Abuse is abuse

Wadzanai Dzvurumi

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Wadzanai Dzvurumi

Wadzanai Dzvurumi

Physical abuse covers anything where there is bodily harm being inflicted upon another person. This includes but is not limited to: biting, scratching, kicking, pushing, pulling and slapping. Emotional abuse on the other hand includes but is not limited verbal offense: intimidation, shaming, bullying, threatening or gaslighting. Gaslighting is denying that certain events happened, making the other person feel stupid or irrational.

In psychology, the “foot-in-the-door” phenomenon is the tendency for people who have first agreed to small things to later comply to much larger things. This is how abusive relationships work — they hardly ever start out with intense violence or forcefulness, but they warm you up to it slowly. We ask people, “Why did he start dating her, or why did she start dating him?” but most times, the abuse (physical or emotional) was a gradual process throughout the relationship. It starts off with one’s feelings being invalidated, or a gentle nudge. Of course, the most sensible thing to do at the time is give the other person a second chance. I think that is where most people go wrong.

If I had only known that the first time I was emotionally abused that I was supposed to run. Perhaps it all would have turned out differently. But no, as victims of abuse, we have been psychologically conditioned to accept or even made to think we deserve the abuse. I write about this because I have experienced emotional abuse. At that time I had no idea that I was being emotionally abused. My feelings were invalidated; I was made to feel worthless and made to question my own sanity. I can tell you this is a kind of pain and insanity I never want to experience again.

We need to stop ourselves from justifying an abusers’ behavior with statements like “at least he does not hit me” or “ she threatened me because she is crazy in love with me.” The moment you think that, you have officially accepted abuse. I will tell you that authentic love never constitutes abuse. It also took me a long time to swallow that kind of truth, yet it’s so difficult for me to write and convince people to let go of any abusive relationships. My wish for readers is to love yourselves and choose yourselves over any kind of abuse. I am alive; I survived. No one saved me because I saved myself, I think its time you saved yourself, too.

Wadzanai Dzvurumi is a marketing senior.

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