The Destructiveness of Verbal (Emotional) Abuse

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There are various forms of abuse, but verbal abuse often gets ignored, and/or brushed aside as though it doesn’t really have any effects on the person who is abused.  The reason for this is that it doesn’t leave any physical scars.  There are many people who believe that if there isn’t a physical scar, it doesn’t matter.   Many women who suffer from verbal abuse are told “at least it isn’t physical”.  Since this is a common statement, it can make the victims of verbal abuse feel like it must not be happening – it’s all in their heads.

What is verbal abuse, and how can you decide if this a part of your relationship with your significant other?  Here is a definition:  “any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.”1

Emotional abuse is also known as psychological abuse or as “chronic verbal aggression” by researchers. People who suffer from emotional abuse tend to have very low self-esteem, show personality changes (such as becoming withdrawn) and may even become depressed, anxious or suicidal.

https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/emotional-abuse-definitions-signs-symptoms-examples/

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There are many long-term effects of verbal (emotional) abuse that can include:  chronic pain, migraine, headaches, indigestion, bowel issues and stress-related heart conditions.  The psychological effects can include anxiety, depression, PTSD, memory gap disorders, sleep and/or eating disorders, hyper-vigilance or extreme startle response, anger issues, addiction issues, irritability and/or anger issues, suicide or self-mutilation.

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As you can see, being in a relationship where there is verbal (emotional) abuse has long-term effects.  The first thing you can do is figure out if you are in such a relationship.  The second thing you need to do is decide whether or not you want (need) to stay.  There should be no judgments on whether or not you decide to stay.  I understand that there are many considerations to be made.  If you’re dependent on the abuser, feel a need to stay; or whatever reason, this is your decision.  However, if you do decide to stay, being aware of the abuse is a step in the right direction.  You will no longer feel as if you’re “going crazy”, or wonder if you’re being “gas lighted”.  You will be aware, and can change your reactions to what is happening to you.

I’m leaving links in this post so that you can make yourself aware of what verbal (emotional) abuse is, what could be happening to your mental and physical health, and how you can care for yourself.  Be aware, be safe and be healthy.

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https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/verbal-abuse/effects-of-verbal-abuse-on-children-women-and-men/

https://www.7cups.com/blog/post/81/12+Effective+Ways+to+Defend+Yourself+From+Verbal+Abuse.html

https://www.californiapsychics.com/blog/mind-body-spirit/the-best-strategies-against-verbal-abuse.html

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Carnage – A Mockumentary

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I don’t know if any of you saw this mockumentary, but I wanted to talk about it today.  It’s by the BBC and Simon Amstell.   The film shows the “history” of veganism from 1944 to 2067 with the focus on people in the future trying to come to terms with their carnist pasts.  The young people of 2067 don’t understand how people could have eaten animals, and this mockumentary explains the mind-set and attitudes of people regarding animals that helped with the exploitation of animals.

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The movie is actually quite funny, starting with the portrayal of early vegans as absolute nut-cases, as is the usual portrayal.  However, as the United Kingdom begins to deal with extreme weather due to global warming, the attitudes about veganism change.  In case you didn’t know it, animal production is indeed one of the leading causes of climate change due to the cutting down of vast forested areas, and the huge amount of emissions from intensely factory-farmed animals.

https://gelr.org/2015/10/23/a-leading-cause-of-everything-one-industry-that-is-destroying-our-planet-and-our-ability-to-thrive-on-it-georgetown-environmental-law-review/

In the movie, following the invention of a device that allows humans to hear the thoughts of the other animals, veganism goes mainstream, and by 2067 no one eats other animals.   There are some video shown of factory-farming, however the clips are not nearly as graphic as some of the slaughter-house clips you can see on your own on YouTube.

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I hope that many people watch this mockumentary which is available onYouTube and the BBC website.  It’s engaging, funny and a wonderful way to present the facts without being “preachy”.  I really hope that this makes a difference in people’s lives.

https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/carnage-review

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBCaIYAG7IPKs7mafExL1nQ

 

International Women’s Day

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When I was initially talking to my husband about International Women’s Day he wondered why women needed one.  At first I was taken aback.  Seriously?  Then I realized that he looks at the world in only one way – as a man.  So, I thought that I’d make a list of why there needs to be an International Women’s Day.

Equality – women in general are paid less, however that’s only the tip of the iceberg.  Maternity leave is not a paid for; as well as a higher cost of health insurance for being a woman.  Clothing marketed exclusively for woman is sold at a higher cost.

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Poverty – women and children are the largest group worldwide to live in poverty.  At any given time 795 million people go to bed hungry.  This number is on the rise due to war and the number of refugees.  More women and children live in poverty than any other group.

Restriction of Rights – women’s rights around the world are restricted in various ways.  Some include how they are “allowed” to dress; whether they can attend school, drive or even leave their houses by themselves; in some areas women are restricted from voting and owning property.   A woman’s right to many forms of health care has been restricted.  In many countries the kinds of work that a woman can legally perform is restricted by law.

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Violence – girls as young as 12 are routinely married in many countries; rape and domestic violence against girls and women is rising worldwide.  Sex trafficking has become rampant world-wide.

These are just a few of the reasons that there is an International Women’s Day.

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This Day

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Like probably many people, today is going to be a difficult day.  Yes, I am talking about the Inauguration.   When I was in high school, I volunteered at a program that was run out of my high school called Instructors of the Handicapped (IOH).  We taught mostly children who were either mentally impaired, physically impaired, or both, to swim.  The program ran from 1 to 5 every Sunday of the year, and was seldom cancelled.   There were 5 classes, the first 3 were for the children who lived at home with a care-giver.  These children were well taken care of, and lived with loving families who tried to enrich their lives.  The last 2 classes were for the children who lived in an institution.  These children suffered neglect.  The institutions have since been closed down in my state, and the remaining people now live in group homes.  I understand that they are much better cared for.  IOH was a huge part of my life, and the most fulfilling.  I had one child who was in the process of dying, and in my senior year she died. She added much more to my life than I ever did to hers.  Another of my kids was boy with Epilepsy.  We never knew when he’d have a seizure, but he was one of the best swimmers, and had the most positive outlook on life I have ever seen.  But the kids who stole my heart, were the ones from the institution.  Unfortunately, most of the other instructors would skate out around the same time the bus arrived, leaving us short on instructors – these could be difficult kids who acted out in inappropriate ways.  They were hard to handle, could be frustrating, and not everyone could deal with them.  I loved them.  Over the years, I got to know them really well.  They were mostly sweet and gentle.  They wanted to be loved and to make us happy.  I will always have a special spot in my heart for those of us who aren’t average.

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The day that Donald Trump made fun of Serge Kovaleski who has arthrogryposis, I was transported in time.  All I could think of were the bullies who have always, and always will, make fun of anyone who is not perceived as “normal”.  In my opinion, we were all treated to a show of who Donald Trump is.  He’s the bully in the class.  And the rest of us had just better watch out.  So, what to do?  Keep being the loving people you are.  Stand up for those of us who are not “normal”, stay true to your hearts.   I know it sounds like a cliché, but be the change you want to see in the world.  Be a shining star of love, acceptance and understanding.  Be love.

 

I’m Just a “Little Bit” Broken

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For years, I’ve been having heart attacks on a pretty regular basis.  Of course, I’m not speaking about actual heart attacks, but I’ve been upset on many occasions by the state of the world, the environment and the actions of a few people with a lot of power.  I spend probably a few hours a week signing petitions against this or that; or even for this or that.  Things that really have integral value such as clean air and water, wars and poverty.  That kind of thing.

However, as time has gone on, my stress level has skyrocketed to the point where after the election on last Tuesday I was afraid that I would have an actual heart attack. When I calmly, nicely and quietly questioned some people I know who voted for Trump, they didn’t really actually like (or even know) what he was running on, they simply liked the things that he said.  When asked specifically what things it was that they liked, the response was invariably the hateful things that he said.  Sadly, my experience didn’t seem to be much different from the videos and articles I’ve seen and read regarding the reasons people voted this way.  The most upsetting part of this exercise in futility was in regard to the sad realization that none of the people I spoke with had a clue as to exactly what would be the out-come of a Trump presidency.  They had no idea of what he was going to do – other than “build a big beautiful wall.”    So, I’ve had to ask myself is this the America that I thought it was?  I have to say that I had no idea that so many of my neighbors and acquaintances felt the way they do in regard to race, religion and gender.

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In the end, after all the hand wringing, wondering, and intense depression, there is one question that I feel I must ask myself.  What do I do, knowing what I now know?  There are a lot of people, who, because they feel they have been short-changed (and I do agree, working people have been short-changed – I should know, I’m one of them), have decided to blame those who are just as powerless as they are.  A large segment of our society has blamed the blameless.  What about the banks that caused the 2008 financial crisis?  What about the corporations whose greed has broken down much of our society?  The CEO’s who have finagled ways out of paying any taxes, received many tax breaks and even receive subsidies from us, the working class, paying all our taxes (and then some).  Why have they not been held accountable?  Bernie Sanders, who tried to bring this knowledge to light, was right.

So, again, where do I as a person go from here?  What is the way forward and how do I find it?   My reaction has been the realization that I’ve got to learn how to deal with stress in a much better way.  I’ve got to keep myself busy working on creating a better world around myself.  I’m making a list of some of the things I can do just in my little world.  Of course, I’ll keep signing petitions, writing letters to the editor and voting with my dollar.  I intend to work with the marginalized (whom I feel will become even more marginalized); volunteer work is a great way to start.  However, another one of my goals will be to make my own house a shelter, a peaceful place to retreat from the craziness that those of us who did indeed read the Republican Platform know is coming.  Keep safe, find peace somewhere in your own lives and keep fighting the good fight.  Love each other and have courage!

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http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trumps-america-racism?akid=14867.302291.KMX_93&rd=1&src=newsletter1066971&t=18

Is Violence Ever Acceptable? – Part 12 – Social Issues Series

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There has been an increase in violence related to politics lately that I personally find upsetting.  I wanted to discuss the issue of whether violence in such cases acceptable.  I’m only going to look at violence within these perimeters, as the question of violence has many aspects, and I don’t want to go into all of them (as if I could) here.

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At many rallies when people have been demonstrating by holding signs, there has been violence against them.  Then, we have the fact that beatings of minorities have increased.  And, finally, there was the throwing of food and other items at other supporters.  Is any of this justified?  My thought is no.  At a political rally, there should be non-violent reactions to demonstrations.  A demonstration should open a dialogue.  Violence is not the way to get your point across.

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As far as beatings and killings (I will be providing the relative links below), violence is unacceptable.  Just because you hold a viewpoint, that does not give you a right to violently push your agenda on someone else.  If the only way to get your point across is with violence, maybe you should find a more articulate way.  If there isn’t one, could it be because your belief is lacking in logical explanations?  As someone who holds strong opinions myself, I would hope that others who also hold strong opinions would have the ability to verbalize the whys and wherefores of those opinions.  Logical evidence based on solid science and facts are the only bricks that are useful in such situations.

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As the political season goes forward, I find myself worried about the violence that we’ve been seeing.  What kind of a summer are we going to have?  Will minorities begin to fear for their lives?  Are supporters of one faction going to go to “war” against the other faction?  We are all Americans here, brothers and sisters.  Let’s act like it.  I’ve included some links for you if you’d like to obtain more information.  What do you think?  Is violence a viable way to discuss politics?  Does it help one faction change the minds of the other faction?

http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2015/10/15/3712633/trump-rally-violent/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tptop3&utm_term=2&utm_content=1

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/03/30/3764717/trump-wisconsin-pepper-spray/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tptop3&utm_term=3&utm_content=13&elqTrackId=b3c2e760488e42ac9717d7c13921c5bd&elq=c16b9d56a42e41738cbc5065a7fe24b6&elqaid=29628&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=5326

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-has-given-white-supremacist-groups-new-life?akid=14147.302291.DLWYL2&rd=1&src=newsletter1053988&t=28

http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/black-and-latina-girls-walk-soccer-field-after-whites-chant-donald-trump-build?akid=14158.302291.j00CdU&rd=1&src=newsletter1054354&t=12

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trumps-toxic-culture-how-his-mix-threats-and-fear-closing-peoples-minds-reality?akid=14213.302291.UO8Vdg&rd=1&src=newsletter1055618&t=10

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/dangerous-white-collar-white-power-movement-believes-it-has-newfound-relevance-thanks?akid=14233.302291.AFr_az&rd=1&src=newsletter1055944&t=4

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/05/09/1524668/-WV-Democrat-brutally-beaten-by-man-close-to-his-opponent-s-campaign-two-days-before-the-primary?detail=email2&link_id=8&can_id=33a6e04e358e81459584c8279f70dccd&source=email-lawyer-arrested-when-she-remained-silent-during-traffic-stop-by-new-jersey-troopers-2&email_referrer=lawyer-arrested-when-she-remained-silent-during-traffic-stop-by-new-jersey-troopers-2&email_subject=lawyer-arrested-when-she-remained-silent-during-traffic-stop-by-new-jersey-troopers

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/5/12/1525795/-South-Carolina-barber-arrested-after-pulling-a-gun-telling-a-customer-he-doesn-t-cut-black-hair?detail=email&link_id=8&can_id=33a6e04e358e81459584c8279f70dccd&source=email-facing-a-massive-boycott-target-ceo-doubles-down-on-support-of-lgbtq-rights-with-these-words&email_referrer=facing-a-massive-boycott-target-ceo-doubles-down-on-support-of-lgbtq-rights-with-these-words&email_subject=facing-a-massive-boycott-target-ceo-doubles-down-on-support-of-lgbtq-rights-with-these-words

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/take-it-america-north-carolina-man-pleads-guilty-federal-crime-after-yanking-muslim?akid=14263.302291.hskeh9&rd=1&src=newsletter1056516&t=12

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/5/27/1531672/-On-Donald-Trump-and-the-good-ol-days-this-is-an-absolutely-must-watch-video?detail=email&link_id=9&can_id=33a6e04e358e81459584c8279f70dccd&source=email-trumps-campaign-is-broke&email_referrer=trumps-campaign-is-broke___73292&email_subject=everyones-least-favorite-former-pharmaceutical-ceo-is-endorsing-someone-for-president

 

 

Australia Day – Thoughts and Comments

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January 26th is known “down under” as Australia Day. I have no problems with that, after all July 4th here is a crazy day of American self-love. However, I do have some problems with the promotion of Australia Day.

I’m sure that you’ve probably heard of the ad that is showing called “Commence Operation Boomerang.

This ad is deservedly getting its fair share of grief. First of all, the Indigenous Peoples of Australia are not happy, since Australia Day is actually the celebration of the invasion of their land – much the same problem happens here on Columbus Day (deservedly, also).  The second serious outrage is the from the vegan community. In the ad, a vegan Australian gets his apartment (and apparently himself) fire-blasted for simply being vegan. Is this is how Australia feels it should treat its vegan citizens? This is actually inciting violence against vegans. Below is an analysis of the ad by That Vegan Couple. Should you watch it, I need to let you know that there are a few images which if you are a dedicated meat eater may leave you feeling a little uncomfortable. However, truth is the truth, whether we like it or not.

There is a further segment included in this video of a Today show interview where one of the Australia Day promoters makes this statement “And lovely blasting of a vegan or two.” While the reply to this is “Ah, they’ve been our number one enemy from day one.”

This comment opens up even more commentary. Fire blasting a person, whom you don’t agree with, is now a viable response to that disagreement. Is this not fomenting violence against this group you disagree with? Is this not the definition of terrorism? (“the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”).  Now, I know that some people don’t like vegans (I’d actually have to live with my head in the sand to miss that – since I’m vegan, and have suffered more then my fair share of hate – both in person, and in cyber space).  However, the level of physical abuse being promoted in the ad is way past the bounds of human decency.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=terrorism+definition

Here are some additional articles regarding this ad. Please look at them, and what do you think of both the ad, and the points that are being made?  Do you think that the ad should be taken as funny and if so, would be also be funny if you substituted vegan for LGBT, or black, or any other minority?  Let me know what you think.

http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/01/14/15/25/2016-australia-day-lamb-advertising-campaign-becomes-m

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jan/11/operation-boomerang-lamb-ad-insults-indigenous-people-say-critics

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jan/15/australia-day-lamb-ad-creators-demand-animal-rights-group-remove-parody-clip