Al-Anon Family Group

The material presented here is not Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. It is a method to exchange information, ideas, feelings, problems and solutions on a personal level.

Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Abuse - Verbal, Emotional - you'd be amazed

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2073
Abuse - Verbal, Emotional - you'd be amazed

"Of all the things I've lost in life (my keys, my coat, my purse, you name it), it's my mind I miss the most" :biggin:

I may have posted this before but it saddens me to see wonderful people here doubting themselves, mistrusting their judgement over and over again so I guess it bears repeating.

I never knew about these before recovery.

Recognizing verbal abuse (VA) can be very difficult because:

1. Mostly VA is secretive.  Usually only the partner hears it.
2. VA becomes more intense over time.  Sadly, the partner "becomes used to it and adapts to it."
3. VA takes many forms and disguises.
4. VA consistently discounts the partner's perception of the abuse.

The following will help you determine if you are experiencing abuse:
1. S/he seems irritated or any with you several times a week or more although you hadn't meant to upset him/her.  You are surprised each time and then they say they aren't mad when you ask them.

2. When you feel hurt and try to discuss your upset feelings with them, you don't feel as if the issue has been fully resolved, so you don't feel happy and relieve, nor do you have a feeling that you've made up.

3. You frequently feel perplexed and frustrated by their responses because you can get them to understand your intentions.

4. You are upset not so much about concrete issues as you are about the communication in the relationship.

5. You sometimes wonder "What's wrong with me?  I shouldn't feel so bad?"

6. They rarely, if ever, seem to want to share their thoughts or plans with you.

7. They seem to take the opposite view from you on almost everything as if your view is wrong and theirs is right.

8. You sometimes wonder if they perceive you as a separate person.

9. You can't recall saying to them "cut it out" or "stop"

10. They are either angry or has "no idea of what you are talking about" when you try to discuss an issue with them.

Then comes the crazymaking.

 - You often feel temporarily thrown off balance and not able to right yourself.
 - You feel lost, not knowing where to turn, searching aimlessly.
 - You feel caught off guard.
 - You feel disconnected, confused, disoriented.
 - You feel as though the rug has been pulled out from under your feet.
 - You receive "double messages" but are somehow unable or fearful to ask for clarification.
 - You feel "bugged" by the simple presence of the person.
 - You feel totally unprepared for a broken promise
 - Where you assumed goodwill, ill will prevailed
 - You feel pushed around, not in control of your own direction
 - Your thoughts are continuously spinning
 - You have a strong feeling of wanting to get away, yet unable to move, frozen.
 - You feel vaguely suspicious that something is wrong, but can't put your finger on it.

As a result, you
1. distrust your own spontaneity.
2. have a loss of enthusiasm
3. are on a prepared, on-guard state
4. have an uncertainly about how you are coming across to them.
5. have a concern that something is wrong with you.
6. have an inclination to soul search and review incidents over and over again with the hope of determining what went wrong.
7. lose self-confidence.
8. growing self-doubt
9. an internal "critical voice"
10. think you should be happier but arent
11. have an anxiety or fear of being crazy.
12. have a sense that you are missing something.
13. have a desire not to be the way you are - i.e. "too sensitive"
14. have a hesitancy to accept your own perceptions.
15. have a reluctance to come to conclusions
16. have a desire to escape or run away
17. have a belief that what you do be may be what you do the worst.
18. a tendency to live in the future "Everything will be great when / after . . . . "
19. a distrust of future relationships

Abuse is damaging to the spirit.  It takes the joy and vitality out of life.  It distorts reality because the abuser's response does not correlate with the partner's communication.

If this helps just one person, then I will be grateful I shared it.  Please get to your meetings, keep coming here, come to meetings here, take good care of yourselves.  I and your Higher Power love you and think you are worth it.

love in recovery,

Source:  "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans

If I am not for me, who will be?  If I am only for myself, then who am I?  If not now, when?

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 844

Thanks Maria, you have no idea how much I needed to hear that today.

I felt like you were reaching right into my head and reading my thoughts.

Love in Recovery,


Don't leave before the miracle!

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 579

Hugs of thanks Maria for these truths
I am amazed!!   doh.gif                   And this sure is true:

Abuse is damaging to the spirit.  It takes the joy and vitality out of life.  It distorts reality because the abuser's response does not correlate with the partner's communication.

Big sigh, phew!!      now, what I'm going do about it? 
Not take it anymore....  banned.gif    I'll get back to you on how and success.    Could be simple, just say "stop that" might shock him speechless.  heh heh  biggrin

This has made me feel so much better just knowing I am heard and understood by you and why I feel so unheard by the AH. 

"Choices are the hinges of destiny."  Pythagoras         You can't change the past, but you can change the future.

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 308

Girl you are the best....thanks for posting it again.  I remember when I first read something like that (probably posted by you) it changed my whole perspective of things.  Each time I questioned my actions in taking my life back as my own I would remember it.  It really helped me on my road of recovery. 
Luv Ya

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Love you all! Karen

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 523


Thanks for sharing this. I saw a lot of myself there. Very eye opening. I guess we sometimes don't realize how much we've been putting up with.

Love and Blessings,


A person's a person no matter how small  --Dr Suess

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 693

I so appreciate you posting this, Maria. Abuse isn't just physical, and although my alcoholic ex-husband was physically abusive, he was also verbally abusive. There were times I wished he would just hit me instead of run his mouth because that was pain that just hung on and on and on.

"If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience."
- Woodrow Wilson

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 358

thx, maria, glad i re-read this tonight.

love in recovery,


learning to live for the now...

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2689

Thanks Marie. This is an eye opener for me. Although, my AHsober moved out almost 3 years ago. It stills feels like abuse. I saw him today. He/the disease manipulates everything. And he says "I don't think like that". Bull, it is all manipulation and the disease. And here I sit wondering what I did wrong. Wow!

In support,


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 833

Thanks for the post, Maria. A year ago in our attempt at marital counseling, the counselor suggested I read the book you quoted. When she said I was verbally abused, I remember being totally surprised. It took a while, but I almost get it (though admittedly still haven't read the book). Now I am trying to sort out what was mine and what I took on. Not an easy job, that's for sure, but one worthy of taking on.



Every new day begins with new possibilities. It's up to us to fill it with the things that move us toward progress and peace.
~ Ronald Reagan~

Sometimes what you want to do has to fail, so you won't
~Marguerite Bro~

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1931

Its a good post but a bit of a dangerous one for me- I could so easily use this to launch into victim mode- "poor me" which is as toxic as the VA itself...its a slippery slope for me. J.


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 50

thanks Maria,

that is about the clearest definition I have ever seen.  verbal abuse is so often seen as someone yelling and calling names, etc.  that to me is verbal mean.  Abuse is not about mean, but about something much deeper within the abuser.  Sometimes the abuse is non-verbal as well, a look, etc.  Anyway, you are dead on, and I thank you.

Never eat anything bigger than your head! :)


Status: Offline
Posts: 1

How is relizing that you really are in an abusive relationship going to help. if people didnt relize it then they wouldnt be depressed and if there looking for help then there should be sme.. ive looked everywhere an there are no free coundeling or self help or anything... nothing to make me feel like theres hope escapeing... ive known i wanted to leave for yrs but havent found a way.. i havent even found someone i can talk to about it.. i jus soak in depression n fear. everyday letting him treat me like dirt n make me feel alone n worthless.ashamed


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 627

WOW!!!!  HOW did I miss this VERY needed post???

Maria, I am printing this.....I saw myself WAY too much in this...No wonder I was so screwed up.....He trashed my mind (bio father)...Beginning at an early age...

No wonder I could not at 14 say "no" to his sex assaults, I was by then, "too far gone" to do anything AND still a baby.........I can really forgive me as I was TOTALLY set up and helpless by this now dead, evil man!!!

Thank you for helping me see "where I got the self critic".....So many things I learned reading this.....

Rosie in recovery one day at a time
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.