Thursday, July 26, 2007
This is very interesting. I wonder in what cases it would actually be better to forget that something happened? Aren't we, as humans, supposed to remember things, even bad ones, so that we can learn from them?
Monday, July 16, 2007
Verbal abuse is often disguised by jokes by the perpetrator. These "jokes" are cutting, getting to the partner's core. They often demean the partner's femininity or abilities.
Some examples are:
~Boy, are you easily entertained.
~What else can you expect from a woman?
~You couldn't find your head if it weren't attached.
When/if you tell your partner that you do not think his "jokes" are funny, he may snap at you or tell you that you are too sensitive or that you cannot take a joke.
Do not think there is anything wrong with your sense of humor. These "jokes" are not funny, they are abusive.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Underming is a tactic verbal abusers utilize to dampen his partner's enthusiasm, happiness, or excitement.
Undermining includes anything a partner uses to dampen your excitement. Some examples might include the following phrases:
-Nobody asked you.
-Who asked for your opinion?
-Who are you trying to impress?
-What makes you think you're so smart?
-You'll never make it.
-It's over your head.
In her book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Patricia Evans even describes a situation in which every time one woman sat down to study, her partner took on a very concerned look and asked if she was OK. Over time, the woman became very anxious about studying, something she had originally been very enthusiastic about.
When you are constantly undermined, the verbal abuser tears at your self-esteem by making you feel as if your opinions, thoughts, and feelings don't matter.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Verbal abuse, unlike physical abuse, can be overt or covert. It isn't always obvious to the victim/survivor or her loved ones that she is being abused.
14 categories constitute verbal abuse, one of which is withholding.
Withholding occurs when one partner withholds affection, information, thoughts, and feelings from his partner. When one person in a relationship withholds, intimacy cannot be created. Survivors of verbal abuse who have experienced withholding say they do not know what they did "wrong" to be ignored.
Some examples of withholding might include:
-a partner withholding affection from you until you do what he wants you to do.
-refusing to give you information about where he is going, when he is coming back, about financial resources, and other forms of information.
-withholding material resources - in marriage, especially, withholding a promised food budget, bill payments, etc.
-refusing to answer questions, make eye contact, etc.
-withholding affection and comfort when you need it.
Over time, withholding damages self-esteem. The mistake many survivors of verbal abuse make, including myself, is that they try to "fix" the problem. They desperately try to figure out how to make the abuser happy so that he will quit withholding.
The truth is, there is absolutely nothing you can do to please your abuser to get him to quit withholding from you. Withholding, like all other abusive behaviors is about power and control.
Patricia Evans was one of the first authors to explore verbal abuse in her book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship. Over the course of the next 2-3 weeks, I will be taking an in depth look at verbal abuse, the things verbal abusers say and do, how to respond to it, and how to escape it.
Please be advised that many of these entries contain detailed descriptions of abusive behavior. For your own safety, if you find verbal abuse too triggering, please refrain from reading this material.