readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Emotional Abuse: "Hurt by the One You Love" by Martha Brockenbrough

Our own Martha Brockenbrough wrote an enlightening story for Women's Health on the subject of Emotional Abuse. It's called "Hurt by the One You Love," and here's a quick excerpt:

Emotional abuse can be subtle. In Morrison's case, her live-in boyfriend would give her a wide berth in their Stanford, Connecticut, apartment. "There would be times when he'd have to walk past me, but he would purposely move his body in such a way that he'd avoid any chance of making contact," says the now 39-year-old. "It made me feel awful." Sometimes when they were walking together on the sidewalk, he'd abruptly cross the street without her—and then call her crazy, needy, and too sensitive when she mentioned it.

Click here to read the rest, readergirlz. Do you think that sometimes, emotional abuse can be even worse than physical abuse? How can you recognize when it's happening?

PS-For a great teen relationship resource, check out Love is Respect. (Thanks, Little Willow!)


cecil castellucci said...

hey Martha. Great round up of emotional abuse. I would just point out that sassy ladies who have no history of abuse in their families can also fall victim to emotional / verbal / psychological abuse because of the very reason that they don't have it in their background and so they get destabilized by things not making any sense. Someone (I wish I could find where I read it) said very aptly that it's kind of like, you can understand if you see your car gets stolen, because you know that happens to people but you can't understand if your car turns into an elephant, which is what psychological abuse is like if you have no reference for it.

Glad that you and the readergirlz are pointing out how terrible this kind of abuse is. Making people aware of it is the first step to helping ladies to recognize that it is happening to them. Especially because, as you so aptly point out, it is not as obvious as physical abuse (although often times just as, if not more, devastating)

holly cupala said...

Such a good article - thanks to Martha for writing and doing that research, and to Melissa for posting it!

Little Willow said...

Martha: Simply: Great piece. Thank you.

Cecil: I found the article:

Obsidian Wings: Why do they stay?

Beth Kephart said...

This is so hugely important.

Martha Brockenbrough said...

Thanks for reading, everyone. And thanks for posting, Melissa.

It's true, Cecil. Anyone can find themselves in an emotionally abusive relationship--and a lot of the ones you see on TV are emotionally abusive. The way Quinn treats Finn on GLEE, for example. It's disturbing to see that normalized.

The people we're in relationships should be kind and gentle to us, and vice versa.

It's not love if it makes you feel like garbage.

Melissa Walker said...

This is such an awesome article, Martha. And emotional abuse is so insidious, I agree. Oprah did a show once that showed a woman being emotionally abused (they agreed to cameras b/c the man didn't feel it was "that bad.") It was worse than seeing someone be beaten. Just horrifying.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thanks for weighing in as well, Cecil. Such important insight, everyone.

Yes, Martha, to Finn and Quinn. *nods*

JenFW said...

Yes, yes, YES! I'm sending someone to read this Right Now. (And, Someone, I'm proud of you!)

Another difficult thing about emotional abuse is that it generally doesn't leave the visible results that physical abuse does, so others don't recognize and understand it quite so easily. Many abusers are only abusive behind closed doors, wearing kind-loving-generous masks in public.

Blood and bruises are proof of abuse. We're quick to sympathize with and support these women. We often have no "proof" of emotional abuse.

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