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  Catalog > Book Designs > From Victim To Victor
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From Victim To Victor

by Dr. Miriam Adahan


From the INTRODUCTION....

     Since the publication of my book, Sticks and Stones, (1998) I have received thousands of anguished letters and phone calls from people all over the world who have described themselves or someone they care about as victims of APD, Abusive Personality Disorder. From Victim to Victor is my response, providing practical, realistic support and answering the many questions that arise as individuals cope with the abusive behavior that has invaded their lives.

     Part One of From Victim to Victor focuses on recognizing APD, identifying its victims, and surviving each day. Part Two is about regaining control of your life, rescuing yourself and those you love from the harmful effects of APD, and achieving victory: using the experience of APD to grow and thrive as a human being.

     Love bestows a sense of worth, dignity, and calm upon the beloved one. Abuse does the opposite. While some 30 percent of all families are afflicted with physical violence, verbal abuse is almost universal.

     Physical and emotional abuse afflicts the same percentage of families in the religious world - but it is rarely spoken about openly, and many deny that it occurs "in our circles." Those who complain are shamed for making it public. Most are blamed for not doing more and offered simplistic advice, such as, "Ignore it. Just be more respectful." But no normal person can respect someone who is deviant or violent.

     Victims tend to blame themselves sure that, "I must be a failure if I can't fix the problem and win his/her love." Heroically, they try to function, to forgive and ignore, and to hope that things will improve while trying to stave off the insidious effects of their abusers’ hostility, deceit, deviancy, and betrayals.

     Many people think that only physical violence counts as abuse. This is not a Torah attitude. The Torah recognizes emotional abuse and calls it ona'as devarim (Vayikra 25:17). The Talmud says that humiliation is tantamount to murder (Bava Metzia 58b). In "Maseches Shabbos 50b", we read, "Shame is the greatest pain." Ongoing ridicule, invalidation, and scorn may seem less harmful than beatings, but they can do even more damage. Emotional abuse is the deliberate use of words or gestures to hurt another's feelings, undermine his or her sense of self-worth, and destroy his or her ability to experience joy and love.

     This is upheld by scientific research, which shows that the body responds to scorn as if it has received an actual physical blow. When a person is insulted, his or her heart rhythms become jagged, and the level of cortisol and other harmful hormones rises. Continual exposure to hostility leads to severe psycho-neurological damage. On an emotional level, scornful words can cause a person to lose his or her sense of self-worth, destroying the very foundation for loving relationships, i.e., trust in one's ability to love and be loved and to cope with life's difficulties.

     If a person suffers from cancer, G-d forbid, s/he will usually receive a great deal of support and compassion from others. But a person who suffers from "cancer of the spirit" is often met with disbelief or indifference, or scorned for speaking lashon hara. This is especially true in the religious world, where (unfortunately) many see the problem of abuse is seen as marginal or nonexistent. Thus, if you are suffering from abuse, expect that, by and large, you will have to battle alone and build a strong relationship with G-d, Who will be your major source of strength and encouragement.

     Most of us will experience some type of abuse or come in contact with someone who has experienced some type of abuse, at school, at work, or in the home. Therefore it is important to learn coping skills. We may reduce the damage if we recognize the signs of APD and learn how to retain our stability and sense of self-worth despite it.


To order in English or Hebrew:
www.Adahan-OnLine.com
 
Devorah Designs Judaica Art inspires, heals, and imparts the wisdom of the ages. These creations make the perfect budget-friendly gift for Hanukah or any holiday, a birthday, a bar or bat mitzvah, an anniversary, wedding, or a new baby. Devorah combines her photography - usually from Israel - with meaningful blessings (brachot), prayers (tefillot), and quotes from the Bible (Torah/Tanach), Psalms (Tehillim), Perek Shira (the Songs or Praises of the Animals), and other Jewish sources. Devorah Designs artwork can have healing and therapeutic effects or help you create a happy space in your home. Devorah's unique Name Art brings layers of meaning to Jewish names, Christian names, and pet names, promoting self-understanding and healthy family dynamics.

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