I checked my page on types of verbal abuse and realized that Patricia Evans did not list “LYING” as a type of verbal abuse. For a second, I thought I had discovered a glaring omission in my heroine’s thinking. But it only lasted a second.
I realized that lying is not a form of verbal abuse, it is the basis of it. Lies, especially the ones the abuser tells himself, underlie all forms of abuse – verbal, emotional, physical – all of them.
Abusive Anger is the lie that justifies my husband’s beliefs. If he can become so passionately (violently) angry, then there is truth in what he’s saying, right?
Accusing & Blaming is the lie that throws the responsibilities for all our suffering onto my shoulders. This is the lie that allows my husband to believe that he is victim of my imagined feelings.
Blocking & Diverting is the lie that hides the truth. If he can avoid answering my questions or divert my attention to some other topic, then the truth stays hidden.
Countering is the lie that nothing, absolutely nothing I’m saying, thinking or believing is right even if it was right when he said, thought or believed it.
Denial is the lie that there is anything to lie about. IT, whatever it is, doesn’t exist. IT doesn’t even have a name. IT is nothing.
Deprivation & Withholding is the lie that allows him to manipulate without saying or doing anything. He’s able to withhold affection or anything else from me and deprive me of my right to talk about anything he’s done or said that hurt my feelings or my body.
Discounting is the lie that feeds his feelings of superiority.
Forgetting is the lie that enables him to hide behind a common human frailty that cannot be disproved and must be forgiven.
Joking is the lie that gives him cover while he humiliates me either in front of others or alone.
Judging & Criticizing is the lie that allows his words and beliefs to be superior to mine, always. He is the only one capable of judgment or criticism. My judgment is warped, my criticisms come from others putting ideas into my head.
Name Calling is the lie that tries to force me to defend myself instead of him having to defend anything he says or does.
Ordering & Demanding is the lie that puts me in my proper place – beneath him. He can tell me what to do and I have to do it because he is in control of me.
Threatening Behavior & Words is the lie of last resort. IF I don’t XYZ, THEN he will be forced to show his power over me in some undeniable fashion.
Trivializing is the lie that allows him to dispose of me; it allows him to ignore any thought coming from me because it’s only nagging, nit-picking, hen-pecking…I am only an annoyance.
Undermining is the lie that proves to himself my incapability, irresponsibility, etc. He secretly makes it impossible for me to succeed as a wife, mother and person.
Lying makes abuse possible.
REF: the categories in bold listed below are from the book Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out by Patricia Evans, ISBN 1558503048, Adams Media, February 2003.