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Mental abuse




   Whenever you have a situation in which you have one person 
   standing in authority over another you have potential for 
   mental abuse.  There are many such situations in society: 

      - a master standing in authority over a slave  
      - a boss standing in authority over a worker 
      - parents standing in authority over children 
      - a teacher standing in authority over a student 
      - a husband standing in authority over his wife 
      - an officer standing in authority over a soldier 
      - a prison guard standing in authority over a prisoner 

   The person in authority may be just generally overbearing and 
   abusive by personality, a person in the habit of riding 
   roughshod over other people, or he may simply be a person who, 
   for one reason or another, dislikes someone under him and is 
   out to make life miserable for them. 

   What do you do if you find yourself in a situation where you 
   are the object of abuse by someone over you?  The first 
   inclination is to get out of that situation and away from that 
   person.  However, that is usually not so easy.  How does the 
   slave get away from the master who is abusing him?  How does 
   the child get away from the parent who is abusing him?  How 
   does the soldier get away from the officer who is abusing him?  
   In these cases it is impossible without doing something illegal 
   (i.e. it is illegal to just run away).  In other cases it may 
   be possible to get away from the person abusing you but the 
   cost may be very great and you might not be willing to pay the 
   cost.  What does the wife do who finds herself being abused by 
   her husband?  She could leave him but that may not be an easy 
   decision.  There may be children involved who would be hurt.  
   She may have no job skills and may fear being caught out in a 
   cold, unfriendly world, unable to find work, and destitute.  Or 
   else she might fear that even if she found some low paying job 
   she might find herself at the mercy of some cruel, abusive boss 
   and be even worse off than with her husband.  To leave the case 
   of the wife being abused by her husband let us ask what an 
   employee does who finds himself abused by his boss?  This is 
   probably the easiest situation of all to get out from under.  
   All the employee has to do is find another job.  That is easy 
   to say but not always that easy to do.  Finding jobs isn't 
   always easy.  And then there is the risk of the unknown.  You 
   never know what a new job will be like until you get into it.  
   If you change jobs you may find that you have jumped from the 
   frying pan into the fire.  If you get into a job you can't 
   handle you could get fired and end up out in that cold, 
   heartless world with not a soul to help you.  And the decision 
   to take another job may affect other people than just you.  You 
   may have a wife and children who depend on you and who will 
   suffer along with you if things go awry.  As you get older your 
   ways become routine and settled.  Changing jobs may involve 
   extensive changes in almost every facet of your life and 
   lifestyle and many people will put up with a great deal of 
   abuse before they will do it. 

   As a consequence of all of this people who find themselves the 
   object of abuse often feel like they are in a trap.  They feel 
   the frustration of being in a corner with no way out.  And this 
   can give rise to violent feelings --- great anger and thoughts 
   of violence. 


   Sept 1984


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