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Psychological abuse is the first warning: Run, get out

Psychological abuse is the first warning: Run, get out

  

                    By Dee Louis-Scott       

Psychological abuse can be as damaging to the psyche as physical abuse can be to the body, yet little is written about this common problem, which is typically the precursor to physical abuse. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 95 percent of men who physically abuse their intimate partners also psychologically abuse them.

Psychological abuse consists of impairing the mental life and impeding mental development. It creates distorted beliefs, taught by the abuser, about the world. Those beliefs become ingrained in the victim’s mind and can interfere with the flexibility that needed to constantly assess the environment and respond appropriately. Knowing the signs of psychological abuse may save women from the physical abuse that so often follows.

I experienced psychological abuse through the eyes of a child — part of the stories I share in “Believe in the Magic: Let the Tenacity of Mattie Fisher Inspire You,” (www.mattiefisher.com), the story of my mother’s remarkable journey.

I watched as my father systematically and maliciously attempted to drive my mother crazy. He would constantly move car keys and other items from the places she normally kept them. He would then pretend to find them in odd places, like the refrigerator. After playing the hero for a month or so, my father would start insulting my mom with degrading remarks.

After months of psychological warfare, with her mental state sufficiently weakened, my father would begin the physical abuse. For the rest of her life, my mother was inconsolable and shaky whenever something went missing.

Signs of psychological abuse include:

  • Your partner uses finances to control you.

  • He often threatens to leave.

  • She seeks to intimidate using looks, gestures or actions.

  • He smashes things.

  • Your partner seeks to control you by minimizing, denying and blaming
.
  • He makes light of the abuse and does not take your concerns about it seriously.
  • You are continually criticized, called names and/or shouted at.
  • She emotionally degrades you in private, but acts charming in public.

  • He humiliates you in private or public.
  • They withhold approval, appreciation or affection as punishment.

Effects of psychological abuse on the victim, from the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness:

  • A distrust of his or her own spontaneity
  • A loss of enthusiasm 

  • An uncertainty about how she is coming across
  • A concern that something is wrong with him
  • An inclination to reviewing incidents with the hopes of determining what went wrong 

  • A loss of self-confidence 

  • A growing self-doubt
  • An internalized critical voice
  • A concern that she isn’t happier and ought to be
  • An anxiety or fear of being crazy
  • A sense that time is passing and he’s missing something
  • A desire not to be the way she is, e.g. “too sensitive,” etc.
  • A hesitancy to accept her perceptions
  • A reluctance to come to conclusions
  • A tendency to live in the future, e.g. “Everything will be great when/after …”
  • A desire to escape or run away
  • A distrust of future relationships

If you answered yes to even one, you may be in an abusive relationship. Get help!
 Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
About Dee Louis-Scott Dee Louis-Scott is the author of “Believe in the Magic: Let the Tenacity of Mattie Fisher Inspire You,” (www.mattiefisher.com), the story of her mother’s remarkable journey. Louis-Scott retired after working 30 years as a federal employee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. Scott has co-chaired the Black Family Technology Awareness Association’s Youth STEM Fair for nine years; its mission is to encourage studies in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum in urban communities. Twenty years since the death of her heroic mother, Mattie Fisher, Louis-Scott honors her life, which was experienced in a time in American history when it was a double-curse to be a black woman.


Believe in the Magic Trailer


Father Hunger article

‘Father Hunger’: How His Absence Affects America’s Daughters
Tips for Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships
for Women

In America’s families, much has been made about the effect on boys whose fathers are not around to help raise them, but Dee Louis-Scott, co-chair for the Black Family Technology Awareness Association’s Youth STEM Fair, says the consequences are very tangible in the lives of girls, too.

“Even though my father was in my life until his passing, I did not understand him, and it was always an emotionally distant relationship,” says Louis-Scott, author of “Believe in the Magic,” (www.mattiefisher.com).

“The men I married were emotionally distant; much of my time was spent chasing their love, time and attention. The problem was that I never experienced a true partnership between a husband and wife as a girl.”

New polls suggest “father hunger” is continuing to alter the family structure in the United States. A recent Associated Press poll finds 42 percent of women would consider having a child without a partner. Additionally, more than 24 million daughters and sons in America live in homes without their father, according to the U.S. Census data.

“I know fathers and mothers who are unmarried, yet both are very proactive in their children’s lives and are by all accounts doing a great job with their kids,” Louis-Scott says. “Unfortunately, the number of fathers living outside the home of their children often reflects a lack of participation from most of those fathers.”

A girl’s first love is her father, and if he has abandoned her, she will find herself in romantic relationships that are similarly unhealthy later in life, she says. While writing the book on the extraordinary life of her mother, Mattie Fisher, who was married five times and who didn’t have a relationship with her father until midlife, Louis-Scott realized just how formative a father’s role is in his daughter’s life.

“If a father treats his daughter like a princess, she will demand better treatment in her romantic relationships,” she says. “But if he treats her poorly, she will come to expect that and even seek it out in future relationships.”

For women whose fathers have provided a poor example, Louis-Scott offers these relationship tips for women who want to break the cycle of unhealthy partner-seeking:
• Consider your relationship with your father: Ladies, what kind of chemistry do you have with Dad; do you even have a relationship with him? How might this be influencing your romantic decisions? Take an in-depth look at the relationship between you and your father. A painstaking review will help you avoid sabotaging a current or future romantic bond. The first (and probably the hardest thing to do) is to recognize and define the problem, if any.
• Take time for you: Get up every morning with the thought that you are rebuilding your life. Reward yourself, perhaps with a massage, a good book or a long bike ride. While reflecting in your solitude, think about the role you played in the failure of your relationship. Consider your past relationship mistakes, and be honest. Remember, as long as you make it the other person’s fault, you will remain a victim.
• When you are ready, ease back in to new relationships: Take a little longer than you normally would to get to know someone. Enjoy the dates and learning about each other. See your potential partner as they are and not how you want them to be, because when we are in a low place it’s easy to put a high value on a person’s potential. Trying to change a man is a bad idea; relax and enjoy getting to know more about him to decide whether you’re compatible just the way he is.

About Dee Louis-Scott

Dee Louis-Scott is retired after working 30 years as a federal employee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. Scott has co-chaired the Black Family Technology Awareness Association’s Youth STEM Fair for nine years; its mission is to encourage studies in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum in urban communities. Twenty years since the death of her heroic mother, Mattie Fisher, Louis-Scott honors her life, which was experienced in a time in American history when it was a double-curse to be a black woman.


Great Energy

Monday I went to Massage Heights for the first time. My masseuse called my name and as I enter she told me she was excited to see me. I thought maybe she said this to everyone. I didn’t think much of as she turned to leave and I got undress and lay on the table.
I soon found out she had special gifts. I told her I was an author, the name of the book, briefly what the book was about. She said you really miss your mom I said yes. She said you feel like part of your soul is missing. I was stunned I had always felt that way but never ever told anyone in the 20 years she has been gone. I fought back tears, face down in that donut hole it was hard to do. We talk about when we both learned we really did have one on one relationship with the creator. I was seven and she was four. We talked about how weird society thinks our kind are.
When she was finished with the massage she said with a smile you know it wasn’t an accident that out the 21 masseuses you got me. As she left she said your aura is gold and white. I asked her what that meant. She I don’t know and close the door. After I got dressed we exchange numbers. I have a new friend. As I checked out at the front desk the manager told me, you know she has special gifts she told me I was pregnant before I even knew!
Of course I had to look up what gold and white aura meant. It does sound like me or at least my belief but I don’t think I have reached everything it says. Work in progress
Life sure has a lot of twists and I love it!


What’s the story behind the story?

What’s the story behind the story? (What inspired me to write my book “Believe in the Magic”?)

My mother would tell me stories about her life from time to time. The older I got the more intrigued I became. One day I decided to just start a journal. The journal would be for my daughter so she would really understand who her grandmother was and what she went through to ensure both my daughter and I would have a better life. After I read over some of the stories I just knew that more people need to hear these. Thus began my journey.


Determine to get it right!

My goal is to just keep to a schedule. Yeah I have heard from alot of my friends..”You are retired now you dont need a schedule be free”. Well the truth is yes I do. The Vata in me demands some kind of structure or I will go around in circles. So first up was to rise with the sun. Sounds crazy but when you are use to getting up at 430 am sleeping until 630-700am is a luxury. I leave one of my blinds cracked and what a beautiful site I wake up to. Next to conquer meals.


The cholesterol struggle!

A couple of years ago I heard the words you have high cholesterol. What me?? It was the extra fat around my waist, and the 20 pounds in the last 10 years. My doctor promptly called in the prescription for 20mg of a popular cholesterol medicine to my preferred pharmacy. I never picked it up.
I have watched someone in my life struggle with the side effects of cholesterol medicines. The warning labels lists of side effects are very long. One side effect in particular lists “muscle problems” as rare. Well in his case it wasn’t rare and the doctors didn’t catch it until it was too late. He is now diagnosed with MD. So you can see my hesitation to jump on that bandwagon. Instead I decided to try to lower my number myself.
The first year I tried changing my diet by watching my sat fats and taking fish oil. The next doctor’s visits my numbers were better but still not where they should be. She told me she was increasing my dose to 40mg and called that in the pharmacy. I was disappointed but resolved to fixing this myself.
I noticed I had been taking one fish oil tab instead of two so I stated taking two big tabs a day. BTW I’m happy to report they now have a tab that gives you the same amount in one..”Nature Made” brand the best.
Last summer I found an Ayurveda lifestyle consultant Stephanie introduced me to Banyan herb products. I went through list researching and found Triphala. I took it for three months before my cholesterol test. Guess what it came back normal. My combo of fish oil and Triphala had worked. My goal is to balance my body so I don’t need to take anything. The key is living the lifestyle includes the correct food, the correct exercise for your body type.
I am not a doctor, this is my story. However if you have struggled with cholesterol problems you might want to take a look at Triphala. Do your research with any other medications you are taking. Believe!


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