Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 667 (Tidbits)

Messages about nurturing those who have been victims of abuse appear on Blake4d's blog for the Day 667 entry, but what is a little different on this The 800 Days blog post is the idea that abusers also need nurturing.

What? Nurture those who are doing the abusing?

Yes, this is one of the messages I received, loud and clear, from Blake's post.

It's about more than the short term, "happening right now" abuse between abuser and victim... and more about the fact that abuse is a cycle. We aren't going to effectively deal with the abuse problem unless we make long-term plans to do so. Long term focus means looking at the past of abusers, finding out why they are abusive (learning that almost all of those who disrespect and abuse others are acting out or re-enacting some of the abuses that happened to them in the past), how the long-term cycle of abuse works in families and individuals.

Ultimately, abusers have problems - and they need to heal from being victims, themselves, heal from their past, come to terms with the abuses against them from their past - usually their childhood when they were helpless and victim of an abuser who went before them.

"Everyone who victimizes is trying to undo their own cycle." (Blake4d, 4th paragraph)

"We have to nurture some bad and really difficult people. After all, no matter what they did, they are part of the human family [...]" (Blake4d, 5th paragraph)

These statements occur early on in Blake's article and are followed with some bolder statements about why SOME people commit atrocious acts against other human beings... while I don't agree with all the later statements - rather, I think Blake has generalized on some concepts - the statements are blunt and will make a reader think about some heavy realities that are in our midst concerning abuse, murder, even evil.

Don't worry - though the article is packed with punch, it's not overly long. Perhaps Blake just wanted to stir up some concepts for us to think about so that we can start to imagine each our own part in doing something to end various cycles of abuse... Certainly, though Blake has given a broad solution (ie: "we need to nurture everyone, including the abusers") that is very sound, this solution is going to manifest in different ways for different people and the variety of actions people decide to engage in to nurture others will be diverse and complex.

For a lot of people, the "nurture the abusers" is an entirely new (and probably distasteful) concept, so it will take a long while for some people to engage in some kind of positive action involving nurturing. Some people are never going to come to terms with people who abuse others and will always think in the short term, never allowing themselves to humanize the abuser as someone who most likely had been a victim of another abuser in the past. I think that even THOSE WHO CANNOT SEE THE ABUSER AS A HUMAN BEING also need a great deal of nurturing.

In my opinion, even before the first slap, yell, punch or shove occurs between any two human beings, FIRST - the abuser dehumanizes the human being he/she is going to harm. The connection between "dehumanization of a human being" and the act(s) of abuse, to me, show that those who will not come to terms with those who abuse - are also committing abuse of a certain type...I am quite wary of those who refuse to see all human beings as human beings. Any sort of dehumanization is dangerous, in my opinion. Our jails in North America and around the world are full of people who live in a dehumanizing environment... there are numbers comparable to the size of entire cities inside secure walls with bars on windows - incarcerated - who have all been abused before they turned around and continued their cycle of abuse. And for all that, they receive no nurturing, no way to heal or come to terms with whatever happened in their earliest past that helped them turn into abusers themselves.

Please, someone, tell me that we, as human beings, can find a way to see the humanity in other human beings and stop viewing some of our human members as objects.

It's quite obvious that I agree very much with most of Blake's Day 667 post, isn't it? I wholeheartedly agree with the call to action about nurturing our brothers and sisters, both victims of abuse and abusers. I believe that until we can see others as human beings, we are, ourselves, capable of abusing others, all of us. If we can't see others as human beings and have dehumanized them in our minds, we have the potential to treat those people as objects and cause harm. For this reason alone, it is important for us to nurture others and view them as human beings - and we can each do some healing, ourselves, along the way.

The Day 667 post is associated with Tuesday February 22 2011