PDA

View Full Version : Let's talk verbal abuse



JMAC
11-20-2005, 10:10 PM
This is not an easy topic to open up about. I spent 19 years in an abusive relationship, mostly verbal, once in a while physical. I'm divorced now for 1 1/2 yrs. Seeing my 14 yr old daughter using some of the same BS when she gets in a rage. I feel like it's time to try any trick in the book to help her grow out of it, and for me to heal from it. Nasty business. I'd like to hear from folks from both sides of the fence, yeah, former abusers too.

Zimmer
11-20-2005, 10:16 PM
I am no psychologist, but after atkaing abuse on here for some time I know that the number one commandment to winning is not to rise to the bait. No matter how tasty, no matter how tempting ,delicious, or easy a comeback is opened to you. Set your own agenda - write it down to remind yourself in the future so you do not lose track. Refer to it from time to time and mark your progress on some sort of chart. You will win if you endeavor to persevere. Best of luck.

ishmael
11-20-2005, 10:25 PM
Brave, to speak of it. I imagine a desperation drives you.

There's no trick I know of; nothing to wipe it away in a moment or a day. We habituate. Things become comfortable no matter how odd or twisted, and over time they become a sad normal.

Change comes, if at all, in small increments. There can be accelerations, times when a new freedom enters, but only after the work.

Have someone or ones who are wiser than you to give you some reference. It could be a good friend, or a pastor, or a therapist, but try not to be alone with this. Find a genuine confessor.

The only thing you can do for your daughter is to become more well yourself. That you put up with abuse for two decades means you have work to do. Do it willingly. You aren't alone.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver

[ 11-20-2005, 10:30 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

LeeG
11-20-2005, 10:53 PM
JMAC,,anything you can do to see her bs as hers and not what you went through for 19yrs will get the two of you closer to something workable. I doubt if she will see her behaviour as mirroring her mothers but if you see it in that light and say as much then that doesn't give her much hope for improvement.

Not sure if there's a nice way to say this,,you're screwed.

Be steady, be consistant, be loving.

A 14yr old girl will vacillate between being a hysterical, unreasonable child and a woman with greater facility to recognize and articulate feelings than you,,unfortunately may not do it in your presence. And if some nice thing does pass between you be grateful.

There's a self help book out there with the title "Get Out Of My Life, but could you take me to the mall first?"
Another one is Saving Ophelia, about young teenage girls.

more thoughts,,if you're 18mo out of a marriage that your daughter was a part of then you've got an 18mo old relationship with a 14yr old girl. I don't think you can fast forward her "out" of this.

Shoveling wet sand,,do what you can when you can. If you're tired keep doing it, if you're sick keep doing it, being afraid of her anger won't do it, engaging in her anger won't do it. Ignoring her anger won't do it. Proving you're bigger, badder, smarter won't do it. Just keep shoveling,,little shovel fulls when you're tired, bigger when you feel like it. Maybe some days she'll help shovel it too. Just keep plugging along. The blues can help.

[ 11-20-2005, 11:01 PM: Message edited by: LeeG ]

TomF
11-21-2005, 08:48 AM
Little substantive to add ... detachment really is key, so that you can really see your daughter's stuff as hers. Helps you not rise to the bait.

Frankly, that's where a discipline like meditation can help. Difficult to do as a crash-course, but there's motivation there!

Finally, your daughter likely sees her mother every time she looks in the mirror. One of the greatest gifts you can give her is to not demonize half of her genes. In your daughter's hearing, be as up-front as possible about the abuse, but also be as up-front as possible about the positive things about your ex. You can likely still name some. Your 14 year-old will have a much better chance of not repeating the grim behaviour, if she's able to lay claim to some positive things from her mother too.

t.

Alan D. Hyde
11-21-2005, 11:26 AM
Abuse warrants pity, not more abuse in return.

Abusing others is a sign of weakness.

Of fear, and of self-doubting... :(

Alan

[ 11-21-2005, 11:50 AM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

LeeG
11-21-2005, 11:47 AM
you can have fear and self-doubting,,just keep shoveling.

Tell her she's beautiful, compliment her when it's real. And have little attachment to her response(I know, easier said than done). The sunset doesn't care if you say it's beautiful or the fireman who saves your ass. It's what they do.

[ 11-21-2005, 11:47 AM: Message edited by: LeeG ]

Meerkat
11-21-2005, 12:31 PM
The only way she can abuse you is if you feel you're in a position such that you can't stand up and say "I don't like the way you're talking to me and I won't continue to talk to you as long as you are talking this way."

If your daughter loves you, she loves you. If she does not, she doesn't. Either way, the situation is not going to improve if she thinks she can get away with disrespecting you.

My suggestion is that you be polite, explain why you're terminating the conversation and then walk away. If your daughter is smart, she should soon realize that if she wants to talk to you, she's going to have to change the way she does so.

JMAC
11-21-2005, 08:32 PM
I don't want to spend my life thinking I'm a victim. I got brainwashed by the ex about how lousy of a husband I was, although I was always faithful, sober, kind, punctual, honest, you know, St. Jim. Anyways, I have felt that since leaving her, I've been coming out of a fog in slow motion. My concerns now are that my daughter doesn't become abusive in her relationships and I don't hook up with another anger freak.
My daughter hung up on me last night, and I called her back tonight and told her not to do that any more. Later her Mom called me back about Thanksgiving plans and she started going into a rant. She got about 5 seconds into it and I said "I don't need to hear this" and hung up. I think there's hope for me yet. But I feel like I need reinforcement, encouragement, and repetition of types of abuse and appropriate responses. Thanks for your help

joejapan
11-21-2005, 09:06 PM
.
JMAC, I've been there !

I guess, to some extent, I still am.

READ THIS VERY CAREFULLY ! ! !


Meerkat:
The only way she can abuse you is if you feel you're in a position such that you can't stand up and say "I don't like the way you're talking to me and I won't continue to talk to you as long as you are talking this way."

If your daughter loves you, she loves you. If she does not, she doesn't. Either way, the situation is not going to improve if she thinks she can get away with disrespecting you.

My suggestion is that you be polite, explain why you're terminating the conversation and then walk away. If your daughter is smart, she should soon realize that if she wants to talk to you, she's going to have to change the way she does so. My "hysterical, unreasonable child" simply matured into an hysterical, unreasonable woman, especially during the Holidays or any time the limelight is focused on her Mom or herself.

Her brother once asked me, " Dad, why do you put up with it? You can't make her change, you can't solve her problems and the more you let Mom or her treat you like sh_t, the worse it'll be." Smart kid, he.

You're getting decent advice, but, after 20 years of putting up with it, will you continue or will you stop it from happening? As was suggested, tell her you love her and want a relationship but that you simply can't allow her to treat you with anything less than the respect you show to her.

My daughter's propensity for dramatizing the situation prevented me from attending her graduation party, from walking her down the aisle, from attending her wedding party and from being at the hospital for the birth of my first grandchild. I've lost a lot because of the way she chooses to regard her father, I didn't do anything to cause it, but I do have to suffer from it.

I can only hope that, one day, she'll realize that Mom wasn't entirely correct and that Dad can be a nice fellow, if given a chance.

glenallen
11-21-2005, 09:49 PM
JMAC, you show good sense and lots of guts to air your situation here. You know a year and a half is not much time out of that 19 year abusive relationship. On the other hand, your daughter has been conditioned by witnessing abusive behavior all of her life. She has been taught to be abusive. Abuse is her natural response to stress.

Run, don't walk, to a professional therapist. Stay away from priests, part-time counselors, etc. Encourage your ex-wife and your daughter to do the same. If they refuse, fine, you do it anyway.

A good therapist can provide alternative responses that your daughter needs to learn. You can bet she does not like herself. She's merely doing the best she can. She can be taught to do better.

The sad part is, if she does not get help, she will pass this along to her children one day. It may be hard to watch your daughter act out this behavior, but believe me, it will be much harder to watch it in your grandchildren. Best of luck to you and your daughter. Forgive me, but to hell with your EX! Glen