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Relational Aggression : What's Love Got To Do With It

OR
Why Doesn’t She Leave : VS : Why Doesn’t She/He Stop Aggressing

Intimate violence is the willful and systematic use of verbal, physical, and/or sexual assault, all forms of aggressive intimidation, by one member of a domestic partnership against the other. It doesn’t begin with a threat. It doesn’t begin with a punch. It doesn’t begin with a rape. It can end with a murder.

Intimate violence begins when a person is not confronted, from the first childhood act of overt or covert aggression, that their behavior will not be tolerated by society. Intimate violence begins when middle school bullies are allowed to skip out on responsibility for their actions or in-actions, enabling them to further refine their manipulative tactics for future confrontations.

Intimate violence begins when the majority of society is taught that violence only happens to other people, allowing the majority to falsely believe that they are better than the person being victimized. Intimate violence begins when we seek the deep rooted causes for another persons’ dysfunctional behavior, thus giving the aggressor another excuse for perpetrating.

Gossip is one of the many forms of relational aggression familiar to most of us. Allow me to turn the craziness of intimate violence into a soup metaphor. Let’s throw some spices into our cauldron. We have the expatriate that is openly rude to a visitor who may or may not be considering moving to the area. Now, add the expatriate who dislikes the seasonal homeowner, i.e., the snowbird. Turn up the heat and allow the spices to boil. While the expatriate who forms relationships by cultivating a false sense of safety in the newly landed gains a bit more heated power, prepare the other ingredients. Take a pinch of chopped nuts (the smaller the pinch of the mentally deficient the better), a cup of mixed vegetables (the downsizing herbivores of the group), a heaping helping handful of yummy stock (the kindness of strangers variety), and a splash (or bottle) of red wine (or tequila). While humming happy tunes, turn down the heat. Once the raging boil of spices has come to a quiet simmer, throw in these ingredients. Just at finish, add the flash fried single gnarly knuckle of some wild animal. Reheat, serve in individual bowls, and expect everyone to get sick.

Depending upon which part of the soup has been contaminated, when the gut decides to go for a little drive-by shouting match with your brain and heart, you may not realize that it was THIS soup that made you ill. Food spoilage bacteria live everywhere we live, and most of them don't do us any harm. Unfortunately, all of these organisms like to eat, and they generally are eating what we like to eat, and where we like to eat. Although we don’t find festering and smelly gossips enticing, those slime organisms don’t necessarily make us sick. In fact, many slimy foods unwittingly become delicate sauces, used by the deadly bacteria found on meat, such as a gnarly knuckle, to mask its’ off-taste.

The gnarly knuckle is a master chameleon. Why be that hunk of grey meat when it can be the crispy yumminess of the party. Gnarly knuckles exude excitement, and enthusiasm. They are the life of the soup! The soup is created for them and for their pleasure alone. There is no competition or need for confrontation as the gnarly knuckle is the life of the soup. What’s there to complain about? If you do, they will blame the nasty bacteria that is keeping your gut from making an informed decision, or they will hold the soup maker responsible, or they will take you down another path entirely, possibly the one that says it is your fault you got sick. If you persist in making them take responsibility for your gut reaction, be prepared that the next opportunity the gnarly knuckle has to jump into the fire, you are very likely to have a pop of hot grease land very near to your eye, causing you to fear, not the fire or grease, but blindness. .…to be continued

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