You don’t marry a gender; you marry a person. And yet the majority of Christian marriage books dole out advice based on gender stereotypes: “men need adventure,” “women need security,” “men like quiet time,” “women process verbally,” “men crave respect and control,” “women crave love and emotional intimacy,” “men are like microwaves,” “women are like ovens.” But even before we got married, Dan and I realized that just as often as we fit these generalities, we don’t. Dan knows I’d prefer tickets to a football game over a nice piece of jewelry and that too much security and not enough adventure leaves me feeling bored. I know that Dan is better at nurturing friendships than I am and thrives creatively when he has the chance to collaborate with other people.
So for all of this talk of men being “wired” one way and women being “wired” another, we have found, as Micah Murray puts it, that “wires are for robots.” We are human beings, and we relate to one another better when we stop expecting the other person to behave in a prescribed, programmed way but instead talk openly with one another about our actual desires, preferences, hopes, and expectations.
Abusive Expectations - Makes impossible demands, requires constant attention, and constantly criticizes.
Aggressing - Name calling, accusing, blames, threatens or gives orders, and often disguised as a judgmental “I know best” or “helping” attitude.
Constant Chaos - Deliberately starts arguments with you or others. May treat you well in front of others, but changes when you’re alone.
Rejecting - Refusing to acknowledge a person’s value, worth or presence. Communicating that he or she is useless or inferior or devaluing his or her thoughts and feelings.
Denying - Denies personal needs (especially when need is greatest) with the intent of causing hurt or as punishment. Uses silent treatment as punishment. Denies certain events happened or things that were said. Denies your perceptions, memory and sanity by disallowing any viewpoints other than their own which causes self-doubt, confusion, and loss of self-esteem.
Degrading - Any behavior that diminishes the identity, worth or dignity of the person such as: name-calling, mocking, teasing, insulting, ridiculing,
Emotional Blackmail - Uses guilt, compassion, or fear to get what he or she wants.
Terrorizing - Inducing intense fear or terror in a person, by threats or coercion.
Invalidation - Attempts to distort your perception of the world by refusing to acknowledge your personal reality. Says that your emotions and perceptions aren’t real and shouldn’t be trusted.
Isolating - Reducing or restricting freedom and normal contact with others.
Corrupting - Convincing a person to accept and engage in illegal activities.
Exploiting - Using a person for advantage or profit.
Minimizing - A less extreme form of denial that trivializes something you’ve expressed as unimportant or inconsequential.
Unpredictable Responses - Gets angry and upset in a situation that would normally not warrant a response. You walk around on eggshells to avoid any unnecessary drama over innocent comments you make. Drastic mood swings and outbursts.
Gaslighting -A form of psychological abuse involving the manipulation of situations or events that cause a person to be confused or to doubt his perceptions and memories. Gaslighting causes victims to constantly second-guess themselves and wonder if they’re losing their minds.
wish this had said “what are some indicators” instead of “what are the signs” b/c no list is exhaustive and no thing limited to mere definitions
I have had a lot of this in my life. From probably three of the most influential people in my life. I’m used to it being the default, I’m used to feeling like love is conditional. Which is why I am the way i am (anxiety, perfectionism and all), why I’m terrified of my own impact on other people, why I withdraw.
But I’m much better at recognising it. At identifying it, disassociating it from my personal worth, and protecting myself when I see the signs.
These are things I don’t really like to talk about but 4am makes me honest.
When you’re raised by emotional abuse, there’s a kind of void inside, and we’re taught that to fill it we need to act like Good Children, Good Citizens, Good Workers, Good… Whatevers. But no act of a good child will ever fill that void. No achievement, no award, nothing we do can fill it. Because that void, that voice, is what drives us as children to behave the way our parents want us to behave, and if they let us know that we are good people — regardless of whether or not we get straight As or win the gymnastic championship or whatever — that void might vanish. We might see ourselves as worthy. And their dynamic depends on us seeing ourselves as unworthy. It depends on the void.
Learning to get rid of that void is hard.
Apparently, installing it is easy.