1.00 EXPLANATIONS OF PSYCHOLOGY TERMS AND CONCEPTS ABOUT ABUSE -- INTRODUCTION A TOOL BOX OF TERMS THAT CAN HELP YOU COPE AND UNDERSTAND
The following terms in this section are TOOLS to help you untangle and prevent abuse. Why are they tools? Because without them, you cannot convey to others why a certain behavior is abusive and that it must be changed or dealt with.
In the 1970s when I was struggling with the problems of my family and 1st wife, the society did not have the vocabulary to discuss them. As a result of the various abusive relationships in my family history, I latched onto psychological terms and concepts as I heard them, words and phrases that described my situation. They each gave me a tool to work with. The following is my own personal list of terms that have been helpful and have explained many of the personal dilemmas in my past.
Using psychological terms may seem artificial at first. I admit these concepts are a bit clinical, however, they are the best tools we have to work with at the moment. Once you understand and start to use the words in your speech and thoughts, they will seem less artificial. And when you use them to solve personal problems, their power and usefulness will become obvious.
Lets take an example:
Overreaction -- MEANING: To react in an overly emotional or violent or other exaggerated manner to something that has occurred.
PERSONAL NOTE FROM RICK DOBLE: In 1972 my 1st wife and I traveled to New York City to have a family Christmas with my mother and my abusive older brother. No one described my brother as abusive in those days; they just said he was difficult. I had not seen my brother in some time. As soon as my wife and I arrived for Christmas, my brother started ordering me around as he had when I was younger. Because I was now married and independent and free of his abusive influence (sibling abuse), I was somewhat less than obedient. I was not overly hostile, but I did not jump when he said jump as I had when I was a child under his care. At one point on Christmas morning he ordered me to hurry up and I replied, "I will be there in a minute!" As a result he got furious, packed his bags and left immediately. My mother was angry and made me write a letter to apologize to him which I did. Writing the letter was humiliating as I was certain he was wrong but I did not have the words to express it. At that time I had never heard the word 'overreact'.
About a year later when I did hear that term, I knew immediately what it meant and wished that I had known it on that Christmas morning. I would have explained to my mother that my brother had overreacted which was consistent with his angry and dramatic personality. In this case, using the word 'overreact' might have helped with a family crisis.
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