Almost every abusive relationship follows a similar pattern: the abusive partner lures the abused party into the relationship with lavish promises, and then once they are ensnared, finds reasons to renege on those promises and justifications to be a little bit abusive.
The abused party will try to resist this shift, but the abuser will find some way to overcome that resistance (e.g., they will gaslight the partner into believing the abuse isn’t even happening).
In turn, that small amount of abuse will become the accepted standard for the relationship, and if the victimized partner ever attempts to resist the new normal, the abuser will throw a fit until the partner resumes their compliance with the abuser.
That cycle will repeat and repeat until a high degree of abuse (be it physical or emotional) becomes the norm, and the abused individual is trapped and has to go along with it.
Typically, one of the following breaks this cycle:
The abuse is so flagrant that outside parties try to stop it. For example, sometimes someone will arrive at the emergency room (ER) with an injury resulting from domestic violence, and law enforcement may get involved. However, this is by no means guaranteed (e.g., the ER may not be able to intervene in the cycle if the patient wishes to stay with the abuser), and sometimes a neighbor will overhear an incident and contact the police.
You would think that the last one should always happen, but in reality, it’s extremely easy to get trapped in these cycles and immensely difficult to leave them once someone in a position of “authority” forbids you from doing so.
Humans, in general, gradually acclimate to worsening conditions, so provided an abuser eases into their abuse, the reflex to run away from them doesn’t trigger (conversely, if the abuser did a lot of what they had planned at the start of the relationship, the abused party would recognize that it was unacceptable and immediately exit).
One of the things I’ve found quite frustrating about life is that many people I come across (including individuals I do not consider to be mean-spirited) will follow a similar pattern of gradually escalating the obligations and expectations they place on me in tandem with increasing hostility towards any non-compliance I provide to their increasing demands.
When I was younger, I frequently found myself being pushed into abusive dynamics (a common scenario was me wanting to help someone who requested it) and then clashing with the party later when they began pushing those demands onto me, and I had to try and make them stop.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve accepted that this is just something people do, and the best way to navigate the issue is by always sidestepping expectations or obligations people attempt to place on you so the cycle can never start (which can sometimes be very challenging).
In the same way, this process occurs in interpersonal interactions, it is also done by bad actors against the population as a whole (when governments do this, it is commonly referred to as the “totalitarian tiptoe”).
If you consider the whole COVID-19 “pandemic” situation, we had a series of entirely absurd demands placed upon us for “emergency” reasons. Then when each stipulation was complied with, an even more extreme one was put forward. For example, although the lockdowns had no value and resulted in enormous social costs, many are now calling for climate lockdowns to fight “emergency” the climate change (those lockdowns are discussed further here).
Another common abuser of society is the pharmaceutical industry. Nowadays, I am often asked how I could accurately predict the course of the pandemic, and my answer each time is: “All of this was just an escalation of what the industry had done previously.”
As the years have gone by, the industry has become more and more brazen in pushing unsafe and ineffective medications onto the market and paying off the government to gaslight the injured parties rather than fulfilling its obligation to investigate and pull the harmful drugs.
For example, much of what has happened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic parallels the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Fauci fought to keep a variety of effective treatments for AIDS off the market so that he could push through a deadly and ineffective (but highly lucrative) drug on the gay community to treat HIV, which was AZT.
This is exactly what Fauci later did during COVID-19, first with remdesivir, and later the vaccines, except this time it affected all of America rather than just the gay community (who actively protested him at the time, but for all practical purposes were ignored):