January 27, 2000
I'm not really asking for advice -
I wrote a 12-page letter to you, but ended up finding that after reading
Evan's two books (The Verbally Abusive Relationship and Survivors of Verbal Abuse Speak Out) and reading your
site, I KNOW what I need to do. (LEAVE.) I just wanted to pass along some
things that have been helpful to me.
I just happened to see Oprah yesterday, about self-defense. She told a
story about a woman who was approached by a strange man offering to carry
her groceries. She said "No," but the man reached for them
anyway. Oprah quoted Gavin De Becker (I think that's the right name), the author of
"The Gift of Fear," who said, "Whenever
someone doesn't hear your "No," he or she is TRYING TO CONTROL
YOU!" YES YES YES! This is an excellent book!
I added it to the book shelf.
Oprah said she's
been using that in her life, with everyone - not just strangers. Wow!
That's simple and clear. If I had just heard that a year or so ago...
Also, I should have been listening to my body, which has been telling me
how bad things have been all along, even though intellectually I was
letting all my "Oh, poor guy" caretaker stuff take over and make
excuses for his behavior. There is a book, "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" by Christiane
Northrup, M.D. (gynecologist) that explains the ways the mind and body
work together. I didn't really buy into the "chakra" stuff -
until I read her book and realized that a lot of my past and present
physical problems correlate with what is going on emotionally in my life
at the time. You might want to look at it and add it to your reading list
if you think it would be helpful. I've ordered it.
Thank you for your site. It and the 2nd Evans book have really saved me from a tailspin
into depression. The OVERT abuse had stopped, so I thought there wasn't
any - and was feeling awful - when the Evans book appeared in front of me
on the bargain table of my local bookstore. I thought, "Well, what's
going on now isn't verbal abuse, but.." and picked it up. That
changed my life.
A day or so later, I typed
"verbal abuse" into a search engine and found your site. You've
made so much clear to me. The first Evans book is very much poor victim, and
terrible abuser wearing the black hat. I, too had felt that maybe I was
the abusive one - until I read your profiles of
abusers and victims.
Again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Nanette
Thank you for
taking the time to write. It feels good to know I'm helping.
I'm also glad to
hear you know what you have to do. But, not because I am pleased that your
marriage may fail. Rather, because the paradox of abuse is that
all too often, it is unlikely to get better unless the victim has had
it - and is ready to walk out or has already walked out. That's when the abuser
is motivated to fix him or herself the most!
free to send in happy endings. People in pain are much more inclined
to write in. And those with success stories, under less pressure and no
longer in need of help, have no need to write. Please remember us if your
marriage begins to work!
I wish you
and yours the very, very best Nanette. -Dr. Irene