Sad, but true, another media story of a woman being abused (Charlie Sheen’s wife), calling the police in terror for her life, slamming a restraining order on him, and then saying “She loves him enough to ignore everything that happened.” But, I have news for Brooke, this isn’t love, it’s her fear and abuse pattern talking.
As someone who specialized in abuse in the 1980’s, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about why abuse happens, why abused people stay with their abusers, and what is the most loving behavior in these circumstances. And, the truth is almost irrefutable. If you really love yourself and another, you will DEMAND & INSIST OUT OF LOVE, that your partner CHANGE! And, that requires a ZERO TOLERANCE for ABUSE policy.
What is the best way to cope with an abuser? Research has proven time and again, pretty much the only thing that works is LEAVING the abuser. Thus, Brooke was right by slamming a restraining order on Charlie, and the prosecuting lawyers are right in demanding that order not be lifted. That IS the loving thing to do.
Fact. This isn’t the first time Charlie Sheen has attacked his girlfriend and wives. As CNN reported yesterday, he’s been equally as violent and as scary with all of them. Yet, like the classic charming abuser, he gets away with it. Why? Because abusers are seriously invested in making sure their outer appearances look good so they can benefit from the power they feel they gain over others by being abusive.
And, it takes courage (a word that means “take heart”) to stand up to an abuser. They rule through fear, control, and intimidation. They convince their victims that they can’t survive without them, or that the penalities for exposing their abuse will be seriously high (usually more abuse). Then the abuser “rewards” his victim for caving in and being cowardly enough to “love him” by placating his cruelty and sickness.
TRUTH. ABUSE ISN’T LOVE. STAYING WITH AN ABUSER ISN’T LOVE. IT’S FEAR. And, fear and love never co-exist together.
So, how do you love an abuser? Again, have the power, courage, and support system to leave. Let them know you have zero tolerance for their abuse. Insist that they enter an abuse program, anger management isn’t enough. Abuse isn’t about anger. It is about entitlement. Abusers gain a lot of goodies by abusing and controlling others. The more they know they can get away with getting these goodies the more they feel entitled to abuse to get them. Their entitled attitude must be entirely stripped away. You abuse? You don’t get any goodies at all. Period.
Best of all, by forcing an abuser to admit to the abuse, take responsibility for the abuse, no longer feel entitled to abuse, and actually get to the point of knowing that abuse is wrong, awful, and shameful, the more you encourage the abuser to learn how to love.
That’s the point. LOVE. So, please understand this basic teaching I have about love. How do you know it is real love? Simple. Love expands love in others. When we truly love others (and that often takes a lot of courage, or heart), we teach them what love is, and they become more loving because of it. What better gift to give those you love? Better yet, what better gift to give to yourself.
Copyright 2009 by Dr. Lisa Love. All Rights Reserved.
Attract & Keep Real Love Programs found at http://www.doctorlisalove.com