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Question
Posted by: VICTIM | 2012-01-12

Silent Treatment -maybe this will help you, it helped me.

Silent treatment (feigned apathy  cold-shoulder  silence  distance, and ignoring ) is the worst form of emotional abuse. It is a punishment used by abusers to make you feel unimportant, not valued, not cared about and completely absent from the abuser''s thoughts. It is used as a form of non-physical punishment and control because the abuser mistakenly thinks that if they don''t physically harm you then they are not abusers. The truth is, they are far worse at doling out abuse than the physical abuser.
Silent treatment is a form of banishing someone from the abuser''s existence without the benefit of closure or a good bye or a chance at reconciliation. In a word..it''s meant to torture someone you profess to love. Should I meet someone again who uses this tactic just once he will not get another chance. Because the silent treatment is something that the abuser repeats over and over again. The silent treatment is CONTROL, and a safe means for them to avoid any ''uncomfortable'' topics, issues in the relationship, or issues within himself (or herself).
The silent treatment is a method the abuser uses to ''kill'' you for something you have done. In a sense, you have been psychologically ''murdered'' by them, but your physical life goes on.
As with most abusers, they are in denial over their own abuse. They may use the excuses:
•  I needed to have some space
•  I thought you needed some space
•  I was feeling depressed and didn''t want to drag you down with me
•  I thought we both need a cooling off period
•  I felt threatened/insulted/hurt and reacted with fear and isolation
•  I just needed some time alone to think
•  I didn''t want to fight
•  You told me to leave you alone
•  Problems from my past came up and I needed to sort them out
Of course these excuses are just one more way for the abusers to blame somebody or something else for his abuse.
The authority and control truly isn''t love - that controlling power and abuse is an insecure person''s way of trying to not be abandoned - by abandoning you, and probably when you needed them the most. This way they feel that they had a psychological and emotional hold on you. That you can''t abandon them. The problem is, are they too stupid to realize that being abandoned is exactly the result that they will eventually get? To be abandoned by their victim? Maybe not always physically abandoned, as abused people can take abuse for years and years. But they abandon their abusers mentally and emotionally, closing their hearts and souls to them, and killing any love at all they may have once felt for the abuser.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Thank you very much for your thoughtful and helpful comments.
As I discovered in my studies of torture ( so as better to be able to help victims ) no one form of abuse or torture is "worse" than any other - it depends on the specific fears and vulnerabilities of the individual, and the expert torturer or abuser recognizes what will be worst for you. In the great Orwell book 1984, there was a special room that all prisoners feared, which contained - whatever you feared most.
But another central and vitally important aspect of much psychological abuse, especially the "silent treatment" os that the abuser only actually has the power you choose to give them. Only if you choose to care about their opinion, their responses, does their withholding of these, bother you. If one can treat their silence as like that marvellous moment when the drills and jack-hammers the road-builders have been using outside your window, tormenting you with their noise, stops for the day ; the abuser has lost that element of power. Only if you decide you MUST get a response from them, does the absence of response bother you.
And the abuser, as Liza points out, WANTS your response of pain and caring - if he / she doesn't get that, he either stops or tries a different approach.
There are various methods of psychological self-defence which can be really effective, but sadly are rarely made available to the victims.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anne | 2012-01-13

To judge whether one person''s abuse is worse than anyone else''s is being judgemental and unempathetic! How can you tell a trauma sufferer their trauma is less than someone else''s? To that person their trauma is bad that is why they are suffering, right?

Unless you have walked in the shoes of the victim, you can''t judge.

I have experienced various forms of abuse and trauma also the silent treatment. I always wondered what I did or didn''t do to cause the other person to treat me that way. The thing is it is not my problem but the other person''s. They just can''t deal with their issues so rather cut a person off and pretend they are dead and don''t exist.

Eventually time heals and one gets over it and realises the issue is not with the person receiving the silent treatment.

Same goes with any victim of abuse. They are not to blame for what other people do or treat them.

So Victim you don''t have to always be a Victim but you can choose how to deal with these issues. If you can''t deal with them on your own, speak to someone or see a professional. You don''t have to be a victim your entire life. You can choose to be a survivor and move on.

Good luck!

All the best!

Reply to Anne
Posted by: Liza | 2012-01-12

There are approximately 7 Billion people on earth. That gives us 7
Billion opinions on what constitues abuse and which forms of abuse is worse.

Abuse is bad fullstop. It''s one fact we can all agree on...

Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Lee-Mae | 2012-01-12

No-One should be allowed to abuse anyone in any way at all. Just the word ''Abuse"  should tell you that this person does not love you enough whether it is physical, verbal or emotional. Whether it is a child or an adult being abused. Why would we argue about which is the worse form? It is senseless to do so when either way people are suffering.

Reply to Lee-Mae
Posted by: Viewpoint | 2012-01-12

The memorys of child hood sexual abuse are more serious emotionally than being ignored a belittled as an adult.ls just one example.
l cannot agree that in your situation as you state" they are far worse than at doling out abuse than a physical abuser" 

Reply to Viewpoint
Posted by: ? | 2012-01-12

l disagree this is not the worst form of emotional abuse.

lmagine having been tied to a bed by your husband and being raped by his workers.
Then whilst being assulted physically you listen 2 your son begging for his life and hear the shot being fired that kills him.

Emotionally she will be abused for the rest of her life by her memories.......

That is the very worst kind of EMOTIONAL abuse. l think she would have been quite happy with the option of being on the recieving end of the silent treatment..............Victims of the cold shoulder can get up and leave she could not!

Reply to ?
Posted by: Liza | 2012-01-12

Personally I don''t agree that the silent treatment is the worst form of emotional abuse. I guess it depends on your point of view. My ex-husband tried the silent treatment with me - it didn''t have the desired effect so he didn''t try again.

To me the worst form of abuse is being belittled for every thing you do and everything you want to do. Being constantly harrassed for the smallest things - like wearing makeup to work and then being accused of having an affair with your boss (when the boss is openly gay!). Or wearing a skirt that ends just above the knee or a blouse that shows a hint of cleavage and then being accused of dressing like a whore and trying to pick up guys.

I''d personally prefer the silent treatment above constant baseless accusations and vicious put downs - but then again I''m a solitary type of person.

Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-01-12

Thank you very much for your thoughtful and helpful comments.
As I discovered in my studies of torture ( so as better to be able to help victims ) no one form of abuse or torture is "worse" than any other - it depends on the specific fears and vulnerabilities of the individual, and the expert torturer or abuser recognizes what will be worst for you. In the great Orwell book 1984, there was a special room that all prisoners feared, which contained - whatever you feared most.
But another central and vitally important aspect of much psychological abuse, especially the "silent treatment" os that the abuser only actually has the power you choose to give them. Only if you choose to care about their opinion, their responses, does their withholding of these, bother you. If one can treat their silence as like that marvellous moment when the drills and jack-hammers the road-builders have been using outside your window, tormenting you with their noise, stops for the day ; the abuser has lost that element of power. Only if you decide you MUST get a response from them, does the absence of response bother you.
And the abuser, as Liza points out, WANTS your response of pain and caring - if he / she doesn't get that, he either stops or tries a different approach.
There are various methods of psychological self-defence which can be really effective, but sadly are rarely made available to the victims.

Reply to cybershrink

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