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What is & is not abuse

Posted by Observer on August 08, 2005 at 14:00:16

This really bothered me. The term 'abuse' has become so watered down in the world at large, particularly in America, that 'abuse' is now used to describe the common adult conversations & disagreements.

Having come out of the cult, to me 'abuse' is a serious term, with child sexual abuse at the top of the list, the harsh physical beatings, the verbally violent exorcisms & victor camps too. The deception, lies, breaking up of marriages, virtual slave labor is abuse too, & neglect & deficient education for children raised in the Family was prolonged abuse with long-lasting negative effects.

I would say that the Family was a lifestyle or system where abuse of many kinds was deliberate & prolonged.

I've heard about a lot of cases of abuse out here in the real world as well, child abuse, mental abuse by parents, neglect, sexual harrassment on job sites, etc. & I agree that that is abuse too. But things have gone so far & the term been watered down so much that the meaning is almost gone out of it.

Some time ago my family met together & my older brother & a younger sister were having a disagreement. She was tired of him 'taking the lead' as the older brother, so he stood up in the meeting and loudly disagreed with him. They took their confrontation out of the main room & went into a smaller room to work out their disagreement. He sat down & she, still standing, began arguing. He said, 'Aren't you going to sit down?'

As she later told me, when he asked her to sit down, that was 'abuse'. He was trying to control her. I was flabbergasted. Abuse is abuse, but it seems to me this is taking it too far.

Another time, a brother J. wanted me to take half a day off work do him a favor, & I could do it but it was a bit inconvenient, but he was my brother, so I was torn. When counseling with R. another brother, R. told me plainly that the fact that J. was asking me to do him a favor was 'abuse.'

I was somehow supposed to feel abused, but I didn't. It was just part of natural adult conversation & helping out, & I eventually made my own choice. Anyone else encounter this?