This program is useful for those who may be experiencing non-physical 'violence' - i.e. psychological, emotional, social. We can all be manipulative, demanding, selfish and, yes, aggressive, but this is something else. Perpetrators are unlikely to listen to this, but it could help the victims. It focuses on men vs women in domestic situations, but is equally applicable to women vs men, and - even more importantly - adults vs children. The questions below elaborate on some of the issues raised in this program and other sources:
Does your partner or parent [p/p] expect unquestioning compliance with their wishes and alignment with their opinions? Do they become angry or passively aggressive when you don't comply or agree? Are they unwilling to compromise, empathise or respect your viewpoint? Do they demand respect from you? Are they rude, contemptuous or mocking towards you, but furious if anyone behaves that way towards them?
Do you feel your p/p doesn't take your ambitions or career seriously? Do you feel unable to express yourself or be yourself? Do you doubt your ability to live independently of your p/p? Do you find it difficult to make a decision without deferring to them? Are you expected to fit in with their life? Do they set the agenda? Do they hold your hand to an inappropriate degree or at an inappropriate age? Do they accompany you wherever you go or need to know where you are? Do they become angry or passively aggressive or contemptuous when you choose to take time out? Do you feel unable to take time out?
Does your p/p promise you good things that never materialise? Do they drip-feed you with small 'treats' and expect you to gush with gratitude? Are you expected to want and ask for nothing for yourself? Have they ever attacked or threatened to take away something that's precious to you? Have they betrayed you and then blamed you for their betrayal?
Do you feel nervous when your p/p is around? Do you constantly question and blame yourself, against your better judgement? Do you find yourself saying or doing things that are out of character to please them? Have they pressurised you into doing things that make you feel bad (even when they know how you feel?). Does it seem as if you're walking on eggshells around your p/p? Are you nervous about saying or doing something they won't like?
Does your p/p criticise you, your friends, and your decisions on a regular basis? Do they swing from gushing over you to passive aggressive sulking? Do they suddenly 'turn' for no apparent reason? Do you often find it difficult to understand what your 'crime' is? Do they tell you what you're thinking? Do you often feel shame after a negative interaction with them? Do they return to normal quickly, leaving you feeling low?
How do your friends feel around your p/p? Do your friends avoid them? Does your p/p try to destabilise your support network by undermining / discrediting other people who have influence or authority in your life: your close friends / other parent / counsellor / teachers? Does your p/p try to maintain control of your finances? Do they object when you spend money on yourself without their permission? Do they control/restrict your communication with the outside world (phone, online)? Do they prevent you from having any privacy?
Are you anxious much of the time? Do you have chronic, unexplained physical symptoms such as stomach pains or headaches? Does your p/p say you are overly sensitive or question your mental stability? Do they put on an impressive show to the outside world of being loving and then punish/criticise you behind closed doors?
If the answer to most (or indeed any) of these questions is 'yes', please take better care of yourself. You don't have to stop loving your p/p but you don't have to accept this treatment either. Feel for them, try to understand them, be there for them, but don't be a victim and know that they are highly unlikely to change.#domesticviolence#emotionalabuse