Tag Archives: verbal abuse

What is True Love? Not This…

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Every form of abuse is about power and control. True love is about mutual respect and honor.

PLAYGROUND BULLY: I’ll punch you if you don’t give me your iPhone.

PHYSICAL ABUSER: I’ll punch you where no one will see the bruises, act the hero, and tell everyone you’re crazy if you try to talk about it. No need to give me the iPhone.

SEXUAL ABUSER: I’ll hurt you and have fun doing it, then you’ll know your worth is bound in how you satisfy me. I own you and your iPhone.

VERBAL ABUSER: You &%#$! Give me the iPhone you little piece of $%&! Oh, you can’t give me the phone because you’re a nobody. You’re worthless.

EMOTIONAL ABUSER: Give me your iPhone because if you do not I will not love you. If you want it back you have to give me what I want or I won’t love you.

FINANCIAL ABUSER:  Your money is mine. My money is mine. I will decide how much you can keep or spend.  iPhone? You don’t need an iPhone because I want a new set of golf clubs.

SPIRITUAL ABUSER: If you do not follow the religious guidelines I made for you, you will go to hell. Guideline one: give me your iPhone.

Today’s Helpful Word  

1 Corinthians 13: 4, 5

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered…”

 

***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

 

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

Closer Look At Domestic Abuse

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2017 Donna Rogers, Guest Blogger

(Today’s infographic and article is from guest blogger Donna Rogers from CNAClassesFreeInfo.com)

Stop Domestic Abuse

When a partner in an intimate relationship physically or emotionally abuses the other person, the activity is classified as domestic violence. Contrary to the commonplace belief, this abuse is not merely physical, but can also take the form of emotional and/or sexual torture. In either case, you need to look out for the signs of an abusive relationship and end it immediately before the aggression takes a greater shape.

What are the signs of physical and/or sexual abuse?

Physical or sexual abuse includes a series of highly aggressive activities like beating, pushing, slapping, biting, kicking and choking. In this abuse, your abuser is likely throw or break objects, punch the wall or kick the door during heated arguments, ruin your personal property, recklessly drive to make you feel uncomfortable, compel you to have sex against your wishes, keep you trapped in your home, deny to provide you the basic resources, prevent you from leaving the home, threaten to hurt you, hurt your pets, withhold your essential medication and even prevent you from getting in touch with the police. If your partner exhibits such behavioral traits do not ignore them and seek help immediately.

What are the signs of emotional abuse?

Very often we tend to overlook emotional abuse and do not take it seriously enough. But emotional abuse too is an equally relevant abuse, which can take an ugly shape if ignored for long. If your partner controls your daily activities, humiliates you, makes you feel intimidated, worthless, or wrong, constantly criticizes you, gets jealous without any valid reason, stops you to spend quality time with someone else, checks your phone calls, tracks your whereabouts, harasses you in arguments, controls your money, compels you to ask for money, uses your personal history to humiliate you, threatens to commit suicide if you leave him- it is high time you seek proper help, as these are some of the most common signs of emotional abuse.

What is the domestic violence cycle?

Yes. Domestic violence has a complete cycle which comprises of three phases. Here’s everything that you need to know about it.

The tension building phase- This is the very first phase where tension will build over some really common domestic issues like your daily chores, your lifestyle, money or your children. This is followed by verbal abuse. The victim might initially get intimidated and then try to bring the situation under control by trying to please their partner. However, this will not put an end to the violence; rather, the tension will reach its highest point eventually taking the shape of physical abuse.

Physical abuse- Physical abuse takes place when the domestic tension is at its highest peak. This abuse is triggered either by an external event or the emotional state of the abuser. The victim’s behavior has no role to play in this abuse. The physical abuse is usually unpredictable and is entirely beyond the control of the concerned victim.

Honeymoon phase- This is the phase where the abuser will apparently be ashamed of his behavior. He will try to apologize, express his remorse, reduce the violence and might even blame the entire episode on the victim. He will take genuine attempts to convince the victim by stating that the abuse will never take place again. This behavior will seemingly strengthen the relationship with your partner and assure you that leaving your partner is not necessary. But owing to this cycle, an abuser is going to behave the same way when they are suffering from a tumultuous emotional phase or are triggered by an external event.

Why do men abuse women?

Although there are instances where men too have been abused by women, usually the situation is other way round. Women have been mercilessly abused and tortured by men since time immemorial. Although no cause can justify domestic abuse, some of the probable reasons of this social malady might be self-esteem issues, extreme levels of jealousy, psychological disorders, problems in controlling anger and inferiority complex. Other men tend to abuse and violate women as they are driven by the opinion that women are inferior to men, and can thus be controlled. In most cases, however, men tend to abuse women because the idea of abuse had been normalized by the families where they have been raised.

Where can you find help?

If your partner exhibits abusive behavioral traits, do not overlook it. Consult a domestic violence hotline immediately. The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 can provide you with resources, information and advice 24/7. The hotline is available in 200 languages and for the hearing impaired.

Another option, if it is not safe for you to call you can use their online live chat service: http://www.thehotline.org/help/

Furthermore, you read more about abusive relationships and how you can end them here.

The most important aspect here is to not suffer at the hands of a domestic abuser. There is help for you and your family, but you must take the first brave step!  —D.R.

Today’s Helpful Word

Proverbs 4:14-17

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.  Avoid it, do not go on it; turn from it and pass on.  For they cannot sleep unless they have caused trouble or vexation; their sleep is taken away unless they have caused someone to  fall.  For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.

 

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Comments are always welcome (see tab below).  NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

 

But He Doesn’t Raise His Voice: How to Know Verbal Abuse When You Hear It

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2017  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

It can be confusing trying to understand the definitive characteristics of verbal abuse. When does yelling in anger become abusive? Is emotional abuse the same thing? This excerpt from Berit “Brit” Brogaard, author of On Romantic Love, reveals some of it.

“A verbal abuser will define your reality, decide what you can or cannot do, and treat you as an (in-their-eyes) ugly part of themselves, a part that they have to undermine in order to keep up their own sense of self.”

Abuse is always about power and control. An abuser will follow a pattern whether that pattern covers an hour, day, months, or even years. I used to think of screaming, cussing, and insulting as verbal abuse. But what if the abuser does not raise his or her voice? Insults can be more subtle and without swear words.

Picture a woman smiling and clapping at her child’s school play. She greets other parents and thanks the teacher.  Once home, her words to her son or daughter are soft-spoken. “You should have practiced more. You never try hard,” or with a disappointed sigh, “I guess you did your best.”

This type of  insulting is not what I think most people mean when using the terms verbal assault or verbal beat-down.  In a way, what the mother is doing is scarier because of its subtlety. If this child should try to tell a trusted adult how mommy makes him or her feel, will the story be believed? More often than not, people tend to dismiss children unless evidence of abuse is obvious.

Meanwhile, the life lesson is clear and taken to heart. I am not good enough. I am incapable.  I am unlovable.  Schoolwork and relationships are negatively affected. Trust, love, and self-worth remain evasive. Behaviors such as seeking perfection in everything, or underachievment may result. The list goes on because humans are complicated.

Eric* has a favorite joke. His verbal abuse is rarely public.  With a smile he says to his wife, “You’re my californ I A.”  It sounds unusual and harmless unless you know what he means. “California is a big beach [bee-itch],” he first explained.  This is not the only way he repeatedly reminds his wife she is less-than and undeserving. 

She buys the rhetoric early in their marriage. Her full attention turns to pleasing Eric and trying to gain his approval. She ceases to know joy and a vibrant spirit of life outside of this longing. 

Both the mother and Eric are prone to ignore their family members’ achievements. Eric especially will respond with jealousy if his wife shares good news. In families, emotional abuse is the absence or irregularity of acceptance, love, appreciation, time, investment, and positive feelings for another person. It is neglectful or disinterested, manipulative, untruthful, and gives the abuser a temporary sense of power.

Emotional abuse does not have to come with words, whereas verbal abuse by definition does. Both reach the same ends that Brogaard wrote about.  The abuse will define your reality (who  I am, my perception of the world), and decide what you can or cannot do (I am afraid, I have to stay home, I cannot try anything without asking, etc.).

Brogaard added a piece of advice.

“There [are only two ways] to end verbal abuse. Call it to the abuser’s attention. If that doesn’t work, the only way out is to leave, as fast as you can.”

While true, this is not easy or possible in some cases. Where is a child to go? How are believers of lies supposed to understand they are abused? Some women are taught in certain forms of religion that they have to stay in their marriage, submissive, and supportive of their husbands no matter what. To defy this is to defy their understanding of God. 

Personally, I hurt for those who cannot escape. It took me decades.  If you know someone who is abused, or you suspect it, ask a professional how to proceed. On the Truth About Abuse  page of this website are many helpful call numbers and references applicable to various circumstances. 

Today’s Helpful Word

Ephesians 4:29 (from the “An Understandable Version”)

“Do not allow unwholesome [Note: The Greek word for “unwholesome” is “rotten, diseased”] language to come from your mouth, but only what is helpful for building up those who need it, so that you can impart favor [i.e., benefit] to those who listen [to you].”

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*not his real name

*picture from qualitystockphotos.com

Your Mental Illness, Your Responsibility (Part Two): Did Something Bring It On?

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

Little girl in car is going to miss her friends.

I read an article written in 1960 supposing that mental illness is not illness at all. A simplified version of the author’s reasoning was, in part, that the mind is not the brain. Personality and emotions (mind) cannot have a biological source because they are not tangible.

What is fascinating is just how tangible in a way, these invisible aspects of who we are have become. While we cannot literally touch emotions, brain scans allow us to “see” them as our brain works. The biology of mental illness is now evident.

Part one of this series takes a brief look at some of the science surrounding the topic of mental illness. Beyond what we know of the biology of mental illness and physical environments that may increase our risk, social experiences are tougher to define. Scientists call environmental factors the “second hit.”

We like to make comparisons because the more something is measured and  understood, the safer we feel.  If Johnny experiences the blues and is over it in a week, and if he never left his stressful job or withdrew from his friends and family, then all Susie has to do is quit feeling sorry for herself and grow up, right? Susie says she cannot handle work now, and stays in bed all day. We are tempted to say, “C’mon, Susie, be like Johnny already!”

Embracing the idea that Susie’s inner experience is different from Johnny’s might lead us to uncertainty. It helps to both look beyond the surface and to admit our limitations. Johnny may not have mental illness, or he might. Mental illnesses take various forms, and symptoms differ from one person to the next. There are criteria for diagnoses, and a professional’s assessment is superior to our guessing.

Some parents do well in teaching their children to cope after a death in the family or some other difficulty. As love and acceptance are freely offered in one home, the house next door may be unsafe. One family member may disrupt peace in a house. Many of us attended safe schools, while some students had to look over their shoulder every day. Religious training, friendships, television, video games, apps, books, and current events in the world all affect our beliefs, and how we think and cope.

While it is not precisely fair to say our families or one person brought on our mental illness, there are some connections from childhood maltreatment and trauma to adult mental illness that I believe even the most doubtful have to consider.

Trauma changes the brain. Whether lived or observed, people are traumatized by hard life experiences. Consider a boy who grows up in a violent atmosphere. He lives in survival mode during childhood while his brain is developing. He is flooded with stress hormones in a fairly constant state of threat. In a crisis, some regions of this child’s brain shut down while others fire up. There are “teams” (multiple parts of the brain working together) formed temporarily to handle fearful situations. All of these normal responses are overactive. It does not take a medical degree to see how this can affect the boy into adulthood.

Maia Szalovitz, neuroscience editor for Time .com, reported,  “Even among the most resilient survivors, the aftereffects of abuse may linger. Not only are such children at later risk for mental illness, but because of the way trauma affects the stress system, they are also more vulnerable to developing chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.” Scans uncover changes in particular parts of the brain in young adults who were victimized in childhood.

80% of adult patients in psychiatric hospitals were physically or sexually abused.** The lifetime number of suicide attempts significantly increases in cases of sexual abuse. Stress hormones early in life can damage us permanently. Our brain’s ability to bounce back, or flex with future stress may be injured. We may struggle to cope. Mental illness as an adult is itself a traumatic event, and with each episode the brain can be further damaged, raising the risk of more episodes.

What is True Love? Not This…

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2015  Nancy Virden

photo-24737764-a-man-holding-the-globeEvery form of abuse is about power and control. True love is about mutual respect and honor.

PLAYGROUND BULLY: I’ll punch you if you don’t give me your iPhone

PHYSICAL ABUSER: I’ll punch you where no one will see the bruises, act the hero, and tell everyone you’re crazy if you try to talk about it. No need to give me the iPhone.

SEXUAL ABUSER: I’ll hurt you and have fun doing it, then you’ll know who is boss and that I own you and your iPhone.

VERBAL ABUSER: You &%#$! Give me the iPhone you little piece of $%&! Oh, you can’t give me the phone because you’re a nobody. You’re worthless.

EMOTIONAL ABUSER: Give me your iPhone because if you do not I will not love you. If you want it back you have to give me what I want or I won’t love you.

FINANCIAL ABUSER: I will tell you how much of our money you can have and I will withdraw our money from you when I do not like how you are using it. iPhone? You don’t need an iPhone because I want a new bike instead.

SPIRITUAL ABUSER: If you do not follow the spiritual guidelines I set out for you, you will go to hell. Guideline one: Give me your iPhone.

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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*pictures from qualitystockphotos.com

 

If It Hurts, Is it Love? An Opinion Test

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2013 Nancy Virden

(1) He calls her. She hesitates to pick up the phone because she knows what will come out at her if she does. Her unemployed status has disappointed him. He has not seemed to notice that her volunteerism efforts have produced joy for children, in fact he has had no response at all when she attempts to share this, her greatest joy.

This phone call will be no different. She will withhold her emotions, and he will assume the position of one in charge by informing her exactly how she is failing.

Does he love her?

(2) He ducks every time he walks through that door.  His mother used to hide behind it and swat him when he returned from school. Now that he is an adult and independent, it surprises him that he still feels apprehension whenever he crosses that old threshold.

She passed away last year, and the duty of cleaning up her estate fell to him. Even after several months of coming to that house and not being swatted, he continued to feel the need to tense for a sprint at the sight of that door.  His reaction is as if he were still a child.

Did she ever love him?

(3) Her children are the joy of her heart. She would do anything for them. Memories of their childhood generally make her laugh as she compares the youngsters to the adults they have become.

She made mistakes as a parent, but had always been ready to listen to their points of view. She learned what they needed, tried to respond in kindness and firmness when necessary, and had apologized when she had been truly wrong.  No one had been swatted from behind doors, or insulted for mistakes. She grins as she recalls all the spilled milk, water, Kool-Aid,  and whatever. No one had been made to feel a fool.

Does she love them?

The opinion: According to a recent conversation, the first two stories are examples of people loving the best they know how. I disagree. Story three matches that description better.

I am not willing to call abuse love at all. While no one loves perfectly, love is not selfish. Damaging behavior committed in a reckless and thoughtless manner is selfish. Not considering another person’s pain (or joys) is selfish. Ignoring a person’s plea to stop treating them a certain way because it hurts them,  is definitely selfish.

What do you think? Does real love hurt?

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NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.