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can women be abusers?

Without belittling the violence suffered by women at the hands of men,

women can be abusers too

so there are men out there abused by women.
The set-up is similar, although women mostly seem to use manipulation, verbal and emotional abuse.
At least that’s what I’ve spotted so far.
In addition, I think a man is much less likely to open up to anyone and ask for help.
And let’s not forget that believing that a woman/mother can be abusive is much harder. Perhaps because subconsciously she is assigned the role of the “primary protector“?
Whatever the set-up is, we can help an abused person by simply
listening to them without doubt or judgement.
Because only they can decide what their next step will be.

Abuse can be verbal and emotional, not just physical.

And while a slap hurts physically, I’d liken
emotional abuse to poison slowly dripping over a long time.
It takes a lot of time to notice it, but also to acknowledge it afterwards. Although there is no physical trace or contact, it is still just as destructive.
It’s invisible, destroying the other person from within.
What if we are less likely to see a woman as an abuser because she is the “weaker sex”. Is that perhaps why we often turn a blind eye?
And it is not only men who suffer from such a woman, but also her children.
It can take a lifetime to heal from the devastation caused by such a mother if you even dare to face the reality of your childhood.

I salute all who stepped up to break the family pattern.


Here is my hand.

Tears (of manipulation) i.e. how are your boundaries?

We are seemingly prone to give in when we see tears. I wonder why?

👇 👇👇

Children have seemingly endless creativity to convince, coerce, persuade their parents to change that NO into a YES.

Those crocodile tears do not necessarily flow like a river because they are hurt, sometimes they just simply do not want to accept that NO as an answer. I was too a kid once 😊

Tears seem to work most of the time.

Even when adults cry for the same reason.

We are seemingly prone to give in when we see tears.

I wonder why we give up our boundaries so easily?

I do not know for sure, but my guess is that our subconscious pulls out a formula that drives us to give in.

Even if it is about nothing else but trying to push those boundaries. Which adults do too. However, they usually do it very consciously.

Tears can manipulate us to say YES when we want to say NO.

Sticking to our NO is tricky because we need to do two important things. And we must do both:

  1. We need wisdom to determine if those tears are genuine or manipulative.
  2. If the latter we must believe that keeping our choice of NO
  3. will do no harm and
  4. it does not mean lack of love.

Sometimes our NO originates in our self-care – which is paramount for our own wellbeing.

Other times it is for their benefit (just think of bringing up children). It can be good in the short term, but mostly it is good for the long term. Even if it is painful now.

When we say NO we teach the other person (whether a child or an adult) as well:

  1. By “enforcing” them to respect our boundaries they can exercise self-control.
  2. As role models we show it is ok to say NO, teaching them not to be afraid of setting boundaries.

If we love them, we must take on healthy confrontations with them in order to teach them about boundaries.

Love without boundaries is not love.

More about #love here

Here is my hand.

Resilience journey #3 – what is unconditional love?

Resilience also means discerning information.

I have heard recently in an interview with an HR person – speaking briefly about the origins of narcissism – that unconditional love (as with neglect) can lead to a child becoming narcissist. My eyebrows lifted into question marks, but as they kept talking I quickly realized where their argument went all wrong.

They made a tally between unconditional love and spoiling children. By spoiling they meant buying and giving everything to a child that they want.

It seemed for me unconditional love is often misunderstood, so I think it is worth defining it so we can avoid later confusions.

In a nutshell I see unconditional love as loving someone regardless of their actions.

Loving unconditionally means we love them for who they are, while we can still strongly disagree with what they do.

Loving the person and not affirming their actions are not mutually exclusive. It is part of resilience.

This is how parents should treat their children. Loving them to bits but not approving of or affirming their bad behaviour or wrongful actions.

No question, it means a lot of confrontation – but this is how children learn how to handle disagreements, how to set up and keep boundaries.

They do not do what we parents say, but they do as we do.

We are being watched all the time by them, and

they learn how to live life by examining the concordances and discrepancies between our speeches and our acts.

They learn what is important and what is not, whether we do as we say, or not. I see this as a huge responsibility of adults – not only of parents, but aunts and uncles, grandparents, teachers, and coaches.

More importantly, this is when and where the children develop a solid inner foundation of their identity, which they can rely on when facing challenges.

This is when

they learn they have the right to say no.

They’ll learn it also means having the option of walking away from any situation they feel is uncomfortable, and that others’ opinions about them are not necessarily objective reflections.

This is the time when children

develop their identity of “who I am”,

so we can save them the hard part of re-establishing themselves from “what I am” to “who I am” in their later years. It is a gradual process, the older they get the more they should start setting up their own boundaries, so they can practice protecting themselves – physically and mentally.

So by the time they step out into “life” they have learnt to say no and not be afraid to stick to it, or be shaken to the core by any negative feedback, and hopefully identifying attempts of manipulation and dodge them – because they have carefully set up their boundaries.

Boundaries are essential parts of life.

If we do not have any boundaries, at the right distance, or firm enough, we easily take on undesirable impacts from outside which can cause huge damage to us.

How to reconcile love with boundaries?

Just think of parenting – if a child faces no boundaries in their upbringing how hard will they find life, which is full of them, e.g. what age one can start driving and under what conditions, having a job means getting to work on time, not when it suits, respecting others, obeying police officers, and countless other situations.

I strongly believe a child brought up without being taught about boundaries is yet to experience true love.

So reflecting on the topic at the start of this article, unconditional love does not mean the lack of boundaries.

Love without boundaries is not love.

Here is my hand.