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Am I Imagining The Abuse in My Relationship?

Am I Imagining The Abuse in My Relationship?

Is The Abuse In My Head?

So often, people ask me the question “is this abuse just in my head or is there a problem with my marriage?” Sure, sometimes things are just in our heads. Psychotic minds “see” bugs climbing out of walls where there are none (at least, no bugs that we non-psychotics can see), and the experience is as real to them as NOT seeing bugs is to us.

I suppose you could be imagining problems where there are none; you could be imagining abuse. But if you have no psychosis and, for example, do not see bugs climbing out of the walls, and outside of your relationship your judgments seem pretty sane, then I really doubt you are imagining the abuse.

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Psalm 27 and Domestic Abuse

Psalm 27 and Domestic Abuse

Recently I had the opportunity to converse with a woman, Cathy, who lives with an abusive man. She didn’t know exactly where to start her story, but I noticed that “psalm27” was part of her email address.

I am familiar with the prayer because it gave me comfort during my days of living with an abusive man. Initially, Psalm 27 seemed to tell me to stay on track, that God sent trials my way for a reason. I came to understand it differently, and I’d like to share with you the email I sent to Cathy (with her permission of course, and with a few edits for clarity).

I don’t usually delve into religion or my lack of religion on this blog. I do not pretend to be a biblical scholar. However, God (by whatever name) and I are tight. I listen to The Voice – but sometimes my human mind doesn’t want to hear the real message at first.

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The Hidden Tale of Abuse

The Hidden Tale of Abuse

Continued From The Fairy-Tale Beginning

Storytellers leave out the middle portion of our fairy-tale because it occurs behind palace walls, secreted away from the prying eyes of peasants. The princess, swept off her feet, rides into the sunset with our knight, heading to his land and his castle. He promises love never-ending, and the princess cannot wait to begin life with him by her side. Her woodland friends promise to visit soon, and all seems well…

Within a few days of her honeymoon, our princess detects a glimpse of trouble in the brave knight’s eyes. He is unhappy despite his talents, vast kingdom, and her love for him. She thinks his parents were too hard on him, and feels her knight is too hard on himself as a result.

“Well!” she thinks, “Never mind that. It won’t take long for him to see the beauty in himself. How can he not while I am here to remind him?”

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The Abusive Relationship And Its Fairy-Tale Beginning

The Abusive Relationship And Its Fairy-Tale Beginning

The abusive relationship begins like many others. Two people meet, make a connection, and fall in love. Their love seems beautiful to family and friends…except for one or two things that seem, well, odd…but every relationship has problems. Right? After all, there are no fairy-tales in the real world.

For ease of writing only, the victim in our story is a princess, the abuser is a knight, and the victim’s friends are the loving animals of the forest.

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Holidays With Abusers Suck – Ways to Deal With Their Crap

Holidays With Abusers Suck – Ways to Deal With Their Crap

Has your co-worker or loved one ever given you a beautiful gift, but then acted

  • offended that you didn’t appreciate it enough,
  • claimed that you were lying about how much you liked it,
  • snatched it back saying you didn’t deserve it at all,
  • or any other action that changed your happiness into some other feeling?

If so, you’ve experienced an abusive incident aimed at destroying your sense of reality. How could your lovely, heart-felt reaction be interpreted in some other way? Did you react to the gift “wrong”? Should you have felt more appreciative, less grateful, less selfish? Suddenly your reality, the truth as you know it, doesn’t make sense. What is going on?

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Abuse is a Scary Word No One Wants to Use

Abuse is a Scary Word No One Wants to Use

When I began my website way back in 2008, I chose the title “Verbal Abuse Journals” because, somehow, the word Verbal seemed to soften up the word Abuse. Back then, to me, “Verbal Abuse” was the name of a band or the type of angering insult one might hear from a stranger on the street. Verbal abuse was almost a joke, a simple case of mama-not-teaching-you-how-to-talk-nice, as far as I was concerned. I felt comfortable using the term verbal abuse to help describe my marriage.  

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Taking A Stand Against Abuse Requires A Touch of Fear

Taking A Stand Against Abuse Requires A Touch of Fear

I feel responsible for teaching my oldest son that it is all right to act out physically when things don’t go his way. I allowed him to watch his father and I perpetuate the cycle of violence in our home. I didn’t walk away from my marriage as soon as I now wish I could have. My son learned that when a grown-up man doesn’t get his way, it is normal for him to physically intimidate everyone around him until they submit to his wishes. Then, it is okay to forget it happened without an apology or discussion so long as some of his behaviors improve. So long as he turns on the charm and pretends to go along, there is no need for further conversation or remorse.

The other day, an argument with my son reminded me that doing what is right makes me feel as scared as doing what is normal makes me feel numb. The altercation began with Marc’s violent push of a full coffee cup that spilled across the table, instantly dripping into the laps of all who live in our home (except for Marc’s). The four of us immediately jumped up from the table in surprise; I instinctively ran to the kitchen to grab a towel to clean up the mess.

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Holiday Madness

Holiday Madness

‘Tis the season for increased abuse, ladies and gentlemen. Hold onto your stockings, it could be a wild ride! Many of you could have experienced the beginnings of your holiday “bliss” this past week during the celebration of Thanksgiving, leaving you to wonder exactly what there is to be thankful for when your significant other can’t seem to enjoy a holiday, no matter what amount of thought you put into making it enjoyable for them.

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Help Your Teens “Unlearn” Abuse

Help Your Teens “Unlearn” Abuse

M’s Comment:

…When I say…‘I am uncomfortable with that phrasing,’ … I am fine with explaining ‘That’s how I feel when I hear it’ [to own] my feelings [instead of labeling my children] etc. … But both my sons will then say they’re made uncomfortable by my objection; they have a right to express themselves in this ‘normal’ way and it’s a generational difference, or me being too fussy, … I can’t keep walking away from meals and conversations with my own sons! So usually I reason with them a while and then give up, allow the subject to be changed, and that looks as if I’m sulking or defeated (since they’re reading the conversation in winner/loser terms). ‘Defeated’ confirms that I was wrong in the first place.

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Using Your Emotion To Find Your Best Solutions Empowers You

Using Your Emotion To Find Your Best Solutions Empowers You

I feel ornery today. Woe to anyone who crosses me. You’ve been warned!

During my marriage, I would have put on my boxing gloves on a day like today. I would check my s%*t-list, which always consisted of only my husband’s crap, and remind myself of what he got away with that deserved retaliation. I’d figuratively position myself  smack dab in the center of the door frame and wait for him to come home. POW! Sucker punch. And boy, would it feel good to see that look on his face. I always got the first verbal hit on these kinds of days.

The anger inside of me today is the same. Bubbling, festering, the color of sick yellow pus. It needs out, and baby, cleaning this darn house for release just isn’t going to cut it. Honestly, I want to write my ex a scathing email. Stir things up, let him know how I feel. Problem is, I don’t really feel anything when it comes to him anymore. My ex hasn’t been on my list for months because my list doesn’t exist anymore. This anxious, angry feeling is mine alone. In the absence of abuse, what in the heck am I supposed to do with all this frustration?

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