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Behind Closed DoorsPosted Wednesday, September 26, 2007, at 1:29 PM
A person who may have the very beginnings of cancer, may not have symptoms that are noticeable to the human eye. Also, if a person is suffering from the beginnings of the flu, a contagious illness, others may not know it until that person has infected those around him or her. By this time, it is too late. Sometimes it is easy to see when a person is ill or has health related issues. Their bodies present evidence of the illness that are unavoidable to the human eye, such as coughing, wheezing, beading of the forehead, chilling etc.
Thus there are those in life who affect those around them in similar ways.
There are those in this world who suffer from a great disease. A disease that does not always present symptoms to an observer. These symptoms, at first, are often only seen by the people in that person's life who are closest to him or her. Sometimes a person behind closed doors can become a completely different person than the one on show for the public eye.
Just as cancer quietly sneaks up on its victim, mental abuse also sneaks up on its victim. Sure, there are probably small signs and symptoms that a person is developing something in his or her system, but most cancer patients dismiss these symptoms until it is a much bigger problem. A husband or wife in the beginning stages of mental abuse probably sees signs that an unhealthy relationship is beginning to develop, but because of the commitment to his or her marriage, those little symptoms are disregarded.
Also, a partner in such a relationship might find confusion begin to settle in, especially when the offending partner is thoughtful and mannerly when other people are around. According to others the offending person might be considered wonderful. The victim in this case will be left with feelings of confusion. Some might even begin to feel their imaginations are carrying them away.
Then, once they are behind closed doors, and nobody else is looking, a different person emerges from the abuser. Symptoms of a disease begin to betray the victim. From being called terrible names, to not being allowed to make any decisions without suffering further consequences. These symptoms begin to strip away every ounce of confidence that the victim has. With each episode, the disease slowly begins to take over the body and mind of the host. It eats away all standards of right and wrong. Making life impossible for the one enduring the abuse.
Some mental abuse contains strands of violence. The abuser might learn how to manipulate any situation by acting out in anger. Throwing and breaking objects especially those that belong to the victim in addition to punching holes in the wall is an extremely useful tools for the abuser to use against the victim. Imagine, if you will, the thoughts that might go through a persons mind while one is screaming and throwing cherished items against the wall. Maybe the thoughts would be something like this.
"Oh, my goodness, he is so mad! I hope that he does not hit me next. Maybe I had better do what he wants, so that he will just calm down."
"I know the kids can hear her yelling at me even though I sent them to their rooms. I can't believe she just broke my son's favorite toy. Now I will have to buy him a new one somehow. Where will I get the money since she won't let me have access to the checking account? Is it possible to buy a new one before he finds out that this mom broke his? He is going to be so hurt. Whatever I did to make her this mad, I must try really hard never to do again. This is not a healthy situation for the kids."
Just as the flu is contagious to those who are exposed, I must think that mental abuse is also contagious. Children who are brought up in abusive environments are highly likely to abuse when they become adults. Children learn what they see and experience. A little boy or girl in an abusive environment, without the proper counseling and support, has a good chance of growing up and using the same abusive manipulation tricks that were used on him or her as a child because that is the only way they know how to get what they want. This will cause a domino effect. They will treat their children that way, and then their children will become mentally abusive to their children and so on. The chain of events needs to be stopped.
Mental abuse is a silent killer. Just like cancer, it may start out quietly with nobody knowing it is happening, but eventually it will explode. If the victims of this abuse are not knowledgeable about what is going on and if they do not have the needed support to get them through the period of devastation, they could be forever lost. They must realize that they are not stupid, that they are capable of making responsible decisions and that they deserve to live a happy healthy life. Most of all, they must know that it is not their fault even though they will be blamed by teh abuser for the rest of the abuser's life. With this knowledge, counseling and support, these victims can arise victorious even after the abuser has fallen. There is hope.
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