What Surviving Emotional and Physical Abuse taught me about Respect

Respect isn’t something that is just automatic (but really, it needs to be…I’ll explain)

“RE- SPECT! WALK ! ARE YOU TALKIN’ TO ME?” (Pantera’s “Walk”)

I think I am sick of the idea that we have to earn respect. My thought is that respect should just be a given and that should the other party not live up to the energy that is the respect given by us, then it should be that the other person needs to earn it back.

I sense the raising of the eyebrows with this idea that respect is not something that we should feel the need to demand, or command, or even earn from someone else, because at first meeting, it should just be a given, and it should just stay that way, but always human nature is what it can be, and most of the time, we lose respect for other people because somehow they made it so that we would have a lesser feeling and energy of respect for them. We all do it – we all have, at one point in all of our lives, lost respect for someone else because of an infraction to our very easily-bruised Souls. We were either hurt by their words or actions or we were offended by them. Either way, as we can all attest to, prior to the infraction, we all have respect for others unless and until they prove us to be right in that they are not worthy of that respect.

Then of course they have to earn it back…duh…

Respect…from a Survivor’s perspective

I love saying that I feel like I have survived the greatest hell on earth known to man that any person can go through. For a long time it was my inclination to believe that what my mother told me was right, that her father commanded respect and that she demanded it. While I never got that energy from her that she was not willing to give it so long as she received it, the words seemed to hurt me in some manner and until now I did not know why. The reason that those words hurt me so much is not because of anything other than that since it was that both she and her father commanded and demanded respect, I was programmed to believe that I had to be this way, too. Couple that energy with the idea that the person I married demanded everything, but more than anything else, and even while he never really knew and still does not really know what the truest meaning of Respect, I was not too inclined to stray from the belief that was instilled into me as a child growing up in a very religious home. I was not interested in angering people who demanded or commanded things out of others, and it was because I thought that if they had the nerve enough to demand or command it, then surely they were worthy of it. So, I just gave them my respect.

Fast forward to my adulthood, and we see that all of my life I was bullied and messed with, all the while and because that was my own experience to be bullied by my caretaker as a child, and yes, those same words coming out of her mouth that came out of my mother’s- that she, the caretaker, demanded respect, because they were both taught by their father that this is the way adults are and that adults should just be handed respect because they are adults. This is the reason that any child would grow into an adult who would have a good chance at being confused when it comes to things as important, as valuable, as one of the most vital things in communication between human beings, as Respect.

Respect is not something that can be had easily once it is gone. Trust and respect are alike. It takes so very little to break either one of them that once it has been fractured it is difficult for us to just have it right back.

Respect is not a bargaining chip even though that is how it was presented to me as a child, and it was done so out of the idea that we need to be bullied, to be made scared of other people and losing their love if we did not simply just give respect because other people demanded it. You can demand all you want, but that does not mean that it is just going to be handed over – no no no….in fact, the reason that you might feel like you are somehow owed respect makes me think that you have little, if any, self-respect, and by that I mean that if this is you, then you are likely one of those people who needs to be worshiped, and that is not being respected – that is being feared. That is you being afraid that if you do not bully someone else into the kind of fear-riddled respect that you think is the reality of respect, that you will end up being just as ridiculously expectant of something that is not real. If you have to bully it, command it, demand it, feel it is owed to you, my friend, the issue is NOT that you are not getting it, but that you think that you need to be worshiped.

Demanding anything at all denotes that you feel like you are owed, all the time, by someone, and if you are owed then that also means that somewhere in you there is a deficit and that deficit is what is causing you to be this way. Respecting someone does not come without its price, and that price is that you have to respect them back when you are respected. This is not something that you do not know, and it is not something that your mom or dad or whoever taught you what respect is also did not know about when they were teaching you their way of being respected. The way that you ‘earn’ respect is simply to have it for yourself wherever you are and no matter what. To respect one’s own self is to be able to know what respect really is.

What respect really is is not as important as what it is not, and I think that there are just too many people on this planet who think they know what it is but in fact they have no real clue and yes, it is that one group of people who feel like they are entitled to people kissing their okoles. When you need someone to kiss your rear end and make you feel like you are better than everyone else, and when you need someone to worship you and do everything within THEIR power to make you feel like you are being respected, you are anything BUT being respected. When you feel like you have to bully another person into the “fear of God” type of respect that so many people regard as being respect, you are not being respected – at that point you are demanding that people worship you, that they fall at your feet, that they do what you want. That is not respect. That is fear. Abuse survivors are the most adept at rifling through the bullshit and getting to the fear of a person, and we do it because we can, and people respect us because we have been through a lot but more than that, they respect us because we know what it is to NOT be respected.

We know that placing hurt into the Spirit of another person is not respect, it is bullying. We know that to put a person off, to push them aside until we are ready to give to them what they so readily gave is not respect, but rather is expectancy of another person making time for you but you not making time for them, and when it is this way, and you get angry because the person who you commanded respect from is just not there and giving it willingly or in large form as they did, this is called your Karma calling your numbers. We know that it is rude, not right, uncool, not okay, a pain in the ass to make other people give respect, so rather than just taking it for granted that everyone else on the planet will make us pay heavily and hard if we do not show respect, we just choose to have and to show and to be the epitome of that which can be called “respect.”

We ARE respect, the majority of us, and we are the greatest teachers of showing respect, and more, getting respect, not because we are owed it, not because we command it, and not even because we have earned it, but mostly, because we know too well what it is like to NOT be respected. We are aware of what it is like for another person to throw themselves at our abuser, in front of us even, and we know what the heartache that spawns from it feels like. We know what it is like when our abuser talks at us, down to us, mostly in front of other people, and we know what it is like to have to get out of that feeling that is akin to nausea brought on by someone else trying to make us look bad and shaming us into that belief. We know…oh my Goddess do we EVER know what it is like to suffer the indignities within our own selves caused by blatant disrespect.

And the disrespect happened to us and was meant to be bone deep, and it was…but there is always that flip side, that part of the story that tells everyone that we are the real deal, that what you see with an abuse survivor is totally what you get, and all of it, for the most part, is awesome. It is awesome not because we bounce back, because not one of us will tell you that that is anywhere near the truth. It is awesome because we live it, every single day of our lives, and because, too, we know the meaning of having to earn what we should never have lost in the first place, from day one, even.

Simply put, the reason why most people have a whole lot of respect for people who have been through a whole lot of different kinds of abuses not only to them, but also, to their soul, is because from the moment that we knew what we did not like, we also knew what the truth of us was, and the truth of us remains to be that we give respect from the get go, because we know that we should not judge a person based on what we see with our eyes alone. We know that to be respected that there must be that show of respect first given. There is not one abuse survivor who does not know this as the truth and more, who is not willing to live it, all the way down to the Bones of the Soul…

The old version of commanding, demanding, even, in some cases, earning respect no longer mean anything to anyone unless you sleep in a military barracks and are expected to cover the front lines of battle when called upon…in which case, again, those guys already have my respect.

Think about it…


Camera Artist Randy Jay Braun 
Please visit his website by going to randyjaybraun.com

About ReverendRoxie22

Visit my website! www.reverendroxie22.wix.com/losangeleskahuna View all posts by ReverendRoxie22

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