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Posts Tagged ‘verbal abuse’

As an adult, when we find ourselves in abusive relationships, we have the ability to talk to others, seek help and find ways to get away from the abuse.  Certainly it is not an easy thing to do but it is a choice that we can make.  However, children do not have the opportunities to know their resources and even if they do, are usually intimidated into believing whatever threats are made by their abuser.

I don’t have any children and I do not personally know any child that has suffered from physical abuse.  I do know that if I were aware of a child being abused, I would not hesitate to go to the authorities.  I would not try to handle the matter with the parent or parents as I am not trained to do so.  Nor would I be willing to risk the well-being of any child or children by allowing the parents to find ways to hide the children or try to hide the abuse or take the children and run.

Verbal abuse is an entirely different situation.  Many parents and other adults that I have met along the way do not find anything wrong with the way that they speak to their children.  For example, if a child is not doing well in school, they have no problem with telling the child that he/she is a loser and will never amount to anything.  They tell the children that they are dumb, stupid, etc. and go on their way, never thinking twice about the ramification of their words.  Then there are those who have children who do a fantastic job but regardless of their achievements, it is never enough.  They are expected to do well and if they don’t meet the parents’ expectations, then they are not trying hard enough or they are lazy or they don’t care and on and on and on.

I don’t think that there is a single person who is reading this blog who has not either personally experienced such behavior directly or saw others inflicting this upon other children.  Many girls are told that they are too fat or two skinny or too ugly, etc. and end up spending their adult life so self-absorbed in their personal appearance that they never even consider that they are beautiful people just for the people that they are.  They never consider that their real happiness in life would be found with a person who appreciates their willingness to trust and to nurture and to be allowed to be just whom and what they are.

Many of the same things happen for boys.  If they are not into playing sports and being the big man on campus and working out in the gym all of the time, they are constantly being reminded that they are failures as men and less than desirable and that no woman would ever be interested in them.  They have a difficult time growing into adults who understand that physical acumen has nothing to do with being a wonderful husband and great human being.  And the sad part here is that the abuse usually comes from the fathers who never succeeded in the athletic arena themselves and are now trying to live vicariously through their sons.

I do understand that most people act and talk to their children this way in the hope that it will spur them on to do bigger and better things.  After all, this is the way that the children’s parents were treated by their own parents.  However, if every adult would stop to think about the verbal abuse that they experienced as they grew up, I think that it would be a whole different ballgame.  How did you do in your adult life as a result of being told that you were dumb, stupid, lazy, too fat, too skinny, not smart enough, not working to your potential, not doing the best that you can, etc.?  How has such verbal abuse diminished you as a person?  How much did you buy into the abuse that was repeated to you over and over and over?  And now, most importantly, as a result of this abuse, how has it changed you as the person you are and what are you going to do to change from who you were told you are into the person that you actually are?  The easiest way will be to start speaking to the children in your life in a manner that is completely respectful and to offer your help and knowledge to them if they need it.  The more that you treat the children with dignity and respect, the more you will become a positive role-model in their lives and the more respect you will have for yourself which will lead you to being the person that you truly are and/or want to be.  And we will not end up raising another generation of people who will perpetuate the same destructive behavior on their children as we have been doing for so many generations.

If you need help or have questions about child abuse or child neglect, check out www.childhelp.org.

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With the big story in the news regarding the violence that occurred in the relationship between Chris Brown and Rhianna, the question that keeps surfacing is why Rhianna would go back to Chris after that beating.  Was she just that dumb, stupid, crazy, etc.?  Many people think so and everyone has lots of advice to give but unless you have been in that situation yourself, you have no idea about the dynamics that are in play.

I have no idea why Rhianna has chosen to stay with Chris, if, in fact, that is the choice that she has made.  However, I can share my particular situation and the reasons that I stayed in my abusive relationship.  But as no two people, and therefore, no two relationships are the same, I can’t begin to advise someone else about what is best for them.

I was married the first time at the age of 24.  My husband and I dated for a year and although he did tend to drink a bit too much on occasion, it was never a problem.  We both worked and loved to play tennis in our spare time.  We lived together the last 3 months of that year and decided that marriage was good for both of us.  The honeymoon lasted 4 months.  I don’t know what brought about the change but he did become a different person.  He stopped working and began drinking and smoking pot on a regular basis.  And within a very short period of time, he decided that rather than defending his actions, he would go on the offensive and started to accuse me of cheating on him when it was he who was cheating on me. 

When he did come home, he started with the accusations and progressed to slapping and punching me.  I never raised a hand to him nor did I verbally abuse or even yell at him.  I was afraid to do so because I was afraid that he would get even more violent.  Things escalated to the point where I had a loaded gun in my face on a regular basis and he threatened to kill me.  As a result of my fear, he was able to control my comings and goings.  He would show up at my office to check on me to be sure that I wasn’t flirting with someone.  When I got home after work and on weekends, he would call to make sure that I was home and it didn’t take long for me to follow the rules in order to avoid the repercussions.  If he returned home at 3 a.m. and wanted something to eat, he dragged me out of bed and would verbally and physically abuse me until I did what he wanted.  And, most importantly, with a gun in hand, he regularly reminded me that if I ever decided to leave, he would hunt me down and kill me.

The day after our 10th wedding anniversary, I moved out.  I had reached the point where I felt that if he did come after me and kill me, it would be preferable to living as I had for so long.  I had returned to him every day during all that time because I had made a commitment to spend the rest of my life with him.  I returned each day because I thought that I could find a way to fix things.  I returned each day because I loved him.  I returned each day because I couldn’t imagine abandoning another human being who had no job and no money.  And I returned each day because of the fear of death.  But, the day that I left, I knew that regardless of whatever may come my way in the future, I would never have a bad day now that I was free.  And I have never had a bad day since.

If you or anyone you know might need help, Check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.

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