PREVIOUS: Abuse of Children – #3
QUOTE: “Some people wonder why others often fail to treat them with respect–not realizing they have signaled it’s not necessary to treat them with respect.”
V= Victim // P= Perpetrator (abuser)
REVIEW – Emotional Abuse
E.A. is an ongoing pattern of behavior designed to control, manipulate & defeat another, usually occurring behind closed doors. It’s any non-physical behavior or attitude that intimidates, demeans, punishes & enslaves others.
It uses devaluation, humiliation & fear, & can include yelling, screaming, name-calling, or subtler tactics such as isolating a person from family & friends, invalidating their thoughts & emotions, & refusing to be pleased with anything.
• Generally, men need & want relationships, but tend to get their basic sense of identity from work & career, academic achievement, athletic success &/or material gain.
• Women tend to base their whole identity on the number, quality & intensity of their relationships. Because of that, they are more vulnerable to being abused. The need to be a ‘good’ daughter, wife, mother, friend, co-worker…. makes them willing to do just about anything to maintain those connections, usually to their detriment.
VICTIM (Def.) There are 2 broad categories of Vs – one is voluntary (for a principle or religious belief, in war, to save a loved one….) & the other is not.
For our purpose a Victim is anyone who suffers continual harm from another – when a child, as an invalid or the elderly, & not by choice, BY –
• emotionally tortured, & mentally disoriented
• punked or teased, the target of someone’s anger, ridiculed
• punished for the errors or stupidity of others
• tricked, swindled, manipulated or taken advantage of
• the focus of unrealistic & excessive expectations
• physically neglected or injured
• subjected to attacks, oppression, hardship & other mistreatment
PS: Naturally, fully functional adults are victimized as well, but they have many options that the other types don’t, whether they use them or not. See chart below.
• As a result of long-term abuse, usually started in childhood, a person will continue the original Victim role. It’s the feeling of helpless, being passive in the face of current or future ill-treatment or misfortune – called “learned helplessness”.
Not being allowed to think for themselves, they become gullible & therefore easily deceived, cheated & controlled. They attach to bullies, or hide from everyone. As seen in the last post, not all Vs look like it. They can act weak & incapable, or hide their vulnerability behind anger, hyper-activity & knowledge. But their personal life will usually tell.
• Vs who need to be in a relationship – at all costs – will gravitate to some type of abuser. They may be of either gender, high or low functioning, underprivileged or highly accomplished.
EXP: Many famous & talented men & women have been victims of domestic violence, such as Carol Channing, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Reba McEntire, Madonna…. AND Phil Harman, Kelsey Grammer, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Hawking (all by wives), Bill Clinton (in childhood)….
We know from reports that some stayed with their Perps long-term, (Ms. Channing, Pres. Lincoln…) while others got themselves out. Some chose better next time, & some repeated the harmful pattern – as suggested by the list below. (the Men….) (the Women….)
MARTYR vs VICTIM : This distinction is naturally about ‘functioning’ adults, who make conscious or unconscious choices regarding a bad situation they find themselves in. The difference between the two is that Martyrs are self-aware (sort of) & Vs re in denial – at least to start with.
NEXT: Traits of Victims – (Part 2)