September 9, 2008
The Different Faces Of An Abuser by Alberta Parish
Perpetuators of abuse often never change even as they grow older. Someone who was verbally abusive twenty years ago is still verbally abusive today. Just like the schoolyard bully, abusive people are often cowards and when you stand up to these individuals, they tend to be either openly hostile to you or they ban you from their social circle. This means you may never again get an invitation to come over to their house for dinner, especially during the holidays. You stood up to the abuser! Now, he or she doesn’t know how to handle you and if the abuser doesn’t know how to handle you as the abuser has in previous years, he/she no longer feels like they can deal with you. He/she no longer wants to deal with you.
What is abuse? Abuse, whether physical, emotional or verbal, can rear its ugly head through anything or anyone whether it is a spouse, relative, or your so-called best buddy. Abuse can be as simple as someone consistently having negative comments to say to you and about you (specifically to your face). Have you ever known a relative who always had a negative comment for you every time you saw him/her? Have you ever known someone who’s always had very negative or unfounded opinions of you and felt too free in letting you know just how much he/she disapproves of you? Well, this is a form of verbal abuse.
When you mention the word ‘ABUSE’, most people tend to focus more on physical and sexual abuse. However, verbal abuse, which is an offspring of emotional abuse, is not to be easily discarded as if it is something that is all in a person’s head. There are serious problems that arise from verbal/emotional abuse. Verbal/emotional abuse can be anything from a partner cheating on you constantly to being constantly berated and belittled for every thing you do or don’t do. This means, nothing you ever do is good enough in the eyes of the abuser. See, the abuser is really an insecure person, and also extremely jealous. Therefore, he/she has to find something wrong with you so that he or she can feel better about himself/herself, because they see someone else’s life more screwed up than theirs. An abuser would also rather see you work like a slave on a dead end job than see you succeed in your own business, whether that business is you being an author/writer, entertainer, small business owner, or entrepreneur.
As true cowards, abusers often pick on those that are truly defenseless, which are mostly children. Unfortunately, most children who experience verbal abuse doesn’t always first experience it from other children, they experience it first in the home. They experience it first from relatives. Domestic violence does not just include the physical beating and/or torturing of a partner and children; domestic violence also includes verbal abuse, which may come in the form of verbal threats against a person’s physical being, or unjustified harsh scolding concerning a person’s character or even his/her physicality.
Although I was fortunate enough to have a loving and non-abusive mother, I still experienced verbal/emotional abuse growing up. Today, I can look people straight in the face, say what I have to say to that person whenever he/she crosses the line with me, and be done with it. As a child, I couldn’t do this. You know, when you’re a child, you don’t always have a voice to let people know that they’re hurting you by their ill treatment of you. A child doesn’t always have a voice to say, “I don’t like how you talk down to me, treat me like I’m unimportant, and say mean things to me all the time.” Because a child is often intimidated by his/her abuser, that child may never utter a single word to anyone outside the home about what he/she experiences inside the home on a regular basis. I believe this is one reason why when children get to school, they act out all day in their classrooms. Sometimes, this is a testament of the turmoil that a child may be experiencing inside his/her home.
Whenever I think of an abusive person, I think of someone who’s a sociopath. Only an abusive sociopath would continue to perpetuate abusive behavior whether they perpetuate it in the home, against you, or in the workplace. Workplace bullies are abusive people period! Only an abusive sociopath would think that he/she has done nothing wrong, and feels that he/she owes no apology. Only an abusive sociopath would continue to perpetuate abusive actions toward people they’ve already hurt in some way. Yet, there are people like this occupying our personal space each and every day. And we continue to deal with them, because some of them are our friends, relatives, or a spouse. Where do you draw the line in the sand with these people? At some point, you have to. And when you do, be prepared to fight (I don’t mean physical beating because you’re an adult now). Just like the schoolyard bully, you have to put an abusive sociopath in his/her place. You have to say to yourself, “I’m not gonna take this shit anymore.” You’re going to have to stand up for yourself when it comes to an abuser whether this is family, a spouse, a friend, or your supervisor.
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