Tuesday, June 30, 2009

on a very serious note...

I know this is a big departure from my normal design related rants and raves, but as a person who has experienced physical and verbal abuse, this subject is VERY important to me. I hope you will take the time to read this. And, if you know someone who is the victim of abuse, I hope you will pass this on...

Verbal Abuse and its Devastating Impact
By Patricia Evans

Verbal Abuse is insidious.
Verbal Abuse is endemic.
Verbal Abuse impacts millions of people.
Verbal Abuse and its denial are crazy-making
Verbal Abuse usually occurs in secret.

If you've heard,
"You're Too Sensitive"
you've heard verbal abuse.

Although many people have heard sticks and stones may break our bones but words will never hurt us, those who have suffered from verbal abuse know that words do hurt and can be as damaging as physical blows are to the body. The scars from verbal assaults can last for years. They are psychological scars that leave people unsure of themselves, unable to recognize their true value, their talents and sometimes unable to adapt to life’s many challenges.

Except for name-calling many people don't recognize verbal abuse—especially when it comes from a person they believe loves them or from a person they perceive as an authority figure; or when it comes from a person who is in a position of power, for example, one's boss, a family provider, one's parent, or even an older sibling that one has learned to look up to in childhood.

Unfortunately, when people don’t recognize verbal abuse for what it is, they may try to get the person who is putting them down, giving them orders, or “correcting,” denouncing, yelling at or ignoring them to understand them. Or, they may try to stop them by giving it back in kind. In other words, they may act out their anger.

The circumstances under which verbal abuse takes place make a real difference in how to respond to it. In the workplace, for instance, an appropriate response to a very abusive boss might be to prepare a resume or to read the want ads. On the other hand, a child can’t very well escape from an abusive parent and so we, the observers and relatives of the child must be alert and ready to speak up for him or her. Keeping a record and letting others know what is going on are often good first steps.

Since, in the majority of cases, people who indulge in verbal abuse are selective about whom they abuse, many people are surprised to hear that someone is experiencing on-going and periodic abuse from someone they know and have always seen as nice and friendly. “Nice and Friendly” is the persona of many an abuser. Although many folks are as nice and friendly as they seem, some are not.

- Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you will pass this on to anyone who needs to see this.



The Bliss Journey said...

Thank you for your post. I'm sorry for the pain that you have had to endure. I grew up with a verbally abusive father as well. It was very hard living in that environment. I have had a situation at work with several people being verbally abusive. After several tearful months, I said enough and reported it to management. I had a choice to turn my back and leave the company or stand my ground and do something about it. The company did an investigation and found my allegations to be true. It wasn't pleasant because most people who felt the same as I were too afraid to do anything about it. So, I stood alone and fought my battle. I'm happy to say that my directors backed me up and took action. Some of the supervisors have been demoted and one hasn't been seen since. I guess my fathers actions gave me a backbone. I truly believe everything that you have said. If they are telling you that you are sensitive and have taken something the wrong way, it's an indicator that there is a problem. The whistle blower may not be the most popular but it's the right thing to do.
Have a great evening, glad you're back in the states.

UrbanJunkies/zuppaartista said...

robert, thanks for posting this. i am sorry to hear that you are a victim as well. my mother has done so much damage to me verbally and physically that i am currently seeing an anxiety specialist to cope. it's a horrible thing to endure and even more horrible to think our parents willingly do this to us.
it's nice to know i am not alone, although i hate to hear that others have gone through such pain.
big hugs to you,

Robert Petril said...

Kathleen & Michelle, I've had that article for about 10 years now. Transferring it to each new laptop, but never doing anything with it. Today I realized that it could also help other people. I'm so glad I posted it! I debated all morning and into the afternoon wether to do it or not. The healing takes a long time as you know all too well. Putting it out there helps a lot. I'm so sorry for the pain that you too unfortunately know. We really are not alone. Big hugs to you both!!!

miyoko-san said...

nice post....i agree with it...hehe

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

Robert - you are so wise to have wrote this post. I was married to a man for 22 yrs. who briefly physically abused me. When he was court ordered to attend anger management classes, he then carried on with the verbal abuse but never struck me again. I too know from experience that verbal abuse is very often just as damaging. You may not have the physical scars, but the emotional ones are there. I am sad for what you endured as a child, nothing is more horrific. I at least was an adult & had the fortitude to take my four children & leave. We survived and we all are living a healthy, happy life; ones best revenge. Thanks again for your bravery to be another voice against abuse.
All my best,

Robert Petril said...

The article was written by Patricia Evans. I found it about 10 years ago, and I've been holding onto it for all this time. I so sorry for what you went through! ANd, so glad you got out! Big Hug!

Ideezine said...

Robert, Kathleen, Michelle, and Deb,

I applaud you all for taking today and claiming it as your day to feel good about who you are.

You are not your past, present or future. You are your today, in this moment in time, you've just changed forever. Because you claimed your freedom, you are worth all of this and more.

Happy Independence Day to you!

If you encounter bullies remember this: and repeat it often.

Forgive them Lord for they know not how STUPID they are. I'm a great person, that they won't experience, but it's they're choice not to!

Wonderful post! Bravo! Good for you! Thanks for sharing all of you.


DesignTies said...

Luckily, I grew up in a great home with two loving parents. So I can't say that I understand what you (and other victims of abuse) went through. But I can imagine how awful it must be to be abused in any form by somebody you love and who supposedly loves you. I just don't understand how people can be mean like that. Especially a parent to a child. Children are so trusting and vulnerable and rely on their parents for everything -- how can a person violate that trust and hurt a child?? The same applies to people who abuse animals. I think abusers are weak and cowardly and are looking for someone or something they can overpower to make themselves feel better about themselves.

Sorry that you and your blog visitors were victims of abuse :-( But from the sound of it, you've all made it through and have either done or are doing what you all need to in order to heal.


Ari said...

Unfortunately I have first-hand information about how you feel if you have suffered from verbal abuse and yes.... words do hurt and can be as damaging as physical blows are to the body.

Robert congrats for the courage to admit it and for the lovely family that you have now

♥Aubrey said...

I'm sorry that you endured such words as a child. No one should ever have to hear such negativity. My sister is in the middle of such a relationship as this right now. It's tough to try and get her to see the BIG picture and what he's doing emotionally. There is a child involved and we must stay strong to get this situation to a hault. With people such as yourself speaking out, it brings recognition and more awareness to this growing issue. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful 4th.