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Verbal Abuse Demystified
April 24, 2007
10:56 am
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gracenotes
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This is from a newsletter I periodically receive.

Her website is http://www.verbalabuse.com, and Patricia Evans has written a number of books on abuse. Her message: Verbal abuse is the worst! In her books, she writes a lot about how verbal abusers have this sick need to define others and tell them who they are, almost as if they live inside the other person. Here's a question I have asked: How did my ex-verbal abuser define me? What does that have to say about his/her lacks within theirselves? Here's the article.

WHAT VERBAL ABUSERS DO

Is it any wonder we call bullies cowards? Bullies are mainly verbal abusers. While occupying positions of power, or influence or safety, they show themselves to be afraid to stand on their own two feet. Verbal abusers seem to reside in the people they target. Verbal abusers tell them what they are, what they think, know, intend, feel, etc., just as if they knew. It is as if the abuser says, I live within you and know what you are, I'm afraid to stay in my own space. I'm over there in you. When people indulge in verbal abuse they appear to try to take from others what they, themselves, lack. They disparage that which they have lost-Imus who was fired by MSNBC and NBC for his misogynistic, racist, verbal abuse, serves as an example. He defined the women on Rutgers's basketball team-a team that had advanced to the NCAA Division I, Women's Basketball National Championship game. He defined them as "nappy headed ho's (whores)." He didn't know them. He wasn't them. But, still, he defined them. Interestingly, he defined them when they were at their best, when, to get to where they were, they had consistently performed with integrity, determination, strength, and intelligence. Might these be the very qualities Imus lacked? It seems that this is sadly so. Instead of speaking honestly, thus showing integrity, Imus lied about the team. Instead of showing determination, Imus appeared purposeless. He seemed to have been in a fog about what he was doing, in fact he later expressed confusion about how he had said what he said. Instead of showing strength, he showed weakness, as if he was unable to stay in his own space, but had to be over in the team's space telling them what they were. Instead of expressing intelligence, he was irrational. He didn't live within these women and he did not know what they were. Imus's listeners were familiar with his long history of verbally abusing others. Most were not surprised that he verbally abused the team. After all, this is what verbal abusers do.
Just when young women might expect praise from an elder white male, Imus poured vile words on them. But he did not kill their spirit. At a press conference, their Coach, Vivian Stringer, and each of the team members spoke out with eloquence and passion about their outrage, shock and pain. I heard their televised press conference, but most of all, I heard two things: 1) that what Imus said was WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! 2) that a player said she would be scarred for life. Every battered woman I have talked to has said that verbal abuse was the worst. It leaves grievous scars and creates emotional pain and mental anguish. Verbal abusers become most virulent when they see "Others" as real people. For Example: Where are the simple, vacant, dependent, pliable, need-meeting feminine creatures the male abuser dreams women to be? Not here. Oh, No! The abuser's dream women are not on the courts. Instead real women emanating integrity, determination, strength, and intelligence are playing. At some level, Imus possibly couldn't stand it. It is like his feminine side had disappeared. How dare real women show up? Consequently, I am not surprised that Imus would say something scurrilous and disparaging of the team. Possibly, he acted to negate their very personhood, to turn them into the compliant, manipulatable creatures he wanted them to be. Or punish them for not being so. - copyright©Patricia Evans 2007 You may send this article to others.

Learn More

My next Newsletter will discuss the disconnectedness of verbal abusers.

Patricia Evans
EICi, Inc.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

email: [email protected]
web: http://www.VerbalAbuse.com

April 24, 2007
6:06 pm
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gracenotes
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A little bump. Hope someone read this. I think she has some interesting things to say.

April 24, 2007
6:41 pm
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mj
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Gracenotes, I found the website very interesting along with some of the links. Thanks for sharing this with us!

April 24, 2007
8:39 pm
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gracenotes
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To me, the biggest red flag of verbal abuse is the way someone defines me negatively. I rarely see the manager of the place where I work. Today, I briefly mentioned something positive I was able to accomplish. I have worked well with staff and they have found indoor space where I meet with kids. Other people in my position have had to meet outside in less than ideal circumstances. I guess it was beyond her understanding that I could accomplish something so positive.

She is an angry person anyway, and was practically seething about something wrong in the office. She responded to my positive comment, and said something like, oh, you are not upsetting staff at my school like you did before? yuck, what an abusive comment to try to "put me in my place", all the more reason why I am so looking forward to quitting this job in June. Because someone complained about one thing years ago, and, believe me, there's always someone in a school system that is unhappy and wants to take it out on others, she has held this image of me for the last few years. She made a snap judgment and defined me as a troublemaker, which I am not. I actually work hard at getting along well with everyone I work with and I mentally went through my recent interactions with others, and they were all positive and I am treated with respect, people make an effort to help me out, except by her.

But, she defined me as this thing and, based on her reputation of having angry meltdowns and abusive putdowns, ongoing four-letter profanity in front of my coworkers, this says more about her than me. I just ignored her comments. That probably bothered her more than anything. I know who I am and I hope I can fly under her radar for the rest of the school year.

April 24, 2007
11:51 pm
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mj
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I am glad that you were able to not personalize her issues. I am glad that you recognize her verbal abuse and are taking care of yourself by looking for another position so that you won't have to accept her unacceptable behavior.

April 25, 2007
11:32 am
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gracenotes
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Thanks mj. No, she has quite a reputation, and, on top of all of this, she is a licensed therapist. I think she has administration snowed, as many abusers do, about her real behavior with my co-workers. Most of the people who work there are very young and inexperienced and would not speak up about this.

Just one of those sick people in an organization, someone with very bad boundaries too with the kids. This week, also, if I have do, since I am only there for five more weeks, I am prepared to quit if the $*%&*$ hits the fan and she starts in with me. In reality, she has never gone ballistic on me and had a tantrum, so it should be okay. I can handle her nonsense.

April 25, 2007
11:37 am
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mj
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That's scary that she is a licensed therapist. Do you think that she is capable of helping her clients?

April 25, 2007
12:13 pm
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gracenotes
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mj,

She's an administrator. That's her forte -- management, perfect for her being a control freak. From what I understand, she rarely does any direct work with clients. She gives advice to the employees about what to do in situations, but more about what is politically correct. If she does work with kids directly, its in a school setting, lots of people around, so I think she would behave herself.

Remember, these abusers can behave if they want to and, her being kind of n'ish, she is totally bonkers about the need to present a wonderful and perfect image of her programs to the outside world, especially reviewing every written piece of documentation like a hawk.

April 25, 2007
2:51 pm
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mj
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Well good luck making it through the year!

April 25, 2007
6:20 pm
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gracenotes
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37 more days (plus three vacation days) until quitting day. And, no phone calls from her or the office. I guess my documentation was fine after she audited it for errors. Cool!

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