This is Domestic Abuse — Part 1
The Secret Suffering of Unsuspecting Sensitive Souls by Poisonous Partners Behind Closed Doors.
You may have heard me mention on several podcasts now that I believe, in relation to the chronic condition Endometrosis, that it is The Five P’s Poisons (Produce, Products, Property, Past & People) all combined, that makes Endometriosis such a challenging condition to put in remission, and why the conventional medical route of pain killers, drugs and surgery may aggravate and irritate the already inflamed body.
I have touched on the subject of poisonous or toxic people and their effect on others in the past and how in some extreme cases may actually affect the physical and emotional health in particular to women with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis. The toxicity that is projected has been shown in studies to increase inflammation in the body, negatively affect hormonal levels and hinder the natural healing process.
This underground toxicity may be a partial explanation of why the conditions impact some women with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis for many years.
The Covid-19 crisis has impacted and shocked the world at large. Governments insisted that many communities, families and individuals were encouraged to support one another to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
However, in the attempt to contain the Coronavirus, governments around the world advised their populations to stay at home and/or with family.
Sadly, there is the more ugly side of the pandemic lockdown, for the many individuals who live in an abusive household. Targets who have had no escape from their abuser have had to endure more time contained and isolated in that toxic environment.
At the beginning of June 2020, media outlets and news agencies in the UK (and many other countries) reported a significant surge in domestic abuse calls and reports to charities and police.
It has been quoted that certain domestic abuse helplines saw a rise in calls by 50% and visits to their websites increased by tenfold.
This is incredibly profound and disturbing and goes to show the extent of domestic abuse and mistreatment as an issue.
So today I am going to try to explain more about what I mean about poisonous people or toxic toads and how some of their unpleasant repetitive behaviour is referred to by police and government support agencies and charities as ‘abuse’.
Before I explain what the most common definition of abuse is, it is essential to start by saying that there is absolutely no excuse or justification for any form of abuse.
There is zero excuse for abuse.
Almost four years ago, I thought that abuse referred to the physical type.
For example, if someone physically attacked or hit you that would leave a physical sign and evidence for the unprovoked attack i.e. a bruise, a cut or broken bone.
I had thought that abuse only happened in poorer areas that were perhaps socially deprived and of low economic status in estates and homes.
Again this was what was projected on to me by various films and TV programs.
But this abuse basically happened to other people.
Clearly, any form of abuse is abhorrent and unacceptable but as Gabor Matte, a respected author on the biopsychosocial impact of abuse, i.e. biology, psychology and social impacts combined, says “abuse is invariably ‘homegrown’”.
The mirror neurons that we are born with and develop as newly born infants have no other perception or experience other than what is witnessed by our primary caregivers.
Studies indicate the abused may become abusers, and this pattern of behaviour transcends itself down the ancestral line for many generations. This generational mistreatment may result in abject suffering of the soul, with others in the family left confused, depressed and ill, as they take into their unsuspecting bodies the toxicity of the atmosphere at home.
They say that home is where the heart is.
Still, it is estimated by the World Health Organisation that some 80%+ of households in the Western developed world are dysfunctional, i.e. have experienced domestic mistreatment or abuse in one form or another.
What you will learn over the next few days is how abuse and abusers learn how to ensure domestic mistreatment is kept as the family secret behind closed doors.
How abusers use shame and guilt as weapons against the targets to ensure that the ‘blame’ is projected onto them and/or that the abuser can then justify their foul behaviour they put upon them.
I had heard of many horror stories some women with Endometriosis who have experienced cruel mistreatment growing up within her family of origin.
Then sadly she would subconsciously (I will cover the impact of this in another podcast) go on to marry or partner with someone who mirrored her father or mother — and she then on to endure abuse in the same patterns in the next relationship.
And so the pattern would ensue down generations.
I admit to being somewhat naive about it all before, and I shall blame that on my own cruel upbringing, plus 33 years of Endometriosis pain and symptoms that ensured I lived a sheltered and untraveled life — until now.
As you know, I am lucky to have cracked the code and learned how to have put my Endometriosis and Adenomyosis into remission and keep it that way.
I have also come to have my mind opened and expanded in many ways over some sensitive and far reach subjects like abuse and in particular domestic abuse and mistreatment in particular of women and children.
I have undertaken to understand the intricate workings of our amazing bodies and brains, and how intrinsically intertwined they are and how specific forces may be at work subconsciously; meaning that they are below the level of our awareness.
I have learned how the ‘neoliberal capitalists’ and the ‘me, me, me’ selfie society has encouraged the focus on the individual self at the expense of others and broken down communities. It has made me wonder if the quantum shift in priorities may have indeed worked to the detriment of the safety of families behind closed doors.
The more isolated women become because of physical pain and emotional pain, the harder it is for women with Endometriosis, in particular, to get a wider perspective of what might be ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ behaviour from people who are supposed to love and care for them.
My first client had been housebound and bedridden for many years when I started to work with her.
She had suffered from Stage IV Endometriosis for over 30 years and had recently developed Adenomyosis after multiple surgeries. She had many ovarian cysts, adhesions and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Despite the many avenues she took medically and naturally, the lure of quick fixes were clearly elusive to her.
However, she decided to think different and started to address the root causes of the pain and symptoms, and within 6–7 months, her abdominal pain of Endometriosis & Adenomyosis had significantly reduced and then disappeared.
Yet her chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and mitochondria symptoms persisted and those elements of healing eluded her for quite some time.
She walked hunched over, like a 90-year-old woman and shuffled her feet along the ground as her abdomen was frozen and matted with adhesions.
Just having a shower felt like she had run a full marathon and depleted what little energy reserves she had.
A trip to the local shop or a visit from a friend would leave her physically and emotionally exhausted for several days, in the highest muscular and searing pain that soared into every fibre of her body.
Then one week she pulled all her energy together to take an extended trip to a holiday home by the sea, to get some sun and fresh air, and time to reflect what was preventing her body from healing.
How had she successfully managed to put her Endometriosis and Adenomyosis into remission, yet still had those other unexplained pains?
She would stay for over a week and during this time she happened to see an advert on television by the Home Office of the British Government called “This is abuse
Her legs wobbled underneath her, she felt sick, and a searing feeling of shock hit her hard as suddenly she had a name for what had been happening behind closed doors that she’d been trying to make sense of for years.
This was her first wake up call to emotional domestic abuse that was happening right under her own nose and had been for years.
Her perception of abuse again had been one of physical assault.
She would come to learn that there are many types of domestic abuse.
That first client was me.
So as part of sharing my own journey to help you, I feel it is important to share this introduction to abuse & mistreatment. I wish to help you save years by increasing your awareness through this education so can protect yourself in an empowered way.
As I mentioned before there is no excuse for any form of abuse ever whether it is racism, sexism or domestic abuse.
What happened at the beginning of the month in USA with George Floyd’s brutal killing was disturbing for us all and sent shock waves around the globe.
The savageness of the police officer to commit such a heartless act that he did in broad daylight, whilst his colleagues stood around and let that happen was hard to witness.
Many people of different genders, religions, skin colours and sexual orientation are brutally victimised overt and covertly every single day.
What this incident did highlight is how there is an appetite for restoring balance and equality and increase of awareness for all.
But there are ‘those and them’ in particular, in influential positions of power, be it in government or in the home, that systematically target innocent and unsuspecting people every day.
So, let us start by answering the question, “So what is abuse?”
Well, very simply, abuse can be defined as the mistreatment, cruel or violent treatment of a person, normally repeatedly and regularly, overtly or covertly.
So then, “What is domestic abuse?”
Well, domestic abuse or mistreatment does still involve acts that can be cruel or violent, often repeated and regularly, overtly and covertly.
The difference is that domestic abuse occurs domestically, in other words, within the home behind closed doors. Domestic abuse is where one or more abusers, who are family members, verbally, emotionally and psychologically and/or physically abuse one or more targets, who are also family members.
Before I explain more details about this, let me first ask “What does home mean for you?”
Some people might say that “Home is where the heart is” or “Home is where I live and feel safe”.
Indeed other people who are influential with the traditional ‘happy family’ image portrayed by Hollywood and marketeers in their heads, may iterate that “Home is a warm, cosy and nurturing environment, filled with a family of relaxed and joyful people, and associated with endless happy memories”.
But what if your home is or was not nurturing but a living hell where you stayed in constant fear and anxiety, and struggled to get through each day?
What if your home was like a war zone which was filled with unpredictable individuals who were abjectly controlling, manipulative and aggressive?
What if your home was associated with unhappy and painful memories of you having salty tears stroll down your cheeks every day?
I remember the surprise after several months following my escape to notice the surprise when I became aware that I had not cried in weeks.
Previously, crying 2 to 3 times a day had become the norm when I was trapped and bedridden for many years.
Sadly, this is the case for many families.
Although, when you look at other families, it may appear as if everything is blissful and perfect on the outside but don’t always be fooled. For many, there is much that goes on without the outsiders’ awareness and what happens behind closed doors may shock and surprise you.
Whilst I have mentioned, many people believe that abuse is just physical kind, but it is so much more than that.
Abuse isn’t always physical.
A large proportion of abuse is not physical. Although, physical abuse may be dangerous and scary, and even life-threatening in some cases, the bruises and cuts may heal. Yet, the effects of other more underground types of abuse are harder to get evidence for and may have life long-lasting implications.
Here are some other lesser-known names to the various forms or names of domestic abuse:
All of these forms of abuse, either individually or combined, can have a tremendous impact on their targets emotional and physical health. I will be going into more detail about each type and how to recognise it.
As a final thought, I also want to challenge your own preconceptions a little bit. If you were to think of your typical ‘abuser’ what image does it conjure up?
This image may be a stereotypical type of big burly man that is over 6'5" tall who comes to mind. And/or maybe a man with a drinking problem or someone who screams verbal insults and physically beats up his family.
However, whilst in some homes, this may be the case, sadly, this is the tip of the iceberg.
According to some domestic abuse departments of police forces, many domestic abusers are far from that stereotype.
Many domestic abusers blend into society and hold a socially perfect mask to outsiders. They may come from all professions, backgrounds, countries and walks of life.
To the innocent outsider, the domestic abuser may come across as a considerate, caring, charitable, and so charming person — a perfect model citizen. You can name any socially desirable trait, and they have learned the masterful art of learning to have it out in society.
However, this mask is an act, and this is only for show. Only for their clients, work colleagues, extended family and friends. Their true cruelty and personality lie under their mask, and then their mask slips upon entry to the home, that they refer to as their domain. The scalding and caustic mistreatment is reserved for their immediate family who bears the brunt of the abuser’s personality within the confines of the home.
So how is it that people end up in abusive relationships?
Well, as I have mentioned previously, you don’t know what you don’t know so initially when you meet a toxic person they may well hide their true personality behind their perfected social mask.
It is a challenge to see the many layers of a person initially fully. Still, many toxic people and abusers are the masters at manipulation and coercion, so they present to targets initially as super sweet, endearing, their soul mate and oh so charming.
At first toxic people seem to be such a fantastic person and look like someone that you had never met before but before long their real toxic and controlling selves start to show.
Toxic and dominating people invariably are impatient and want to rush the relationship to the point where they have more and more power, influence and control over you, your movements and your finances.
Little by little, they get worse, and nothing you seem to do pleases them or makes them happy. What might have started off feeling like a fairy tale, ends up feeling like a horror movie that you feel trapped in and unable to escape.
You can’t understand why you have those high ecstatic feelings of joy and connection and amazing times, for it to suddenly and unexplainably shift within a blink of an eye into yet another argument and nightmare.
This is where the elements of trauma bonding begin (more on that on another podcast).
Before I learned what I know now, in the past, when I had heard of women being in toxic relationships, I had wondered “why didn’t she just leave him?” Or “why did she keep going back?” and “why did she believe him when he said he would change?”; when clearly, that person was never going to change.
So why not leave the abuser when they get worse and when you realise what they are really like?
Toxic, abusive people are masters of manipulation and control.
As they become increasingly more controlling, their grip on their target intensifies until the target feels that they are trapped and cannot leave them, for many reasons, such as financial dependence and trauma bonding.
Also, they use manipulation to distort reality for their targets and confuse them referred to as cognitive dissonance and gaslighting (again I’ll explain more another time), which often make the target think that it is their own fault for the abuser’s behaviour.
So through a combination of different forms of abuse, abusers are able to eloquently ‘entrap’ targets like they are stuck in a spider’s web.
This is why it is imperative for women and children to understand and discern what domestic abuse, the various types, and how to escape from its clutches, slowly and safely, and then to make sure that they don’t fall victim for someone like that again.
This post may have opened up a lot of questions for you, so stay tuned for my next podcast when I discuss in greater detail, the 9 main types of domestic abuse I mentioned above. I will share how start to increase your awareness and what positive empowering steps you can take to extract yourself from the destructive entanglement.
So if you are struggling to get physically well and Endometriosis is stubbornly resurfacing, then there may be some toxic people mistreating you without your conscious level of awareness.
My son is currently raising money for the Stop Domestic Abuse charity in Uk who is raising funds to build a Refuge Home to help women and children escape a violent home. Your contributions to this cause would be most welcome.
Also if you would like to take the FREE “Take The Toxic Person Test” to see if your partner may be toxic or referred to as an emotional abuser, then please email Support@HealEndometriosisNaturally.ZohoDesk.com for details.
Stay tuned for next post with will decern the nine types of abuse and how to start to unpick yourself from the spider’s web or snake’s pit, safely, securely and succinctly.
To your health!
Wendy K Laidlaw, Founder, Heal Endometriosis Naturally
Nutritional Therapy Holistic (MASC P.Th), SNHS (Dip), Psychotherapy Diploma (MASC P.Th), Certified Life & Business Coach (Coach U — CEG), Psychology Degree BSc (Honours) (Open University-ongoing)
Author of ‘Endometriosis Naturally Without Painkillers, Drugs or Surgery’ and ‘Endometriosis Naturally Cookbook With 101 Recipes’
(Available on Amazon, Audible, Kindle & iTunes)