Wednesday, August 6, 2014
I realized it years ago, but it wasn't until an incident several weeks ago, my eyes were opened, and all my therapist and doctor had been saying was true.
I think I may have written, at some point, that both doctors had been discussing my condition for some time, and had come to the same conclusion, that I wasn't suffering from Bipolar Disorder, but rather severe PTSD.
I didn't, however, say what they thought caused the trauma.
Yes, you all know of the tangible traumas that have happened, the deaths, the sicknesses, etc. But until now, and after speaking with Deputies, the Sheriff and a Victims Advocate specialist, they all said the same thing as my doctors have been telling me, although I was too afraid to admit it, even to myself. Emotional, and mental abuse and control.
I'm not going to go into much detail here, because it's not respectful, or correct, for me to do so.
I will post some things I've been given, and read since speaking with these people regarding what they spoke to me about the way they see it.
- Humiliation, degradation, discounting, negating. judging, criticizing:
- Does anyone make fun of you or put you down in front of others?
- Do they tease you, use sarcasm as a way to put you down or degrade you?
- When you complain do they say that “it was just a joke” and that you are too sensitive?
- Do they tell you that your opinion or feelings are “wrong?”
- Does anyone regularly ridicule, dismiss, disregard your opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and feelings?
- Domination, control, and shame:
- Do you feel that the person treats you like a child?
- Do they constantly correct or chastise you because your behavior is “inappropriate?”
- Do you feel you must “get permission” before going somewhere or before making even small decisions?
- Do they control your spending?
- Do they treat you as though you are inferior to them?
- Do they make you feel as though they are always right?
- Do they remind you of your shortcomings?
- Do they belittle your accomplishments, your aspirations, your plans or even who you are?
- Do they give disapproving, dismissive, contemptuous, or condescending looks, comments, and behavior?
- Accusing and blaming, trivial and unreasonable demands or expectations, denies own shortcomings:
- Do they accuse you of something contrived in their own minds when you know it isn’t true?
- Are they unable to laugh at themselves?
- Are they extremely sensitive when it comes to others making fun of them or making any kind of comment that seems to show a lack of respect?
- Do they have trouble apologizing?
- Do they make excuses for their behavior or tend to blame others or circumstances for their mistakes?
- Do they call you names or label you?
- Do they blame you for their problems or unhappiness?
- Do they continually have “boundary violations” and disrespect your valid requests?
- Emotional distancing and the “silent treatment,” isolation, emotional abandonment or neglect:
- Do they use pouting, withdrawal or withholding attention or affection?
- Do they not want to meet the basic needs or use neglect or abandonment as punishment?
- Do they play the victim to deflect blame onto you instead of taking responsibility for their actions and attitudes?
- Do they not notice or care how you feel?
- Do they not show empathy or ask questions to gather information?
- Codependence and enmeshment:
- Does anyone treat you not as a separate person but instead as an extension of themselves?
- Do they not protect your personal boundaries and share information that you have not approved?
- Do they disrespect your requests and do what they think is best for you?
- Do they require continual contact and haven’t developed a healthy support network among their own peers?
In my situation, all but a couple of these are true, and have happened numerous times over the decades.
And as for the victim of emotional abuse, this appears to be common, and really hit me between the eyes:
Although there is no specific type of person who is more likely to be abused, there are abuse victim characteristics which people in an abusive relationship tend to have in common or display. These can include
- Low self esteem
- Emotional and economic dependency
- Continued faith and hope abuser will "grow up"
- Stress disorders and/or psychosomatic complaints
- Accepts blame and guilt for violence
- Socially isolated, eg avoids social interaction, never seems to be alone
- Believes social myths about battering
- Believes in stereotypical sex roles
- Has poor self image
- Contemplates or attempts suicide, or self-harms
- Participation in pecking-order battering
- Appears nervous or anxious
- May defend any criticism of abuser
- May have repeatedly left, or considered leaving the relationship
Please, know the signs. Don't live like I have, did. Analyze, look, and listen. I was told so many times I was in denial, and many more times in the last few weeks. I've come to see that more clearly now.
I'd say that's a step in the right direction.
Seeing things in a new light, much love,