Sunday, March 30, 2014

On Emotional Abuse

My Mother passed away last week.

It had been a long time coming.  She had Lung cancer and NonHodgkin's Lymphoma, and COPD and...

I got to fly in and say goodbye to her. 
I also said goodbye to any hopes of a nurturing, normal family. 

I have operated under the delusion that people want to change. Some don't. My parents don't. Didn't. 

I realized this when my father started a fight with me as I was trying to say good-bye to my mother on the last day I would ever see her alive. 

He will never change. He will be judgmental and mean and abusive until the day he dies and I'm done.

An emotionally abusive family situation is not made of one or two instances of being mean, or over reacting. It is NOT being a tough disciplinarian. What it IS, is a pattern, over time, of demeaning behavior, name calling, put downs, humiliation and teasing. It is failing to respect another’s opinions as valid, refusing to stop the behavior when asked. It is telling the person being abused that they are too sensitive, or “can’t take a joke.” 

It is refusing to apologize for mistakes. It is holding grudges for some thing contrived in their minds. It is never forgiving a mistake and constantly pointing out another’s shortcomings. It is not caring how the person being abused feels, or discounting their emotions completely. It is constantly putting others down to build themselves up. 

So although I am grateful to all of the people who have expressed their condolances, I would like to take this opportunity to use my experience to prevent others from being stuck in an emotionally abusive situation. 

If you are an adult child of emotionally abusive parents please read this:

and this:


  1. Was thinking of you and then saw this … I'm sorry for the pain you are feeling right now (in multiple ways).

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Hopefully someone else will learn from this.

  2. Sorry to hear of your loss, and that you suffered this sort of abuse. How impressive that you emerged from this to be such a strong, wise woman.

    Julia Buckley

    1. Thank you Julia. I really appreciate your thoughtful and kind words. My goal with this blog is to teach through my own experiences. Usually my posts are sprinkled with humor. This one, not so much, but if someone else learns about emotional abuse and how insidious it is, how the victim often feels like it's their own fault for "not being able to take it," well, I have succeeded.