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Emotional Abuse Is Violence

Fearful girl with hand over her mouth

Emotional Abuse Is Violence

Written by Narcissistic Abuse Expert

Transcribed from March 26, 2024 Podcast Interview

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

On March 26, 2024 I interviewed Dr. Robert L. Bray on my podcast A Fine Time for Healing. Dr. Bray has over thirty years of experience as a professional therapist focused on trauma. I found his wisdom so valuable, I transcribed portions of the interview to share with you.

In this portion, he begins by defining the word violence, as he sees it.

On Violence

"Any time that our basic right are infringed upon. And what are our basic rights? We are human beings. We get to think and give expression to that. We get to feel what we feel and give expression to that. We get to choose to do what we want to do as long as we are not hurting anybody else. And that's what it means to have your basic rights. Children (from emotionally abusive homes) learn very quickly that giving expression to who they are (as individuals) is not okay, and can be very dangerous in some circumstances."

On Narcissistic Abuse

"What does it take to be a good slave? If you're a slave owner, if you own someone, what you want more than anything else is to replace their will with your own will. So the idea here is, your will does not count; your choices, your feelings, your thinking does not count if it doesn't serve my will.

When you are raised that way, when you're not allowed to have your will, you were raised in a slave environment. And to function in that slave environment it means you have to make certain adaptations. Certain parts of yourself have to become the overseer, because the overseer's job is to make sure the will of the master is the primary focus. And so you internalize this capacity to set aside your own, at all cost--at all pain. And so you become very good at being able to do that. And then what happens when the slave owner dies? What happens when the emancipation proclamation comes to your town? And you go, 'Oh, I'm free'. Now you have to figure out, what does that mean if you still have the overseer kind of mentality?"

On Becoming An Adult After Emotional Child Abuse

"You're this seven year old in this adult world. You do what you did when you were seven. You look for somebody to direct you, somebody to take control, because that feels familiar, that feels safe."

"This thing about we marry our fathers, we marry our mothers, there's a lot of truth to that. But I would say, people have to recognize they are operating at an immature emotional level. So if you're still operating at a thirteen-year-old level and you're looking for a mate, you're looking for another thirteen-year-old emotional level and you come together. And that happens so much. And then the problem is that one of them will come together at thirteen emotionally, and one of them starts to grow and grows faster than the other. They both grow, but one grows faster than the other. Now you've got these emotional kind of levels that don't work anymore. You can hold it together for financial reasons, you can hold it together for family reasons, but it (isn't) a love-focused marriage."

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