“The answer to “How Do I Stop the Abuse?” is…drum roll, please…You Can’t. I wish that you could control how another person speaks and how they act. But you can’t.
“Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked your abuser to speak to you in a nicer way. Raise your hand if you’ve tearfully begged your abuser to be kinder to you. Wow. That’s a lot of hands.
“Did it work? No. At least not forever. The next time your abuser felt turmoil, s/he used their anger or sly verbal manipulations to bring you down again…you cannot stop physical, mental, emotional or verbal abuse from happening to you. The only thing you can do is change how you react to it.” – from my blog at healthyplace
You are not at fault; realizing that you cannot and do not control the abuse OR your abuser is priority number one. You cannot “help your abuser” or “mother” him out of abusive behavior. You cannot change him, although he may choose to change himself as due to your new-found healthy behaviors!
For now, just remember that you are a target for his abuse. You are not a victim any longer because you’re educating yourself about abuse (at the very least). Perhaps you’ve taken further steps to protect yourself from the abuse, too.
You are not imagining the abuse, making it up, or being a drama queen. Your feeling that “something is wrong” deserves exploration even if your abuser denies it. We should reclaim our freedom to be, think, do, say, and believe the things we know are right for our Selves.
What Can We Do To Stop the Effects of Abuse?
We can’t change the abuser, but we can remove ourselves from the his world (physically and figuratively).
- We can change how we’re willing to live.
- We can change our minds about what we’re willing to accept or to refuse about ourselves.
- We can change our minds about what we’re willing to accept or to refuse from our abusers.
- We can change how we react to abuse.
- We can regain healthy attitudes about ourselves, or for some of us, create a healthy attitude from scratch.
We can change anything we want, but what I’m looking forward to most is not changing my Self (for a change)! I’ve spent years trying to fit my big huge Self into the little-bitty box my husband defined for me – I’m NOT doing that ANYMORE!
You should check out the first steps for abuse “targets” here.
I hope that those of you who think you may be or once were verbally abused will find validation by reading my story of abuse from the first time I thought something may be wrong way back in 1992. I hope that you can find something in my journey that helps you realize that if abuse is happening to you, then you’re not imagining it, making it up, or being a drama queen.
I hope you come to realize that your feeling that “something is wrong” deserves exploration even if your abuser denies it. I hope you remember a time in which you faced the world without labels, without self-defeating attitudes, and without another person’s strangling hold suffocating your voice.
You can start here.