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SEE ACRONYM Page for abbrev.
TYPES of EMOTIONAL ABUSE (E.A.) (cont.) (P. = Perpetrator / V. = Victim)
EMOTIONALLY HARMFUL Statements we may have heard growing up:
• ‘SPS’ (self-praise stinks) • Now I’ve seen everything! (you’re weird)
• Wake up & die right! • You’re just like your mother / father – yuck!
• You’ve always been too sensitive, too dramatic, too much
• After all I have done for you! • Prove that you love me
• You think you’re so smart, but you’re not • What’s wrong with you is _____
• You’re too smart for your own britches….. • Shut up, you brat!
• Don’t tell anyone about _____ (sexual or physical abuse) • You asked for it!
• You’re just a big baby! • You’ll never amount to anything
• What would you know about that? • Who do you think you are?
• If you don’t like it, you can leave • Do as I say, not as I do • Look ashamed!
• I’m going to leave you at the orphanage
• I’m doing — for your own good • That’s your problem
• What makes you an authority on that?
• Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about
• You’re such a disappointment… I don’t know where I went wrong
• What yours is mine & what’s mine is nobody’s business!
• Yes, dad’s the head of the house, but I’m the neck that turns the head!
• Yes I heard about your marriage. How did you get such a nice girl/guy?
ALSO, tell outright lies about us, and shameful or embarrassing stories about us & repeated to anyone & everyone
** Def : deliberately trying to hurt someone, at any level (PMES). The receiver of the aggression may not be the actual target, like kicking the dog when you’re mad at your boss. NOT assertiveness, which is standing up for ones rights without intent to harm.
Naturally, this list is only a fraction of what people are capable of – a guide to help us think about what we may still be putting up with, without realizing.
a. Direct & obvious. Perps usually have an angry, attacking attitude
• use one-up parent-to-child communications, infantilizing you
• make you one-down to them by judging & invalidating you, undermining the equality & autonomy essential to healthy adult relationships
• use name-calling, accusations, blaming, threatening, & ordering around
b. Indirect – they
• are often disguised as “helping”- BUT are actually critical, ‘fixing you’, giving unsolicited advise, analyzing you, questioning your tastes & decisions
• use the implied judgmental tone of “I know best” – to belittle, control, or demean, rather than support your growth & development
• to leave, any time they don’t like something – but doesn’t go
• to take the kids, the car, the house… • to stop paying for important necessities
• to hit or do other harm, but don’t follow thru• to commit suicide (& it will be your fault), but never do
d. Verbal assaults – they
• berate, belittle, criticize, name call
• scream, threaten you physically
• constantly blame, use sarcasm & humiliation
• blow your flaws out of proportion, harping on them
• make fun of you, any time, & in front of others
• railroad discussions, talk over you, won’t give you room to respond…. so you don’t have time to identify what’s wrong with what they’re saying or doing
• if they’re verbally clever, they’ll make their point seem perfectly logical even tho they’re twisting everything in their favor, using CDs
DIRECT – they
• want to control your every action, to have their own way – and will resort to threats & verbal attacks to get it
• smash, throw, deface or cut up personal or household items
• give away or throw your things out without discussion or permission
f. Emotional Blackmail – they
• play on your fear, guilt, compassion, values, weaknesses or other “hot buttons” to get what they want
• threaten to end the relationship, totally reject or abandon you, ignore or use other fear tactics to control you, unless you give in
• draw you in by being nice, then unpredictably say something cruel, or pushe you away, disgusted
NEXT: Direct Abusers