Verbal Abuse in Relationships

Continued From The Fairy-Tale Beginning Storytellers leave out the middle portion of our fairy-tale because it occurs behind palace walls, secreted away from the prying eyes of peasants. The princess, swept off her feet, rides into the sunset with our knight, heading to his land and his castle. He promises love never-ending, and the princess cannot wait to begin life with him by her side. Her woodland friends promise to visit soon, and all seems well...
The abusive relationship begins like many others. Two people meet, make a connection, and fall in love. Their love seems beautiful to family and friends...except for one or two things that seem, well, odd...but every relationship has problems. Right? After all, there are no fairy-tales in the real world. For ease of writing only, the victim in our story is a princess, the abuser is a knight, and the victim's friends are the loving animals of the forest.
I will never say that I am grateful for having experienced abuse. I do not believe that abuse made me stronger, smarter, or braver. I did not "need" to go through the soul-threatening experience of an abusive marriage to become who I am today. If I could do it all over again with what I know now, I would have left him after our second child was born. However, I am grateful that my experience with abuse can be used to benefit others. I am grateful that abuse did not silence me. Abuse did not take my life, and it didn't take my soul. I am lucky and blessed. Over the past few years, after blogging through the last year of abuse and my subsequent release from it, I've gained a unique perspective on abusive relationships. I feel blessed that so many people contact me about their abuse (or about their desire to stop abusing). I know heartbreaking domestic dramas play out every single day, and it is sometimes hard to remove myself from other people's pain and stay objective and clear-headed. Sometimes I don't detach so well and take their pain to bed with me. Tonight will be one of those nights.
Counting down to 2013 means different things to different people, but I thought I'd take time out to share Verbal Abuse In Relationships greatest hits in 2012. Thank you for all of your encouragement and support throughout this year! I look forward to meeting more of you in the next 365 days. Happy New Year! May 2013 be full of support, encouragement and success for all, and your every day filled with love, light, and laughter.
Domestic abuse victims often fall into addiction problems and I did too. I don't know why others develop addictions, but for me, I'd given up on figuring out why I was so miserable. I could not solve the mystery. So I sat on my behind and lost myself in The Sims 2, a video game that allowed me to create a pretend family of my choosing. I became addicted to the video game's fantasy family because I didn't have the energy for anything other than wishful thinking. I let the addiction take me over before I realized I was a domestic abuse victim, and before I could fathom life as becoming enjoyable ever again.
Has your co-worker or loved one ever given you a beautiful gift, but then acted offended that you didn't appreciate it enough, claimed that you were lying about how much you liked it, snatched it back saying you didn't deserve it at all, or any other action that changed your happiness into some other feeling? If so, you've experienced an abusive incident aimed at destroying your sense of reality. How could your lovely, heart-felt reaction be interpreted in some other way? Did you react to the gift "wrong"? Should you have felt more appreciative, more grateful, less selfish? Suddenly your reality, the truth as you know it, doesn't make sense. What is going on?
Many abuse victims suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), me included. The other day in the middle of writing the post about my ex's abusive anger, I had to take an hour break before I could finish it. My body reacted the same way it did when my ex ran up on me--panicky, wobbly, . . . fearful. It helps to know what is happening at times like these. If I didn't know that PTSD influenced me both physically and emotionally, I may think I was just plain stupid for still being this way. As it is, I recognize the PTSD symptom and take necessary steps to ground myself and bring myself back into the present to deal with the PTSD and the memories of abuse.
When I began my website way back in 2008, I chose the title "Verbal Abuse Journals" because, somehow, the word Verbal seemed to soften up the word Abuse. Back then, to me, "Verbal Abuse" was the name of a band or the type of angering insult one might hear from a stranger on the street. Verbal abuse was almost a joke, a simple case of mama-not-teaching-you-how-to-talk-nice, as far as I was concerned. I felt comfortable using the term verbal abuse to help describe my marriage because it wasn't really abuse. It couldn't be scary abuse--it was just an ugly vocabulary. And people can change their vocabulary.  
All of us survivors know that our ex will at least verbally and emotionally abuse our children. We survivors also know how hard that type of abuse is to prove, and even proving it doesn't mean your ex will have less time with our children. Proving non-sexual or non-physical abuse typically results in therapy if it results in anything at all. Therapy doesn't work unless the abuser wants to change. They don't want to change which is the reason you left them in the first place.
Kasandra Perkins and about ten other women died at the hands of their partner on December 1, 2012 (4000 women killed by partners/year divided by 365 days/year = 10 - 11 dead women per day). Yet today, Internet news sources remember Kasandra Perkin's boyfriend, the man who killed her before killing himself, and the jest of the commentary is, "We didn't see this coming. He was such a great guy!" Typical. Newsday reported "Friends of Perkins have said there was tension between the two that escalated after the birth of their daughter, now 3 months old, and a police source said the two argued about money." Abuse escalates or begins after the abuser feels that the victim cannot separate from them. For example, after the birth of a baby.