The Abusive Relationship as a Lesson in Resilience?

from abuse to resilient

resilient survivor woman


There is much more information about how to identify emotional abuse, than  about the process of breaking free and healing from it. The preferred solution for the victim seems to be to leave both, the abusive partner and the abusive situation. For the abuser himself, if he is not done with this behavior, now he has the job of finding another person submissive enough as to occupy the role of new victim.

Thinking about this lack of information and resources, and asking the question several times: where are the resources for overcoming abuse? I discovered that the experience of being abused is extremely common, and that each one of us has to find his/her own way out of the victim role.

An abusive relationship can be considered a “Sacred Contract,” as Carolyn Myss would say, that we enter into with the objective of learning some life lessons.

Here is a new view of their abusive relationship as a contract for learning through pain. Remember that we are born in this life with a purpose to accomplish? Remember that we are supposed to discover which purpose each one of us needs to realize, and then apply all our energies and skills to do it?

If we came to this world with a purpose, and we need to learn some skills in life to be able to accomplish our life mission, then entering into very difficult situations, like emotional abuse including some of them so risky that one can end battered, severely wounded or emotionally hurt, is part of the program….and has the purpose of teaching us resilience.

Which skills are those? Resilience is composed from several others: patience, stubbornness, strategy to learn from the enemy how to outsmart him/her, endurance as not to forget that the objective is not win the war but to survive; even humor in desperate situations is a good skill.

Of course, not everybody reading this paper will accept this frame, and most of you could be hurt thinking that I’m promoting using pain to teach others….Not so: is life that presents us with challenges, all along our given time, up until the last one which will kill us. Meanwhile, each challenge big or small is presented to teach us some lesson to make us wiser or stronger.

Most of us didn’t consciously select an abusive husband to live with; but it happened and abuse appeared in our lives without our invitation.

Is not necessary to have been interned in a concentration camp to learn survival skills; it is only necessary to look around when in a painful situation, like being abused by a loved one, and ask yourself the question: “What do I need to learn from this situation”? Why am I here under emotional abuse? Perhaps the answer is: to learn to stand up against injustice; perhaps is: to be aware of your own needs and learn how to express them clearly…perhaps is so simple as this lesson: don’t let another person decide for you what you really want or need to do.

Is exactly this frame the only one which allows more individual empowering for people like you. We could provide the list (and we do) of the aspects which define the victimization of a person; what we also aspire here is to provide a hint about the second question:

Why is it that at this moment of my life, an abuser appears? Or, in some other life stories, where women find a second husband as abusive as the first one, why is it?

If the “victim” can identify which of her needs has invited the victimizer to start using the abusive behavior, then this is her moment of power! Is like your are doing some behavior that opens a door, then abuse is invited/allowed in/tolerated.

If you didn’t send such signal to the would-be abuser, he would then move on to more inviting people…as they are always in the prowl to identify who can be a suitable partner for an abusive relationship. When you love yourself as much as to stop an abusive comment and nip it in the bud, you send the signal that you don’t take abuse as part of the relationship.

Here you know why; you know that when your lesson is learned, the abuse will drop out, either the relationship will improve or it will end. The power resides in the simple fact that now, the episode of abuse corresponds to a developmental need of the supposed “victim”. When she has learned her lesson, or understood why the need to include this experience in her life presented itself, she will move on.

So, now, the power is in the hands of a person who, needing some higher learning lesson, accepts an implicit contract to enter into a temporary abusive situation with someone else. Once you know this, then you know how  stop the lesson, learning your resilience skills in the process and move on with your life!

The victimizer person, reciprocally, needs to learn the urgent lesson about how to stop imposing himself on others by abuse or violence, and is counting unconsciously on the help of the “victim” to learn how to stop and change. Want to learn more?

Emotionally Abusive Relationships: Your Guide to Healing from Emotional Abuse in Marriage and Divorce



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