am seventeen years old, and
I have been seriously involved
with a nineteen year old for
a year and a half. I love my
partner completely, and could
not have asked for a more wonderful
guy. He is loving, supportive
of me, and believes in gender
equality. He has never hurt
me physically or verbally, but
the problem is that I hurt him.
The abuse is mainly verbal -
I yell at him, scream at him.
I try so hard not to and the
trying often alleviates the
situation, but it is often beyond
my control. I do it without
realizing it. I don't feel that
this abuse is an expression
of anger towards him. It mostly
arises in situations in which
he tries to "help" me.
suffer from social anxiety disorder,
so consequently, I have great
difficulties expressing my opinions,
socializing, or having discussions.
He encourages me to participate
in social events, and when I
feel uncomfortable in these,
I often cry, withdraw, or panic.
When he either tries to make
me feel better in these situations
or tries to encourage this socialization
in the first place, the result
a lot of the time is verbal
abuse on my part. It is rarely
an expression of anger, but
usually one of either fear,
embarrassment, or self-loathing.
However, this has become something
I'm really concerned about because
the abuse has turned physical
as well. I have thrown things
at him, and I have hit him twice.
The last time this happened
(today), I apologized, and he
said that it didn't mean anything
to him because it will happen
KNOW he's right, and that scares
me. I do not come from an abusive
family, and my parents have
an egalitarian relationship.
I don't know what's wrong with
me. I know this site focuses
on violence against women, but
I feel that violence committed
by women is just as much of
a feminist issue. I feel extremely
isolated because this issue
is supposedly a "rare" one ,
and my isolation is compounded
by my social anxiety. If you
could please refer me to some
books, web sites, or organizations
that could possibly help me,
I would greatly appreciate it.
do you know if there is a correlation
between abuse and social anxiety
disorder? I do not want to lose
him, nor do I want to continue
hurting him. Thank you for responding.
I don't think that women are
any more benevolent than men,
however, I think that we are
more likely to suffer consequences
-- either in the form of judgement
by society or abuse -- for acting
otherwise, therefore, we appear
to be more kind. I am not a
psychologist, and therefore,
won't pretend that I have a
diagnosis for you. However,
I do encourage you to find that
diagnosis. There is a directory
of women's services at feminist.com,
and they can help you find a
doctor in your area.
there are several resources
for women and depression. It
seems that you have a fear of
letting people help you--you
don't want to "need" others.
However, we all need others
and pretending we don't usually
means our own self-destruction.
Even though your parents and
your boyfriend are supportive,
maybe there was someone else
in your childhood that is at
the root of these feelings,
this repression. I don't know,
but I think that your asking
the questions is the first step
toward trying to remedy the
situation and I'm glad that
your boyfriend will work through
it with you. I hope you get
the diagnosis that you are looking
for and that you need.