Friday, January 08, 2010


    This topic is something where my thoughts are like a big tangled ball. Like when thread and yarn and scraps of fabric get stuck together. All the different pieces can be seen and identified, but they are unclear--stuck to and obscured by the other pieces.
    I think the best thing for me to do (part of this writing-to-be-a-better-thinker-and-writer-and-communicator/writing-for-emotional-wellbeing goal) is to start trying to untangle the ball of knots and write, a little at a time, about this subject.
    The symptoms of psychological/verbal abuse is something that keeps popping up in my life lately--in things that I hear of people going through or at least discussing. (Or from all the daytime TV I've been watching.) What's come up is that constant criticism, especially of trivial things (like the way a person cuts onions or folds towels), is not just a warning sign but a form of abuse. The repetition of this behavior wears the victim down; the result is constant nervousness and a preoccupation with upsetting the other party. The next attack is criticizing the victim in bigger ways--such as their life goals or behavior.
    Lately, the following has been on my mind: why do people put up with that crap in the first place? How do otherwise strong-willed, self-confident, self-aware people allow another person to talk to them that way? Because they do! It's not just meek people who don't think they're their own boss.
    I wonder this because I have on more than one occasion found myself dealing with a person who exhibits such behavior, and I wonder, "How the hell did that happen?!" and also, "Why won't you LEARN!?" And more importantly, "How can you PREVENT this in the future?" Maybe "enabler" is the wrong word;it puts responsibility (and blame) on the victim.
    I haven't gotten very far. Here's where my thoughts get to be that tangled-up ball. The following are my conclusions in a succinct form:
* These abusive types can be very magnetic people. They know how to turn on the charm. That's how they suck you in in the first place, and they turn it back on for the "honeymoon phase." The victim wants to please this person, because they can be so likeable.
* Strong emotions are just that. There's a connection between love and hate (with control on the side.) I am now at a loss for coherent words. I once heard a story where Person A met Person B and found them aggravating, just detested them, and then thought, "I am probably going to love Person B." Some people think that if you love someone a lot, you can hate them just as much (and vice versa.) The direction from zero can change, but the magnitude does not. I don't know if I believe that precisely...but I think there's some connection. I think that might explain how someone could feel they loved a person and ignore the fact that this person makes them afraid.

I hope that made sense!

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