Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?

Claudius is saying “abuse” but it feels like he really means “ruse.” The abuse, I suppose, would be an abuse of trust, perhaps?
Abuse does tend to feel sticky. What actually qualifies as abuse and what is just shitty behavior. Not so long ago, someone close to me acknowledged that someone close to him had probably been emotionally abusive to him, to me and probably to others as well. I agreed. But I’d never thought of it that way before. I’d just thought that person was being a shit. And she definitely behaved abominably. She treated me very badly. And she had authority over me. I would never have said I was emotionally abused but when it was described as such, it felt true. And yet still, it’s not a badge I’d claim. Is that because, when I hear abuse, I imagine bruises? Is it that abuse requires physical evidence? In a way, I think I don’t self identify as someone who has experienced any kind of abuse because it conflicts with some sense of myself – some tough girl “I ain’t a victim” mentality. But when someone else reflects it, I can’t deny it. We tell ourselves whatever we have to to keep going.

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