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#23840 - 10/17/03 08:07 AM Define Abuse?
Nathan LaChine Offline

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 5427
Loc: Washington State

How do you definre the word "Abuse?" I am writing a whole paper on the word "Abuse" and would like to put in your thoughts and how you define the word. Any imput would be great my brothers.

Lots of love, Nathan

#23841 - 10/17/03 01:27 PM Re: Define Abuse?
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA
Hey, Nathan, long time no see. I hope you're settled into Washington State.

You do have a penchant for asking the juicy questions.

It's almost sad, I guess, but "abuse" is such a personal thing to me that the definition is always in some sort of flux. In therapy yesterday my T asked what I would do if one of my kids endured some of the things that I did. It sure seems more "abusive" if I think of it happening to one of my kids than if I remember that it did happen to a younger me. "Seems?!" Bull! It would be abuse. I would not allow anyone to do those things to one of my kids.

That double standard doesn't sit well. Here's my cognitive dissonance. Trying to resolve it kicked off the "cognitive cacophony." Things I thought were run-of-the-mill when they happened to me are things from which I would protect my own children. So I'm redefining "abuse" again, for whatever reason.

T did say that trauma is subjective, so I guess abuse is subjective. Or maybe they're just the same thing in my mind, I don't know. Come to think of it, I don't know a helluva lot.

Good luck with this.


"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#23842 - 10/17/03 01:47 PM Re: Define Abuse?
Nathan LaChine Offline

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 5427
Loc: Washington State
Jeff, Joe

Thanks for the imput it is hard to give that one word a meaning that works for everyone. Joe you are right the meanin changes from person to person.

Yes I am doing good in Washington these days. I work full time (8pm-5am), goto school three times a week (tues,thrs 11am-1:15pm and fei 8am-11am). So I am always busy it seems. I have been trying to get over this cold and work at the same time. FYI hard to get over a cold when you work and shit o well I will push on, lol.

lots of love, Nathan

#23843 - 10/17/03 05:13 PM Re: Define Abuse?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I hope you enjoy your new home, and it's good to see you back here.

I could write for ever on this I think, but the short version for me must be -
"everything that re-arranged my future"


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#23844 - 10/18/03 05:03 AM Re: Define Abuse?
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi Nathan,

I miss hearing from you regularly--but I am proud of all you are doing these days.

To me, ABUSE is HARM that is purposely done to another. I guess I would say, harm that is purposely done by one or more persons towards another person or persons.

That gets away from people using the word harm when they mean damaged.

What kind of harm is not so important to me. It is being harmed that hurts. And I agree that is often means terrorizing a person, and there are degrees of harm. I think the degrees of harm come from who is harming whom, betrayed and violated does the person harmed feel on a scale of 1 to 10 say.

I suspect though, that a dictionary would call abuse a synonym of harm--so maybe it doesn't explain much.

Good luck on your paper.


If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

#23845 - 10/18/03 05:29 AM Re: Define Abuse?
bowman Offline

Registered: 04/19/03
Posts: 72
One factor that I would add is to take into considerationthe power differential between the people involved. There's always going to be aggression and conflict between people, but when one side can harm the other without consequence, and they choose to do that, then that seems like abuse.

Good discussion.


#23846 - 10/19/03 10:32 AM Re: Define Abuse?
Leosha Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I suppose that the basic definition of 'abuse' would be to misuse something/someone. How simple that seems, to try to sum up what happens at all of us. To me, abuse is the misuse of power toward others. For any deeper idea, I would have to think more on it. Interesting question.


Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

#23847 - 10/19/03 10:50 PM Re: Define Abuse?
FlyWM Offline

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Michigan
Interesting question, I think abuse is the misuse of power and trust to damage another person, seems so inadequate to try to define it though, what has happened to all of us is so much more than can be captured in a few words such a definition. The only true way for anyone to define the word "abuse" is to tell of how thy were abused, takes longer and is much harder, but the inadequicy of a few short words can be almost painful.


Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible in not a declaration, it's a dare.



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