October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” This pervasive problem needs to be talked about every month of the year, in my opinion. As one who has been affected by it myself, I feel a duty to speak up.
While I survived my experience, there are lingering mental and emotional scars. A former husband (combat vet) had a catch-phrase he used often. He would tell me (in a joking way, of course) “I’m the King, and you’re nothing.” Like water rushing over a rock, it eventually wears down the rock. You hear it enough, you begin to believe it, if only on a subconscious level.
I often wonder where he came up with that term. Perhaps his own father ( also a combat vet) used it on his wife, although I never bore witness to that. It will remain a mystery. And another mystery confounds me still. Why did I put up with it? My answer comes “Times were different then. Women were taught to defer to their husbands.” Plus the erosion of my self-esteem sapped my energy. I had little ego strength left to stand up to him. I also had two small children to raise. Oh, yes, and I had left him once before. He threatened suicide-begged me to come back. Promised to get counseling. And so it goes.
From the Womens Health Government website, we learn the distinct signs to be aware of, concerning verbal and emotional abuse. If these things are happening to you, you are being detrimentally affected, whether consciously or sub-consciously. Today there are many organizations available to help you recognize and deal with this type of abuse. You have options. You don’t have to stay in an abusive situation.
Do these sound familiar? (From http://www.womenshealth.gov)
“You’re so stupid. You never do anything right!” (If so, you may be a victim of emotional abuse).
Emotional and verbal abuse—attempts to isolate, threaten, or intimidate—can harm you, even if you are not being abused physically. Emotional and verbal abuse are also often a sign that physical abuse will follow.
Some examples of emotional and verbal abuse include:
- blaming you for everything
- playing mind games or manipulating you
- ordering you around
- keeping you from spending time with friends and family
- threatening to hurt you
No one deserves to be abused, physically or verbally.
|If you’re a victim of abuse or violence at the hands of someone you know or love, or you are recovering from an assault by a stranger, you are not alone. Get immediate help and support.The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 (TTY). Spanish and more than 170 other languages are available. When you call, you will first hear a recording and may have to hold for a minute. Hotline staff offer crisis intervention and referrals. If requested, they connect you to shelters and other services and can send out written information.|