Bullying and The Codependent Part IV: “The Smelly Turd in the Pretty Package”
I have been working in the field of abuse for years. When I get discouraged because of the stories of injustice I hear, it helps me remember the history of the laws and abuse. I assess bullying as a ...
I have been working in the field of abuse for years. When I get discouraged because of the stories of injustice I hear, it helps me remember the history of the laws and abuse.
I assess bullying as a form of abuse. Our first child abuse laws had many starts and stops; they did not really gain traction until the 1970’s. These laws addressed physical and sexual abuse, not emotional abuse. Church and State enabled abuse and the paradigm that women and children were property of man and he could do as he wanted with his property.
In the 1980’s, we acquired sexual harassment laws for the workplace. We have had laws for these abuses for 30 plus years and we still hear horrific stories of child abuse, domestic abuse and sexual harassment/abuse in the workplace.
Unfortunately, we have no federal laws directly addressing emotional bullying/abuse in the family.
We do know female bullying in the workplace is on the rise. It is highly likely these same women are using their bullying tactics in other areas such as in their social situations and families.
Healing From Emotional Bullying
What can we do? We need to educate ourselves about all aspects of emotional bullying, stop enabling, and stop pretending it isn’t happening. Victims need to speak up, unite and stand up for our dignity.
A very powerful example of how this will work is the story of taking down Larry Nassar, an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University and the USA Gymnastics national team doctor. The story also illustrates how staying silent enables perpetrators. The victims tried to speak up year after year, and the adults did nothing. Kudos to the victims for not giving up, and there are no words for the adults who did nothing.
A very powerful moment at the end of the 2018 Espy awards was 140 victims standing together, holding hands and taking a stand for the truth, their voice, freedom and dignity. What the victims experienced emotionally while trying to speak up into a world of silence is probably similar to what victims of emotional abuse in the family experience now in terms of denial only. We don’t have laws, the consciousness is new, the denial and enabling are strong, so victims can feel alone.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Anne Brown PhD, RN of Sausalito, California, formerly from Aspen, Colorado is a psychotherapist, speaker, coach, and the author of Backbone Power: The Science of Saying No. For over twenty years she served as the trusted advocate and advisor to Influential Corporate leaders, Trial Attorneys, Athletes, Leaders, Physicians and their families whose connections extended far beyond Aspen, Colorado.
Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia, BS in Nursing; Boston University, MS in Psychiatric-Mental Health in Nursing; and International University, PhD in Addiction Studies. In 1997 Brown also reached a personal goal of obtaining her Black Belt in Soo Bahk Do.