Part of our work in recovery is taking inventory of the ways in which we’ve harmed other people, what mistakes we’ve made, and how we’ve impacted our relationships in order to make amends as part of our healing journey. Sometimes this part of the process can be extremely difficult for us. We’re afraid of being judged by the people we’ve wronged or by the other people in our lives. We’re afraid we won’t be loved. We’re afraid we’ll be rejected and abandoned. It can be overwhelming, to say the least, to humble ourselves enough to look at our wrongdoings and allow ourselves to be open, honest and vulnerable about our transgressions. One of the hardest things to examine are the ways in which we’ve been abusive towards others. Why should we address our own abusiveness?
We can’t make amends unless we really investigate and understand how we’ve hurt the people we care about. It’s not enough to simply apologize or to say we’re making amends if deep down we don’t truly understand the deeper issues – what went wrong, what our motivations and intentions were, why we behaved the way we did, what inside of us caused us to be abusive in the first place. Chances are if we were abusive towards others, we were suffering from our own wounds that we had yet to heal. Perhaps we ourselves were also abused. We are only able to heal from the things we really make a conscious choice to look at and gain understanding around.
Whatever patterns we don’t address only persist. We see this with our addictive patterns. When we’re in denial about them and refusing to address them, we’re unable to put a stop to them because we haven’t developed the necessary consciousness around them. The same is true with any behavioral patterns, including abusiveness. If we don’t really take the time to think about and dissect the ways in which we’ve been abusive, we’ll only continue to perpetuate these patterns unconsciously, often deeply impacting the people we love the most. We won’t be able to stop these patterns of emotional, verbal, psychological or physical abuse because we haven’t done the work to understand where it all was coming from.
The patterns we don’t actively work to shed we can transfer onto our children, onto our partners, or anyone else we might be caring for or in close contact with. We emit energy of abusiveness, an energy that surrounds and infuses our actions and behaviors, energy that hurts both of us, whether either of us is conscious of it or not. We teach our children abusive habits. They adopt patterns of abuse that they take out on their siblings, friends or peers, or they might suppress them and take them out on people later on in their adult relationships. We owe it to ourselves, and everyone in our lives, to really address our abusiveness so that we can put a stop to the recurring harmful patterns we’ve been trapped in.
Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you uncover the issues fueling your addictions. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops, and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.