Tag Archives: Abuse

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Could you be in an emotionally abusive relationship?

This is an abridged version of an article on Thought Catalog, written by Shahida Arabi and I thought it was a great article.  Please click on the link to the full article in order to give the site the traffic it deserves: 50 Questions You Must Ask Yourself If You Think You’re In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship.

Please remember: When we want to be in love, we sometimes see the person through rose-colored glasses, and all the red flags just look like flags.

What Is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is a set of behaviors in which a person manipulates, coerces, controls, belittles and terrorizes another person repeatedly. Chronic emotional abuse takes a toll on victims, causing them to struggle with depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and learned helplessness. In extreme cases, long-term emotional abuse can cause symptoms of PTSD or Complex PTSD.

When one person emotionally abuses another, it can include the following behaviors:

  • Calling the victim names.
  • Mocking, shaming or humiliating the victim.
  • Ignoring the victim and emotionally withdrawing from them.
  • Threatening the victim or coercing them into activities they don’t want to engage in.
  • Making cruel remarks towards the victim regarding their appearance, personality, lifestyle, career choices or friends.
  • Verbally assaulting and insulting the victim, sometimes under the guise of “joking.”
  • Emotionally invalidating the partner or pathologizing their emotions.
  • Subjecting them to overt and covert put-downs as well as rage attacks.
  • Using intimidation as a control tactic.
  • Controlling the victim’s finances.
  • Micromanaging the victim’s social life.
  • Isolating the victim from friends and family.
  • Stonewalling the victim during discussions.
  • Giving victims the silent treatment for no apparent reason.
  • Gaslighting the victim into believing that they are imagining things or are oversensitive when they call out the abuse.
  • Repeatedly treating the victim with contempt, scorn and disdain.

There are also many other underhanded and subtle ways in which a victim can be emotionally abused, such as triangulation (bringing in the presence of a third party to abuse by proxy), smear campaigns (spreading rumors or gossip to ruin the victim’s reputation), and hot and cold behavior (pushing the victim away and emotionally withdrawing, intermittently throwing in periods of affection). Emotionally abusive partners may also lie pathologically and lead double lives, causing their victims to invest in a false partnership that ultimately brings harm and devastation.

 

 

How To Tell If You’re Being Emotionally Abused

Here are fifty “loaded” questions you should ask yourself if you think you’re being emotionally abused in a relationship. These questions take into account the fact that you already suspect you’re being abused. Your answers to these questions can give you insight regarding the emotionally abusive behaviors you might be currently experiencing, can help you to identify the red flags of abuse and assess the level of toxicity in your relationship.

1. Does your partner enjoy humiliating you in public?

2. What is the worst way in which your partner has used your own insecurities against you?

3. Do you find that the way your partner treated you in the beginning of the relationship is unrecognizable from the way your partner treats you now?

4. How often does your partner make you feel sorry for them after mistreating you?

5. Are you persistently made to feel guilty for voicing your concerns in the relationship?

6. Does your partner shame you about qualities or traits you have that they once praised?

7. Does your partner shut down conversations about their behavior before they even have a chance to begin?

8. Is your partner nicer and more respectful to others in public than they are to you behind closed doors?

9. When your partner gives you the silent treatment, do they usually explain themselves or do they continue to ignore you and come back only to pretend like nothing ever happened?

10. Does your partner continuously claim that you’re too sensitive when you express your emotions?

11. Do you find yourself questioning your own reality on a daily basis?

12. Have you been made to doubt things that you know for a fact your partner has said or done?

13. Does your partner call you names when he or she doesn’t get their way?

14. Are you afraid to express your true feelings around your partner because of the way they’ve reacted to you in the past?

15. Do you feel like your accomplishments are belittled, ignored or minimized by your partner?

16. How often are you made to feel insecure and invisible when your partner engages in conversations with people of the opposite sex?

17. Does your partner frequently compare you to others in a demeaning way in terms of appearance, personality, success or any other aspect of yourself they like to criticize?

18. Do you feel like you’re always walking on eggshells around this person, careful what to say or do just to avoid “offending” them?

19. Does the way your partner looks at or talks about other women or men (whoever they are attracted to) make you feel uncomfortable?

20. Has your partner reminded you of how lucky you are to have them, usually after an outburst?

21. Does your partner have frequent rage attacks when their ego is threatened?

22. If you call out your partner’s behavior, do they become excessively angry?

23. Are you allowed to ever point out your partner’s mistakes, even in a light-hearted manner?

24. How often does your partner make you feel ashamed about qualities and accomplishments you used to be proud of?

25. Do you find yourself apologizing for things you’re not at fault for in the relationship?

26. Has your partner ever made you feel as if you were in ‘competition’ with other people for their attention and love?

27. Do you find yourself apologizing for the mistakes that your partner made but refuses to own up to?

28. How many times has your partner accused you of having flaws that they themselves possess?

29. In what ways has your partner turned the things you used to enjoy doing into things you dread doing?

30. How does your body react when you’re around your partner?

31. Do you feel overly anxious when you think about how your partner treats you?

32. How many ways have you wasted time trying to please your partner, only to learn that they are never satisfied with anything you do?

33. In what ways do you feel you have to ask permission from your partner before you do something?

34. Have you ever gotten the sense that your partner is envious and hateful when you’re happy and successful?

35. Does your partner seem happy when you’re in pain?

36. Does your partner often comfort you, come to the rescue and ‘play the savior’ for the pain that they themselves caused?

37. Do you find that your partner gives you more negative feedback and criticism about yourself than they do encouragement?

38. Has your partner punished you for making choices independent of their opinion?

39. Have you ever felt limited in your ability to see your loved ones because of your partner?

40. How frequently does your partner call or text you to “check in” when you’re not with them?

41. Has your partner ever coerced you into sexual activities you weren’t comfortable with?

42. Has your partner ever made you feel guilty for not having sex with them?

43. Do you fear leaving your partner, out of the fear that they might harm you or harm themselves?

44. Does your partner discourage you from pursuing dreams or goals that would make you independent of them?

45. How often do you feel like you’re pleading for your partner’s affection or attention?

46. How many times has your partner insulted you and made you feel terrible, all while claiming “it was just a joke”?

47. Have you been told you’re too sensitive when you start setting boundaries with your partner?

48. When your partner is acting kind, does it seem out of place with the way they usually act?

49. Does your partner treat you tenderly and affectionately one second, only to pull back and coldly withdraw?

50. When your partner tells you they love you, do you have a hard time believing them because the way they act is anything but loving?

The Impact of Emotional Abuse on the Survivor

When emotional abuse takes place in childhood, it wreaks havoc on the mental architecture of the brain, affecting areas such as the amygdala, the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. These areas of the brain help with emotional regulation, learning, memory, focus, cognition and planning.

Many survivors of emotional abuse, whether they suffered it in childhood, adulthood or both, struggle with a sense of powerlessness as they are repeatedly put down. As a result of these adverse experiences, they may turn to self-destructive behavior, become trauma-bonded to their abusers and find it difficult to leave the toxic relationship.

 

 

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The Dimly Lit World of the Alienated Child

The process of alienation is not well understood. This article sheds some light on a difficult subject in a surprisingly insightful way.

Karen Woodall

I was asked a question recently about how one can recover as an alienated child.  Clearly the person asking the question was beginning the process of working through the reasons why they, as a young adult, may think about the world in a different way to other people.  In responding to the question, I found myself wandering the backstreets of the world of the alienated child again.  A world which is dimly lit at best and at worst, is full of shadows and secrets and lies, to such an extent that reality based thinking is more or less impossible.  It got me thinking, how does a child recover from the experience of psychological splitting and what is the psychological journey to full health that must be taken?

The process of psychological splitting, which is the strongest symptom of alienation, drives a child back into an infantile state of mind…

View original post 1,900 more words

Stages of Grief applied to Parents Affected by Parental Child Abduction / Alienation

Seth Romeo Singleton, Aiden James Singleton, Haley Rose Singleton

This article has really helped me to understand what I’ve been going through, and to see that my emotions are normal for my circumstances.

ABP World Group - Parental Abduction Recovery & Kidnapping Recovery

June 23, 2016

Source: Medium.com

“The death of a child is indisputably one of the most incredibly horrible tragedies one can imagine. Whether by sudden accidental circumstance, or by a more lengthy cause as in illness, the loss of a child is undeniably painful to experience. Painful to the parents, parents to the family, and painful to anyone related to the child. Never knowing the laughter of that child again or the tears, the joys and the accomplishments is a pain no parent should ever have to endure, and yet it happens. No one might be to blame. It can just happen”. (Tim Line)


Imagine a similar pain and the same sense of loss, with one exception-the parent is very much aware that the child is alive.

Parental Alienation PAS

The effects of Parental Alienation, Parental Child Abduction and retention are very similar to the loss of a child in some other way…

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#whyIstayed

Reading this seemed like an echo of my own life and thoughts. Sometimes I even ask myself, “WHY did you wait nearly 20 YEARS before finally getting out of your abusive marriage??”. This blog posts puts my answers into words that I haven’t been able to find for myself.

https://divorcinganarcissistblog.com/2016/11/22/whyistayed/

Divorcing a Narcissist Blog

I came across someone on Twitter who is doing some research on narcissistic abuse and struggling with understanding why victims of narcissistic abuse stay in the abusive relationships. I reached out and recommended that they read the #whyIstayed hashtag where victims in all types of abusive relationships summarize the reasons why they stayed… and I also recommended that they read this blog. The researcher reached out to me still having a lot of confusion on the topic and asked me outright… why did it take 8 years for you to leave?!?

It’s actually a little surprising to me how complex this question is to answer, and I think that reflects the complexity within an abusive relationship. There are so many layers to why I stayed, and that is because there are so many layers to the manipulation and abuse that I withstood at the hands of The Narcissist.

So, in an…

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Empowering boys and men: The psychologically/emotionally abusive mother and her son: Learn to say NO!

Another thing that makes male victims different from female victims is how they often respond to maternal abuse. While female victims of neglectful, emotionally and mentally abusive mothers often sympathize with, or even ‘defend’, their mothers actions,  male victims often display a very UNIQUE set of characteristics that hint to the abusive behavior.  Read more here:

Source: Empowering boys and men: The psychologically/emotionally abusive mother and her son: Learn to say NO!

FOPD

Naming the Failures – Lt. Steve Blevins

I wrote this when I was angry.  I let it sit for a few days, so that I could evaluate whether I still wanted to publish it.  I do, and I am still angry.  I’m angry about the way the system failed my children.  I’m angry enough to name names, and today I’m going to call out one name in particular – Lt. Steve Blevins of the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department.  Lt. Blevins failed me and he failed my children by failing to perform his job.  The police officer’s motto is “To Protect and Serve”, and one would think that they would take that seriously, especially when it comes to children.  But not Lt. Steve Blevins.

On Friday, 8/28/2015, my daughter, whom I had not seen in three years, went to school with bruises on her face, arms, and chest.  A teacher noticed, and rightly contacted Georgia DFCS.  The teacher also spoke with my daughter, who did not want to disclose the abuse at that time.  But when she found out DFCS had been contacted, she told them she was afraid to go home.  DFCS then contacted Steve Blevins of the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department.  I wish they had contacted the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office instead.  When my ex-wife showed up with her mother, they confessed to abusing my daughter, and even produced a video, taken by my son at their instruction, showing part of the abuse. (As a side note, having children witness abuse of another child is a crime in itself). Of course the two of them put the blame on my daughter, but any reasonable person could see that their behavior was abusive.

It was decided then and there that it would not be safe for my daughter to return to her mother’s house.  She was taken into DFCS custody, finally free of the physical and emotional abuses of my ex.  I would like to tell you that the story doesn’t end there.  I would like to tell you that Lt. Blevins arrested my abusive ex and conducted a thorough investigation, that he contacted me or my extended family,  and that he got my daughter in front of a victim advocate to tell her story.  But Lt. Blevins did none of those things.  What he did do was write up a very vague and bland report, and called it a day.  He did no follow up with an investigation at all, but rather sat on the case for six weeks and then marked it “Exceptionally Cleared”, which is cop-speak for “We can’t technically close this case, but we don’t feel like working on it anymore”.

Contrasting Lt. Blevins’ report with the report made by the social worker shows a blatant incompetence and/or apathy on his part.  Several key parts of the narrative that justified the removal of custody, and would have supported a prosecution for a Cruelty to Children charge, were missing.  Phrases like:

“She stated they had “ganged up on her” and that is how she received the bruises on her right arm and right eye”

“Ms. Singleton [was seen] sitting on [child] while [child] was screaming for Ms. Singleton to stop”

“Ms. Singleton also said something in the video while she was lecturing [child] about “a dumbass kid””

“[Child] stated that her mother and brothers would antagonize her and then when she became so upset they would videotape her”

“[Child] stated that… her mother had taken her drawing, journaling, and walking away privileges away”

“[Child] stated that… her mother reached under her arms and punched her in the eye”

“Ms. Singleton became defensive and told Case Manager Baldridge “Just take her into foster care.  I am fed up with her”

Instead of putting these things in his report, Lt. Blevins uses language that suggests my daughter is responsible for the incident, and it’s just a simple matter of a parent being overwhelmed by an unruly child.   Although he acknowledges there are inconsistencies in Ms. Singleton’s story, he simply takes her word for it that “they were all abused by her husband in Florida”, and doesn’t bother to try and contact me.  I don’t even find out about the incident until more than three moths later, and then he ignores all my attempts to contact him at that time.  It won’t be until I am finally awarded custody of my daughter, ten months after the incident, that she finally gets an interview with an Abuse Advocate at my insistance.

Now you may be asking yourself, “Why is this guy so hung up on the criminal case?  He’s got his daughter back, so what does it matter if his ex gets prosecuted or not?”.  Because my ex still has custody of my two sons.  My sons were not only a witness to this abuse, they were a part of it.  Now, I don’t blame my sons for this.  They are children, and they act at the direction of a parent.  My ex has made them her henchmen in carrying out abusive behavior on their sister.  This is unacceptable.  And no one is there to stop her.  The boys are home schooled, and their computer access and contact with adults are tightly controlled.  I haven’t seen or spoken to them in almost five years.  NO ONE IS WATCHING OUT FOR THEM.  So because Lt. Blevins had little to no interest in Protecting and Serving, my sons remain in the home where their sister has been removed by DFCS and the Georgia Court System, with no oversight whatsoever.

Steve Blevins, you failed me, you failed my daughter, and you failed my sons, leaving them with an abusive woman who has already risked their lives with an arson attempt.  Your failure to act and follow up on this case is negligent, despicable, and shameful. You don’t deserve the badge you wear, and you don’t deserve the respect of the people of Fort Oglethorpe.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is an uncomfortable reality, a social taboo. As such, it is the least talked about yet most common form of abuse. It is insidious and subjective in nature….Read more here: Emotional Abuse

Here is a list of some of the behaviors that constitute emotional abuse of children.  I hope my boys take a good hard look at this list, and maybe pinpoint some of the treatment that they have experienced, or that they’ve seen their sister subjected to:

– harsh criticism, belittling, labeling
– name-calling
– yelling, screaming or swearing at children
– humiliation or demeaning jokes
– shunning the child from the family (or parts of the family)
– locking kids out of the home to discipline or punish
– denying medical or health care, and safe, clean environments
– unpredictable, unreasonable or extreme reactions
– hostility among family members
– inconsistent or unreasonable demands placed on a child
– ridiculing or humiliating a child in front of others
– threatening to reveal personal or embarrassing information
– leaving a child alone or unattended for long periods of time
– not permitting a child to interact with other children or maintain friendships
– keeping a child from appropriate social and emotional stimulation
– requiring a child stay indoors/in their room or away from peers
– keeping a child from playing with friends and activities s/he enjoys
– not permitting a child to participate in social activities, parties or group/family events
– excessive or extreme punishment for typical childhood behaviors
– encouraging a child to reject friends or social contact/invitations
– encouraging or rewarding unethical or illegal behavior (stealing, cheating, lying, bullying)
– allowing or encouraging children to engage in behavior that is harmful to them or others.
– having expectations beyond the developmental stage of the child
– using blame, shame, judgment or guilt to condemn child for behavior of others
– unreasonable expectations to perform chores or household duties

Characteristics of Emotionally Abusive Mothers

http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-Emotional-Abuse-from-Your-Parents-(for-Adolescents)