(As I write of my experiences, much of the time I will be regurgitating the wisdom of Patricia Evans. I have been devouring her books at an unseemly pace for the last six weeks. Her work has literally saved my sanity and I want nothing more than to grab the attention of another person who may need just these words at this very moment. I am simply struggling along finding myself again and I will be honored to share my experience with you. I must tell you that if anything I say rings true, Google her name and buy her books. No, I don’t own stock; not wall street stock anyway. I do have stock in saving another woman, child or (less frequently) man from the cold dark void of verbal abuse.)
Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace, Wednesdays child is full of woe, Thursday’s child has far to go, Friday’s child is loving and giving, Saturday’s child works hard for a living, But the child that is born on the Sabbath day is bonnie and blithe and good and gay.
A number of those week days would have been an appropriate description of me but I happened to have been born on a Thursday. The fact that I was foretold to be a child who has far to go is ringing particularly true these days. That is why I chose Thursdays to post my “bloggings”. I remember my mother teaching me this little nursery rhyme; it seems a fairly benign form of defining a person as far as that practice goes. It has a catchy rhythm and simple, easy to remember rhymes. No one takes it seriously; right? Yet we dish out and receive a mind boggling bombardment of defining statements every day. This is crazy making behavior. No one can know any other person, what they are thinking, feeling; what they need, want or plan. To think you can is delusional. Once you become aware of this most insidious human habit you will begin to see it everywhere you look. You will even catch yourself in the act.
The definition of verbal abuse, as I understand Patricia Evan’s teachings, is a relentless barrage of “you” statements, actions or insinuations whose single goal is to gain control over another by eroding that person’s sense of self. I believe that I was placed in that particular tepid pot of verbal abuse as a tadpole. How could I have noticed? What other reality did I have to base my experience on? I grew up in a house that was so thick with covert and overt verbal abuse that we all gasped for air like little asthmatics without even realizing why we couldn’t breathe. My father verbally abused my mother every day and her entire life’s energy was spent on trying to protect her children and raise them to be happy loving people. She did her best; but if there is verbal abuse going on in a home, no one is immune.
That was the way that life was and so that was the way my life continued. Over forty five plus years I chose abusive friends and partners. They were of all socio-economic status, educational levels and genders; I covered it all. At the end of 2014 I had reached a boiling point where my very being was sloughing away and I felt that I was completely losing my mind. Not a cute little “driving me nuts” kind of crazy, but completely insane. I had no other explanation for the dense fog I was desperately trying to navigate through. I literally did not know what was real. Please read that last sentence again. There is no horror greater than a complete loss of self.
I am currently reading “Victory over Verbal Abuse” by Evans. Today I read the first affirmation of 52 that I will be focusing on for the next year; I am self-defining. I wish I had the software to animate those words.
It is 10:46 at night. I have to post this if I’m going to keep my promise of something new every Thursday. The exciting news is that I haven’t had time to think about writing or to actually write because I am packing for my escape. I leave in three days on a journey to begin the process of finding and defining myself. Next week I’ll be posting from the wilderness somewhere and I will have had lots of time to think. Stay with me. Until then if you want or need more information go to http://www.verbalabuse.com You will find the power of information there along with thousands of other people who thought they were crazy, just like you. The good news- we aren’t the crazy ones!!
I am self-defining.