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Domestic Abuse is Not just about Beefy, Steroidal, Entitled, Misogynistic Football Players Having a Bad Day….

13 Oct

Well, this month we recognize Domestic Violence Awareness, and a good thing, too. Emotional and physical abuse is far more prevalent and ubiquitous than most of us believe. It's not just beefy, steroidal, misogynistic football players punching out their wives in elevators and then hauling off their unconscious bodies like a cheap sack of potatoes.

And no way is it limited to the underprivileged, or women, or the young, or the non-white, either.

If you want to do a quick breaking of stereotype, think old, wealthy, white guy in wheelchair, who's a little annoying because he's pretty deaf and quasi-paralyzed and hard to move around, who's receiving home health care from a private provider, and you'll have another profile of who gets screamed at, beaten, sadistically teased, over- controlled, pushed around, robbed, derided, mortified and terrified. The guy's kids either haven't a clue what's going on, don't care, or behave just as badly as the caregiver.

No segment of the population is immune.

We need to stop blaming the victim and criticizing sufferers, and instead start helping them out more.

I for one am really sick of hearing people ask 'Why would anyone stay?' in that familiar, superior tone. YO, it's a very complicated business, being stuck in an abusive relationship, and it's not explained by simple black and white answers. It generally sneaks up on people, and they don't know they're trapped and unhappy and getting clobbered unfairly til it's way too late.

I love the answers one leader-advocate gave in an interview on the radio one day, shortly after the Ray Rice debacle. This was a very smart, articulate, educated, middle class woman, with everything going for her, or so it seemed. But she was in a marriage where she got pounded regularly, and the pounding got more and more punishing and dangerous as time went on.

To the question, Why did you stay? she replied, Because I wanted my kids to have a father.

And to the question, Why did you finally leave? she replied, Because I wanted my kids to have a mother.

Some people don't gather the considerable energy and awareness it takes to leave until they see what it's doing to their kids, and then they leave for them.

Some never leave – they've been rendered too disabled by years of soul-killing abuse and personality deconstruction. They've been under someone's thumb for so long, they don't see anything else.

The best description of this cycle of abuse in all its varieties, and what to do about it, is here: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm

Check it out and you'll know everything you need to know, for yourself, your clients, your friends or that family member you've always wondered and worried about.

9266bAnd if you're interested in a resource designed to reverse that loss of self-agency and self-esteem in the person you know who's been on the nasty end of an abusive relationship – the poundee, as it were – check out our Domestic Violence Recovery Pack, used in many shelters, self-help support groups and even prisons, not to mention by therapists and family counselors nationwide.

This might be just the intervention to get your friend, loved one or family member off the dime and into a safer, healthier situation. Or it can provide just the right amount of internal ballast to get them to a live counselor, support group or shelter. Or it can set the groundwork for them to eventually make a move, even while staying put, by providing a little healthy, nurturing self-care – a reversal of all the accumulated, demeaning messages floating around in that oppressed psyche. It's a start.

Our pack includes our imagery and affirmations for posttraumatic stress; depression; panic attacks; heartbreak, abandonment & betrayal; and for renewing self-confidence. Because it's a pack, we can lower the price from $90 to $63 in the hard copy CDs: and from $60 to $44 in the MP3 downloads.

Other singles that can do the job: Self-Esteem, Anger & Forgiveness, Ease Grief, Positive Change, Relieve Stress, Healthful Sleep. Any place is a start!

Take care and be well,

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.