It’s been far too long since I wrote a piece about emotional abuse-the silent killer-too often by suicide far more often the death of the soul that is felt but not seen. Unlike physical abuse where you can go to the authorities and say –see-look at my injuries, you can’t show the damage of emotional abuse to others. Sadly, too often, people in authority won’t see the abuse no matter how well it is articulated.
Remember the saying “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me…” I don’t know why this was ever shared and so broadly. The truth is that I’d be rather be attacked by sticks and stones than be attacked by words that are expressly meant to demean me, denigrate me, belittle me. And when it comes from a spouse or a parent, the damage is often irreparable because you cannot see a broken soul a broken heart, a broken will and share it with others.
I ran head-long into the reminder of the damage of emotional abuse a little while ago when I was in New York State: I met a beautiful young woman-well a girl on the cusp of womanhood- who has been emotionally and verbally abused by her mother. She wanted to live with her father. But for too long, people in authority-the government-paid no attention to her. It was as if she were invisible. And in a way she was because she had been so abused by her mother. To say that the system is broken in New York State is an understatement. I read that “Courts will always consider allegations of child or domestic abuse in making child custody decisions.” No. Not true when it comes to emotional abuse: that and the fact that the New York judges have such broad discretion to decide custody matters. That means they have the right to decide who will be heard –including the child.
I am a member of LW4SP-Leading Women for Shared Parenting and I support men’s organizations who call out for shared parenting-fighting against the abuse of feminism that says children need their mothers more than their fathers and carry an innate desire to believe that mothers don’t abuse-especially their daughters. Is this just blindness from ignorance – or willful blindness?
This young woman is so abused that she fears leaving her mother –because her mother may never speak to her again. She fears her mother will abandon her-not realizing that her mother did that long ago. Her mother sometimes shows kindness and so she hopes that this will be the dawn of a new day. What she doesn’t know is that this is part of the emotional abuse syndrome. The abuser does something nice and you think-oh it’s not so bad and the resolve to leave is broken. It takes so little.
When children are abused we rely on experts to intervene. Too often these experts will not believe a child when it comes to emotional abuse-yet we so quickly believe when one cries rape.
The feminists have worked hard to ensure that women are treated equally. That includes in the court system. This systemic fallacy that mothers are right and the best custodian must be deconstructed. Fathers must be given equal rights under the law to have primary custody of their children and the courts must be encouraged if not mandated to listen to the children with an ear to invisible abuse.