Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Understanding Abuse with Anne Bronte

I know a while ago I said that I’d be writing a blog series on the topic of abuse and Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, but the subject matter has taken on a life of its own.  There’s so much material I’m now planning a book and vlog.  There's a lot still to do which I'm managing alongside a pretty busy work and home life.

Yep, going to have to get over myself big time to create some videos *cringes*.  But it’s about education - people really need to know this.

Currently working on simplifying my messages - turning a complex subject into understandable chunks.  If you have any thoughts on the topic of abuse / Anne's work, I would really welcome hearing your views.  Feel free to contact me via private message on any of my social media pages.

Anne knew

I underlined in my copy of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall the sections in which Anne Bronte perfectly described abusive behaviour.  Where she truly got under the skin of abuse and described behavioural patterns that are completely in line with modern clinical psychology.

The result was my book is completely defaced.  Here's just one page to illustrate:

But what now?  Where I'm coming from with this:

It’s not good enough for us to say “oh dear” and turn a blind eye to abuse.  Hoping that someone else will pick up the pieces.  NO ONE PICKS UP THE PIECES!

Systems are severely broken.  We have black and white processes and infuriating tick boxes designed by people who don’t get it, trying to reverse deeply ingrained patterns of abuse that stem from personality disorders.

We have abusers suppressing the voices of victims and those who speak out against abuse.  There is still a culture of encouraging victims to speak up - and then when they do, their voices are suppressed.  We have people in front line services not empowered to do enough because of a lack of training, education, arrogance, broken systems and the erroneous belief that abuse doesn’t affect them.

I'm convinced that part of the issue is that no one knows how to solve the source of abuse - or whether it can be solved (only the abuser knows whether they're willing to do the deep introspective work to change).  It can be disheartening to read authority texts written by professional clinical psychologists and psychotherapists specialising in abuse who say they have tried healing abusers and it's either difficult or impossible.

Still, this doesn't mean it's not worth trying.

So many problems to untangle - but education is the route forward

There are still systems that shut abuse down and ultimately pretend it doesn’t happen.  Sadly victim shaming and blaming is a far easier route than one that challenges abusers.

As victims, in removing ourselves from the source of abuse, what do we do?  We rightly help ourselves and begin a process of healing.

But do we prevent the abuse, or just allow the abuser to go on and find another source of supply, thus perpetuating the problem?  Of course we do this.  Because it’s hard enough to just get away and regain sanity.

What can we do? Learn.

In understanding abuse, we have to do the work ourselves – all of us!

  • Victims
  • Those who don’t yet know they are victims
  • Families of victims
  • Survivors
  • Those working in helping roles whether DV, counselling, child therapists
  • Those working in authorities that are failing badly: legal, police, CAFCASS, social services, etc.
  • Those who turn a blind eye (arrogant ignorant public)
  • And abusers themselves

Only when EVERYONE sits up and takes notice will change be possible. Because change happens inside every one of us.  This is not something that “someone else” will take care of.  The revolution starts inside and it starts with education.

I don't claim to have the answers.  As Anne Bronte said in her preface to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, 

"Let it not be imagined, however, that I consider myself competent to reform the errors and abuses of society, but only that I would fain contribute my humble quota towards so good an aim."

Hear, hear!

But where to start learning?

If you don't know much about abuse (and why the heck would you unless you've been through therapy and are a recovering victim?) Here is another post I wrote to give you a whistlestop tour through the topic of abuse 

I will let you know when I have managed to make a video that I don't hate - and will keep you updated on news of how the book is progressing.

Thank you for reading and for taking an interest.

We're all in this together, this crazy process of understanding life and people.

If you're a victim of abuse, please remember that you are love and that healing IS possible.

If you found anything you read here of use, please feel free to share any of my posts or resources with others either privately or via social media or email.  If you feel that you may be a victim of abuse then I'd suggest contacting your local DV support centre.

Please note I’m not qualified to support others: I write about these topics to share awareness and education.  Thank you for understanding.