Monday, August 26, 2013

Emotional Assault: Recognizing an abusive partner's bag of tricks by Lisa Kroulik Book review (Tomoson)

I read by Emotional Assault: Recognizing an Abusive Partner's Bag of Tricks Lisa Kroulik, in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. I chose to read the book because I have been emotionally abused before.

The book starts out with Lisa describing emotional abuse she experienced in a prior relationship. The man appeared nice in the beginning, but his behavior changed. \There were red flags, but Lisa chose to ignore them. The ex would say hurtful things, but Lisa remained silent. She later married him and divorced him (yay).

The book also described tricks, an emotional abuser uses. Tip 1 is the silent treatment. The silent treatment can be used as a method of control. Your partner (whether him or her) will refuse to communicate with you or ignore you when you are around. The tactic is used to get you to drop the issue and apologize, but the problem is still not fully resolved. The silent treatment can cause tension and frustration in relationships.

Other tips include:

  • Turning the tables. Turning the issue around to the other person to get the blame off of your partner. What about what you have done?It is a form of manipulation. He or she may even twist your words to fit the situation. 
  • Poor me is a tactic a partner uses to think you have deeply hurt him or her. It elicits compassion and sympathy. Other people may feel sorry for you partner as well, making you feel as if you was the one in the wrong.  Details may be altered to elicit more compassion. 
  • You're not perfect either. This tactic can be a form of condemnation and manipulation. No one is perfect and we all have flaws. Once again, the focus is off your partner and on to you, especially if yall share the same flaws. For example, he cheated on you. you cheated on  him. but (s)he makes you feel worse. (s)he may not be willing to change, but using you as a scapegoat to continue in their behavior. The tactic also may be used to make you feel more guilty about your actions and prevent problem resolution. 
  • Rewriting history. This tactic allows the emotional abuser to go back and change how things really happened. Rewriting history is a form of image control. The makes your partner look good versus bad. Rewriting history is also lying. No truth in his or her statements. It also can be combined with other psychological constructs (justification, projection, and denial, for example). 
  • But I'm a really good person. This trick also helps the abuser present his or herself in a good light. The abuser may act offended if you point out their bad behavior. They may also turn the tables on you. He or she may also incorporate the poor me trick to make themselves appear in a different light. 
  • You're not very forgiving. This trick allows the abuser to cause you shame and guilt. Your partner may want forgiveness, but wants to continue in their bad behavior. Instead of resolving the issue, once again the tables are turned on you. I am definitely noticing how these tricks can be combined together. Lisa gave the example of how her ex used to say she was holding a grudge, instead of forgiving him. This trick can cause additional emotional hurt/damage. Also may increase repression. You may hold your feelings in because your partner won't be there for you to bring your problems and concerns to. There is a lack of accountability as well. Lisa also discusses how demanding forgiveness is not love. 
  • It's all a misunderstanding (and other tricks). The last trick(s) in the book may include: 
  • a. your approach is wrong. The example Lisa gave was when her and her ex went to counseling. Her ex did not open up during counseling. When she would get upset, her ex would say her approach was wrong. It is a form of distraction. It is a form of manipulation. 
  • animal abuse. 
Lisa also provided effects of a toxic relationship. Some effects included:
  • increased stress (mental , physical, psychological, and physiological). 
  • repression
  • anxiety
  • post traumatic stress disorder
Finally, the book provided a section on should I stay or should I go. The decision will not be easy. The author also provides reasons you will hear while making your decision. Some of the reasons, which I have heard before include:

  • God hates divorce
  • Just keep waiting and praying
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. The post does contain my affiliate link for Perfect Chaos.

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Please leave a comment. Thank you. Stacie