What is New?


June 23: edited my post on Gaslighting to insert a link to a very good video by psychologist, Ross Rosenberg, explaining how gaslighting starts in childhood, and how to heal from parents who gaslight.

June 6: PBS's Frontline takes on the issue of human sex trafficking of abducted teenage girls in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Click HERE for that.

May 17: Turpin parents get 25 years to life for abusing their children. Final words from children and parents at sentencing. Click HERE for that.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

abuse means never having to say you're sorry

name of artwork: Abuse Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry
© 2014 by Lise Winne
(for inquiries regarding licensing this image contact LilacGroveGraphics ((att)) yahoo.com)

Have you ever felt that "Dr. Jeckyl/ Mr. Hyde" is living within someone? Especially someone who is abusive? Have you ever wondered what abuse is and if you're really being abused (especially if you aren't being hit)?

I found this article by Tamara Star to explain it best. In it she says, "controlling behaviors, shaming, refusing to listen, talking over you, blaming, emotional abuse, yelling, lying, neglecting ... intimidation and psychological manipulation are all examples of abuse."

My relationship with Johnny (the impetus for starting this blog) was all about the above. I never got any kind of break from it, ever. You can read my particular story HERE (for the in-depth version). It was also about:

- walking on eggshells
- keeping quiet to keep the peace (because anything could set him off)
- not speaking my mind to keep the peace (again because anything could set him off)
- trying to repair arguments only to be talked over, intimidated, belittled, lectured and screamed at
- allowing his hypocrisy, taunting, lack of fairness and heartlessness to flourish without comment in our relationship because I accepted too easily that his morality and integrity were hopelessly lost 
- forgiving and justifying his bad behaviors which only made the behaviors worse in him
- feeling relieved when he finally screamed that he hated me because it meant that I didn't have to be invested in whether I meant anything to him and that I could quit trying to appease or fix our relationship (he said it when I finally confronted him about his drinking) 

His drinking intensified all of the above, of course, i.e. the more he drank the worse his behaviors got. Since he started drinking between 9:30 and 10:00 every morning, I never got any relief. His drinking also made him paranoid and see provocations and conspiracies where there weren't any. His irritability knew no bounds (nor did his venting over a singular insignificant occurrence for hours on end).

I never got to the point where I lost my self esteem or started to question my worth though. He tried very hard, it seemed to me, but perhaps I've lived too long and have already experienced unconditional love and approval from people I respect so as not to need his love, admiration or approvals. I could also endure long, extreme bouts of "the silent treatment" because I am used to keeping company with myself and my work. But, I could see how even I could lose my self esteem after awhile if I had to endure years of it. I was extremely lucky to finally be out of this situation with him. Not everyone can be so lucky, particularly children.

At Alanon we learn that dealing with alcoholics is too much to bear alone, without the support of others. In fact, it seems to me to be impossible. I can see that an alcoholic who is in a continual state of irritation and rage (common) and where communication is always abusive (can be common in alcoholics who want power and control over others) could totally break another human being, destroy them. So many newbies come to Alanon looking so totally ravaged and dejected as to look gravely ill. It's not uncommon to have a triple whammy of psychological symptoms all at once: severe PTSD, suicidal thoughts and depression. The stomach is the first place where illness seems to manifest.

Ever since I have been active in this cause I have noticed that most people cannot live with angry alcoholics. The non-alcoholic may feel committed for awhile, but at some point it becomes too much and they make a break for it. Sometimes the angry alcoholic turns into the dysfunctional drunk who can't work and whose liver is giving out. Then it's not so likely that the alcoholic will be abandoned, but that is only because they entered another phase of the disease quickly before the victim could plan to leave.

As for the blog/article I opened this post about?
I left a comment on it and Tamara Star responded! My comment and her response below:

Lise: One added difference and dimension if the person is an *abusive alcoholic* is that the alcoholic often sees provocations and conspiracies when there aren’t any. Such a bad combo in addition to all you have stated above. And so awful for the people around them!
Worth exploring?
Tamara: Hi Lisa,
It’s a lethal combo, especially when combined with someone that refuses to get help ie: AA
Hoping whomever it is involved in this situation is getting the support they need to either be strong and hold tight as the person goes through AA, or to find the strength to walk away.


  1. There wasn't a word in your post that I couldn't relate to. In particular the point you made about the provocations and conspiracies when there aren't any. Oh my gosh, the frustration I experienced when living with Mr Paranoia!

    Great blog!

    1. Thank you!

      My heart goes out to you (living with Mr. Paranoia).

      You might get something out of Tamara Star's blog too that I posted at the beginning of this blog post.


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