The Long Playing Tape That Plays In An Abuse Survivor's Mind

Sunday, May 6, 2018

In view of all the traffic, positive comments and messages about my post last week The Cycle of Abuse, I decided to post a topic that I've been or am dealing with weekly as I continue to heal from verbal and emotional abuse. I may even have a guest post.

I used to think the qualifications for abuse was just being physically hit, or sexually assaulted. As I began the process of healing from my divorce in 2008. I learned that I had been emotionally and verbally abused by my ex-husband. That was a huge eye-opener to me. I've since read books on emotional and verbal abuse. I even took a course to be an advocate for victims of abuse here in our local area.

When I was a kid my parents had a reel to reel tape player that my dad brought back from overseas, and when I think of a tape playing on a loop this reel to reel tape is what I picture. For me, the reel to reel tape pictured above is a visual of a tape that goes on forever.

In last week's post I mentioned that there is a tape that plays in an abused person's head, but today I'm going to get a little more detailed as to what some of the words are that play on the tape.

Besides my ex-husband being emotionally and verbally abusive, he was also committing adultery, which I didn't believe until I had actual proof of the adultery.

Daily my ex husband would ask me to call or text him around lunch time. He'd ask me to check in mainly because I always got up late, at least that's what I believed, but he wouldn't answer. I'd call a little while later, still no answer. This would go on through most of the afternoon and evening. When he'd come home, if he did, he'd make sure to tell me how much my calls and texts annoyed him. Even though he's the one that "wanted" me to call.

As a result of the behavior from the one person I believed truly loved me, who I loved more than life, my internal dialogue was altered. Instead of just dealing with the negative dialogue from society that all American women struggle with. Not being pretty enough, skinny enough, etc. My dialogue was added to by his actions and not in a positive way.

I would've thought that after little to no contact with my ex-husband in the last ten years my internal dialogue wouldn't be so overwhelming. Unfortunately as I have realized the negative dialogue is always there, it might be quiet for a little while, but it will rear it's ugly head just when I least expect it.

For me, the biggest way satan brings the negative dialogue upfront and center in my mind seems to happen right after I send a text, make a phone call that isn't answered, an email, even sending a private message on Facebook that isn't answered in a reasonable amount of time sends my mind reeling. The "reasonable" amount of time is subjective depending on how the survivor of abuse was treated about that. Meaning the abuser expected immediate response, but didn't return immediate response. I hope that makes sense.
From the moment I send any form of communication my mind goes immediately back in time and I start thinking "I shouldn't have done that, I just made them mad." My brain will even start rolling through the actions of the last few days and hours attempting to figure out if I said or did something to upset them.

Now, you might be thinking that's a little silly thinking a friend, or family member is upset when they don't answer back within a reasonable amount of time. Yes, a person who has not been emotionally and or verbally abused would say to themselves "they're just busy, they'll get back to me as soon as they can. Or they meant to answer back and forgot."

 An abused mind doesn't think in normal scenario's. The abused mind has been conditioned to think the worst, because that's what it knows.
I have to literally stop my thinking when the thoughts "they're mad at me" makes it's presence known and replace it with the opposite. I mentioned my daughters in last week's post. Each of them are so good in reminding me, if I send a text asking if they're mad at me, to say "Mom, no worries, I'm just busy." The more I remind myself of that, the easier it gets.

Words are powerful! Not only do we as individuals need to be careful what we read, and listen to because that adds to our internal dialogue. We also need to remove people from our lives who speak negative words into our life. Negative words stick around a lot longer than positive words.

Meditate on who God says you are!!

In Psalm 139:14, God says . . . "You are fearfully and wonderfully made. In Psalm 17, He says "You are the apple of His eye.

Keep those scriptures close to your heart this week as you tune out the negative internal dialogue.


8 Responses to “The Long Playing Tape That Plays In An Abuse Survivor's Mind”
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I love that you are taking what the enemy intended for evil and letting God use it for good <3

Aw thanks, Carrie! It’s important to me that others who are healing, know someone who has been abused, or know nothing see that God is the only one who can truly heal the mind. He’s really good at tapping me on the shoulder or purse whomping me if I need it to let me know I’m not what my ex said I was. I have value because He says so! ❤️

i didn't even realize what i was doing when, 30 ish years ago, i started speaking personalized Scriptures (i am the body of Christ vs you/we are the body of Christ) and over the course of time (read: years) my mind truly began to believe it - and, being the word type person i am (LOL) i revised to make them even more personal.
(this was all from a small pamphlet type booklet I read by Charles Capps, God's Creative Power)
and yes to the "why haven't they responded" issue - the old "tapes" kick in and make me question if i've done something wrong - or worse, that i just don't matter to whomever isn't responding.
thank God for, well, His Word and the Truth - and that He is securely planted in my heart and mind and squashes that thinking before it destroys me all over again!
love you sweet!

Wow! What an awesome way to describe it... a long-playing tape. I am now pretty old, but that tape kicks in whenever I feel I *might* be rejected. My emotional abuse came from my childhood. Another 'weird' thing is what you said about thinking abuse was only physical. I wrote a book about healing from abuse, with God, and don't tell anyone it is published. But those words are in the introduction to the book. Wow. It is great to not feel alone.

That I don’t matter, and or the person really isn’t my friend. Satan knows how to play in our minds and he will play there as long as we let him. Knowing the truth the peace in the chaos! Part of Kristy Cambron’s tweet this morning was needing grace like oxygen and I clamped onto that and have been thinking of His grace all day and how blessed I am to have Him as the revealing Truth.
Love you!

Hi Susan! So glad you found my blog. Yes, not feeling alone makes it easier to walk through the valley. I didn’t think of feeling I might be rejected, but that is a perfect way to put it.
Because abuse of all kinds is so rampant in our society today I would love to see pre-marital counseling where both the man and woman are told what to be aware of. I got married for the first time in 1985 and neither abuse or adultery were discussed.
I hope you will stop by again!

Hello! I found you via the WaterBrook Launch Team. It was just a few years ago that I began working through an abusive relationship I'd been in at the age of 16-17. I was abused in every way. A great book that helped me was Journey to Heal by Crystal Southerland. Other books helped, but she had a Facebook private study group. I had no idea that working through the grieving process and forgiveness were not the only steps. All those other things that came from the abuse. Examples are trust issues, low self-worth, low confidence, and a high tolerance for bad behavior. It is a lifelong task to work through these things. Complete healing is not in this lifetime. Thank you for sharing from your life, this is not easy to do, but thank you. I'm over at
I moved from Blogger after 10 years to WordPress.

Thank you for this post. It revealed to me that something I’ve done all my life is yet another fall out from my years of abuse. Starting at age 6 until it ended at age 14, my mother trafficked me to my uncle and his group of pedophiles. I’ve noticed over the years that if I don’t hear from someone I’ve contact I always assume the worst. I think I’ve done something terribly wrong and they are angry or they hate me. It’s a relief to understand the source. Thanks. I’m at spillmrj@plu.ed

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