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what is emotional abuse?
December 16, 2003
5:01 pm
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Ladeska
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Actually "crazymaking" is one of my favorite words, Worried Dad. Thanks for reminding me of it. Great descriptive word, ain't it? Says it all.

December 16, 2003
9:31 pm
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LA Rosa
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When I mentioned earlier about - 'always' feeling the need to be there - in order to keep the peace.

That's CRAZYMAKING! There's never any peace! Just trying to keep a lid on everything!

Even when you're trying to let it be known that you emphatically agree - it's turned around on you!! 'CRAZYMAKING' that lets you know it doesn't matter what you do or say....even when you know it does!?

crazy stuff!!

.....and the 'good times' - just farces! (I could't really believe they were actually real.....that would be when I'd really start going crazy myself) Only the lull before the storm.....when all the (supposed) good became meaningless anyway.

At least 'that' was predictable....

I was effectively imprisoned - living in fear of my life. Living for the opportunity to escape - which had to work - as there may not have been any second chances!

Until then.....it's *CRAZYMAKING* in a nutshell !!. Anything less - NOT an option!! I don't believe I would be alive if I had pushed the intellectual angle - only permitted to remain on a superficial level..... certainly no freedom to speak my mind ......I know - I tried that at the beginning! It was taken as a major personal attack and blown up into something that didn't even resemble what I was meaning.....trying to explain made it worse - I learned to conform to what was expected.......at least on the surface..... I cannot forget that chilling look - those evil, callous insane stares that made me realise that this could possibly be end of me.....if I made one wrong move or said one wrong word..... trying to read a madman.

Somehow, especially after experiencing episodes like that - I didn't think there was much point anymore in trying to be optimistic... and excuses were proven to be just excuses - not reasons. Fear was what I felt....like I had never felt before. Maybe I was with a psychopath!?

Love,

LA Rosa

December 16, 2003
10:30 pm
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wireless
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thats crazy!

December 17, 2003
3:31 am
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LA Rosa
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Crazy - YES!

Is it abuse though.....'if' the abuser doesn't even know that he/she is being abusive? Actually believing that he/she is entitled to being the permanent 'number one', seems to throw some doubt on that question - when the disorder is severe. It certainly felt like abuse!

LA Rosa

December 17, 2003
4:43 am
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Hermione
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Ahhhh! Yes - crazymaking it is!!! It doesn't even matter how sane we are this stuff turns us inside out!! I want to let go but I also want to confront - just to let him know that he didn't get away with it - that he didn't succeed in 'making me crazy'. It is so infuriating because it just doesn't make sense! Its like opening a box that is beautifully gift wrapped only to find a whopping great turd inside - shocking, disappointing, absurd, scary and ultimately it stinks!

Camper - I like those phrases - I need to learn more - I need to get more gutsy about all this - and start to rip off that beautiful wrapping paper as quick as I can to reveal the shit before it starts to stink up my life! Or maybe I need to get to the step before that and actually learn to 'sniff' out the 'gift' before I even consider accepting it.

Apologies for the analogies - I'm a bit angry tonight!
H

December 17, 2003
9:00 am
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HARRYO
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What about the part of accepting the things that we cannot change? I
think 90% of our emotional abuse
comes from what we do to ourselves.
Because we are so eager to please,
we do not set boundries. When our
perceived boundries are violated
we feel that we are abused. Lately
I try to catch myself when I look
to others for validation of my
feelings. To me that is my best
action in clarifying my boundries
to myself. The best reinforcement
of eliminating the pain and
heartache of emotional abuse is letting go.

December 17, 2003
9:17 am
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Anonymous
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i think ..

how do i put this - - we must distinguish child emotional abuse and being in a relationship where your partner is emotionally abusive.

i dont think as a child, i could had set boundaries against my father. and it makes me feel very bad to hear i caused this in my eagerness to please my parents.

no - i dont think i did this to myself.

i was a little girl - my mom, as an adult, should had taken me away - but she didnt. i had to get out on my own - and after 36 yrs of abuse - there isnt much strength for fighting back - but i did. and i finally got out. my mom however - is still in it.

December 17, 2003
9:38 am
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wireless
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I think what Harryo said makes alot of sense. I am learning that if somebody is being emotionally abusive with me, i can either let them do it or not let them do it. I can either let go of it or not let go and keep feeling emotionally messed up. In one sense i am abusing myself emotionally for letting them do it. i am learning that abuse whether it be from my childhood or from my relationships now in my adult life, was and still is abuse. If somebody does something bad to me I would think I did something bad to them and try to make them feel good for something I didnt even do, try to validate my feelings, through making them happy. I am stopping this.

December 17, 2003
12:55 pm
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Ladeska
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Firefly, I think Harry meant - it to be applied with the grown-up relationships we have, not to be used in reference to a child and what they experience from a parent or another adult. And if anyone did mean that.....they would be totally off base. But I don't think that's what he meant at all.

There's a HUGE difference in how a child reacts to emotional abuse with a grown-up/parental figure and how we can deal with it as a grown-up. Some things are similar but as a grown-up we have much more capacity for helping ourselves on all levels.

And.......I have had people say that very thing though, that it's the child that could have done this or should have, etc. Most of the time, those kind of comments are coming from people who either have not worked through their own abuse and very much "accuse" and hate their own inner child - therefore blast You with that, or they are actually child abusers themselves.

Again, I don't think this is where Harry was coming from though. It's hard to distinguish on here sometimes - the difference when it comes to abuse we experience as children and abuse as adults. But I do know how you feel because, early on in my healing - I did have some people that said some very, very hurtful things to me along the lines of basically blaming me, the child.

At that time.....I didn't know what I do now and it wounded me sooo bad. But, the two people that said that to me when I was a child, btw...actually turned out to be very abusive themselves and part of the overall web of abuse that was going on with me. I just didn't know alot of things at the time. They were basically mocking me, knowing all the while what kind of horrible prison I was really in on many levels. Today......if someone said something like that to me or to someone else - I'm not sure I could hold back popping them to be quite honest with you. Let's just say I have to fight the urge really hard... Ignorance is one thing and that's forgiveable, but this other nasty thing that comes out of people is so heartless and downright cruel and very intended.....that - I just don't deal with it very well. They get an immediate response out of me and it's not pretty either.

December 17, 2003
10:59 pm
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wireless
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Ladeska it is so true, what you said about people that like to abuse. " they like to control things and share there pain." " you cant win with people like this and the sooner you recognize and snip the strings you will be better off. I have realized that if somebody is truly not aware of emotional abuse I can still snip the strings and let go. It will give them a chance to see that when i dont react to there shit they might see what they are doing.

December 18, 2003
12:49 pm
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Ladeska
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Wireless....you know, I kinda flinched when I read your post here. For one thing, most people who abuse others emotionally "know" what they are doing. We like to think they don't, but on some level - they usually do know. They can see your pain, it's not like it's an accidental thing. They are abusive and they are responsible for it.

I see alot of statements and thinking like this on these threads...

"It will give them a chance to see that when i dont react to there shit they might see what they are doing."

.....which reeks of codependency....that somehow you snipping the strings, having boundaries, saying NO MORE and I mean it - is somehow connected to - them seeing the error of their ways and changing their behavior.

That scares me because it says that - this is all wrapped up and tied to - you saying - I've had enough, I'm done.

The healthiest response is - I don't really care if you figure it out or not - but you're not doing it to ME anymore. My having a boundary - has nothing to do with - whether you GET IT or not.

That may sound harsh and uncaring, but it's very dangerous to live the other way around. So many times people snip the strings, or say they do and doggone it if you don't see them looking back over their shoulder to see if they somehow taught them anything or fixed them or changed them.... "dangerous".

Most people who are abusive - aren't going to learn much of anything from the person they abuse anyways. They disrespect you because they were able to abuse you. It just puts you in a very vulnerable position and actually leaves you "with a string attached to them" when you say - you've snipped them all.

Believe me, I know how tempting this is and we all do it at some point or another but it can really snag you and suck you right back down the hole. Our boundaries need to be put in place with nothing attached to them at all.

December 18, 2003
1:46 pm
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wireless
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Ladeska, you have a very good point here. I guess what I really wanted to say was that I am just letting go of the love that I have. I am backing off and i will live my life for me. In my other threads I have talked about the way she grew up and other things. Most people gave me the advice let it go. I know she cant be responsible for my happines and I am doing things that make me happy. My focus isnt on her anymore. I have to focus on me as well. It is difficult, but I am doing great. You are right about one thing, it made me feel good to think, well I will just not let her bother me and not react to her behaviors. I really have to set my boundaries. Do you have any advice from your experience.

Thank You

December 18, 2003
4:53 pm
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Ladeska
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Wireless - no, just keep doing what you're doing, sounds like you're on the right track. I'm not really familiar with your story so I won't comment further. Your boundaries just have to be "for you" though, regardless of what she or anyone else does or thinks about it. Letting go is hard but sometimes when our pain level is so high....we have to question ourselves about why we are hanging on so long? If it's to change someone, or be the one that is the martyr - hoping to cash in on all the time and energy spent - then it can be a very low yield and return and alot of wasted time. Just have to stop and take inventory at some point and be decisive. Sounds like you are doing that. Good for you!

December 20, 2003
5:41 pm
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LA Rosa
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This is an exerpt from the end of one of Andrew Vachss writings.....

Adult survivors of emotional abuse have only two life-choices: learn to self-reference or remain a victim. When your selfconcept has been shredded, when you have been deeply injured and made to feel the injury was all you fault, when you look for approval to those who can not or will not provide it - you play the role assigned to you by your abuser/s.

It's time to stop playing that role, time to write your own script. Victims of emotional abuse carry the cure in thier own hearts and souls. Salvation means learnng self-respect, earning the respect of others and making that respect the absolutely irreducible minimum requirement for all intimate relationships. For the emotionally abused child, healing 'does' come down to 'forgivness'- forgivenss of yourself.

How to forgive yourself is as individual as you are. But knowing you desrve to be loved and respected, and empowering yourself with a commitment to try - is more than half the battle. Much more. And it is never too soon - or too late - to start.

*************

Must add......from the same writing

The primary weapon of emotional abusers is the deliberate infliction of guilt. They use guilt the same way a loan shark uses money. They don't want the 'debt' paid off, because they live quite happily on the 'interest'.

Just another perspective.....but it did get me thinking.

Love, LA Rosa

December 20, 2003
6:11 pm
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pug
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I love this! I just have to say that I've felt so alone with these same feelings. Like the other day - I told my mother my flight information for us going there for Xmas. She was all cheery & wrote it down & then the next day - you could tell she was having a much more negative day & called back for the itinerary. She always misplaces the important stuff. Also, I'll tell you what else is abusive. This - "I have no plans" stuff they feed you. Like they're always sittign there, waiting for you to make their life because they have none. Like my sister getting angry at me when I asked her what her plans were for the weekend. "What are you talking about? I'm not doing anything!"

December 27, 2003
3:31 pm
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wireless
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La Rosa, Thank You...

December 27, 2003
3:52 pm
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slr
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I've never looked at it that way before...thanks for a great insight!

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