If you've ever been in a relationshop with someone who was emotionally or mentally abusive, you'll find this is a book you can't put down.
This is a book that touched me personally. I'll explain why after a bit. While I was reading it, I jotted down some very important pieces I
In chapter 3, James discusses his signs & symptoms of emotional abuse. I IMPLORE YOU... read through these. IF you are experiencing these, PLEASE seek help... Emotional abuse is A SHORT STEP to physical abuse... and as the adage goes, LOVE DOES NOT HURT.
anger, expectancy, silence, control
-never accepting blame or responsiblity
-saying one thing but denying it later
-never accepting no for an answer
-using others to get what I wanted
rejecting authority, hostile humor, Jeckyll-Hyde personality, criticizing
James writes: "I had no idea I was an abusive husband and father for the entire 24 years of my marriage to Teri, nor did I realize it for the 5 years we dated."
He explains that he knew he "had some issues" but felt as though if Teri got 'her issues fixed' then his issues would be gone, because well, her issues basically caused his. "Do you see the twisted way emotional abuse works" he asks. They were a dysfunctional family, and didn't know it.
In chapter 8, James makes a tormented apology to Teri, and an 184 item list of everything he's sorry that he did.
Here are a couple.. again, if these sound familiar...
-using anger as a tool to get what I wanted, no matter the cost to you
-never being able to say I was sorry, for so, so many years
-taking your clothes and giving them to goodwill when I got mad at you
-putting you down in front of the kids
-not building you up, but tearing you down.
I myself have been in a relationship just like this. For 5 1/2 years I put up with an emotionally and mentally abusive person. He CONSTANTLY put me down, made me feel worthless, and also made me feel as though I could never do any better than him. Unfortunately for me, I was 15 when I met him, so I had no other relationships to base my understandings of life on, and thus, I believed him.
It wasn't until I'd gotten some mental health help for my depression (yeah...I got real depressed) and got on a good medication, that I started to see things clearly. I got a job, and started making my own money, and realized.. hey... I CAN DO THIS ON MY OWN!!! And so, one day, I got a newspaper, and started looking through the classifieds. I found a hole in the wall apartment, about a block and a half from my job, and went and looked at it. It was FUNKY. It had a huge pan burn-mark on the kitchen floor, the walls were messed up... but the guy said that he wouldn't charge me a deposit at all, just first months rent, if I wanted it. Well... I'd looked at a ton of apartments, most too far, or too much, and since this would be my VERY first apartment EVER by myself, I figured, hey, it didn't bother me!! I asked him if I could put contact paper over the burn and he said it was fine.
I rented it on the spot.
I went home later, and had my new apartment lease sitting on the dining room table when he finally came home after work. He'd stopped by the bar, again... I think him and his friend ended up drinking an entire bottle. It's a good thing that he rode his bicycle to work. He was drunk. He saw the paperwork the next day, and didn't think I was serious... He kept telling me that I can't do it by myself. That I'd come back.
Well guess what. I didn't. He stalked me for a while, but eventually realized that I wasn't going to come back to him. I was done. IT FELT GOOD.
Now, I'm in a marriage with a wonderful man, who treats me right, takes care of me and my children, and most of all, loves me like I'm supposed to be loved. He is emotionally stable and KNOWS how to treat a woman. I love my husband, and am grateful for him. My family does not suffer this affliction now.
This book helped me to understand this terrible issue from another point of view. While it didn't change how I felt about my ex, I do understand things a little better, and I'm a better person for it.
As far as HIM goes... I think that he stopped drinking. I know he got another girl, and has 2 children by her. From what I understand, he goes to church. What's funny, is his woman, WEARS THE PANTS in their house now... SHE tells him what to do... I think the tables may have turned!!!
Finally, Austin James offers something to help others. It's something that him and Teri used, called a "Timeout Contract".
It's basically a contract that 2 people enter, to help keep from getting to the point where you use anger as a weapon.
This contract helps identify the cues when you/him are getting angry
the NEUTRAL signal you'll both use to indicate one is getting angry, to begin a timeout.
Both agree to go to a seperate location, away from eachother when the signal is given by EITHER of you.
There shall be NO FINAL WORD/COMMENTS, name-calling, slamming of doors etc when the signal is given.
I will abide by my partners signal and immediately leave the area.
The cool down period is a minimum of ________ (filled in by the parties)
and finally, the rules during the time out, that both agree on. (again, filled in by the parties.
Now, I'll offer you this... Here are some questions to ask yourself, to help you determine if you're in a psychogically abusive relationship...
Do you feel that you can't discuss with your partner what is bothering you?
Does your partner frequently criticize you, humiliate you, or undermine your self-esteem?
Does your partner ridicule you for expressing yourself?
Does your partner isolate you from friends, family or groups?
Does your partner limit your access to work, money or material resources?
Has your partner ever stolen from you? Or run up debts for you to handle?
Does your relationship swing back and forth between a lot of emotional distance and being very close?
Have you ever felt obligated to have sex, just to avoid an argument about it?
Do you sometimes feel trapped in the relationship?
Has your partner ever thrown away your belongings, destroyed objects or threatened pets?
Are you afraid of your partner?
If you've said yes, the first thing is to get help for yourself. You can't get help or do anything for your partner, until you've helped yourself... also, until they're willing to see they have an issue. And to be honest, they usually don't.
I'll end you with this. Please, if you are, or know someone who is, in an emotionally, mentally or physically abusive relationship, PLEASE get them help!!! It's NOT something they have to suffer through.
Then, go out and read this book. It's a GREAT read, and an issue that everyone needs to understand.
You can find Emotional Abuse; Silent Killer of Marriage - A 30-Year Abuser Speaks Out by Austin James at Amazon. PLEASE CHECK IT OUT.