Psychological abuse is the first warning
October 13, 2013 10:00 PM | 934 views | 1 1 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By guest columnist Dee Louis-Scott

Psychological abuse can be as damaging to the psyche as physical abuse can be to the body, yet little is written about this common problem, which is typically the precursor to physical abuse. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 95 percent of men who physically abuse their intimate partners also psychologically abuse them.

Psychological abuse consists of impairing the mental life and impeding mental development. It creates distorted beliefs, taught by the abuser, about the world. Those beliefs become ingrained in the victim’s mind and can interfere with the flexibility needed to constantly assess the environment and respond appropriately. Knowing the signs of psychological abuse may save women from the physical abuse that so often follows.

I experienced psychological abuse through the eyes of a child — part of the stories I share in “Believe in the Magic: Let the Tenacity of Mattie Fisher Inspire You,” (www.mattiefisher.com), the story of my mother’s remarkable journey.

I watched as my father systematically and maliciously attempted to drive my mother crazy. He would constantly move car keys and other items from the places she normally kept them. He would then pretend to find them in odd places, like the refrigerator. After playing the hero for a month or so, my father would start insulting my mom with degrading remarks.

After months of psychological warfare, with her mental state sufficiently weakened, my father would begin the physical abuse. For the rest of her life, my mother was inconsolable and shaky whenever something went missing.

Signs of psychological abuse include:

Your partner uses finances to control you.

He often threatens to leave.

She seeks to intimidate using looks, gestures or actions.

He smashes things.

Your partner seeks to control you by minimizing, denying and blaming

He makes light of the abuse and does not take your concerns about it seriously.

Effects of psychological abuse on the victim, from the Center for Relationship

Abuse Awareness:

A distrust of his or her own spontaneity

A loss of enthusiasm

An uncertainty about how she is coming across

A concern that something is wrong with him

An inclination to review incidents with the hopes of determining what went wrong

A loss of self-confidence

A growing self-doubt

An internalized critical voice

A concern that she isn’t happier and ought to be

An anxiety or fear of being crazy

A sense that time is passing and he’s missing something

A desire not to be the way she is, e.g. “too sensitive,” etc.

If you answered yes to even one, you may be in an abusive relationship. Get help!

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 799-SAFE, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1 (800) 656-HOPE.

Dee Louis-Scott is the author of “Believe in the Magic: Let the Tenacity of Mattie Fisher Inspire You,” (www.mattiefisher.com), the story of her mother’s remarkable journey. Louis-Scott retired after working 30 years as a federal employee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

Comments
(1)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Bob Bummer
|
November 02, 2013
The feminazis' war against all non-submissive men continues with the label of abuser and we wonder why schools have a bullying problem yet tolerate bullying by adults. When a man or woman is labeled anything such as abuser or feminazi it allows people to treat them as though they are not human.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides