tj:Verbal abuse and controlling behaviors are deeply damaging, because there is nothing overt, no name calling, no fists flying, This person knows you’d never stand for that, so he (or she) has to resort to more subtle tactics to gain control.
My (blessedly ex-)stepfather was like this.
He was a master of it. In fact, he was so good at it that you didn’t realize that he was manipulating you.
You came to accept his way of thinking because there was no other choice.
I have often said that I wish he would have just hit us, because that would have been clearly wrong. But instead he made us doubt ourselves, think less of ourselves, and accept that everyone else was the problem, not him.
It has taken years to get that part of my brain straightened out.
If you think this isn’t real, if you think it isn’t insidious, then please, come talk to me. I’ll be glad to explain it.
(The quoted part above is an except from a post Mayjah wrote which you should read already if you haven’t.)
My mom was (is) like this. I haven’t spoken to her since 1992, and I get a knot in my stomach whenever I hear about this sort of thing.
I hate that we have this in common, but it’s probably part of the reason we’re siamese twins of the brain. So. There’s that at least. :)