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  #11  
Old 03-02-2010, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by redsirenn View Post
...I have a feeling you all can define abuse clearer. ESPECIALLY for yourselves. If you are a survivor of abuse - you might be able to contribute to this thread.


Think about it.
I think that you have a really clear definition of abuse, but this is not the case for everyone.

I know that I was beaten as a kid. We used to hide the belt or whatever was being used to hit us that week in the hopes that we wouldn't be punished. This was not outside the guidelines of what was considered good parenting in those days (not so long ago) but I would be horrified if someone took a belt to my kids. It *is* considered abuse now.

I know that when I was a teenager, I was pressured into a lot of things I wouldn't allow now. I know that often I said no but they didn't stop. This is considered date rape now.

I am finding in my adult life that *shocking* numbers of people I know were abused in a way that is clearly abuse no matter who you ask. I think it's more accurate to say that many, many people were abused, rather than narrowing the field to non-monogamous people.
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2010, 09:25 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by redsirenn View Post
Judith Lipton (author of the myth of monogamy) apparently stated that most people she interviewed who approach non-monogamy in their partnerships were once victims of abuse.

This caught my eye. I was a victim of abuse, mentally and physically, and am still recovering from it. ........

regardless what are your thoughts on this
I remember seeing someone post a "broad brush" comment like this some time ago to the effect that most 'poly' people's religious leanings were pagan or atheist.

So no doubt one could find a line of psychologists or psychiatrists that could make some connection to abuse and non-monogamy. Be an easy leap to make.

But I think I may see quite another connection between both of these.

One thing I have observed is that the majority of 'poly' minded people are people who seem to lean toward a certain degree of introspection and self analysis. For people who tend to sit back and think about "things", delve into them a little, and try to determine how that might apply to their life & experience (or desire), it's easy to see the holes in the classic, straight & narrow etc way of living. Uncovering enough lies tends to make one look deeper at most everything.

And of course what can be a common source of introspection for victims of abuse ? No less than counseling ! It starts the ball a-rolling for many people. So I can see where there could be an indirect link there for some.

But for others, the "trigger" for thinking & analyzing may have come from a totally different direction. Once upon a time that was what college was supposed to be for ! Encouraging exposure to broader ideas and encouraging thinking.

People caught up in the fast lane seem to have neither the time nor the interest to engage in this type of thing. Easier to just swallow the 'norm' and keep racing along.

GS
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2010, 11:51 PM
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And of course what can be a common source of introspection for victims of abuse ? No less than counseling ! It starts the ball a-rolling for many people.
GS
Good point there.
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  #14  
Old 03-03-2010, 02:18 AM
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Redsirenn,
Yes I do have an idea of what I think is abuse, but my idea isn't the same as other people I know.

For example, GG's mom let all 4 of her kids drop out of school at varying ages, to me that is abuse (by way of neglect). Absolutely not acceptable parenting to make no effort to teach a child that learning is IMPERATIVE for their own well-being.

My father spanked us (10 per infraction) with a belt when I was a child. GG's mom would say that was abuse.

Maca's father had a rule that if they were going to drink/smoke that they had to do it at his home. He would allow it so long as he knew that they were "safe" in his home and not out roaming the streets... to my parents THAT is abuse...

There are some obvious ones, having sexual relations with a child, when a child has bruises all over their body from the hitting (we never had bruising from my dad's belt ), when a person degrades a child's person verbally in such a way as to cause emotional damage and low self-esteem. These are ones that in the US we accept as abuse.

BUT even these aren't all considered abuse in other countries... on another message board there was a thread pages and pages long arguing over a little girl who was given in marriage at age 9 or 10 to a man in his 50s. The mother fought in court to stop it, and lost because in that country it was perfectly legal. The courts ONLY concession was that the man couldn't consummate the marriage until the child had her first menstral cycle... (my mom's first was age 9..).... so obvious in some places even what we generally agree is abuse here in the US isn't considered abuse.
As this is an online board and accessible to people from a variety of countries in the world, one can pretty reasonably assume that the definitions of abuse abound in the people who are here...

I was truly not trying to be sarcastic or annoying with my reply to your thread. I tried to consider it seriously-but what I came up against was which definition is being used? Even in OUR poly family-the three of us each believe we were NOT abused as children, and yet our respective parents WOULD say our parents were abusive. Too confusing...
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  #15  
Old 03-03-2010, 06:15 AM
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I was spanked as a kid, teased a lot in middle school and bullied once or twice in high school, pretty standard fare for a lot of us. Oh yeah, and someone took a knife to my genitals once and cut off the best part... I suppose you could consider that abuse. I do.

But I don't see how that translates to making me poly.
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  #16  
Old 03-03-2010, 04:47 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
For example, GG's mom let all 4 of her kids drop out of school at varying ages, to me that is abuse (by way of neglect). Absolutely not acceptable parenting to make no effort to teach a child that learning is IMPERATIVE for their own well-being.
I don't agree with this being "abuse." As a life-long academic, I definitely do see the value of education... For some people. My 16-year-old step-daughter is in a place on her "life journey" right now where she has absolutely no interest in school, she skips most of her classes and fails the ones she hasn't gotten expelled from. We believe she has an undiagnosed learning disability, but her school isn't dealing with that issue and she has made it very clear to us that any attempts to intervene on her behalf are considered by her to be an intrusion on her independence (not that she put it that way, it was more like "Quit telling me what to do! It's my life and I'll do what I want!"). But hell, she's 16 and like a lot of teenagers, she's convinced that her parents are full of shit and out to ruin her life.

So our opinion is that at this point in her life, she would actually be better off to drop out of school and gain some real life experience. Once she has a better idea of her life goals, she'll be in a better position to find the motivation to succeed at school. There's nothing wrong with getting a GED when you're 22.

We have "made an effort" to teach her that learning is important but I definitely believe that there are a lot more ways to "learn" than by sitting in a classroom, feeling like an idiot because you can't keep up. I feel like this whole "education is the only path to success" attitude these days does a lot of kids more harm than good, and it devalues other skills that are not education-based. Every parent wants what's best for their children and few want their kids to have a career as a waitress or janitor. But everyone wants to go out for dinner and have clean floors at the office, so these jobs play a very important and undervalued role in society. And frankly, some people just "aren't that bright" and I can see no reason for forcing them to learn calculus and poetry when all they really want to do is drive trucks (please don't interpret that as me saying truck drivers are unintelligent, that's not what I mean at all).

My husband dropped out when he was 16 and went to work full-time. He developed a very strong work ethic in the process and a sense of accomplishment and independence that he wasn't getting through eduction. He also has a learning disability, and 30 years ago, the education system had no idea what that was or how to help those students, so for him school was just a long string of frustrations and disappointments, feeling like the stupidest kid in class because he never understood anything.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 03-03-2010 at 04:55 PM.
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2010, 09:43 PM
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I'm with classycaveman, well, minus the genital mutilation (so glad I wasn't born with a penis on that one). And I'm not only poly but a masochist as well...go figure.
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  #18  
Old 03-03-2010, 10:08 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Schroder-

I agree with your assessment.
The key difference in this case is that the mom DID NOT prioritize trying to teach her kids to learn. Not just IN SCHOOL-but at all.
They are now adults struggling to understand why the world shits on them, unable to hold down jobs, unable to care for themselves, unable to keep relationships etc because they weren't taught to even THINK for themselves.

An example of one instance, a year went by with the bathtub filled with dirty laundry. So the kids just washed off in the sink and went on with life... no bath, no shower.... a YEAR. It didn't occur to any of them (her or the kids) to just MOVE THE FREAKING LAUNDRY out of the way-the oldest kid was in middle school.

Anyway-I didn't want to fill this thread with the whole entire layout of the story-my point was that different people identify different behaviors as abuse.
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  #19  
Old 03-03-2010, 11:38 PM
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i was abused, sexually, mentally, emotionally and physically to the extent that i was left with PTSD and a disosiate disorder,

has that pushed me down the path of polyamory, or this alternative life that i lead. The answer is prob yes because every event in my life has led me to this point,

it has def made me think about things diffrently,

Jools
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  #20  
Old 03-04-2010, 02:40 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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Two women I have been with that were into polyamory also were abused growing up to the point where they developed disassociative identity disorder. I think their abuse led them to think about boundaries and social conventions differently. Also dealing with multiple personalities is a very similar concept to dealing with polyamory.
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