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Ellin Grey's Blog

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A definition of verbal abuse



(I found this list online and it seemed to fit so well that I decided to post it with my comments.)

- You understand their feelings, but they never attempt to understand yours.

(J consistently misinterpreted my feelings in the most negative light possible. I never felt that she really understood what I was trying to say, or if she did, she completely devalued it as being unimportant.)

- They dismiss your difficulties or issues as unimportant or an overreaction.

(Our conversations were always based on her life and her stress. I rarely was allowed to discuss the things that were hard for me, or if I was allowed to do so then I was told they weren't so difficult.)

- They do not listen to you.

(She never listened. Everything I said to her went into her personal world translator and came out completely different from what I had intended.)

- They always put their needs before yours.

(It was always about her. Even when I tried to spend some time asking for my needs to be met, it became a discussion about her needs.)

- They expect you to perform tasks that you find unpleasant or humiliating.

(I don't know about unpleasant or humiliating, but I certainly wasn't allowed to propose any changes to our online schedule. She wanted me there every night, 7 nights a week, and if I had anything else planned it became a huge issue.)

- You “walk on eggshells” in an effort not to upset them.

(I called it living in a minefield. I never knew when something I said or did would set her off. Her mood swings from loving to angry were quick and unpredictable.)

- They ignore logic and prefer amateur theatrics in order to remain the centre of attention.

(It was all drama all the time with J. When things had been calm and companionable for a while, I could be sure there was a blow-up of some sort around the corner.)

- They manipulate you into feeling guilty for things that have nothing to do with you.

(The past 8 years with J were an exercise in guilt and trying to figure out what was wrong with me that I could never do anything right for her.)

- They attempt to destroy any outside support you receive by belittling the people/service/practice in an attempt to retain exclusive control over your emotions.

(We had no mutual friends. She had alienated everyone in our online circles and considered them beneath her notice. The fact that I kept in contact with some people made her nervous.)

- They never take responsibility for hurting others.

(In 8 years I never got one truly heartfelt apology. Usually I got nothing at all, or an apology couched in "I'm sorry, BUT...")

- They blame everyone and everything else for any unfortunate events in their lives.

(J had a series of unfortunate events in her life. I have never seen one person with so much bad luck in my life. None of it was her fault, of course. Bad things just happened to her because life was unfair.)

- They perceive themselves as martyrs or victims and constantly expect preferential treatment.

(Yes. Just... yes.)


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