According to “mentalhelp.net”: the term ‘abuse’ describes a particular type
of relationship between two things. An abusive relationship is one
where one thing mistreats or misuses another thing. The important words
in this definition are “mistreat” and “misuse”; they imply that there
is a standard that describes how things should be treated and used, and
that an abuser has violated that standard.”
As humans, we have the capacity of being conscious of what the “standard” is and then cross the standard in the relationship between us and other humans or things – this is an abusive relationship. According to the same source mentioned above, only humans are capable of abuse towards things and humans themselves from a “conscious” standpoint. Animals and nature in general is unconscious and therefore no matter how violent it becomes, it is not abusive as it doesn’t hold premeditated intention or consciousness.
Too many definitions that might get boring at times, but are essential for diving into the question: why do I tolerate abusive behaviors from others? Let’s go back to your last experience or abusive behavior (mental, emotional, physical abuse, even self abuse..) – what was the situation? How was your experience? And who was present? Was the child in you accepting the situation because this is what you have always known? Does it feel like you are incapable of defending yourself? Do you fall back to old patterns? Maybe blushing and becoming numb from inside?
Accepting abuse isn’t shameful. And if you have a judgement on it and being afraid to speak up and get help please continue reading. Accepting to be treated in certain ways that make you feel physically and/or emotionally hurt is a symptom of a deeper cause. It stems from your own self worth and self image that has developed early on in your life. As a person, you deserve to be treated with kindness, love and compassion just like everyone else. You deserve peace in your heart, comfort and a healthy relationship with everyone around you. You deserve to feel the warmth of love and what love feels like.
As your self worth is damaged by your experiences throughout life, you create the false idea that you are not worth of love, good life, healthy relationships and then you accept others mistreating you by not setting your boundaries. Setting boundaries is not a norm for you as they (your boundaries) have been breached and walked over early on in your life. But, how do you start setting boundaries?
When you embark on a self finding and personal development journey, you will learn with the help of a professional how to begin setting boundaries in a healthy and adult manner. Setting boundaries is like relearning where you are comfortable, how you are comfortable to be spoken to, interacted with, what keeps you feeling safe and healthy and where is this sweet spot between a challenge, and a boundary that has been crossed. You would want to be challenged, without a healthy challenge life becomes dull. Abuse on the other hand isn’t a healthy challenge.
The essence, your starting point to achieve setting boundaries and refusing to be in any kind of abusive relationship is realizing that you as an individual, are worthy of love. Love from yourself to yourself, from others to yourself, and from yourself towards others. This exchange of love-stemming relationship between you and other humans, animals and potentially things can change the way you perceive yourself (self worth) and is the building block to liberate yourself from any abusive relationship. It all starts from within you, and slowly shines outwards.