Abuse and power
Abuse and power are very closely related. As an abused child you would experience a huge feeling of powerlessness, this may lead you to want to become powerful in the future. Now that you are an adult you may have been drawn to a similar situation in order to re-enact your abuse – only this time you are the one with the power. If you are still carrying your powerlessness into your adult life you may be drawn to victimizing children – who are much more vulnerable than adults and can easily be over powered.
It is important to feel power, but you must learn to distinguish between feeling powerful and having power over others.
Feeling power involves self confidence, feeling self assured, aware of your feelings and beliefs, and being able to communicate them with others. Having power over others is no difference to the power your abuser had over you.
Learning to control any abusive tendencies is an important step in the healing process. Your feelings that you had to repress during your childhood are waiting inside ready to burst out at the slightest hint of trouble. These outbursts are usually uncontrollable and can be combined with violence, hence continuing the abusive circle.
To break the abuse circle you need to acknowledge to yourself that you are being abusive. This first step breaks the denial. You must then realise that you are responsible for your behaviours, this gives you the confidence and self control to tackle the behaviour. Once you have accepted responsibility for your actions you will begin to recognise certain signs that will warn you when your behaviour is unacceptable. You are probably aware of trigger actions that already occur before an outbreak. Once you have identified you are becoming abusive you need to use the self control you developed earlier and take a break. Nothing more complicated than walking away from the situation. Return after an hour, but make sure you do, that way you will form a trust with the other party. Then sit down and discuss the situation, it will seem far easier after a break – believe me.
Discuss the problem and use your feelings to convey your thoughts. If it gets too much then allow your thoughts to control your feelings. This compromise will help you throughout your recovery.