the greatest psychological height I can possibly reach, as someone with a past strewn with rage and abuse.

That is what it feels like to break the cycle. It is necessary, dark work. The world can open up, but how frightening it is to be back here, navigating these shadowy halls.

Every day is a massive gain in self-knowledge and can even be an improvement in strength. But the background anxiety is high and the direct damage of being directly abused should not be underestimated. This is not forever. That would itself be death.

Something took me away from utopia, comfort and peace. Perhaps the human mind cannot ever truly accept that it has reached a good place for too long. Perhaps we seek out things to struggle against until the day we die. That we need more than safety and security alone.

I chose to come back here and not out of a sense of masochism. I came back here because to move forward, or even know where forward is, you must return to the start.