Recognizing Abuse

Abuse is not the easiest thing in the world to recognize, even if it is
happening to you directly. Not everyone who is being abused understands
that what they are experiencing is abuse. Some may recognize that
something isn't right about how they are treated, but they may be
afraid to speak up and name it as abuse for fear of retribution from
their abuser. The following list describes various interactions that
people might have that are examples of abuse. If one or more of these
things is happening to you, there is very good chance that you are
being abused.

  • Being physically, sexually, or emotionally hurt and/or violated by your partner on a regular basis.
  • Being called hurtful names and/or being put down by partner on a regular basis.
  • Being controlled by partner. For instance, if your
    partner tells you that you are not allowed to have friends, leave the
    house without his permission, or tells you that you are not allowed to
    pursue your own goals growth, such as attending school or finding work.
  • Becoming more withdrawn so that you do not spend
    much time with others who may clue in to the fact that abuse is
    happening to you.
  • Finding yourself making excuses for partner’s
    bad and harmful behavior (perhaps so that you won't have to accept the
    fact that abuse is happening).
  • Recognizing that your relationship has a pattern
    or cycle in which something abusive occurs, you tell partner that you
    will not tolerate the abuse anymore, but then forgiving your partner
    when he or she apologizes.
  • Blaming yourself for bad things your partner has
    done to you. For example, telling yourself that you are really
    difficult to live with so you deserve to be hit.
  • Feeling trapped in your own home and being fearful when you know partner is coming home.

If you are a third party to a potentially abusive situation (suspected
child abuse, domestic abuse or elder abuse), it may be difficult to
know if abuse is happening in any direct manner. You might need to rely
on circumstantial evidence to identify the abuse. The following list
suggests things to look for that could be indicative of abuse.

  • There are physical signs of injury, such as bruises,
    sores, burns, cuts, or black eyes. Such injuries may be hidden (e.g.,
    behind sunglasses or with clothing)
  • The victim makes implausible excuses for injuries or absences ("I fell down the stairs").
  • The victim displays personality changes (angry, depressed, moody, defensive, etc.)
  • The victim becomes withdrawn, or suddenly fearful.
  • The victim becomes depressed, or more irritable or agitated than normal.
  • The victim has difficulty sleeping at night, or may display excessive tiredness (can be a symptom of depression)
  • The victim's appetite changes for better or worse. Weight loss or gain may occur (can be a symptom of depression).
  • The victim's self-esteem lowers.
  • The victim is distracted and has difficulty concentrating.
  • The victim neglects hygiene (becomes smelly, goes
    unwashed; may be an attempt to ward off a sexual predator if a child,
    or as a consequence of depression).
  • Changes are noted in the victim's personal appearance or in the appearance of his or her home or living environment.
  • The victim complains of pain in the genital region (more common in children).
  • For older children and adults, the victim 'acts out', becoming sexually promiscuous, and/or using drugs.
  • Elders may display confusion
    Comments
    • Kt

      I'm reading over abuse, and i would like somebody to explain me if jeaulosy is part of mental abuse, if constant calling, questioning, name calling and screaming into my face when the person is mad, spitting on my face and call me all kinds of degradings names, how could i still feel love for this person and believed he loved me.

    • P.S.

      I'm not sure about you but I am still very much in love with my husband Joe who is my abuser he even tried to rape me once. I had to call him everytime I wanted to go to the store and when I got home. I had to ask if I could go get grocery's. If i didn't call when I got home i was out meeting someone... HELL I dont know but NO ONE WILL HELP........ I've tried and tried I even have police reports. SO WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO.... I dont know. But I would like some answers and soon before he does this to someother woman...email me with info if you get it....

    • Anonymous-1

      Abuse can range from screaming , not allowing a person to have personal space such as trying to go to bed( but the abuser will not allow this, by pulling sheets and pillows off the bed, yanking the person off the bed onto thefloor, spitting in the face, pulling hair, and least but not last, verbally describing how they would hurt you. Like saying, "What would you think If I said I was going to slam your head into the floor until your skull cracks open". You hide in places in your own home, only to be found and screamed at , hit, and verbally accosted.

    • CYNTHIA

      I AM MARRIED..22 AND HAVE A 9 MONTH OLD GIRL.....I WANT TO GO TO JB CORPS BUT I CANT BECAUSE MY HUSBAND DOESNT WANT ME TO..I DONT WNAT T DIVORS EHIM..WHAT SHOUD I DO SAY?

    • Jeannette

      Go to Job Corps I went there and it is an awesome place. If he is your husband he should support you wanting to better yourself.

    • Sharon

      I am 28 and have been married for 3 yrs. My husband has 2 little girls. I should have known from day one that I needed to leave. My husband is very verbally abusive. I am been called every single name in the book. I have been told that my teeth are going to pushed to the back of my head, fat ass, cu**, bitch, asshole, stupid, itiot, dumb bitch, etc. He always cuts down my family, b/c he knows that it upsets me. He gets upset when I don't want to have sex. But who would want to have sex with someone like him. I was sexually abused about 7 yrs ago and I don't like when people make sex dirty. He talks dirty about to me, as if it turns me on. He can get rough and then I start to cry. I want to leave so bad, but I am in so much debt and I'm in nursing school. Our house is for sale b/c we want to move to the country. I want to go my seperate way when it sells. He also may have a son. He is waiting to go to court and get a blood test. Then what will I do? More child support. We will be more broke, and I already have to work full time and go to school. I hate my life!

    • ana

      My 25yr old sister-in-law who has 3 girls with her "husband", is being abused, not physically though. I want to help her but dont know how. She lives in Texas.

      Her "husband" doesnt work, and doesnt necessarly take care of his daughthers when my sister in law is at work. He has broken numerous objects at their home when he gets mad at her, for instance, her tv, camera, mirrors, cut up a $400 purse! I say her stuff because he doesnt buy anything for their home and she's the sole bread winner. He has had these episodes often in the last month at least once a week. Last week I went down to Texas where I used to live and where she lives, I was only down for a week and she didnt go visit once, I was staying at her mom's house. He doesnt even take her out, explaining that he doesnt want to bump into her exboyfriends! She got pregnant by him when she was 16! Her only other boyfriends were in middle school, stupid excuse!! Two weeks ago he got mad and threw a hammer at her vehicle while their daughters were in the suv, he broke a side window in the back behind the passenger.

      Her mom, her brother, and me want to help her but dont know what to do. If any one has addive I would really appreciate it. Thanks

    • erin

      i'm not really sure if my boyfriend is abusive.

      everything was really nice in the beginning, he was a great boyfriend. but now he is always suspecting that i did something wrong, was flirting or cheating on him and i don't get to see my friends anymore - if i ask, he gets mad. he is always implying that i am such a slut, and he's even called me that. he pushes me into doing things i don't want to. he says he's sorry after i start crying, but if i don't do it, he gets mad at me. he's always telling me i'm 'dumb' or 'stupid' or calling me an idiot when i have accidents, like dropping a cigarette. i have no privacy: he checks my phone, emails, everything. he even tried to go through my fifth grade journal. and if i simply want my privacy, he says i'm 'hiding something' from him and gets angry. i can't talk to my friends anymore. i have to pretend i don't have a phone. and i'm not allowed to have any guy friends or even talk to any guys. and i can't wear certain clothes. yes, these clothes are small, but when i get ready he tells me they're slutty and i have to change into something too hot for the weather and watch other girls walk around in smaller outfits than my original one. and he gets angry out of nowhere and starts to ignore me or interrogate me. i've even had to tell him i slept with guys who i didn't actually sleep with, just so he would leave me alone about it. and he thinks i still will get with them, even though i have no contact with any guys. but he talks to girls and in messages i've seen him ask them to hang out, give out his number. and there was one he wouldn't even let me see. i wonder if he's cheating, because he won't even hold me anymore or let me cuddle with him.

      but here's the thing. every time i try to leave, or tell him i'm going to, he apologizes and promises that he will change, and he tells me he really does love me, he can't be without me, and he would do anything for me. and for a little bit, he acts like it. he treats me nice, he holds me, kisses me, tells me good things, says he's sorry. and then it always goes back to how it was, and he interrogates me and disrespects me.

      what do i do? is this abuse? or is it just a rough patch or something? how do we get out of this vicious cycle?

    • Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, PhD

      Erin,

      You will find an answer to your question if you click on "Ask Dr. Schwartz." Everyone is invited to read the answer because of the great importance of you excellent E. Mail comment.

      Dr. Schwartz

    • Anonymous-2

      My heart aches for all of the women posting here... Abuse is learned in the original family home and almost always involves addiction... The solution is to get away from your abuser and work on your self... the abuser will never come around... it's a sadistic game of control...

      There are good people out there if you stop going back to the original PIG trough...and that includes parents and siblings... sickos can be still be in your own family...don't fool yourself with denial...

      What you see is the truth...not what you wish to see...I've learned from experience...:(

    • Kristin

      When I met my boyfriend, he was the guy all the girls liked. I felt so special that he choose me. I was never the popular type and have low self-esteem. He has be in and out of jail and now is at a correctional facility because I couldn't handle the abuse and drinking anymore. He threw me on the floor and punched me in the nose, all at 5 months pregnant with his baby. I never knew the signs of an abuser until I left. But, now he's talking to me and saying he wants to work it out, but I don't know if he is capable of getting better, if he really wants to or if he just needs me now that he's locked up. I want him in my life and I planned to mary him, but I don't know if I'm setting myself up for more violence, more seclusion and more fighting. Is it possible for a man who was abused as a child and then grew up to be an abuser to change? Can he really stop drinking and change his life? Is there something I can do to help? I just want it all to work and I love him more than anything, but I won't put my child through this.

    • kelly

      It was my birthday. I did not ask for anything because I am always told I am selfish. My parent came out to see me for my birthday. They wanted to take me shopping. I asked if I could pick the stores. They said yes. We went to 2 stores. In the first one they bought me a t shirt and a skirt. The second one my mother said "these aren't work clothes". To which I responded, we don't have to shop. She turned her back on me and wouldn't talk to me. I have learned not to get mad at her and yell at her which was my old response to this stuff. I just said "mom..... mom" She was clearly not going to talk to me. So I went to the store my dad was in. I told him she didn't like the store and we need to do something else. So we were walking down the street and my mother decided she wanted to buy something for herself. (Another form of this is she buys what I would like for herself, that can be used against her I tested it once by oggling the ugliest thing I could find, she bought it for herself). I was not interesting in watching her now spend a ton of money on herself for my birthday outing. So I went for coffee. We spent the rest of the day with my mother not talking to me and without further outbursts

      I tried to talk to her about this on the phone later. She told me that she didn't want to talk. I no longer have the need to try to force the issue. I wanted to give her space so that she could talk to me with a clear head. I did however write a letter to try to clear things up. I just recapped what my percetions were and how that made me feel. She subsequently refused to talk to me for three months. My sibling told me that I had told her in the store that said to her that I didn't want her money. I never said that. In reality I don't want her money. I want her to see me as I am. The money would be nice, but what I want is a relationship based here and now.

      When I finally did talk to her, what I she talked about was things that happened in my teen years. I could not get her to talk to me about why she had not spoken to me for three months. I was blamed for almost causing a divorce then, which I didn't even know was ever considered. (Frankly I wish my Dad had it in him to do it. I hate the way she controls him.) At that time I was depressed, suicidal and acting out. I am sure it was hard for them to deal with. I have already acknowledged that I was a challenge for them. I have apologised too many times. They had at one point agreed to let that subject drop.

      It was clear that this had already grown to monumental proportions. All I wanted to know is what can I do to not get this response from them. How can we work this out?, I asked. Instead I get the drama card. I hate the drama card. I was willing to be ok with and t shirt and a skirt. I would much rather have worked this out.

      I have decided to let go. But this still saddens me.

    • Michelle Ballard - WIN Hellas Member of the Board of Directors

      After reading though all the comments on this page, I felt an overwhelming need to share with everyone the work of the W.I.N Foundation. I am on the Board of Directors of an international branch (the Greek branch located in Athens) of the Women in Need (W.I.N) Foundation founded by Dr. Tracy Kemble.

      Often women in pain are told what is wrong with them, but not HOW to fix it. At WIN, we help the women to identify the pain they are suffering, recognize it and provide them with "TOOLS", which teach them how to change their pattern of behaviour. The woman, who have completed "Right Living", find a way to make life to start working again, at their own pace and with a renewed sense of self esteem and empowerment.

      Please find more information about the very important work of the WIN Foundation and the "Right Living" program:

      www.womeninspiration.net

      I just want each of you to know that healing and empowerment are possible!

    • K

      I am in a relationship and it doesn't matter what i do my boyfriend calls me a liar, i can't dress smart without being accused of dressing up for someone else, i am always accused of cheating when i don't even go out anymore to stop the accusations and arguments but he just invents new ways to bring up these subjects, he calls me around 15-20 times a day i can't breathe. Why is he like this i don't give him any reasons to be like this, but i am blamed for everything that happens or doesnt happen.

    • Anonymous-3

      Yes, this is abuse.

    • Anonymous-4

      This is so very sad reading all these comments. I say this because I myself am in an a mentally abusive relationship. I get accused of being a whore all the time, having friends,wanting to work or go to school. He got so mad once he drove 6 hours from his job to drag me out of my bed while I was sleeping because I hung up the phone on him that evening. I am getting sick reading this and trying to figure out what I am going to do for me and my chidren. Best of Luck to everyone.

    • Sandra

      Hello all, I am wodering if my sister was in some sort of abusive relationship. She is 17 years old and has a baby with her x-boyfriend. He never did hit her, but there was this one time when he did tell her that her job wasn't worth it because what she made was not helping enough to pay the bills. My sister started having problems with him because he cannnot keep a job and there have been several times when he has lied to her about working. He puts on his uniform and says he is going to work, but he goes somewhere else for several hours and then comes back home telling her "what happened at work." We caught him in the act about a week ago and he denies it. Also, in the beginning when my sister decided to go live with him, he didn't her to have much contact with my parents nor brothers. She has left him several times and gone back to him because he keeps begging, but he always tells her that he is going to take her to court to get custody of the baby and never gives her her stuff when she leaves. He currectly has her social security card, id, the baby's social security card, and her credit cards. He refuses to give them to her and all other belongings. Last wednesday whem my sister told his parents she was going to leave him for being so irresponsible, he came in unexpectely and started a whle commotion. His parents, sister, himself did not let her get a hold of my family and I for any reason to the point that he broke the phone. My sister says that she has become afraid of him and that there were times when she was even afraid of asking him to come visit us because he may get mad. I don't know if this is abuse or it could escalate to it if she remains with him. Please help!

    • Anonymous-5

      it is abuse. you do not deserve it.

    • Priscilla Wolfe

      Recently, I was confronted with a situation in which a utility worker for Arizona Public Service was sent to my home with a disconnect notice. I live 20 miles out from the nearest public phone, it was 100 degrees and my neighbors are spread out on 2-5 acre parcels. Three of the homes surrounding me are known vacant and a multitude lots are not built out. I was not made aware by the corporation that the power was scheduled for disconnection due to a missed bill. (My mom was hospitalized and I can say the bill was overdue, by my oversight during that traumatic time) However, I had a deposit with the company. Two months went by and I was not contacted by the company ever regarding disconnection and the bill for the current month had not been generated. The minute that my deposit ran out (@ $20 over use), a disconnect was generated without any notification to me by the company over a period of 25 days.

      Needless to say, my house is also my place of business. Early one morning (10:45am appx), I was sitting working in the office and my daughter had just waked. I was on the phone, working at a contract with a client, had a printer (large format) running printing a 10' banner, lights, fans...and in the house dishwasher and washing machine all in full swing. I saw the man pass my office window and door, thinking he was here to read the meter. Keep in mind the small space of 2000 sf built in 1979, new meter though! When the man hit the switch there was a loud jolt and then dead silence. I thought he was hurt, my heart dropped. Running out the back door to check, seeing he was ok I said, "What are you doing?" He said in a very deep, serious male tone, "I have a shut off notice." I said, no you don't???? Since I hadn't been informed. Clearly he didn't have a clue...he's not billing. So, realizing this I said, "Can you turn it back on for a second, you just cut me off all phone service. I'll call and straighten this out with APS." He said in the same deep and serious tone. "No we don't do that." And, he turned to walk past me. Thinking twice, I said, "Ok can you radio in, I have a debit card? He was clearly annoyed by me at that point telling me. "No, we don't do that either." Going in to full panic mode now, I say, "Ok, I have cash, I'll give you cash, please just don't leave my daughter and I out here without any services or phone, my cell phone doesn't work this far out." He replied in a frustrated deep, serious male tone, "We don't do f*%king do that." Standing in my pajamas at a loss for assistance from what I believe is an inhumane, unempathetic, abusive man, I said, "then get the F*%K off my property, and ran to get some shoes." Ok, luckily the car starts and I head out to take the mile or so drive to a point where I can get cell service. I immediately call APS and within a matter of seconds the situation with billing is taken care of. Next thing I know I see this APS guy behind me, pulled over and the police flying past. I turn around and pull over next to them and tell the police that this man cannot leave without turning my power on as the next stop sign one way alone is 15 minutes away..If he goes back to the city where his building is, that would be all day in 100 degrees with no power. I cannot be without power for hours and the bill has been paid, I tell the police. The police escort the man back to the house and the utility is restored. I call customer service and tell them of my concerns and complaints, more angry than ever about the after math to my work and equipment. As it turns out it wasn’t that the man couldn’t radio in for me, it’s that he didn’t want to. Because as events would have it, APS actually does do that.

      Life goes on...two weeks later police arrive at my door with charge of “Disorderly Conduct” filed by the corporate offices. With a statement from the driver himself stating he really didn’t want to file a complaint and a totally false statement regarding what ‘really happened’ I am once again shocked by the falseness and by these police at my home and at what again appears to me as full vilification. Notifications required by tariff regulations, violations of statutory laws “duty of care”, definite health and safety negligence and potential fee gouging illegalities along with the loss of business, equipment failures and time I’ve already lost. And, furthermore violation of my 5th Amendment rights by the very police who should be protecting me. I am upset, stopped from working and thrown again into an emotional tailspin for the lengthy interrogation, finger printing, social security # inquires..and with no attorney present because I was told, I couldn’t call or I would be arrested on the spot OVER $20…oh MY GOD!

      Two weeks later, I get out of the shower, standing totally nude I see a troop of police officers and an APS man now peering into my window. I have been fully embarrassed and harassed for two solid months by both APS and the police over $20. Yes, they have been here now more than three separate occasions’ as if I’m a serious threat? Please the regular meter reader is my buddy we’ve chatted briefly in the yard on several occasions’. At this point APS is a total violator of all taxpayers with thier uneccessary need for dominance, and control over little ole me?
      The police, the courts...what a shame this company is!

      I feel this is a demonstration of Corporate Abuse and Corporate Indecencies. I’m just me a single mom dependant on the power provided by this corporate monopoly ($308 million dollar net profit annually and they are my only choice) Was I angry and emotional about this incident YES. Did I act disorderly by quick thinking action banishing the man from my property NO! I wasn’t about to leave this insensitive, uncooperative, violating abusive robot bully 6’2, 250lb on my property with my daughter and I had to hurry time is of the essence in my business and life. Get the f*%K off was the quickest approach to making a firm statement and gets him to get the truck out of my way (blocking in my car with his giant 4x4 truck). I didn’t say f -you personally to him to condemn or vilify him. F- off my property is a directive action, a verb (i.e...an action word) and trust me I meant it. Easement or no easement his job was obviously done by his own choice and my easement doesn’t allow him to stand around and DO NOTHING!

      Who would you say is abusive? Me, the APS Technician or the Utility Providers.

      Disorderly, “a petty offense chiefly against public order (APS should be held to a higher standard, in their lack of acknowledgement to public order of law, and tariffs) and decency (statutory duty of care) that falls short of an indictable misdemeanor”

      Abuse, “occurs when people mistreat or misuse other people, showing no concern for their integrity or innate worth as individuals, and in a manner that degrades their well being. (violating law, regulation and health and safety matters IS mistreatment, misuse, lack of concern for integrity, individual worth and a degradation of well being) Abusers frequently are interested in controlling their victims. They use abusive behaviors (no notification, calling the police rather than radioing in, taking no form of resolution to avoid confrontation or health and safety hazards and potential gross negligence) to manipulate their victims into submission or compliance with their will. *No notice, no phone call, no knock at the door, no onsite assistance. I’m horrified thinking of it!

      In my mind, the utility provider is both abusive and disorderly. I would then be thought to have a potty mouth, but so does CBS, NBC, FOX TV, et….every night piped into my home on a segment by segment basis. Potty mouth is sort of acceptable and even endowed up our society through social mediums. After all I was with my daughter having public order, working to pay my bills with decency, to the very abuser at my utility box demanding I do it their way, offering no social cooperation or orderliness, ignoring their statutory obligations to duty of care, tariff regulations, health and safety! I’m appalled, feeling abused and violated but….I’ll let you decide!

    • Danielle

      My father is constantly yelling at my mother and I. He has attempted to kick me (a 17 year old with good grades, who doesn't party at all) out of the house he co-owns with my mother. He has told me that I was the worst mistake of his life, that my mom cheated on him and that he wasn't my biological father, he smacked me once months ago (I have no proof) he calls me a slut, whore, etc., he argues with my mother at all hours of the night and doesn't let anyone get sleep, he tells my mom that when they are divorced he'll have full custidy of my and take all of my mom's money, he constantly bad taks my mother to me. Can I call the cops on him?

    • Lucy

      I've been living with an abuser for five years. When I married him I had no ideal that he was this way. He presented himself to be a caring loving person and I loved the man he presented himself to be. After five years of being beaten down with his verbal and emotional abuse I now know it was all a con job, a lie, a mask he wore to hook me. I'm number four, his fourth victim. It's a daily battle to survive it. I'm worthless, trash, good for nothing according to him. He lies lies lies, is such a deciever. He treats me this way and then goes to church and acts like he's a saint. He brought the preacher home on me after I made an appointment with a an attorney. The preacher thinks he's a saint. I don't think he believes all the things I told him right in front of my husband. I'm trapped here. I have no way to live if I leave. I'm disabled... unable to work and don't have enough income of my own to sustain me.

    • terri

      My granmother is constantly yelling at my mother and I. She has attempted to kick me and my mother out of the house. She has told me that she wish i had died instead of my sister, she calls me a slut, whore, etc., she argues with my mother at all hours of the night and doesn't let anyone get sleep, she tells my mom that she is gonna be in a shelter if thats the last thing she does and that she is going take all of my mom's disbility money, she constantly bad talks my mother to me. is there something we can do about it?

    • jenny

      ladies your not alone in this world if your bein abused you may want to get some help before anything bad happens becasue living wit an abuser is not safe for you or your family

    • Anonymous-6

      My son yells, stomps around, swears, slams doors, punches walls and other objects. He will not listen when others talk. He tells everyone who hears him talking that they do not understand what he is saying. He sounds more and more ???? I do not know the words...perhaps "ill" every day.

      He blames others when he rages and has bouts of violence. He is angy every day and one day, he exploded - had a knife in his hand and came stomping into the other room and overturned the table and chairs - while the baby (almost 2 years of age) screamed.

      He called and left a message that my presence made it dramatic and stressful for the child and that he did not want her subjected to that kind of behaviour.

      I have the taped message and I would put it up somewhere if I knew where so that all those women out there who leave their children with their husbands (whom they are scared of) will know that some of their worst fears or denial is actually happening. The message also informed me that I would never see the child again as he felt he was protecting her from drama and stress and grief!!!

      I wonder what he told the baby's mother? I wonder how he behaved to the child after I left - I feel a coward as I left undecided to take the child or run from the knife and the rage.

      I called the RCMP and finally (a day after) I spoke with someone who realized that a file needed to be opened and that other steps were needed. I wonder what the future holds for everyone.

    • Victim of child abuse?

      Hi, I am wondering about whether my mother abused me when I was 5 yrs and when I was like 9 and 14 yrs old:

      My mother was originally raised from a poor family in Southeast Asia (I will not mention the country due to security reasons) where the corporal punishment against children is normal and acceptable than in the west and it is also use at schools to teach children where teachers can hit students if the students did not do their homeworks as an example. I started to wonder if she abuse me when I live in the west for many years and that is also when I began to educate myself better in the west with the western culture. My mother is stress so she is not normal to begin with and my family's relation isn't very good maybe due to my father's job that he has to leave my mother and I alone because he had to go and work in foreign countries for many years like in China and that forced my mother to become like a single parent and separating my parent's relationship further.

      When I was 5 yrs old, I was hyperactive and I had difficulty in learning mathematics. My mother tutors me in mathematics like for 4 times in my life but when she tutors me, she would use corporal punishments as a way to teach me in which I am not sure if it is a normal thing. My mother forced me to go to the table with her and if I refuse then she would hit me. If I give a wrong answer in mathematic then she sometimes would throw a calculator to my forehead or hitting me hard in the head. I also remember that she pinched me twice one time. Every time I finish answering her simple questions like how many pencils are on the table, I would cover myself, fearing that she would strike again or sometimes I got off the chair. If I get off the chair then she would force me to sit on it and if I pull the chair further from her then she would threaten to hit me again. When I got closer to her, she hit me with her hand and her finger ring is what really hurt me. Each tutoring session is from about 10-15 mins but it seemed longer and almost like a living nightmare that I had to go through that horrible tutoring method. I am not even sure if torturing is the right word because what I've gone through is softer than what the victims in torture interrogation had gone through (I think). The good part is that she knows what to throw so heavier objects would not be an option since it could kill me so she use a lighter objects like a calculator or using her own hand. She also splashed me 1 time with water from the glass and then she laughed a bit but I was terrified that I could not even laugh and later she threw the glass to the floor and broke it but she did not really aim at me (maybe just to wake up my mind by making noise of broken glass). However, incredibly, (after like 2 months later) during the second tutoring, she did not hurt me at all. She said that she will not hurt me to boost my courage in answering the questions in math correctly but I still answered wrong many times because I was having mental problem too. But during the third tutoring (after 1 month), she started to hurt me again.

      I also noticed that after each tutoring sessions, my mother would cry alone on sofa and she hugged me and asked me if I got hurt and she said that she is sorry. I replied that I wasn't hurt much to dissappoint her because I was angry but when I said that she replied that what do you mean you were not hurt and then she had stop hugging me and look dissappointed but she did not stare or threaten me or hit me. When I told her that I will tell my father, she would threaten to leave the house and break up with my father but anyway, I did told him later which made my mother cry.

      When I became older, my mother would sometimes hit me once or twice which seem more normal that parents sometimes do to their children but sometimes she would throw my photos of when I was a baby after I was just born and step on it or throwing a dish with my baby photo to break it and that happens like 3 times which was perhaps emotional abuse?

      My mother also said that even if I call police in that Third World country, the police will not do anything because corporal punishment is normal. She also admitted that my grandmother used to hit and throw objects at her like steel pans, etc when she was a child but she never hate my grandmother so she does not understand why I have mental injury and she looked innocent and denying that it wasn't abuse. Today, my mother look very innocent and does not use corporal punishment. The last time we fought, it was when I was 20 yrs old. (I fought too because I was grown up and I shall not give up, also due to my revenge).

      Despite all of that, my mother loves me a lot and she had done many good things to me too so this is why she is a controversial figure in my life and I don't know if I should love her or hate her. I think that I love and hate her at the same time. She is a very important person for me in my life and I was depended on her a lot and she helped me a lot but she also did something wrong. Sometimes, the old memory disturbs me and changed my mood and sometimes I cannot sleep and I feel like wanting a revenge but hurting my mother isn't a proper solution either. I became more aggressive and use bad words against my mother to upset her as part of my revenge but I don't hurt her physically. So fighting by words has become something normal in my family. Sometimes, I wanna forgive her because of her sad life that she got and how my father sometimes mistreated her and sometimes, she also cry while telling me her sad story of her poor life as a poor girl working early in life and forced/being hitted by my grandmother. But the lessons I've learned also made me aggressive because it made me believe that aggressive is part of survival and I have a lot of hatred against my mother's third world ugly culture that allows parents, teacher, etc to hurt the children but children has to respect the elderly/older ones.

      However, if this is an abuse then it is rare because it did not happen as a daily basis. It might be true that my mother had abused me but it was not perhaps the severe case of child abuse. The mathematic tutoring and abuse by my mother is like 4-5 times in my life and it does not happen every day or as a daily basis...

      So, is this really an abuse against me by my own beloved mother??? Is it possible that I've gone through a child abuse experience??? This question had made me become obsessed with websites talking about child abuse and made me posted this long comment...

    • jen

      My husband lost his job for a while. We have been in counciling and I am not sure if this is emotional abuse. More often than not he breaks things when he is mad. He will smash a glass in the sink throw water bottles, slam doors to the point they become misaligned. He will yell and make me feel like if I stand up for myself the end result will be more yelling at the cost of the children waking up or hearing. I then am always the one to iniitate the apologies and then I feel like the child just trying to end the arguement. I will call his phone too much to get it to be okay. I feel like I am living a lie.

    • Angie

      My husband and I are both children of abuse. My parents didn't abuse me every day, and it's often easy to just dismiss the way my parents treated me sometimes when I consider that they were also very loving towards me most of the time. For me, at least the abuse wasn't ALL the time, but it took me seeing how abusive his mother is, and then some counseling on abuse, to realize that I, too, have been abusive in my relationships.

      The part of all of this that is hardest is that I have two children, 8 and 6 years old, whom I love more than anything in the world, but I am afraid that no matter how hard I try to break the cycle, I am not perfect, and therefore they will learn from my mistakes that sometimes it is okay.

      Last year, on a visit to Grandma's house, My husband's mother became very violent and was verbally abusive towards me, particularly, but to him as well, and my children were witness to all of it. The fight ended with her throwing all of us out of her house and telling us she never wanted to see us again. My children were there and witnessed the whole thing, and though I know I managed to remain in control of myself, and I did nothing wrong, my daughter is still convinced that there was something I did wrong, and that it is up to me to apologize and "fix" this.

      We recently moved to a new state, and despite not talking to his Mom for almost a year, it felt weird to have moved and not to tell her, so my husband called his mom, with hopes of patching things up. Instead she asked him why he was calling saying "Am I supposed to jump up and down for Joy, that you want me back in your life?" after SHE was the one who kicked us out of her house. Since then, she has called multiple times, but he has avoided her calls, so as to avoid being abused by her anymore. However, he's become noticeably reserved, easily upset, his sleep is disturbed, and I worry that he blames me for bringing her up and suggesting that he call her. She said that HE could have stopped this, that HE could fix this, but he has to prove to her that she can trust him. I know that this is difficult for him, frankly, it's been difficult for all of us, but I sincerely want to break this cycle and teach my children that NONE of this is ANY of our faults, and that it's not okay.

      Any suggestions??

    • Gayle

      About 3 years ago i dropped my daugher off at a school in Pittsburgh never knowing that would be the last time i would have my daughter back she met a man that is so controlling they now have a 5 month old little girl and i was so excited to be a grandmother. 3 weeks ago i hadnt heard anything from her which was unusual because we talked almost everyday i finally called the cops in the town she lives in and they went out only to see she was ok and so was the baby but she was very nervous they called me to let me know she was ok only to learn i now have a no contact order against me and cant see or talk or find out how they are. He was mentally and physically abusive before the baby im worried and scared for my daughter but the law is not in my favor i could go to jail if i do anything to contact her i wish i could do somthing.

    • Suzanne

      I'm from a very loving family, my mum loves me and my dad loves me . All my relationships have been either mentally or physically abusing though. Eventually 7 years ago I had total breakdown, I switched off ......

      I feel alive again in myself now....but I have just finished another relationship that was mentally abusive ...I did it again and I don't know why I chose these men . The relasionships are getting shorter , I realise the abuse becoming apparent sooner at least . Just makes me want to switch off again to actually finding someone who has respect for other human beings .

    • Taylor

      My father began abusing me when I was about two years of age. I recall, for instance, one day when I was driving with him somewhere. He pulled the car over to the side of the road, pulled me out and began shaking me, asking me why I had become so bad. His displeasure with me soon developed to aggressive spankings, which seemed to take place for no reason at all. Once, at the age of four, he threw me down the stairs -- for no reason at all. Hearing me cry, my mother asked him had happened. He told her that I had said I hated him so he slapped me. I had said no such thing and was utterly befuddled. Later, at the age of five, at a family celebration, a little boy asked me what I was wearing under my dress. Lifting the corner of my dress, I told him it was a crinoline (a slip that makes dresses stand out fuller). The next thing I knew, my father was there shouting at me to get upstairs and stay in my room. I sat there all day until everyone had left. When my father came up to my room, I was thrown on my stomache, with my panties ripped off, I was pinned down, and spanked with the full strength of his hand until I thought I would pass out. I was told that I was evil, that I had made him do what he did to me, and that God sent little girls like me to hell. This was one of so many other incidents that included being thrown across a room, incessant name calling, belittlting, acts of humiliation and constant spankings. Usually, my father's rage would erupt without warning. Suddenly, I would find that I had done something wrong (left a finger print on a wall, drank some cool-aid without asking permission, argue with my brother) and needed to be punished. Up to his bedroom and behind a closed door, I would be order to pull my pants down, where he would spank my bare bottom relentlessly. Afterward, he would tell me to get up -- he would go over, lie down on his bed and tell me to come and sit beside him and stroke his brow. I had no idea why he was asking me to do this. I would do it a couple times but he would tell me to keep stroking his head until he calmed down -- telling me that I had made him upset because I was so bad, so it was my responsibility to calm him down. Finally, he would tell me to give him a kiss, tell him I was sorry and would be allowed to leave. My mother never interfered, though surely she would have heard my screams. The only time she broke things up was when I was sixteen. My mother and I were having a disagreement and when I left the room to go up to my room, I slammed the door. Within a minute, he was up the stairs, in my room and ordering me to remove all my clothing, promising that he was going to give me the beating of my life. I refused, which is when he became utterly enraged, pulled his belt out and starting swinging at me, hitting me all over my body. By the time my mother entered the room, I was huddled up in a ball in the corner. I felt like my father had broken my soul that night. Later, still lying on the floor, I could hear my mother comforting my father. I figured I should get up and go to the bathroom to take care of myself. When I went and looked in the mirror all I could see were welts everywhere. Sometime that night my mother came to me and told me that the next day I must apologize to my father and tell him that I loved him. There is far, far more to this story than I feel up to sharing here.

      The point is that the abuse I suffered as a child had major consequences (emotionally, physically, socially, economically) and it has only been in the last few years (I am in my mid-50s) that I have been able to begin dealing with it all. More recently, I shared some of this with my mother (my father died a year ago) and she showed genuine sorrow though denied knowing that anything was ever wrong. She had always told me when I was growing up that I had to put up with my father's behaviour because he had been so badly abused by his father. I always felt that I was responsible for my father's pain -- and that I had to support my mother in her need to protect him. Receiving love was pretty much contingent upon this tacit agreement.

      More recently, I have been talking to my mother about how the family has, more generally, defined me as the difficult one and about how inappropriate it is. This labeling has been in place for as long as I can remember. I have tried to explain to her that many of my problems are the result of the abuse I suffered as a child and that I am not all that atypical, and that I should not be blamed or seen as a freak. In fact, I had done relatively well at taking care of myself, though have never managed to have a close relationship with a man and battle intermittently with depression and post traumatic stress disorder. In response, she tells me that she does not really know what I am talking about -- she does not see how I was abused. I told her what is mentioned above and a bit more but now she seems to think that this does not constitute abuse.

      I am quite frankly exhausted by the family drama. I have been rejected for so long, despite numerous efforts to turn things around. Anyone kind enough to offer their insight would be much, much appreciated. I am pretty much at a loss.

      Any words of advice, insight, perception would be greatly welcomed and appreciated. I am truly at a loss.

      Thank you.

    • Anonymous-7

      I just can not believe how utterly stupid I am. I am fifty five, divorced for six years, have been seeing a mentally abusive man for five years. It started out pretty okay, he was always trying to tell me how I could look better, talk better, said I talk too loud. I laugh too much, that I think everything is funny. He pushed me and pushed me to go to church and when I found one I liked he said it was no good, the preacher was not a preacher but a teacher and was in it for the money. He wants me to spend all my time with him. He does not live with me but says my house is dirty all the time, but does not want me to clean it, on my days off, he says it is time for me to chill, on sunday I should not do it because it is the sabbath, after work I should not do it because I need to relax and so on and so on, what a load of crap. I was mentally abused by my dad, my first husband was both physically and mentally abusive, my second husband of twenty two years, was so mentally out there, lied twenty four seven and was drunk all the time, now I am finally getting my confidence back and am sending this one packing, I have a big problem with always worrying about the guys feelings, and all along being abused myself. How could I be so dumb.

    • Mollie Evans

      In writing this to you...I at once feel such a sense of relief to find this page. And , at the same time...I am fearful.

      My abuse, which I ave only realized recently,started at an early age. My sister, repeatedly tried to choke and suffocate me. Her jealousy still manifest today. My Mother hs admitted she was very jealous of me growing up.

      My Dad was always leaving the house early, and coming home late...aa I do the same these days. My Mother is engrossed with total verbal,psychological, and physical abuse towards myself and my wonderful English Springer Spaniel. She is posessed, I believe.

      I am now , after 3 long years able to move out as I returned to help out when she fell.

      I have not had a bath or a bed in her house in those 3 years.I cannot ber anymore.I still love her...but NO MORE ABUSE!!!!!

    • Anonymous-8

      My husband is ill and abusive. He has tried to get help over the years but does not stick with anything long enough to see real results. Throughout our 28 years together he has had moments of success and happiness but for the most part he has been excessive in his spending, abusive verbally and unable to sustain employment. We have three beautiful children who deserve a family with much less stress and less drama and yelling. I've asked him to leave but he refuses to. Instead he continues to subject us to his outrage and pain. He drives in a way that is terrifying, he drinks excessively, he is looking for an argument all the time from anyone. I realize now that I can't fix him but only work on fixing myself. I must become stronger in order to leave him after all this time together. As horrible as he can be I still find myself attracted to him when he is not acting out. The problem is those times are becoming fewer as time moves on. I feel trapped and am becoming more and more depressed.