Below are contributions that readers have shared. If you have a story, poem or insight to share, please let me know.
expresses the fear that angry verbal abuse generates.
When my name turns
sour in his mouth,
when he comes riding toward
me foaming and churning,
I am swept out,
He is multiplied
He is too many.
—Melissa McIntosh Brown
One might wonder, could anyone do to someone to generate so
much anger that he would rage at his partner. It only takes
one thing, she moved, walked, talked, expressed a thought,
or simply existed in a way that didn’t match his mind....
So he lost it. Read Controlling People for all the details.
Melissa contributed another poem for that book. I am so
glad because I see her as a great, great
COMPASSION FOR SURVIVORS OF VERBAL ABUSE
This is a powerful perspective on why some women stay, at
least for a
while, with a verbal abuser who will not leave nor do the
hard work of change. Of course, there are other reasons;
most commonly, it is to protect a child or children from
being alone with an angry and unpredictable parent.
[Previously published in a past newsletter]
The story that follows adds so much to understanding the
fear people have in the presence of irrational behavior—
A beautiful young woman, not yet thirty called me crying
from fear. "Does being so afraid to leave mean that I am
really, really abused?" she asked.
She was about to brave the freezing winter winds and
eminent snow to get away while her abusive husband was not
around. This was her window of opportunity. After talking
with her a few minutes, I realized the verbal abuse she
endured was truly horrific. To just call it extreme would
be downplaying her experience. In those few minutes, I also
realized how very smart, articulate and amazing she was. I
asked her, "Would you someday, send me a note about what
you just told me? I know it will help others to understand
the fear the craziness generates. In the middle of that
very same night, safely ensconced in a cozy and secret
place, she sent me the following email, to help others.
"For those who compare living with a verbal abuser to being
a Prisoner of War, I can tell you that it's not even close.
Being a Prisoner of War is actually easier. At least, when
you are a Prisoner of War, you are taken against your will.
You KNOW that you are living with the enemy. You KNOW that
they are lying to you. You KNOW that they are feeding you
propaganda, and you can mentally fight it. Verbal abusers
are far more sinister because they befriend you, win your
heart, and gain your trust.
I have never been a P.O.W., but I have been to war. I have
fallen asleep to the sound of machine gun fire each night.
I have worked in buildings peppered with holes from mortar
rounds. I have walked through mine fields. I have been
trained to keep my wits during terrorist attacks. But,
leaving the man, that I believed was my soul-mate, is BY
FAR the scariest thing that I have ever done!—Veteran, US
Yes, she had been in the Air Force, had slept under fire,
and she is
quite brave. I'll always remember that everyone has his or
her own time to stay or go. Sharing this message is one way
to promote understanding throughout the world.