I am questioning the assumptions that define abuse.
|Learning more about abuse
I almost hate to even think about the idea of abuse and how it affects others. I worked on a unit that included those who were victims of abuse and perpetrators of abuse. As one might guess 100 percent of the perpetrators were men and victims were in large part women, which leads one to wonder what happens to woman who have become victims. Is it possible to presume being a victim means that one is innocent and unable to be abusive after all that they have gone through. I sounds good on paper.
I recall vividly being on a chaplain who was asked to be a part of psychodrama. The object of the exercise was for the abused to be exorcised from the demons of abuse. I had no ideal what to expect. The only thing for sure was that someone put a lot of work and imagination into bringing persons back to the moment of abuse, in order that they might confront and let go of emotions that might have been stuffed to protect someone who did not have their best interests in mind!!! Many of the perpetrators were people that thought they could trust until they were betrayed.
As chaplain, I was trusted by the victim to take on the persona of the perpetrator. It was daunting to say the least. I had interviewed with perpetrators prior to this exercise and it felt more like an invitation to dance with the devil. Sure enough the "woman" gets in touch with what it was like to abused and screams at the top of her lungs. The other women who are the witnesses are crying and freaking out. They seem in need of a caring touch or something. I halfway reach toward and am stopped in my tracks. "get away", by the master of ceremonies who is orchestrating the exercise. (I think to myself, what a dummy I am to think I can care if people see me being an actor who is convincing in the least.)
I leave. I guess I did my job. On the other side of the coin I talk with one many perpetrators and it feels awful to think that these people who are scum to many are not easy to read. I recall one interview with a perpetrator and was horrified at all the abuse he himself went through. I was also taken aback that therapy groups saw that persons without knowing it were attracted to each other without knowing that they were perpetrator and abused. The only thing that was clear was that there was little hope of success for cure. It was in the ninetieth percentile against. This does not bode well for the typical man who is a stranger in a new city or town.
It is sobering. I am a new person to a city in a female dominated profession. Sometimes it feels crazy. I am already at a disadvantage before I begin. I can feel the stares. They have no idea about who I am or where I came from. I was able to make very healthy connections with the five male residents. I never felt very comfortable in doing that. In the end I was escorted out of the house because I was not able to do med passes correctly. As I looked back in the mirror, I could not help thinking who was fooling who? I do not honestly believe that all these women are incapable of any kind of abuse, while I as a man am a prime suspect before I even walk on the floor.
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