Love is 'inclusive'. Love protects, defends, shelters and cares. Love believes the best, love prefers you. Love never gives up on you, doesn't interrupt you, love listens to you and hears you.

Abuse is 'exclusive'. It fails to protect and defend you. Abuse pretends to care, but doesn't. Abuse does not believe the best in you, but rather, brings out the worst in you. Abuse talks over the top of and doesn't ever really 'hear' you.
Abuse will make sure you are excluded and left out if you don't behave how it wants you to. Abuse is fearful and insecure, threatened by your presence. Abuse maintains a sense of perceived power, by deciding who is worthy to be inside the 'inner circle' and who will be kept out. Abuse withholds information and keeps secrets.

Love is inclusive, and doesn't leave others out, everybody's welcome. Love is secure and firm, love is not afraid. Love celebrates others, (not seeing one as better than another), but enjoying diversity and uniqueness in all people. Love will maintain a sense of privacy as a boundary, but doesn't use secrecy as a weapon.

Abuse will keep you stunted, but Love will cause you to flourish.

~S.E. Castelli