Verbal and Emotional Abuse

One of my brothers is still verbally and emotionally abusive. We have very little to do with one another. Unfortunately, though, in the last two weeks we have spoken three times on the phone, which is a lot. I think that he is bored a lot and wants me to entertain him. I wouldn’t mind if he treated me with respect and kindness, like a normal human being would treat me.

We don’t share a lot of common interests and our political views are opposites, so there isn’t a lot that I can talk to him about that is neutral to him or that he doesn’t use to turn around and insult me.

Today it was to make a negative comment about my having a college degree. I hate when people do that to me. I worked very hard to get my degrees and I hate when someone tries to insult and demean me for working hard and getting myself further educated. Having college degrees is not something to be humiliated and stigmitized over.

I have had a few people do this to me as well. I just assumed that they are so insecure, uneducated, and paranoid that they cannot keep their rage and shame to themselves and instead have to spread it all over someone else who is innocent and learning something.

My father used to do this to my brother who I was closest to, and it was so cruel and evil. He used to make fun of my brother when he would say something that he had learned. He would be belligerent, yell, and laugh at him. I don’t know how much you have to hate your 12 year old child to treat them like that, but my father did. He was so hateful. Although I wasn’t the object of his verbal and emotional abuse, during those times, it hurt me so much to hear it, to see it, to remember all the times that he had done the same thing to me, and to know it is what he would do to me too given any little opportunity. After that time period I would not talk about things I had learned in school, in books, or on tv with my father around. My father was very cruel to all his children verbally, for tons of reasons. All my siblings have been like that, as children and some of them as adults.

My brother is loud and I have good hearing, so it hurts to listen to him yelling at me. I have told him repeatedly that I have very good hearing and that I realize that he doesn’t, because of loud music he has damaged his hearing. But I tell him I know he can tell when he is yelling and he needs to stop it. He yells over my talking and interrupts my sentences. He tells me to stop talking and he will repeat something over and over when he is being demeaning and belligerent to me. I tell him to stop that.

There are some people he doesn’t act like this to. I’ve told him many many times that I expect him to stop acting like this to me. I told him again today when he called me and quickly degenerated into yelling at me and telling to stop talking. So I was very clear to him that I did not want to be treated like that. He said yeah right, yeah right, which translates into yeah fuck you I’ll do whatever I want to do. That is based on knowing him and having already being very clear on what I am willing to tolerate from him and what I am not willing to tolerate from him, not that that seems to have much of an effect on him.

I picked several other topics and we talked about them for a while and that went sort of okay. That always seems to be much more effective, to use subterfuge and guile to divert him and his inner turmoil. I have told him many times I am not his therapist, that if he wants to have a conversation with me, then he has to shut up long enough to listen to my sentences, long enough to know when I am done talking and not keep interrupting me.

He said lots of stuff that I normally would have made comments on, but when I engage in a real conversation that is what seems to make him blow up at me, so I let a lot of it go and didn’t say anything. He doesn’t like me when I am real, when I feel, when I think, when I talk, because he is not in control of me and he is not subjecting me to his narrow expectation of what he is willing to allow when he interacts with me. It is like it is not a conversation and perhaps I am like a doll to him that he can talk to but one that is forbidden to have views, beliefs, experiences, words, and personal power. But I am not a doll. I am not his dollie. I am a real human being. I have my own thoughts, and beliefs, and feelings. I deserve to have them. I am not his dollie!

8 thoughts on “Verbal and Emotional Abuse

    • This is the brother I lived with out of state and who has a long history of verbal and emotional abuse. He is just like my parents in this respect. Just like my sister was for decades to me. Yes she chose to change and he has never. I have long lengths of time in my adulthood where I did not associate with one or more of my relatives as self-defense. I have no problem with that. His behavior lately, even though we rarely interact, is why I have been considering cutting him out of my life again.

      He is dating someone for months and not finding the time to take me out to buffet or associate with me in any way that is enjoyable, so all that is left is the yelling and demeaning and his Fox news denial of facts paranoia.

      I tell him what I need, since he says he will help me, and lately he does exactly the opposite. That’s not a lot of help.

      It’s not that his opinion or words mean anything to me, it is that he thinks it should and is willing to attempt to humiliate me that matters, through his behavior towards me he is way beyond his opinion and love meaning anything positive to me. Abusers are good at that. It’s good that he is never around.

      Since I did sever connections to two of my brothers, who were sexual abusers, I find it hard to disconnect completely from the others, since I know that my remaining siblings would prefer that I try to find a way to be amicable, but they know how he treats me as well and are not happy with that either. In the end, I feel I have to continue to stand up for myself during the rare times that he does choose to interact with me. It might get worse, or more often, and if so, I won’t answer the phone. I keep kicking the can down the road on making a decision.



      • That’s a really hard position to be in, and I understand completely why you are reluctant to cut ties with him. I think you are doing a good job of seeing and respecting your own limits as far as his interactions with you.


      • I wish that I had a better competence in this area. It will have to change or I will have to make a choice. I’ve spent all my life with one rageaholic or another in my life, I don’t want to do that for the rest of my life. If he were around more often, I would have already made my choice. I’ve already told some family members about these issues relating to him and I am limiting contact with him. No matter what I say to him, he acts determined to do what he wants. I told him that I notice that he doesn’t treat others like this and he denied it, even saying he does the same things still with his adult son. Which is horrible and just like my father and mother. Well I am not going to tolerate being abused like that, even if he thinks he can get away with it. I know for a fact that he doesn’t do that with his adult daughter who he has spoiled and adores and reveres. His daughter isn’t half the human being that I am and yet he actually thinks she is such a wonderful human being. What an ass. He has been seriously overplaying his hand in a number of ways in the family. He is acting like there are so consequences, but he knows that he has burned several family members and that they are pissed at him, including me.



      • It’s good, I think, that you know that other family members have been hurt by him—I think it’s easier to validate your own experience when you know it’s shared. I’m really proud of you for working so hard to see this clearly, and to improve your skill base as far as finding workable boundaries. You are wonderful, Kate.


      • Thanks . He has no boundaries for others and lots of boundaries for himself, so I know he knows how to have and respect boundaries, they’re just his. That’s what I get with a brother who is a narcissist and a sociopath, like mother like son. Still… he has more heart than her, but that would be pretty easy to be, since she had none. His heart and concern and care, such as they are, are the reasons I still associate with him. He can be fun.. when he wants to be. He knows how to jump on each of his siblings’ last nerve. He has seriously overplayed his hand lately and there is a lot of negative feelings that he totally deserves. Thanks for commenting as it is helping me think and feel through this difficult stuff with him. I feel much clearer. Thanks.

        Good and healing thoughts to yous.



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