Psychological/emotional/ verbal Abuse

Old 11-28-2010, 08:07 AM
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Psychological/emotional/ verbal Abuse

Psychological abuse, often called emotional or verbal abuse, is the belittling, humiliation, intimidation or threatening of a partner. Isolating a partner from friends and family and controlling finances are abusive behaviors too. Emotional abuse is the most common form of abuse - and yet least talked about. Many people don't know that they have been - or are being - emotionally abused.

Emotional Abuse is characterized by a climate of abuse. Unlike physical or sexual abuse, where a single incident constitutes abuse, emotional abuse is made up of a series of incidents, or a pattern of behavior that occurs over time. Emotional abuse insults, threatens, isolates, degrades, humiliates and/or controls another person. It may include a pattern of one or more of the following abuses: insults, criticisms, harassment, aggressive demands or expectations, threats, rejection, neglect, blame, emotional manipulation and control, isolation, punishment, terrorizing, ignoring, or teasing.

Emotional abuse is not only under-reported, but it's effects are minimized. The famous childhood verse, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me" is simply not true. In fact, many physical and sexual abuse survivors have said that the emotional abuse was often more devastating and had longer-term effects. Emotional abuse cuts to the core of a person, attacking their very being. Emotional abuse, if frequent enough, is usually internalized by the victim and leaves them feeling fearful, insignificant, unworthy, untrusting, emotionally needy, undeserving and unlovable and as if they were bad, deserving of punishment and to blame. Survivors of emotional abuse often have a hard time understanding why they feel so bad. The abuse may not sound like much and often people around them will minimize the experience, telling them it's not so bad. But a climate of disregard for a person's feelings, where one is subjected to constant or frequent criticisms, being yelled at, or being ignored - has a deep and profound effect, attacking the very self-image and confidence of a person.

It is harder to recognize emotional abuse as abuse, it can be harder to heal from as well. The first step is to name your experience as abuse. Trust how you feel. Many people can identify the abuse once they know what to look for because they change from being outgoing, self-confident and care-free to feeling nervous, anxious and fearful in the company of an emotionally abusive person. Those feelings combined with abusive behavior is convincing evidence that you are being abused. Identifying the abuse as abuse is an important step in your healing. It means that you recognize that what happened to you was wrong, hurtful and not your fault. Placing responsibility for the abuse on the abuser is key to healing from abuse.

You can tell its emotional abuse when you start feeling bad about yourself and you're afraid to say or do anything because it could be the wrong thing. Emotional abuse and battery share the same root cause: One person desires power and control over another. Often, psychological abuse leads to physical violence or sexual abuse. A husband or boyfriend who is emotionally abusive often plays games with the victim's mind. Typically, he criticizes her, degrades her and humiliates her. Withholding affection, approval or companionship is a form of psychological abuse, too. With all these kinds of things, after a period of time when you hear them enough, you come to believe them, so it affects your self esteem; it gets you where you live. There's, also, a sense of being kept off balance. Often the abuser monopolizes his partner by making himself the center of her existence. Typically, an abuser targets areas of a woman's life that he knows are particularly sensitive, such as her parenting skills, her appearance or her intelligence.

Emotional abuse sets up a dynamic where the victim comes to believe that they are to blame and that they must work harder to fix the problems, such as improving the relationship. This never works because the problem is not the victim; the abusive behavior is the problem. Nothing you do will change that. No matter how nice and accommodating you are, nothing that you do will change an emotionally abusive person's behavior. In fact, many people get even more aggressive when you try to make it better, because they sense that you think it's your fault and this confirms their own beliefs!

Being verbally abused is exhausting & emotionally draining for the victim. Emotional, in-your-soul, abuse isn't outwardly apparent, like bruises or broken bones; the damage goes much deeper. Every verbal assault can trigger a response in the victim's body and mind as if physical danger were imminent. Each time the abuse begins, the victim's body gears up as if to fight or to flee, which can result in long-term health consequences including high blood pressure, asthma, strokes and other illnesses triggered by stress. Victims may develop a sense of helplessness and lose the ability to protect themselves. They may be irritable, hostile and angry a lot of the time under this threat.

A person who is verbally abusive, but has not caused the victim physical harm, can still become violent. A woman should ask herself if her partner has ever used physical force against someone else or property. Has he gotten into fistfights, smashed things or thrown a chair against the wall? These are signs that he has the potential to become physically or sexually abusive.

Every year, an estimated two million to four million women in the United States are victims of domestic violence, a public-health problem that is difficult to track due to the shame and stigma still attached to it. Psychological abuse is even more difficult to quantify. No one goes to the emergency room after being humiliated. It's difficult to file a complaint with law-enforcement agencies charging that your partner controls the family finances or isolates you from your friends. Further, the victims of psychological abuse may not even realize they are being abused. They may feel bad about themselves or their relationship, but they may not connect that feeling with their partner's behavior.

How do you recognize emotional abuse?

One thing that can help is to step back from your situation and examine the overall climate in your home. Trust your instincts and feelings about people. Emotional abuse is insidious and can be very subtle, so trust your gut; it's telling you something.

Are you being controlled through criticism, moodiness, anger, threats, overprotection and "caring," denying your perceptions, ignoring your needs and opinions, unilateral decisionmaking, financial dependence, isolation, intimidation, or humiliation? How many of these sound like your life?

Whenever you're feeling good, does your partner always deflate your mood?

Is nothing you do ever right or good enough for your partner?

Can only your partner be right? Does he always correct your impressions or the way you say and do things?

Do you receive only sarcastic or backhanded compliments from your partner never positive support or encouragement?

Does your partner call you names?

Does your partner say you're too sensitive and can't take a joke right after saying something cruel to/about you?

Does your partner create a scene, then accuse you of exaggerating or making the whole thing up when if you confront him about it?

Does your partner continually break promises, but say he never promised in the first place?

Does your partner act as if you're imagining all the problems in your relationship?

If you cry because you are hurt, does your partner say you're hysterical or overly upset or ask why you upset yourself so much?

If you're angry and tell him, does he then blame his anger on you or say you're being abusive simply by being angry?

Does your partner insist you feel the way he expects you to feel rather than the way you feel?

If you are ill, does your partner refuse to help or promise to help and then "forget"?

Does your partner constantly interrupt you, forget what you said, change the subject, or twist the meaning of your words?

Is someone else always to blame for your partner's problems?

When you ask why your partner's angry, does he deny his anger?

Does your partner accuse you of trying to start an argument when you want to discuss something with him?

When you try to discuss something that's bothering you with your partner does he frequently "have no idea what you're talking about"?

Does your partner walk away, tease you, or ignore you if you express your opinion?

Does your partner believe they should always have the final say?

After agreeing to a resolution, does your partner do exactly the opposite of what you agreed upon?

If you ask about something you should have had a say in deciding, does your partner insist "but that's already been decided"?

Are there topics that you are not allowed to freely discuss?

Is your free time limited to your partner's interests?

Does your partner steer you towards dressing a certain way, a certain hairstyle, or some other appearance that doesn't really suit your own tastes?

Does your partner often tell you that he'd like your appearance better if only... you lost weight? you gained weight? you changed something else about yourself?

Does your partner totally disrespect and discount your feelings?

Does your partner putdown your friends and family or nag at you until you stop contacting them?

Does your partner accuse the people who are your support system of "causing trouble"?

Do you feel like you're on an emotional roller coaster?

Is your partner manipulative with lies & contradictions?

Does your partner say cruel, hurtful things just to upset you?

Are you constantly criticized?

Does your partner expect you to be "perfect"?

Is there a scene if you have a differing opinion from your partner's?

Is living with your partner tense since you never know what will set off your partner's temper?

Are you anxious whenever you both visit with friends and family because you expect your partner to humiliate you over something you've done or one of your personality traits?

Does your partner get angry, then either blow his top or withdraw into prolonged silence until you apologize for whatever it was that "made him angry"?

When you can't read your partner's mind and follow his unspoken "rules," does your partner become furious?

If your partner dislikes what you're doing, are you unfairly threatened with a call to report you to public aid, child welfare, I.N.S., etc.?

Does your partner tell your children that you're a bad parent?

Does your partner "worry" about you too much if you're away from home?

Do you receive phone calls or unexpected visits from your partner to see if you're "okay"?

Do you need your partner's approval to have friends and family visit?

Is your partner reluctant to socialize with you? Does your partner refuse to take you anywhere?

Are you accused of caring more for your family and friends than for him? Does your partner say he's not getting enough of your time or energy?

Are you scared that your partner will be mad if you're even a few minutes late?

Is your partner jealous or overprotective when it comes to your coworkers or friends of the opposite sex?

Do you need to stay at home to take care of your responsibilities, but your partner always finds the time to go out?

Is your partner jealous when you talk to new people?

Does your partner accuse you of being unfaithful if you're late or not where he expects you to be?

Is your partner excessively jealous? Does your partner need to know all the details of who you saw where and what you did?

Does your partner insist that you cannot leave him and you'll always be together?

Has your partner threatened to kill you or themselves if you leave them?

Has your partner ever threatened to take the children away or kidnap them if you leave?

There is hope, however. If you know that you're currently being emotionally abused, you'll need to find ways to protect yourself emotionally; to reduce or stop contact with the abusive person; to find allies; to talk about what is going on and to look into options to keep yourself from being further abused. There are many resources to help you with abuse in relationships. Individual therapy or support groups with other victims can help a woman increase her self-esteem and her ability to recognize potentially abusive behavior. As she spends more time in a support group talking to other ladies or working with a counselor her mental health has a big turn around.

Countering the negative messages that you received is, also, really important. You may need to write down all the insulting things that you learned about yourself and counter each one with the truth. It may feel unnatural or foreign to counter these messages, but it will help you to feel better in the long-run. Catch yourself when you find that you are putting yourself down. Take a breath and remind yourself that you don't want to do that anymore, that you don't deserve to be hurt and that you want to think of yourself differently. See if you can come up with something that you like about yourself. If you can't come up with something good, think about how you would like to think about yourself. The idea is to interrupt the flow of insulting thoughts you have and to find ways to replace those thoughts with self-soothing ones. By finding ways to be gentle and soothing with yourself, you are directly countering those messages. Being kind to yourself by asking yourself what you need, what you want to do and letting yourself do those things are all ways to create a more positive and loving relationship with yourself. No matter what you've been told or how you've been treated, you are worthy of love and respect. The more you know this, the less likely you will be to accept disrespectful or abusive behavior towards yourself or others. You should not have to take emotional abuse from anyone - no matter what the excuse. You deserve to be treated well.

If the answers to the above questions fit your life then you are being emotionally/ verbally abused. As I read through them now I am appalled at how many of them applied to my life. I wish I had had this list to have read much earlier in my life and the courage to act upon it. Perhaps I wouldn't have had to post my thread entitled "When Adult Children Become The Parents!". I have had to face reality face when the motel manager placed "battery"charges against my dry drunk husband. Please, do better than I did. Recognize your situation and act on it.

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Old 11-28-2010, 08:26 AM
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Thank you for sharing this excellent information.

I think this topic is directly related to recovery. A person can stop drinking but if they aren't addressing the behaviors that accompany their drinking.....they are not in recovery.

Thanks again for sharing is excellent!

gentle hugs
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:49 PM
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Thank you for posting this. I am adamant that my nephew is being emotionally abused by his other Aunt, but I keep on hitting a brick wall with almost evetyone else, they just either won't or don't see it.
I have a solicitor involved and she is the best at minimising the situation! (although she's brilliant in all other ways)
I have to spell things out to her all the time and she still doesn't seem to 'get it'

From what you posted I'm relieved that I have been doing the 'right' things with him, encouraging him to talk and minimising the contact etc, but still we get harassed and have attempts at intimidation. They aren't going to beat us though!
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:59 PM
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Did you write this? If so, I commend you, it's brilliant.

If not, it's customary to credit the author. Not trying to be critical, just saying that if I wrote something, I wouldn't want it posted somewhere without proper credit.

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Old 11-28-2010, 05:36 PM
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LaTeeDa, the thread is my composition based upon the works of **** Munro, M.Ed., Psychotherapist, Richard Tolman, an associate professor of social work at the University of Michigan, RosaLinda Garcia Gusman, a social worker with the Texas Council on Family Violence, Laura W. Sparrowhawke, and a white paper by the National Institute of Justice.
In one of my previous lifes I was a licensed therapist.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Phoenixthebird View Post
In one of my previous lifes I was a licensed therapist.
Wow. What an incredibly fortunate position for you to be in. I imagine you have an extensive network of professionals you could tap in to for referrals, recommendations, and help in this time of need in your life.

When I separated from my husband, I had no idea who to turn to. Making that first appointment with a therapist was like stepping off a cliff. I resisted it with all my being, even though I was coming apart at the seams.

I hope your "previous life" offers some relief for you in your current life. This has to be more than a coincidence.

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Old 11-28-2010, 08:37 PM
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Phoenix, I'm glad I took the time to read through this. It triggered some memories of my XAH who is an emotional abuser. Not everything he does or says is abusive, but from 1 - 10, I'd rank him as a 5 on the offender scale. Definitely enough to be destructive.

My three daughters are often afraid to be themselves around their dad. He has a very subtle way of injecting his disappointment or disapproval. Sarcasm and humor are his tools for "disguising" his jabs. Each of my girls is affected by it, and each of them has her own way of attempting to please him. They've all learned how to not rock the boat around him.

This is something I work at helping them to understand about their dad. It's painful to hear their stories about their interactions with him...and to watch their fear when they're afraid they've disappointed him. It stirs up sadness in me and brings out my mama bear instincts at the same time.

In your "previous life" did you ever work with children who were emotionally abused? This has made me wonder what resources are out there (books maybe) for helping children to understand and deal with a parent who is like this.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:28 AM
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LaTeeDa, I guess having an "extensive network of professionals you could tap in to for referrals, recommendations, and help in this time of need" was helpful. However, it, also, presents its' own set of problems at the same time. I have this professional side of me that I tried to maintain, and yet, my private side was caught in the mud and sinking. My current therapist and I have known each other for over twenty years, so we could just sit down and immediately work on my recovery. We already knew each other so we didn't have to take the time to build trust. Each therapist is as different as their personality is unique. My therapist, my friend, is a straight-shooter, without adding any sugar, to his recommendations. He has made comments to me that my first instinct is to get upset with him, but after I have thought about what he has said to me, most of the time he's right! After my daughter's completed suicide I decided it was in my best interest to switch careers.

HealingWillCome, early in my education and training I realized I could not work with children. I have always treasured children as special gifts from God, and they are my weak point. I could not have been an effective therapist with children because all children in general touch me in my heart. I have no pity for anyone that can harm an innocent child.

MY closing prayer:
I might wish you wealth,
or I might wish you health,
or that good fortune would caress you...
But wealth might bring sorrow,
good health could fail tomorrow,
so IŽll simply say GOD Bless You!!!

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Old 12-02-2010, 07:55 AM
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emotional abuse

Phoenix, thanks for that post! My AH is still in a nursing home recovering from nearly killing himself from drinking. He has Korsakoff Syndrome now and possibly worse. Still waiting after 3 weeks for results of neuropsycometric testing :-(. Should results take that long? Anyway... So many of the questions you posed about what an emotional abuser does, rang so many bells. MY AH didn't do some of them, some are subtle and some are pretty clear. Alot of them stopped happening as he got older and more feeble too but it answered alot of the fears I have about bringing him home. I told him the only way he could come home was if he stopped being such a d**k. I really want out of this relationship. I thought he was going to die and thought that would end it but no...I had to save him. Part of me could kick myself but I can't be that way. I almost wish he had ever hit me. You're so right that physical abuse is easier to deal with than emotional abuse. At one point I told him I wanted a divorce, which got me in big trouble with his daughter who is just as abusive as he is and now thinks she is in control and is so angry with me for letting some other family members and friends know where things were at. How dare I reveal to others HIS bad behavior..even though it was to let them know how severe the situation and his mental state was and that I needed help from them. So I currently have more issues with her than him! Makes me want to run farther and faster than ever! But I am learning to hold my own with her and him. So that's good. They just really know where those buttons are with their subtle sarcasm and shaming behavior. It's very difficult not to feel threatened after so many years of this. I grew up in this and watched terrible physical abuse to my mother too. I now have real issues knowing how to trust or who to trust because so many times I feel like I get taken advantage of. I am getting better, but I know I'll always have those pot holes waiting to gobble me up and it scares the hell out of me. I'd rather be alone and often isolate because of it. I wish people would stop being so mean to each other. Thanks for your post again.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:27 AM
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Wittss, I suffered a life changing massive stroke in DEC 2009. There is a big crunk of time missing from my memory. I don't remember having the stroke. By the time my dry drunk husband got me to the hospital, my organs were starting to fail. From DEC 23rd until JAN 8th I suffered from vascular dementia, and almost died. Once vascular dementia develops, there are no drugs currently approved by the FDA to treat it. My doctors had no scientific explanation why this miracle happened. The only explanation is By the Grace of God! I am just glad to be alive and I feel like I want to shout it from the rooftops!

I feel like I'm someone who "Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". I have so many mixed feelings. On one side, I'm so glad to be alive, and yet, When I came back into reality I was filled with so much anger and rage from my 39 year marriage with my husband. For the majority of our marriage he actively drank over more than half a gallon of rum each and every night. When he finally quit he went cold turkey without working all the steps in AA. As a result he is now a dry drunk,still possessing all the traits he had while he was an active alcoholic. Our marriage was always about him! His common reponse to decisions we needed to make was "What about me (him)!" It has taken me some time, also, to realize that I was being psychologically abused by him.

I should have been discharged to a skilled nursing facility. I have suffered immobility problems and can not move around very easy without my power chair. When I came home the only member of my family I could rely upon was my 35 year old son. I received more care and compassion from my three border collies than I did from my husband. I begged him on several occasions to take time off from work to help me. He refused! I later found out he had over four weeks of use or lose (excess time) on his timecard. Forget about the marriage vows "in sickness and in health." My DDH just wasn't there for me!

Fast forward to now! My relationship with my DDH has not improved. In fact, it has deteriorated. If it hadn't been for my 35 year old son becoming my caregiver, I don't know how I would have made it!

I now know that I can't trust him to rely upon for taking care of me. I've done some soul searching and realize I can not become his caregiver. My husband has never listened to me during our marriage, and in order for me to become the caregiver, and him as the patient, he would have to listen to me!

I needed time to recuberate and heal from my massive stroke. I found SR was a good support system for me, and I am in individual therapy. I'm starting to feel healthier and stronger, both physically and emotionally, and with God's help I will be able to start a new life for me!

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.

Wittss feel free to PM me any time just for venting if you want!
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:45 AM
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Thanks, it helps so much to se ethings spelled out. Many times we are in such denial that a nuclear bomb can't dent it. I was in extreme denial for several years. I was having nightmares about crawling through abandoned buildings, was scratching my scalp bloody, and several other tics. Now, I have my eyes open and working to fix my situation.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:20 PM
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Thank you so much for calling attention to this important, but often overlooked, situation.
As a child I was emotionally abused by my mother (not an alcoholic) and her verbal punches have stayed with me my whole life. And at times I've thought it would have been easier if she'd hurt me.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:29 PM
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Phoenix ... I'm so sorry to read about the devastating stroke and all the marital problems. Most of all I'm sorry that you're so hurt and angry. One thing that helped me when I was newly sober and in a lot of pain was taking a pad of paper and writing a gratitude list. Jotting down small things I had that were good. It took the focus off the misery I felt a bit. I imagine you learned about emotional abuse from your husband. You are so right, it's as subtle as a knife in the gut. But remember, you are helping others here who may not realize they're the victim of this insidious torture.
God Bless....
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:07 PM
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NYCDoglvr, I agree that our daily living can lead us to just think about our negatives. Sometimes we just need to take some time to take an inventory of all our negatives and compare it against our blessings. It can be difficult at times to see God's loving hand, but if we just open our eyes we can see the majesty of the Lord. When we take the time we can see our Heavenly Father's hand every where ...the heavens, the planets, the stars, the limitless universe give only a partial view of how very great God really is.

When we are at one of our lowest point in life we need to do this. A lot of people today question the presence of God. On May 16, 1995 my 23 year old daughter completed suicide. I was very anger at God and wondered why He had abandoned me. I was so comsumed with grief I didn't allow Him to show me His love. I came to realize it was me that had left God, God was still there, waiting for me with His arms spread open to come back home.

I have realized my problems weren't helping me to recuberate. I have so much anger and resentment to work through with my therapist. I want to concentrate on myself, at least for the moment. It just wouldn't be a good time right now to begin marriage or family therapy. My therapist agrees with me that I need to have this counseling just for myself. I, also, trust him that when and if it's time, to include my DDH or family in my counseling he will let me know.

My therapist has made me aware that I am a codependent and am as addicted to my husband as he is addicted to alcohol. After 39 years of marriage I know my DDH has a lot of baggage to work through. He is, also, my son's father and my grandson's grandfather.

I have taken an inventory of my life and how I managed to get into this situation. I now am able to see where I became my husband's crutch and never really made him to account for his responsibilites and life. He was the only person who could work the 12 steps for himself. I just wish my eyes could have been opened a lot sooner in my life. However, I still plan on going into my senior years based upon the "Golden Girls".
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:30 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
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Sounds good to me, Phoenix. Wondering which one to choose.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:11 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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Wow Phoenix. This is absolutely fantastic and such valuable information. I really thought about my past relationships, I dont think I wanted to see it you know? Although subtle the abuse was there. I was never thin enough, mature enough, smart enough, accomodating enough. Ugh it disgusts me to even remember it. But the one thing I have to completely agree upon is that is left scars. It really did. Thanks so much for posting this. Its a great check list for me.

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Old 12-02-2010, 08:51 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
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Phoenix it was almost firghtening to read your post because so much of it was xah. I remember at one point in our marriage thinking I needed to get out because if I ever got sick-really sick-I knew he would not take care of me. I remember when I had a hysterectomy and he picked me up from the hospital and left me at home alone with our 2 young children because he had a gig. He did not cancel it. Then 3 days later he left for a week for a job interview-again leaving me with 2 kids to take care of. Not once did it dawn on him that I was having a hard time taking care of myself.

I was never allowed to be sick. I was extremely ill once and the ER told me I needed to get to urgent care immediately. I was so dehydrated that after the 3rd liter of saline they told me I might have to go to the hospital. Did he show concern. Nope. He was pi**ed off because I was sick and he would have to take care of the kids. If he kids were sick I took off work because he would not take care of them-even though he was home and not working. If he had a sniffle you would have thought the world was coming to an end and we all had to be quiet and cater to his needs.

I think about what I put up with for 12 years (although I also suffered severe emotional abuse from my alcoholic mother the entire time she was alive). What I had became when I was around my mother and around my xah was not me. I can recall xah (although he bad-mouthed my mom all through our marriage) turning it all around and telling me I was so hateful because I did not love my mother and did not know how to love anyone. That I had lied that she was an alcoholic. I knew the tide had turned when I became enraged when he said this because I knew what my mother had done to me and for him to basically sit there and tell me I was a liar and had made it all up and that I would never know how to love anyone. It is making me angry just writing about it.

Even finally breaking away and saying-no, I will not live like this anymore. I will not let you treat me like this. I will not believe all the garbage you have shoveled at me all these years (my mom and my xah). It does leave scars and it takes a long time to heal from those wounds. For me, I work daily to break that cycle of emotional abuse and not pass it on to my own children. My kids have many issues due to the horrible start they got in life (they lived in an orphanage in Russia the first year of their life). They are not easy children to be around but I make a decision every day I get up that it is a new day and whatever they did the day before is history. They were neglected and abused and suffered trauma worse than mine before they became my children. I some times wonder if God put them in my life because He knew that I would not let that cycle of abuse continue. Sorry, I am just rambling here.

Your post has brought out so many feelings. The abuse has stopped at me but the scars do run deep.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:56 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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Emotional abuse cuts to the core of a person, attacking their very being. Emotional abuse, if frequent enough, is usually internalized by the victim and leaves them feeling fearful, insignificant, unworthy, untrusting, emotionally needy, undeserving and unlovable and as if they were bad, deserving of punishment and to blame. Survivors of emotional abuse often have a hard time understanding why they feel so bad. The abuse may not sound like much and often people around them will minimize the experience, telling them it's not so bad. But a climate of disregard for a person's feelings, where one is subjected to constant or frequent criticisms, being yelled at, or being ignored - has a deep and profound effect, attacking the very self-image and confidence of a person.
This is me. Thank you for the post, makes a lot of sense. xx
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