How do you see power, abuse, and abuse of power?

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Sorry, but @ruborcoraxxx and @enough, I remember the OP explicitely requested and specified that this thread was NOT to be about politics. Myself, I found your posts very disheartenening. So I think it important to respect what the OP wanted for this thread and to be sensitive that some of us are deeply hurting about what is happening, politically, these days.
 

Friday

Moderator
Putting on my ModHat for a moment...
Sorry, but @ruborcoraxxx and @enough, I remember the OP explicitely requested and specified that this thread was NOT to be about politics.
Next time, if you think someone is breaking the rules, or ignoring OP or staff requests... please use Contact Us rather than attempting to police what other members are posting.

Not only has the OP NOT made that request, nor has staff shut down a political threadjack, but the posts themselves ...in response to how they view themselves when it comes to power... are entirely on topic.

to be sensitive that some of us are deeply hurting about what is happening, politically, these days.
That’s true for literally every topic discussed on this site, including the social forum. It’s not the responsibility of members to mind-read what is difficult/painful or a trigger/stressor for someone else, nor to post how they think it would be least hurtful for other people to read. Which would be an impossible task, on several fronts, not the least of which is that we’re a diverse community, with diverse beliefs, & personalities. What doesn’t hurt one person? Will hurt someone else. Instead? We’re each of us responsible for minding our own reactions and dealing with them accordingly.

If you find even the barest mention of politics unbearably painful, and find yourself unable to scroll past such posts, I would suggest you step away for a little while. For a solid 6 months, and intermittently for the better part of 2 years, I had to step away whenever I’d inadvertently read the word “dog”. Sometimes a different thread would be fine, other times I had to close the site down entirely, to focus on my own regulation in other ways. Countless other topics have provoked both stronger and lesser reactions in me, as they do for most of us from time to time, but I’m choosing to use this one to highlight the impossible nature of trying to manage other people’s pain.

From the Community Constitution

Individual Responsibility​

All members are expected to manage their own emotional and psychological regulation. In the event that a member consistently engages in disruptive behavior and does not progress towards self-regulation, that member will either be temporarily or permanently removed from the community.

MyPTSD does not use trigger warnings. Mind reading what could be a trigger for another is a negative thinking style, a problem all PTSD sufferers need to correct at some level. Whilst some view its use as a courtesy, it is impossible to know what will, or will not, trigger another person, regardless the graphic detail contained. After all, this is a space where those affected can discuss trauma and its consequences.

As always, if anyone would like to discuss THIS post, please use ContactUs rather than replying in thread.

Thanks!
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Putting on my ModHat for a moment...

Next time, if you think someone is breaking the rules, or ignoring OP or staff requests... please use Contact Us rather than attempting to police what other members are posting.

Not only has the OP NOT made that request, nor has staff shut down a political threadjack, but the posts themselves ...in response to how they view themselves when it comes to power... are entirely on topic.


That’s true for literally every topic discussed on this site, including the social forum. It’s not the responsibility of members to mind-read what is difficult/painful or a trigger/stressor for someone else, nor to post how they think it would be least hurtful for other people to read. Which would be an impossible task, on several fronts, not the least of which is that we’re a diverse community, with diverse beliefs, & personalities. What doesn’t hurt one person? Will hurt someone else. Instead? We’re each of us responsible for minding our own reactions and dealing with them accordingly.

If you find even the barest mention of politics unbearably painful, and find yourself unable to scroll past such posts, I would suggest you step away for a little while. For a solid 6 months, and intermittently for the better part of 2 years, I had to step away whenever I’d inadvertently read the word “dog”. Sometimes a different thread would be fine, other times I had to close the site down entirely, to focus on my own regulation in other ways. Countless other topics have provoked both stronger and lesser reactions in me, as they do for most of us from time to time, but I’m choosing to use this one to highlight the impossible nature of trying to manage other people’s pain.

From the Community Constitution


As always, if anyone would like to discuss THIS post, please use ContactUs rather than replying in thread.

Thanks!
I apologize. I must've gotten the thread mixed up with another one. The issue is mine to address, I guess. I'll take my leave.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
The one thing that has helped me to deal with the concept of a balance in power is deciding what expectations I have of others with whom I surround myself, setting and keeping boundaries. I kept that expectation simple to see: Others must walk their talk and follow the do unto other's concept as they would do unto themselves. I find that when I can evaluate and quickly deal with people based on these two basic values......I typically don't get engulfed in drama. When I lived with my dysfunctional family, I just accepted that was who they were.....and followed the role I was expected to do......and traded my power for what I believed was belonging. It was an unfair trade, believe me. But really, I didn't belong there....and nobody walked their talk or treated me as well as they treated themselves. So, I guess these are my boundaries for creating new relationships. Boundaries are essential for keeping a relationship from having a power balance issue. I think having the "talk" about appropriate behavior need not happen often, because when you meet people who are kind, respectful, and intelligent, they already usually know how to give and receive respect.....they too, have similar boundaries and relationship expectations.

Now that I'm away from the dramatic family, where there were many power plays, ganging up on one person, mocking and making fun of behaviors, and emotional or physical manipulation.....I see the world, and how I want to be treated much differently. Being away from my sick family members, I now have room to step back from that feeling in a relationship when I'm feeling pulled/manipulated into something that doesn't feel fair, right, or it feels unwanted. So, fairness/rightness/kindness is how I determine whether I'm moving in the direction of a power imbalance. Not living in the craziness has given me the freedom to much more quickly back away from situations where there is a feeling of a power struggle, a power imbalance, or manipulation of some kind.

And thinking back about it, I stood up to both of the men in my life......and FINALLY saying no to the abuse.....when I finally did it, was very freeing. How I got there.....I was needy and needed to belong badly. So, part of keeping relationship power balanced is knowing when to say no.......and being able to say why.....and not expecting less than one deserves. The second part to that is being ready to accept the consequences of the reaction of the other person......and be willing to let them go if it comes to that. All relationships change....over time, and good ones will change and move in a similar direction together.....and bad ones....where power is wielded.....might best be let go.
 

Warrior Chicken

MyPTSD Pro
The topic of power is still very confusing to me, but I suppose it will take the time it needs to unpack and conceptualize itself for me. It’s extremely helpful for me to read how others view it, and the difficulties you have as well.

I like what was said about agency and establishing boundaries. If those are absent then power can overwhelm and become imbalanced.
With what @Sideways said about simplifying it makes sense because where I run into trouble is that I over complicate it and start analyzing it based on my past when I had little or no power. That’s where I also see myself as an object rather than a human that has power and control.

Power can be used for good, it can protect someone who is unable or incapable of protecting themselves....but if it’s applied in that situation by someone seeking to gain from the vulnerability of the person they propose to protect, then it’s an abuse of power. If it’s applied without benefit and only in the best interest of the vulnerable one, then it can be good power.

I can rattle around complex subjects fairly well I’d say, but with this, I have to disassemble it piece by piece. I may come across as daft in my discourse and I gotta say this is the first place I’ve felt comfortable being able to toss it around without being judged. Thanks to all of you for that!
 

Warrior Chicken

MyPTSD Pro
That should make sense but doesn’t for me. The first list I see as the words without abuse because everything they are is abuse.
“If it’s inherently abusive”
Like rape, cruelty, torture, murder....

Ok so power is in the second group because it’s not inherently abusive?

Ah jeez....
I want it to be simple but my brain says nope, the angle is off and all the wood you just stacked in a pyramid is destined to collapse as soon as you walk away from it.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
The topic of power is still very confusing to me, but I suppose it will take the time it needs to unpack and conceptualize itself for me. It’s extremely helpful for me to read how others view it, and the difficulties you have as well.

I like what was said about agency and establishing boundaries. If those are absent then power can overwhelm and become imbalanced.
With what @Sideways said about simplifying it makes sense because where I run into trouble is that I over complicate it and start analyzing it based on my past when I had little or no power. That’s where I also see myself as an object rather than a human that has power and control.

Power can be used for good, it can protect someone who is unable or incapable of protecting themselves....but if it’s applied in that situation by someone seeking to gain from the vulnerability of the person they propose to protect, then it’s an abuse of power. If it’s applied without benefit and only in the best interest of the vulnerable one, then it can be good power.

I can rattle around complex subjects fairly well I’d say, but with this, I have to disassemble it piece by piece. I may come across as daft in my discourse and I gotta say this is the first place I’ve felt comfortable being able to toss it around without being judged. Thanks to all of you for that!
Power belongs initially to us, unless we give it away, bargain it away, or are afraid to use it. I found in my dysfunctional family, I was afraid to use it.....it would cause those in power not to love me....with that being said, and now......with all power comes boundaries .....the person who has the power, and the person with less power. At anytime, the one with less power can say no.......to whatever power balance is occurring. I supposed it then comes to one's willingness to accept the consequence of saying no.....

But I never used to say no, and it was uncomfortable at first creating boundaries....and sticking with them.....so I had some pat "remarks" I'd say (I don't feel comfortable with that idea(if I was being pushed into something), (you might be right-let me think about what you've said: if someone was pushing something on me and I didn't want to deal with it in the moment and I could just put it off), and the nice way to say no, "That won't work for me because ......cause is 5 words or less. Your friends will respect your no's, your power needy friends may not.

I use to oversplain all my reasoning, figuring if I covered all the bases, the other guy I'm saying no to will understand because he's got every logical reason. People who want their way......control, don't give a rats ass about your excuses.....nor do they hear you. Overexplaining is seen as vulnerable and weak.......more words means you're feeling less in control of the outcome you'll accept. And the part where you rationalize the goodness of power.....with a big IF clause before hand, and you hit the nail on the head....it all depends on the integrity of the human being who has the power in the moment, and his conscious. So, decide what makes YOU feel comfortable, shoot for that, and if need be.....you can compromise.....but in the moment, when meaningful or important decisions are beging made, keep it simple, know what you want, and don't be afraid to say no.....and keep the boundary you set.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
Something can’t be an abuse of ________... if it’s inherently abusive.

An abuse of rape.
An abuse of cruelty.
An abuse of torture.
An abuse of murder.
Right. Sort of.
Like wet water.
An abusive rape isn't not abuse. It's just that clarifying that the rape was abusive is unnecessary. The rape is still abusive, just like water is still wet. It's just when you say both it's unnecessary.

Anything you have the ability to do, though, can be done in abusive way when there's a relationship dynamic involved.
Abusive driving behaviour.
Abusive conversation.
Abusive sex (not necessarily rape).
Abusive dancing lessons.

You might also still use 'abusive' when you're describing something inherently abusive, either to accentuate the abusiveness, or clarify the type of abuse. For example: She was prone to particularly abusive road rage; or, she engaged in verbally/physically/etc abusive road rage. He engaged in physically abusive domestic violence. DV is, by definition, abusive, but it can be different types of abuse.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Right. Sort of.
Like wet water.
An abusive rape isn't not abuse. It's just that clarifying that the rape was abusive is unnecessary. The rape is still abusive, just like water is still wet. It's just when you say both it's unnecessary.

Anything you have the ability to do, though, can be done in abusive way when there's a relationship dynamic involved.
Abusive driving behaviour.
Abusive conversation.
Abusive sex (not necessarily rape).
Abusive dancing lessons.

You might also still use 'abusive' when you're describing something inherently abusive, either to accentuate the abusiveness, or clarify the type of abuse. For example: She was prone to particularly abusive road rage; or, she engaged in verbally/physically/etc abusive road rage. He engaged in physically abusive domestic violence. DV is, by definition, abusive, but it can be different types of abuse.
Kinda redundant there with wet water, abusive rape, ......or is it just more obvious to me....(chuckle)....sorry....it's getting late.
 

Friday

Moderator
An abusive rape isn't not abuse.
You might also still use 'abusive' when you're describing something inherently abusive

An abuse OF rape. Not abusive rape.

How does one abuse rape?

But an abuse OF trust?

How can one abuse trust? In countless different ways.

***
If something is an abuse OF power? That means that the power itself is being abused. // someone is abusing their power. How? In countless possible ways.
 
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Friday

Moderator
Ok so power is in the second group because it’s not inherently abusive?
Power is in the 2nd group because it CAN BE abused.

Not just used to abuse, like rape or a fluffy bunny, can be used to abuse someone. But actually BE abused, in and of itself.

You can abuse a person... but you can also abuse things like trust, friendship, position, etc. HOW it’s being abused? Is as varied as any other kind of abuse. And just as damaging, in own right, if not more. Which is why crimes that ALSO involve an abuse of _______, are usually charged more heavily. Like extortion? Bad enough. But abusing your position in order to extort someone? Or abusing your powers as a (doctor, teacher, cop, firefighter, govt. official, etc.) will see you in even more hot water. Like losing your medical license, being barred -for life- from any position that involves the public trust, etc.), in addition to any other criminal charges laid. Because you didn’t just extort someone. You abused your position in order to extort someone.

Does that make more sense?
 
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