Thursday, December 11, 2014

Just One Day

Fear thou not; for I am with thee:
be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41: 10

Hope can seem elusive
When the Evil One draws near
He'd have us focus far ahead
On all that we might fear.

For the future seems uncertain
When looked at from today
Each dream that we might hope for
Could go wrong in every way.

Thus he would entrap our minds
Held fast by fear's intent
That we might re-direct our lives
And, thus, our dreams prevent.

But the Lord gave us the answer
Spoken long ago
That shows how to hold onto
The dreams our hearts still know.

He said, "Take one day at a time
Don't borrow future fears
There's work enough to do right now
Don't waste those precious tears.

"Satan would have you think I can't
Do all I said I would -
I promised I would do the rest
Once you've done all you could.

"So don't worry about tomorrow
We'll get there as we will
There's no need to leap mountains
Just work on this day's hill.

"And as you walk on, day by day,
Though far your dreams appear
Have faith in me, walk by my side,
And soon all will be clear.

"Do not fear the Dark One
I'll show the way that's true
You see, I was here long ago -
I walked it once for you.

"So let the future wait for us
We'll get there as we may
For now there's just one moment
For now there's just one day."

(written 1/3/06)

I still find myself needing to remember this at times.

In Matthew 6:34 it states ,"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Sometimes we get so caught up in everything we're trying to work out just right, or anticipating any potential problem to avoid negative attention, or focusing on the magnitude of the mountain ahead of us that we can get paralyzed with the stress of it all. This scripture shows that today, now is what we need to concern ourselves with. It is well to plan and prepare, but don't waste the now on the future. We have enough things to care about today without adding tomorrow's burdens on top of it. Even better is the 3 Nephi version where it ends, "sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof." Now, not only can we stay focused, we also have the assurances that we'll be able to handle it even if it's just a day at a time

Friday, November 21, 2014

Past the Classroom

I know I frequently fall outside of the general norms so this may fall into that same category, but for many years I have found myself reflecting on past education - various classes, assignments, and teachers' critical teachings efforts. Sometimes this means I wish I could go back and add better insights to papers long since graded and forgotten. Sometimes it means I finally understand what the professor was getting at and I wish I could go back and tell them so.

The desire, the drive, to learn, to understand more fully, has always been core to my personality. I had not realized quite how much until a conversation with my grandmother during which she related a memory of when they came to visit. Her relayed memory was one shared to her by my grandfather. I was 6. We had been outside - he working to fix the window of their vehicle, and me keeping company. Apparently I had been a standard child and was asking questions about everything. This does not surprise me. In exasperation, he returned with, "Will you stop asking so many questions?!" I burst into giggles of delight when my grandmother relayed my reply. "But how am I supposed to learn anything if I can't ask questions?"

I would, admittedly, be perfectly happy being a career student. My bank account disagrees with tuition prices and my dysautonomia disagrees with pretty much everything, so the Bachelor's Degree I worked so hard to attain may well prove the top limit to my formalized education. That does not mean, however, that it is the end of my learning. There are many resources readily available to those who open themselves to the idea that there is always more you can learn. I have noticed that many opportunities don't appear as learning opportunities, but I think you will be surprised if you start watching for them. It could be in observing how someone performs a skill. It could be a random tidbit of information hidden in a conversation. It could be a link on social media to something you don't know much about. It is often found simply by being interested in life, people, and the world around you.

All knowledge gained fills in the great abstract construct that is my understanding which allows comprehending of further truth and the applications of truths and the ability to intuit patterns even before they are fully expressed. Others have skill for memorization which gives them direct recall to important information. Skills come in many forms: physical, theoretical, applied, creative, social, organizational, motivational, educational, etc... I challenge you to consider yourself past the classroom. Bring that learning with you, but add to it and find out more about people around you and how the world works. Let your mind pick at thoughts as they come and go and consider new applications to them. Allow the excitement of new discover sink deep and you will find that life is far from the 'boring' that so many think it to be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Holiday Battle

It's that time of year again, when the trappings of Christmas appear ever earlier than the year just past. When the seasonal isle could leave one confused to which holiday comes next - is it Halloween? Or Thanksgiving? No, it's Christmas. When radio stations provide alternative channels for those who want to sneak in as much Christmas as possible. When the rants and despite appear against those who should know better than to mix their holidays.

Mostly, I just ignore the anger and judgment. Why spend my precious energy being upset about how someone else chooses to celebrate a holiday? Why turn my focus away from value and waste it on contentions that can only distract from the good I seek? Why attack traditions others embrace for not being as 'pure' as they should be? Why draw battle lines by stating 'you must stand in line, wait your turn, keep quiet, stop bothering us!'?

How much hubris is it to state that celebrating Christ's birth and all that means for the world can and should only happen in the manner you feel fitting? What? Is this: My way or the highway? Everyone knows that such an attitude only breeds antagonism and enmity. Why does this keep happening?

I actually asked a girl on twitter why she would choose to hate Christmas because other people aren't celebrating the right thing, in other words - celebrating wrong. It was an honest question, but she chose not to see it that way. She got mad that I dared question her and ended by claiming I was accusing her of being Marxist. What does Marxism have to do with this? Frankly, I haven't bothered looking it up to figure it out.

Part of the reason this is so troubling to me is because I am one who tends to be ready for Christmas earlier than most. I do not understand why this should be attacked. I have tried to express this conflict before (see post from last year - You Say, Sir, You Hate Christmas, inspired by the 'I Hate Christmas' song/refrain). Yet it never seems to translate to others. So I will try to explain, again, better, I hope, here.

I think I must have formed a different sort of relationship with the season of Christmas. This only occurred to me last month when discussing it with a friend. He has never had much connection with holidays in general and, as we talked, it appeared that as his family had never engaged much with holidays, he had no real emotional attachment. If anything, it seemed to me that everyone must appear to him as quite carried away by holidays all around.

Once I finally wrapped my head around the different perspective, I saw that my own is not only a reflection of my past, but very likely foreign to the perspectives of others. As I've seen the complaints and condemning, I have pondered how I can better express why I am so ready to embrace Christmas earlier than the average person on the street.

I have not hidden the fact that my years at home were far from ideal. Those issues are addressed in other posts. Simply stated - they were a time of what is known as hyper-vigilance, an uber-awareness that comes from long-term exposure to unfriendly/hostile environments. In many ways, home was a trap I could not escape, and deep in my sub-conscious was a fear that it would always be that way.

Except for Christmas.

It wasn't that home dynamics changed during Christmas. It was that the dynamics of the world change during the Christmas season. Unlike any other time of year, so many people open their hearts to love, to think of others, to give, to help, to spreading kindness and cheer. These are all characteristics of charity - the pure love of Christ. The event that inspires this is celebrating His birth. It is shown in music and lights and food and decorations and programs and even in fictive, festive characters. And this spirit envelopes the world and touches even the hearts of misers. Of course it would resonate so deeply with me.

Christmas has always been the time where I've felt peace and even a safety - like everything would work out. I crave that feeling. And Christmas lights in the tree help me feel it. I don't think of it so much as a tradition. It's like how a candle's glow is comforting, too. Only the lights are colored and they make pretty patterns on the walls as they gently fade in and out. They are a symbol of Christmas which is when things are better. And things are better because of Christ. Christmas is my lifeline to hope. And I cling to it.

Consider the bleakness in the world without Christ - a mortal world bound to Murphy's law, where nations destroy nations and only records are left, until, they, too, fall to dust. Where there is no reason to expect that anything done in life has meaning so why not give in to our baser natures? Why respect any other living being like unto ourselves? Perhaps when the emptiness and despair of such an outlook is comprehended can the depth of my yearning for the joy and light and peace and promise that Christ's birth brings.

Consider that it is a time when everyone gets the chance to be shown they matter. To us. To Him.
The child's delight at the special things possible this one time of year.
The deeper symbolism if paired with the pagan festival celebrating the successful passage once again past the longest night of the year.

Consider that His birth is the greatest promise ever made, fulfilled on Easter, and we get to share that light and truth and joy with others - that we are the 'lower lights' to His great beacon. Like in candles, and Christmas lights set under the star.

So, yes, my tree is up and has been for weeks. With so many dark things happening in the world, I wanted the comfort that the Christmas spirit brings. The spirit of promise and hope and love and peace and cleansing and healing. Even if it angers others, I will turn to those things which help me 'always remember Him' and keep His spirit to be with me. And I will welcome this season as early as I can.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Help Will Come

D & C 68: 6
Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus  Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.

Help Will Come

No matter how alone you feel
Or, in truth, you may well be
Or how you cry out in your soul
For one to trust continually.

No matter how you search and look
And still there is no-one
Have faith, be still, do not lose hope
For always, help will come.

The source, each different, yet the same
The Lord works through the ones who will
Each help made equal to each need
Shows us the Lord is faithful still.

He sends one soul to listen well
Another to suggest
And when there's no-one to give hope
By His help we'll be blessed.

So though heart, faith and hope are tired
And still you have no-one
Have faith, be still, do not give up
And hope, for help will come.

Coming from the family problems that so dominated my life, I do not and have not had the family support that I watch so many others regularly fall back on. All the same, there has always been the help needed when something was beyond my own capabilities. Sometimes I could talk to one friend or another, sometimes I happened across a random reference that helped me understand, sometimes a random stranger appeared more than willing to help, sometimes  my dreams would give me perspective, sometimes it was simply a blessing of peace. But I was never left alone by Heavenly Father. And I promise that so long as you want Him there, He will never leave you alone either. He does not always give the answer we want as quickly as we want, but He will always be there to give us the help we need.

Thoughts on Escaping an Abusive Environment, Part 2

I hope Part 1 helped you understand that even if you haven't personally experienced emotional, psychological abuse, that it is still a horrible reality with terrible results for others. I had not intended to do this in two parts but setting the stage is critical to begin such a discussion on such a topic and required enough space that a single post would be far less effective. Having primed the subject, now I turn to my notes and thoughts on what is needed to escape an abusive environment. These thoughts are taken from my escape, my mom's inability to escape, and observing and considering the happenings and implications of culture and others' experiences.

Before the idea of escape is even possible, there must be a vocabulary that allows understanding, awareness, social acknowledgment, and dialogue of the realities of the existence and nature of such abuses. This is, in part, why it's so critical to talk about it. Having been so trapped, I am always concerned and a bit agitated when all the conversation goes to physical and sexual abuse. I in no way mean to negate that need, but it puts me in mind of the family who addresses all their concern for one child's health problems to the detriment of the others'.

Until there is a general awareness that there is a problem, those so trapped will be as I was when daring to speak out about it as I wrote in part 1. And even then, I only spoke because I hurt - because my identity and psyche were being so damaged I didn't know how to survive it. So I asked for help from the hurt and the hurting was scorned. I didn't know what was wrong or why or that there was anything to be done about it.

If society can't conceive or won't admit that there is wrong, how will an embattled child know they have a right to better treatment? Especially when the abuser is telling them, convincing them, that they are less human, less worthy. Have you never heard of a victim told that the life the abuser has 'given' them is better than they could hope for anywhere else? Because it's already more than they're worth being given? The victim must know that respect for self and choice and ability are expected and honored and that despite the abuser's claims, the victim has that same right as the members of that family up the street that actually loves and respects each others' existence.

Sometimes victims get stuck in the same pride that others face. They want to believe that they couldn't have fallen for the lies and are stronger than those who get manipulated. Sometimes they think they can shield others in the family by pretending it isn't happening or by 'running interference'. Sometimes they need help to admit they need help, that they are trapped in a bad environment and allowing it to continue only allows for further damage to self and even others.

The victim must know help is available. Will family or neighbors believe and support or will they deny and condemn? My mother had no confidence that support was available for a bed-ridden woman (MS) and her children. She was also afraid that leaving would incline my dad to act out in violence and debated to her death whether it was safer to leave or to stay. Her death took that option off the table. Being sick, she also feared because she was unable to work and provide for her children without the financial support of a husband. Again, discussion and awareness in society would enable to victim's awareness of resources available.

Ultimately, the victim must be brave enough to act. Often it is recognizing the damage occurring to children/others should they stay that motivates final action. Distance often brings a sense of safety by creating a physical barrier that might incline the abuser to consider the inconvenience of pursuit a deterrent. It also means a new environment where new, healthier rules can be put into play without the same social repercussions.

Physical separation is only the first half. Mental and emotional separation is begun in the process of leaving but the healing takes time relative to the length of time and trauma in the abusive situation. Following are things that aid healing. Their lack can likewise hinder healing.

The survivor needs a safe environment and safe people where they can learn to simply be without having to always fear another attack for every little thing they do. They need time to absorb the comprehension that they have a right to correct mis-assumptions of another (an authority figure, even) without fearing recriminations (respect). This means they gain an awareness that silence is no longer needed for survival.

They need an understanding that sometimes the trauma will revisit in times of stress but it is as the aches of an old injury as a storm front comes in. It is also good for those they interact with to recognize this pattern. Like healing injuries, pain killers can incline some to think all is well but when the pain returns, more Tylenol may be needed. The same often occurs in the healing of traumas. Do not fear the pain. It will also be daunting to face the actions of rehabilitation (such as learning to trust again), but, like physical therapy, it is worth the soreness.

Ultimately, it takes time as proof that survival away and continuing safety and even flowering is possible, sustainable, and defensible. This can be aided by working contingency plans should the feared return of the abuser occur. They may never become necessary, but simply having options and plans available returns a sense of control to the survivor.

On a personal note, I have found that my emotional state can be measured by whether or not I can laugh. If One can laugh, one will survive. If there is no laughter, the stress is at a problem level.

Alma 55:20[e]...prisoners...give them power to gain possession of [themselves]...

Thoughts on Escaping an Abusive Environment, Part 1

A couple weeks ago I had a conversation on twitter with a local newspaper. They have been running a series on signs of domestic abuse and how to help youth beware. I responded that I wished the issues of emotional and psychological abuse were included because, while they may be mentioned, they are never talked about in terms such that the public actually grasps the equally damaging and dangerous reality. There are many similarities to physical forms of violence often not recognized because the differences are rarely accepted.

That probably sounds absurd. This is a common reaction when this subject is dared to be discussed.

I have recently discovered the ion TV channel and found I quite enjoy the Criminal Minds show. One of the episodes last week (too new to the show on reruns to be able to tell you which one by season and name) was about a woman who killed her husband. The prosecutor asked the behavior analyst people to come in and prove competency for facing full charges because she intended to argue against the 'battered woman' defense plea. As the show progresses, certain details come to light.

The woman is despised by her children who adore their father. 'If anyone has been victimized, it was him - he was always patient with her. She's just a lazy, hateful, dirty, stupid woman.' The problem is, when they examined the crime scene, the house was so beyond spotless that everything was (and had been) measured to perfection by a ruler. The son condemned her for never attending his games. She confessed that she was such a failure, she didn't want to embarrass him in public as well. The final piece of info that changed the prosecutor's mind? (Remember, it's a 45 minute show so highly simplified.) They asked her to tell of the events after the murder. Did she call 911 immediately? No. Why? She had to clean up. To hide the evidence? No. Her husband would have been furious with her if she'd had people over with such a mess about.

Don't get me wrong. I am in no way endorsing such a 'solution' for escaping an abusive environment. I am, however, hoping to show that while physical/sexual abuse is obviously horrible, abuse of the mind and spirit is equally hideous and even more insidious because it enslaves the victims into non-being right under everyone's noses. It makes the victims chain themselves because the abuser has so distorted the victim's understanding of reality that they accept the abuser's right to dictate all 'truth'.

Society lets them because the means used are, in moderation, considered acceptable interactions. 'Teasing' when no other form of communication or validation beyond belittling, condemning, criticizing, railing, etc... becomes no longer playful but a cover to hide behind so they can express exactly what was intended with an 'out' so the abuser can't be condemned for being so cruel. 'Can't you take a joke?!' I can't even remember all the times I tried telling people the latest sting/cut/wound and they'd blow it off because 'we say things like that, too - what's your problem?' It confused me and reinforced the idea that I was alone and had nowhere to go.

It was years before I perceived that the people who dismissed me did so because the context was vastly different. They couldn't conceive that a person in a 'family culture' could actually be in a situation where they ONLY heard condemnation. Where 'I love you' was an empty band-aid meant to convince everyone that nothing is actually wrong, be it self or other, private or public. That the same man who 'apparently' (I never witnessed it) boasted about his daughter in public never once told her to her face that she had accomplished anything worthy of affection or pride but instead demanded the world and condemned her for not including the solar system as well.

My dad knew he couldn't get away with physically hurting me. I would know that was wrong and there would be evidence to prove it. Instead, the man who insisted he was smarter than anyone we'd ever meet, used words and contrivances to manipulate and break down. That will sound an excessive claim to those who have not experienced it themselves. It is true non-the-less. He admitted it himself in one of his last middle-of-the-night four-hour-long lecture/threat sessions. "I learned long ago that I need to break you into tears and then I can make you do what I want." Shortly followed by his admission that my ability to later choose my own choices after time had passed frustrated him to no end. I know what I'm talking about.

I don't mean to detail my own experiences here. I've touched on them in various forms in various blogs past. I've spent over a decade trying to understand what happened at home. Over time, I came across information that my dad's abuse was not so circumspect against my mom. I've also seen what his actions have meant for more than one sister who has found herself in a subsequent abusive relationship (physically and sexually). I have been highly aware of other stories (case-studies, in my mind, are what all stories are) to watch and learn and better understand what happens and why. So when the journalist said another follow-up article on how to escape abuse might be considered, I began to take notes. Even if they don't run such an article, I will write of it anyway: this needs to be talked about.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Blind Men and the Elephant

The Blind Men and the Elephant
John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a WALL!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, "Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a SPEAR!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a SNAKE!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he:
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a TREE!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a FAN!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a ROPE!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
As found at

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Timeline of Lessons (2012)

Re-posted from a closed blog.

(I came across this while looking through a folder. I have left it as is and thought it worth sharing even though I had considered this blog closed. I think it shows an insight into what it is to be raised in an abusive home and can only hope the reader will pause to consider their own situations for what good it might lead to. Non-physical abuse is very insidious - it doesn't leave blatant marks, but it marks just the same. Please guard your own actions from doing that to anyone, yourself included. And if you realize there are parallels in the life of someone you know, please be there to lift, help, support them through, and if possible away from, the nightmare. Just as I always wished someone would do for me.)
When I was youngest, you taught me that no matter how hard I tried to be good, I'd have to try harder than everyone else to even have a  prayer. 
You also taught me that for every thing I did wrong, the value of my soul would shrink and nothing could every make it better. 
You'd never think it, but listening to your hateful words about your brothers and parents taught me that your saying you 'loved' someone meant nothing. 
I learned that there was no point in telling anyone that you were mean because no one would believe me or care because you told me so. 
A little older and a big, yet innocent, mistake later and you taught me that even horrible criminals would think I deserved to die and they would want to kill me if they knew and would kill me if I were older. 
That Christmas you taught me that I was not worth as much as anyone else in the family. 
During these years  you taught me that everything had to be done exactly how you said to do it even if it was harder your way and didn't make sense and didn't even matter how the bathroom sink was  cleaned so long as it got cleaned… 
Then we moved and you were around a lot more. 
And I learned that you got mad at me for daring to sleep when you were mad at me for something else. 
I learned that anything that made you unhappy could be my fault. 
I learned that I could get in trouble for not knowing what you wanted me to do even if you never told me. 
I learned that I would be in worse trouble if someone helped me do something you had secretly planned as punishment. 
I learned that being darn good wasn't good enough - I had to be the best and I had to remember I was  nothing at the same time. 
I learned that if I ever had the audacity to speak like I had a claim on something you promised me, you would take it away so I would know better. 
So I learned not to want or expect anything because it would just be used against me. 
I learned to convince myself that I must be nothing - a slave - for if a slave, then nothing wrong could be done against me since, by definition, a slave has no rights to violate in the first place. 
I learned that you loved the animals more than you loved me, even though you could make them yelp and scream and cry like you couldn't get away with doing to us. 
I learned how to manage full time school, work, caring for a bed-ridden mother, three younger siblings, cleaning the house, shopping, cooking, driving any and all to appointments, and well as maintaining my own spiritual state through church activity, all at the age of twenty. 
I learned all this while I was also expected to somehow be a professional painter with no realistic help and that if I dared get overwhelmed that I would somehow sink even lower than rock bottom in standing. 
I was terrified to learn that all you had to do was tell me 'something' I had done for a low-down, heartless, selfish, cold, dark reason and I would not only believe you, but I would forget what I had really done and why I had done it. 
I learned that my health was of no concern to any of you.  
I learned that you would be furious if I dared talk to anyone about how overwhelmed and stressed I was because that reflected badly on you. 
Therefore I learned, once again, that I didn't matter. 
I learned that if I behaved any way other than you thought proper that I was shaming you, even if it was an emotional outburst related to recent trauma. 
You taught me that Jesus despised me and that turning to God in prayer was slothful on my part. 
You taught me that if something wasn't working then I must not have done my best. Never-mind the fact that no-one is capable of actually doing everything. 
So I guess I learned that if anything was not succeeding then it was my fault. 
In fact, I even learned that life almost got easier if I just accepted fault for everything and anything that anyone was upset about. Because then, if it was my fault, I could fix it and they wouldn't be mad at me anymore. And there would be a reason to my existence. 
I learned that mom had considered divorce up till I was five and often couldn't wait till you went out of town again so that the fragile stability she maintained in your absence could be restored. 
I learned that it was safer to not let anything show on my face since I was always getting in trouble for the thoughts you were telling me I was having. It's a good thing you didn't know as much as you thought you did… 
I learned that even if I managed to do 'better' at just about everything, it was only treading water and to do less than best left me in the red. 
I learned that you would stop at nothing to keep your control. 
I learned that you wanted me so isolated, I would get in trouble for confiding in my own sibling or a teacher/bishop. 
I learned after mom died that you only thought mom was considering divorce for the first year of your marriage and you disregarded the lifelong story where mom had known I was waiting to be born as her desperate attempts to preserve your marriage. 
I learned that I could get in trouble for being so selfish that I was not doing my siblings' chores. 
I learned that you trained the family so well that my siblings knew they could use me as a scapegoat to get out of trouble themselves. 
I learned that you knew you were being unreasonable and you just didn't care. 
I learned that you not only had no care for my physical well-being, you were doubly willing to endanger it to lessen my dignity so you could get a laugh. 
I finally learned that it would never matter how hard I tried, how much I gave, how well I kept all of your arbitrary, multiplying demands  - it would never be enough. 
So I left. 
Since then, I have also learned. 
I learned that you betrayed yourself far more than you may ever realize and would ever admit. 
I learned that you think love means satisfying your expectations and that you've brought your own stupid misery on yourself.  No wonder you never feel loved and I could never do enough because every time a demand gets met, the love expires and the next unmet expectation is the only one that matters. 
I learned that I was not the lazy one - you were. 
I learned that all the things that never occurred to me but that you blamed me for 'thinking' had to have come from your own head. 
I remembered you scoffing at a crying child and mocking her with the words, "What are you going to do, tell the Bishop I'm emotionally abusing you?" Years before I had any clue to what that even meant... 
I learned that you are the selfish and self-centered one. 
I learned that even though you expect everyone you come in contact with to think you're the smartest person they know, you're not nearly as smart as you think you are. 
I realized that you gave into having me because it was you who feared divorce but at some point you must have realized my birth didn't accomplish your intended purpose so the unwanted child became the despised child. 
I realized that for all you complained of how much money you had to spend on me, I saved you far more than you've ever considered and my debt has been more than paid in full. 
I have learned that even if I was born to you and even if our religion believes in forever families, I do not have to stay with you and that does not compromise my immortal standings one bit. You have more than lost your right to me. 
I have even learned some of what you did to mom. But I will leave that to stay between you and God. Fair warning - you can't hide the truth from Him.  
I tell you this because I have been learning all along since I left that you haven't been changing. You are only targeting others. 
I have always thought that you consider yourself too sophisticated to be physically abusive. And as early memory proves - you either think emotional abuse illegitimate or you figure no one is smart enough to recognize what you are doing. Indeed, many are quite naive. But many are not, and tearing apart a person's identity, spirit and mind does greater violence that a simple fist can ever do. 
Ultimately, I have learned that you are pathetic.