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Verbal Abuse-Is it happening to you?

Old 09-26-2006, 07:14 AM
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Verbal Abuse-Is it happening to you?

Sometimes we adapt so well to verbal abuse, we do not realize it is happening. Although we keep trying to make life better, we have adapted to being diminished, blamed, and discounted.



In a private place like a notebook or journal you can hide, record two or three recent incidents with your mate. Then exchange roles in your imagination. Imagine yourself acting his/her part and vice versa. Then ask yourself these questions:


1. Does the conversation sound like a conversation between two friends?
2. Is it easy for you to imagine talking like him/her? You are not necessarily talking about the same things. For example, you might substitute "a movie" for "a ballgame" or vice versa.


3. Is it easy for you to imagine him/her talking like you?


4. Does each of you show good will and an effort to understand the other?
5. Is there any ordering or blaming going on?
Evans writes, "Abusive men stop at nothing to squelch, put down, correct, criticize, belittle, trivialize, ignore, snub, sneer at, and, when all else fails, put on displays of rage in order to dominate and control their mates."

From the List of Controlling Behaviors compiled by women of The Marin Abused Women's Services and by men in the Men Allied Nationally Against Living in Violent Environments (MANALIVE) program comes these three objectives of verbal abuse to accomplish the destruction of your partner:

1. Diminish partner by making him/her seem less than he is.
2. "Thingingfy" him/her--make a thing out of partner.
3. Threaten partner.

Men or women may actually believe they have a right to control and dominate, or have power over, others. However, as the divorce rates began to escalate and domestic violence increasing, the entire question of dominance, control and oppression has come under scrutiny.

For the most part, victims of verbal abuse have lived in isolation, each thinking he/she was the only one suffering. This made it hard to define the cause of suffering, plus... the survivors have almost all been blamed for their suffering.

In addition, all survivors of verbal abuse have lowered self-esteem, no matter how much they may try to ignore it.

Evans writes, "The survivors of verbal abuse consistently reported that they came to believe what they were hearing."
In the verbally abusive relation, control is the issue. "I love you" usually means "I want to get you and control you."

When a person believes someone loves her/him, it is hard to believe that person would against her/him "subtly, covertly, sometimes overtly, and always hurtfully."

Many survivors did not what what was wrong in their relationship--mistakenly blaming themselves, their partners' drug or alcohol abuse, their partners' childhood, job, etc.

Evans writes, "To live fully, creatively, and enthusiastically requires that the survivors of verbal abuse know fully what they have encountered and how many of them there are. With this knowledge they can break the taboos and bring about change."



From: Verbal Abuse, Survivors Speak Out, Patricia Evans
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:49 AM
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Mission accomplished. AH has managed to complete all three objectives of destroying me. At least I recognize the behavior for what it is now.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:08 PM
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Yikes!
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:09 PM
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Mine screamed at me and told me he was sick of my recovery responses and I mean screamed. Into rage right away.

Ngaire
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:27 PM
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My AH does all those things. And I can't imagine treating him or anyone else the way he has treated me.
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:15 AM
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He wears at least 2 masks.

The incredibly nice guy who paid to have my car fixed for my birthday. They all say, "That was sooo nice of him. What a good guy."

The alcoholic abuser who throws me up against the wall and yells at me because he paid to have my car fixed and supper wasn't ready on time.

I WANT OUT! I am afraid. I gave him all my savings to buy this home.
I'm broke now. Waiting for disability. I have been an incredible fool. I keep coming back to him because I'm afraid to try and make it on my own. There...I've said it. I'm afraid to live with him and afraid to live without him!!!
Does that make me bad or does that make me scared?
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:19 AM
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Grace,

Where have you been, you were going to open a new door in your life then you dissappeared. It worried me.

So sorry for what you are going through. It doesn't make you 'bad" so take that word out of your vocabulary but it definitely says you've got some issues to work out. You obviously haven't hit your bottom yet.

The physical abuse will just get worse.

Ngaire
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Grace
I keep coming back to him because I'm afraid to try and make it on my own. There...I've said it. I'm afraid to live with him and afraid to live without him!!!
Does that make me bad or does that make me scared?

Been there..in fact, still am from time to time. I imagine everyone here has felt those feelings. That is what got me here to this board.

You can't solve a problem you do not acknowledge,right? Well;you are that much closer now to finding your OWN solutions...the ones that will be your answer.

Hope you feel better today;you are not alone.

p.s. Glad you are "back"...hope you stick around!
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Pick-a-name
Been there..in fact, still am from time to time. I imagine everyone here has felt those feelings. That is what got me here to this board.

You can't solve a problem you do not acknowledge,right? Well;you are that much closer now to finding your OWN solutions...the ones that will be your answer.

Hope you feel better today;you are not alone.

p.s. Glad you are "back"...hope you stick around!
p.s.s. It makes you neither bad norscared...it sounds pretty much the norm in this situation...it's a process.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:19 AM
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Missed this while my computer was down. I think about how wrong AH's behavior towards me is all the time. I would never treat anyone the way he treats me.

If you're abused and you know it clap your hands... stomp your feet... turn around... make a plan... run like hell.

Sometimes there are good reasons to be scared to leave. Abusers don't give up controlling and manipulating your life just because you walk out the door. Leaving can be the most dangerous time in the relationship.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Missy
Yikes!
DIDDO!!!!!
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:25 AM
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good information here. Thanks!!
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Old 10-04-2006, 05:09 PM
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I've just recently come to realize that AH's verbal abuse has gotten worse in the last few years. He, of course, explains this by saying that he's angry how I treated him (Kicked him out and have filed for dissolution, etc). I have repeatedly told him that I wasn't going to accept the abuse anymore and end the conversations quickly. However, I've come to see that even though I would end the conversation, it would happen again in a later conversation. Finally, I realized that my part in it was that I'd still put myself in the place to allow it to happen. The less I speak to AH, the less we speak of the matters that bring out his anger, etc - the less verbal abuse there is.

For a long time, I didn't recognize or know what verbal abuse was. I though that it was just degrading remarks and name calling. Today, I understand that verbal abuse comes in many forms. And in that, I've also been able to recognize that I have also used verbal abuse.

Abuse that does not leave physical marks is harder to recognize and harder to see. Thank you for the above post.
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Old 10-04-2006, 05:49 PM
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Pick a name he has made you believe you can't make it witout him. Maybe the nasty things he's said didnt' really bounce off. Maybe that quack quack you've been trying not to listen to sunk in. Living alone after living with an alcoholic is a blast! No eggshells. I bet you aren't just afraid to live without him, I bet he's made you afraid of everything.
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:58 AM
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My AH was sober for 18 yrs then 7 yrs ago started bingeing, He never use to swear a lot, but then he still believed in God, now the filth that proceeds out of his mouth and the insults that he feels are justified just keep coming. One thing I noticed that gave him this justification was his denial of God, it seemed to impower him, as though now he was free to do and say what ever he wanted, where before there were some restraints now there isn't any.

Another thing I came to realize was that the more excuses I made for his behavior, the more he ridiculed and insulted me, it's as though I have given him permission to walk all over me, because he knows I have just kept accepting his behavior, It didn't matter that I was sick and had no way of supporting myself, that just seemed to add more fuel to the fire, all the time I thought I was getting better at letting his verbal abuse wash over me, and not be so affected by it.

The other night we were discussing my son and his wife and my son's behavior, and he said he'd never get away with acting that way (my son) because there would be repercussions, but as soon as he said that, he left the room, it has been burning a hole in my brain since then, I am not sure what to do, but I've decided to do something, I have been so afraid for so long that he would leave me, or I would be alone with no support.

Well it finally dawned on me I am already alone, he hasn't wanted to be sober for so long that I spend all my time by myself, this disease is all about self, and Iam always on the outside looking in. What I want to do is keep on doing what I've always done, but I know I can't, so far I've been trying to decide on where to go, and what to do once I get there, I need all the prayers I can get.
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:58 AM
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Having been there myself, it's worse than living alone. Its like living with the devil on you shoulder. In every word they say, somehow no mater waht the words are, it interprets to mean you are stupid, you are selfish, you don't know what you are talking about, you misspend your time etc. The make you afraid of everything, they make you question the simplest things, you even start sentences with , "I'm sorry but..... Nothing is any of your business, every word out of your mouth is corrected or ammended. Every time you disagree wtih them, you are wrong. Period. You become a haggared looking Stepford wife. It is simply less exhausting to agree with them. They clip your wings. A bird manipulated to stay is no pet, it is a slave. That bird can't leave. Living without them is a blast. It is like God saying fly little bird, you have wings and realizing it for the first time.
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Old 10-05-2006, 04:04 AM
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Good point MallowCup......what you say about starting sentences with"I'm sorry" So true. I have had people say that I apologize too much. Had no clue I was doing this. You walk on eggshells, afraid of the next blow up.
Sometimes I wonder how much is the alcohol and how much is the jerk within.
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:47 AM
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God gave me wings last year and I did fly. I can't begin to tell you how happy I was, for the first time EVER in my adult life. Everything took on a new beauty. I could hear and see things that I hadn't enjoyed since I was a child.

Unfortunately, it was the first time that I was ever alone in my life. I did not have any type of counseling for the treatment I had endured since I was a teenager. I didn't know how to resist temptation. When the Abf started calling me, I thought it was alright to 'still be friends'. NO!!! It was a huge and emotionally crippling mistake. Now....I'm back here. The self esteem is slowly going downhill again. I am a bird in a cage again, but I allowed myself to be put in this cage BECAUSE I allowed my alcoholic to slip back into my life.

I am surrounded by alcoholics who are always trying to manipulate, control, and tear me down. I WAS doing so well just a few months ago and BELIEVE ME they saw it. So....the games started. It's like crabs in a bucket. Don't let her get out. So all the other crabs started pulling me back down into the bucket. May sound like a strange analogy, but it works for me. I am a firm believer that MISERY LOVES COMPANY.

I am praying that God will give me wings again, BUT I know that I need to start working on bringing myself back up to where I was before. I need to get out of that bucket of sand!!!!

Thanks for this post. It has helped me a lot!
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:57 AM
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I went through years of verbal and emotional abuse. Some of the things he would say to me and about me I would rather him slapped me down. The scares always stick with you. I have been div from him almost 4 years and I still have the scars from the abuse...even my kids went through this.

I dont think they ever realize how bad they are hurting you when they are doing this. You know that they say...sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me....welllll thats not true...words stick with you longer than broke bones.

I hope it gets better for each of you but I wouldnt hold my breathe to long because when they get to this point it is hard to get them to realize what they are doing and change. They want change until they want too and most of the time they never do.

My prayers are with you all. Grace just keep hanging on to the edge of that bucket some day you will have to strength to climb on out of there. If you let him and lean on him God will give you this strength to pull on over the edge. Just take care of you.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:02 AM
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I t really cripples everyone in the house. We don't realize to what degree. We keep the dinner warm and the kids quiet. We don't have friends over and neither do they. We hate mentioning a bill. We can't have the wrong show on Tv or have it on too loud. we can't tie up the phone with our nonsense. The kids can't wear sneakers like their friends and we don't buy a new lipstick from Avon because that stuff is just junk. Beer isn't junk. Buying rounds isn't junk. They don't just entitle themselves to thier own paycheck to spend as they please, they tell you how to spend yours. If the taxes com e, it leads to an hour of ranting about the government. If they get shorted an hour on thier paycheck, they rant about it for an hour. Don't you complian about being shorted an hour, that leads to another rant aobut your boss for an hour. They don't handle the bills, they don't do a thing with the kids, They don't even want to watch TV, You kept dinner warm because last night you didn't and then they aren't hungry. What part of this are any of us supposed to miss?
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