Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You Are Not Crazy

Like many folks this week, I'm taking some time off. But I found this excellent website that explains the dynamics of verbal abuse - identifying it, explaining it, and determining whether or not a verbal abuser can change his or her behavior.

Click here: You Are Not Crazy

Sarah's father, Dan, was a master at verbal abuse. He never physically battered me. Yet he murdered our daughter and committed suicide 13 years ago - just a few months after we separated.

I encourage victims to not minimize a verbal abuser's behavior simply because they've never battered.

Verbal abusers can become killers.

An abuser's behavior is all about power & control. It's not about anger (which is a tool they use). It's not about battering (another tool). It's about doing whatever is necessary to get that "rush" of power they feel when their partner acquiesces to their demands. And if you've ever been involved with someone who is verbally abusive, you know that those demands become increasingly impossible to accomodate.

I thought I was crazy when I was married to Dan. It wasn't until he was out of my life that some semblance of sanity returned.

There's no law in this State against demeaning or insulting your partner, disregarding their feelings, or reminding them of their shortcomings. Victims of this type of abuse can't have their abuser arrested for these behaviors. Yet they gradually kill the spirit of the victim, a little bit every time. The victim eventually believes they deserve to be treated like dirt and that they should be grateful for every little kindness the perpetrator bestows upon them.

Even if law enforcement never becomes involved, help is available. Contact your local domestic violence shelter if you take the quiz and realize you need help.

In Florida, call 1-800-500-1119 to talk with an advocate. Or click here for a list of certified shelters and their local phone numbers.

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