I would like to highly recommend a book on domestic violence I recently finished which helped me realize how many types of emotional abuse there are, as well as to make me realize just how severe the abuse is I’ve been dealing with. Certainly a lot of domestic violence situations are much worse than the victim realizes or is willing to accept based on their current knowledge of what constitutes abuse.
That is exactly why domestic violence awareness is no so important. Emotional abuse can be the subtle, easily tolerated silent treatment, or the yelling, name-calling, mocking, passive-aggressive…or the in between behaviors, such as withholding sex or financial abuse. This book gives you both knowledge and thorough understanding of each type, and the subtypes, of emotional abuse. Though more valuable, I found, are the tools the author provides in how to more effectively cope with each form of abuse.
One of the most therapeutic and effective coping tools for many people, particularly those seeking discretion, is writing in a journal (journaling) or using a mindfulness book. Writing allows you to think using a different region of the brain and is very relaxing. The author of The Bully in Your Relationship: Stop Emotional Abuse and Get the Love You Deserve, Psychologist Anne-Renee Testa, tells the twelve or so individual forms of emotional abuse, giving examples using experiences her patients shared. She then asks the reader to engage in some journal exercises for each type of emotional abuse, such as listing specific instances in which each form of abuse was recognized. This allowed me to see in writing with my own two eyes, an itemized list of examples, which helped put it in perspective for me. I was beginning to think I was crazy, having told myself (as a result of his telling me he “doesn’t abuse me”. “I will show you abuse”, he would say. I came to believe that I was mistaken; that one person is incapable of inflicting so much and so many types of abuse on one person. Keep in mind that while some forms of abuse are worse than others, some being both unbearable and emotionally damaging–no abuse is acceptable, regardless how seemingly harmless it may be at times.
The reader is further encouraged to complete additional writing exercises detailing how he or she could have reacted differently to the abuse or changed one’s own behavior leading up to the abuse. Testa asks the reader to examine how she will deal with the abuse in the future, how she will potentially handle the situation differently. Bully in Your Relationship: Stop Emotional Abuse and Get the Love You Deserve is available by clicking the link.
This book was one of the most therapeutic and well-written books I have on my reading list. I highly recommend that you put into your home library a persona collection of at least ten books on domestic violence and include titles specific to your individual situation. Goodreads is an easy, user-friendly way to find books you want to read as well as to keep them organized.
I want to stress that while some forms of abuse are clearly worse than others and more damaging, some being completely unbearable–no abuse is acceptable, regardless how seemingly harmless it may be at times. Know this: you have at least one place you can go for help without fear of nondiscretion or judgment. Me. I’m your friend and could be your shoulder to cry on. Email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!