Monday, March 10, 2008

Secret abuse

I'm on another bug hunt. This time it's something that has bothered me for years, something I grew up with, something I have researched and come up empty-handed. It's verbal abuse. Ah, but you'll say. There are plenty of books and articles about verbal abuse, how to recognize it, how to stop it. No, I tell you there aren't, at least none that are focused on men being abused by women. There's the rub.

Men, those big, strong bastions of protection for women are being abused by women and no one seems to want to talk about it -- least of all the men. Why would they want anyone to know that some fashionably thin virago torments them, screams at them, denies and denigrates their feelings? They wouldn't. That's why all the books on verbal abuse are for and about women with barely a side note about men. And so, dear reader, that is why I've decided to write about it -- not here, but in a real mainstream magazine article, and maybe a series of articles or possibly a book.

I'm not a psychologist or a psychiatrist or even a counselor, except of the ad hoc variety, but I am a writer and I have access to many knowledgeable sources. I will just do what I always do: interview, research, listen, learn and write. I've watched too many men in relationships being abused who had no one to tell them their partner wasn't just a screaming, nagging bitch but that there was a bigger problem; they were being abused.

From what I've already run into, it may be a hard fought battle, even with professionals, because they want to focus on women being abused and not the men. That's feminism for you. This morning I found one counselor (the right one) who told me about several women in the area who work with abused men and he would be happy to introduce us. He and I will meet next week and begin the interview and collecting sources. His colleagues will provide me with more material and case studies and introduce me to some of their clients. I have put an ad in the Writers Weekly forum for men who want to tell their stories and will put together a questionnaire based on what I get out of my meetings with the counselor and his colleagues. They may even have a questionnaire I can use to help gather and collate information for a statistical database. I am on the hunt and this will be consuming what few free hours I now have. I guess I'll have to give up my wild social schedule in favor of research and writing. What a shame . . . NOT.

If any of my readers are currently involved in or have been involved in a verbally abusive relationship and would like to tell their story, contact me at fixnwrtr at gmail dot com (I'm sure you know the drill). Initials only will be used for stories that are used in the article(s) and the information gathered from those who don't want their stories used will be included only in the statistical database. A release of information must be signed in order to be included to protect all concerned.

What it comes down to is this: no person, male or female, should be overlooked or ignored when they are in pain, even when they don't see it themselves. Since the established psychologist/psychiatrist/therapist/counselor authors have not addressed this issue, I will. It's about time someone did.

That is all. Disperse.

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