Abuse is a weapon. But beyond that, it is the weaponizing of everything that is good, safe, happy, and healthy. It is a manipulator, a twister of truth, and it parades around like it belongs where it doesn’t.
This is what makes abuse tricky to notice, identify and believe. Abuse, like Satan, parades around as something it’s not for as long as it can. It often creeps in slowly and gradually by way of things we like, love, and trust. This is how it goes unnoticed for so long, even by those on the receiving end of said abuse.
Abuse is a Tool and a Weapon
Abuse is useful for people who desire to get their expectations met no matter the cost. They want to feel in control of everything and everyone around them. They want to feel more powerful, more important, and more respected than anyone else.
In order for these expectations to be met accurately, and in the way and time desired, manipulation has to be set in motion. It’s gradual, it’s subtle, and it ends up corrupting everything victims once saw as good.
It begins with grooming, and gaslighting and mirroring quickly enter the scene, and are maintained throughout the relationship. The relationship, whether it’s platonic, romantic, or familial, typically go through the three stages of abuse: idealization, devaluation and then the discard.
Consistent and Intentional
It’s difficult for the victims and survivors to understand the very intentional steps and tactics that are used against them to create a position of power. Part of the reason being because empathetic victims typically can’t even imagine doing these kinds of things intentionally to another living thing. This is not to say that victims are perfect or have never done abusive things in their life, but it is to point out that it is an ongoing effort that that abusers put forth to ensure their expectations are met.
If you are now wondering what good things abusers use as weapons against their victims, it is anything and everything to get the job done in the best way possible. If the “best” way isn’t working, the abuser resorts to any way possible.
All abusive weapons are used differently on different people depending on their trigger points. What makes them insecure? What makes them back down and do what the abuser wants? What keeps them scared and dependent on the abuser? These are key elements that are taken into consideration before manipulating the good things into weapons.
Employment, education, and money are used as weapons. This can look different for many different people. Regardless of what the situation is, typically the common consensus is that the victims are treated like idiots. No matter if they are smarter, making more money, working harder, etc. They will be made to feel stupid, worthless, and captive. Victims will not see a way to pursue their own goals, dreams, desires, let alone work towards them, and that is if they have even had a moment to define what these things are for them.
Victims often have little to no say in the financial situations of the household. Abusers are typically money hungry. Sometimes they will contribute to the money making, and sometimes they won’t. If they have jobs, they often don’t keep them long. If they are able to keep them long, the goal is usually status and power in lines of work such as law enforcement, education, leadership (including spiritual), etc. These positions automatically give them power over people. [Clarification: not all people in these positions are corrupt or evil, but do not mistakenly believe that all of them are good with good intentions].
Family is used as a weapon. For me, my abuser would compare me to things that he found negative in my family members. He didn’t ever pull me away from them like some abusers tend to do, but he definitely manipulated me in regards to them. He corporately groomed them all in the beginning (not every one of them being fooled). He tried to use them for money and status.
Friends are used as weapons. They will groom friends as well, trying to turn them against you. They will play cool, and make fun of you with the friends, to your face or behind your back. They will tell you that these friends have been talking behind your back to motivate you (whether it’s truth or not). They will also, at times, coax you into ditching all of your friends to adopt all of theirs, meaning you are isolated and insecure.
These tactics with family and friends are often interchangeable. There is no limit to an abusers creativity when it comes to getting their way by whatever means possible.
Sex can be used as a weapon, and I wish I could say that this is limited only to romantic relationships, but often it is not. Sexuality is often seen as one of the most effective and volatile weapons, hence it being used in many different corrupt ways. Using sex for anything outside of it’s intended purpose is corrupt, but we all know that the corruption can go extremely deep, and there are rarely limits here.
Understand that the withholding of sex can be a weapon. The blackmailing after or for sex can be a weapon. Pushing sexual boundaries can be a weapon. Please know that sex isn’t just limited to one act, but encompasses anything even sexually suggestive. I don’t want to continue in detail here due to sensitivities as well as not wanting to give grand ideas to the abusive stalkers that are reading this.
Spirituality and Religion are used as weapons. This one is big. This one keeps victims in shame, fear, and condemnation. This is where the church isn’t understanding or seeing why and how they are so bogged down. In Christianity, the Scriptures are twisted, manipulated and abused. Most Christian victims want to do right by God, and don’t realize that they are being fed lies.
God is definitely bigger, and can bring clarity and discernment into these situations, but more often than not, the victim(s) need outside help here. They are so brainwashed, that they have been taught that the sky is orange, and God is telling them that it is right for the abuser to do what they are doing. These lies need pointed out and clarified for them. It’s part of the discipleship process, and the help will only work if they are willing and voluntary participants.
Children are used as weapons. In custody and family situations, the kids are often used as pawns. Victims of abuse typically love their children very much, whereas abusers see children as valuable only as new victims (sometimes also known as “supply”) and/or as weapons against their victims.
The court systems in the United States are set up in a way that doesn’t protect victims from manipulators and abusers. Laws vary from state to state, but often, the victims rarely will win full custody unless the abuser has a criminal record of some sort or chooses abandonment. When they choose to stick around and “parent”, it’s an opportunity for them to still have some sort of control (at least in their own minds).
Identifying Weapons to Let Good be Good Again
Think of anything that has been good in your life. Has that good thing been used against you? You don’t have to answer that for yourself right now. Ponder it for a while. If you are in the midst of abuse, it’s often hard to identify or label, but when it happens, this question should pop into your mind immediately, and you won’t be able to deny it. I didn’t list all of the good things turned weapon here, but I touched on many of the main areas we can all relate in.
Nothing that abusers do is done for the greater good of anybody but themselves. I wish I could say that it was different sometimes, but at least we know they are consistent in that. I’m not claiming that God can’t change hearts here because He is in the business of miracles, but often, abusers who are narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths see no need for change, meaning they see no need for Jesus. Prayer isn’t ineffective at all, but understand that His will is what prevails.
Our job is to identify the lies, and to replace them with truth, to infiltrate darkness with the light. Let your eyes be opened to the reality of the darkness, and don’t let anyone, including yourself, excuse it away, ignore it or accept it.
- The Three Stages of Abuse
- Gaslighting – What You Need to Know About This Psychological and Emotional Abuse
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National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1−800−799−7233