When the victim becomes the tyrant #abuse #recovery
Abusers wear away our self-confidence, self-respect, self-trust and self-worth. But abusers aren’t easy to spot in the beginning, because they don’t act like abusive tyrants on the “first date”. Instead, abusers attract us initially with compliments and kudos mixed with a dose of self-loathing.
“You’re so good at that!!! I’d love to be as good at that as you are. And you’re so beautiful when you do it. I wish I were beautiful.”
For people with compassion, we’re flattered while we simultaneously believe we can help the abuser gain their own recipe for self-confidence and self-love. The moment we get the “itch to fix”, we’re hooked and the cycle of abuse begins. Soon, the very things the abuser praised us for being and doing, become the very things the abuser uses to condemn us.
“How dare you think you’re so smart? How dare you think you’re better at that than I am? How dare you think you’re so perfect and beautiful? You are so self-righteous! You need help!”
We’re left scratching our heads, apologizing profusely, asking how we can make it right, promise not to carelessly harm the abuser again and vow to work harder to be a better person.
Do you see what happens when we make the choice to feed into the abuser’s attacks? We forget, dismiss and down play our humanity. We judge ourselves and absorb all responsibility for how we made the abuser feel. We end up abusing ourselves from the inside out when we permit another human being to shit on us for being us. So not only are we getting pummeled from the outside by the abusers, we’re getting pummeled even harder from the inside by ourselves.
It’s not easy to break the abuse cycle or walk away from abusive relationships. But many of us have left and remain immersed in the inner cycle of abuse, which keeps us hyper-over reactive in all relationships. We lose people. We lose jobs. We lose trust. And it’s all because we’re unable to see that the abusive tyrant is now living inside of us.
Our inner tyrant is resentful. Our inner tyrant is suspicious and trusts no one. Our inner tyrant moves from a place of fear and not from a place of heart-centered self-love. Soon, our inner tyrant becomes an outer tyrant and lashes out and ambushes people with the same words our abusers once used to tear down our self-confidence and self-trust.
The victim has now become the tyrant creating new victims.
How do we stop this insane cycle of abuse? How do we stop resenting people and stop projecting our inner tyrant onto them accusing them of being the tyrant? The process isn’t any easy one, but there are a few conscious steps you can start taking today:
- Recognize that you’re doing this and choose not to be ashamed about it. Hurt people hurt people, but you have the power to break the cycle.
- Let go of thinking you have to be right or that you must have all the answers now in order to feel or be perceived as worthy. No one knows everything; we’re all a work in progress.
- Shift your mind away from fear and toward love every time you sense hate, criticism or anger bubbling to the surface.
None of us wants to harm anyone. None of us wants to be abusive. But we can’t pretend we’re doing the best we can if we’re leaving people scratching their heads and wondering how they hurt us when it was our inner tyrant doing the harm all along.
Let go of the inner tyrant, so you can say hello to abundant inner and outer love.
Paula Carrasquillo, MA, RYT-200
yoga teacher and health coach
Work with me! If you’re interested in learning powerful tools and techniques to transform your body, mind and spirit and open new pathways to healing and reaching your highest potential self, contact me to learn about the programs and services I offer.
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