If someone calls you derogatory names, even if they say they are joking, they mean to hurt you and keep you in line. Abusers sometimes cover themselves by blaming you, saying that you need to lighten up or that you are too sensitive. You are not too sensitive; you are feeling in your gut that this is not the way you should be treated. Abusers have a way of making you think that this is normal behavior and that it is you who has the problem.

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