As I have been going back through e-mails between a family member and I, I remembered when I really realized what verbal abuse was. After I gave Joy "the letter" she recommended The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evens. I remember as I read the first few lines I was in shock. "Most of us are aware that name calling is verbally abusive. If you have even been called idiot, dummy, b****, or any other derogatory name you have been verbally abused... 1. Mostly, verbal abuse is secretive. Usually only the partner of the abuser hears it. 2. Verbal abuse becomes more intense over time. The partner becomes used to it and adapted to it. 3. Verbal abuse takes many forms and disguises. 4. Verbal abuse consistently discounts the partner's perception of the abuse... One-up man-ship, defeating, putting down, topping, countering, manipulating, criticizing, hard selling, and intimidating are accepted as fair game by many."
I could go on and on all day. I love this book and recommend it to everyone. One family member when I told them about Grandpa's verbal abuse responded, "You're just too sensitive. What he says wouldn't bother most kids!" Another family member told me, "Well half the stuff he said when he was drunk, so he didn't really mean it. And the other half of the stuff he said he meant."