Verbal Abuse IS Abuse

Verbal Abuse IS Abuse

Abuse comes in many forms; verbal, physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, economic, etc. You can read more about these forms of abuse,  here;             

Most of us are familiar with physical and sexual abuse.  What's more, physical and sexual abuse HAVE touched our lives in some way even if the effect isn’t direct, but through the trauma of someone we know and/or love.  However, these other forms of abuse are less discussed, and I want to share some of my experience with one, in particular: verbal abuse.

Growing up in a single-parent household wasn’t always easy, but with a single parent who wasn’t actively dating, or at least not bringing the dates home, there were less opportunities to witness abuse, first hand.  My mother was respectful of us.

My parents split when I was only three, so I don’t have much recollection of them together.  I’ve tried to piece their stories together to make a cohesive explanation to tell myself, but I’m not sure it’s true. What I seem to remember may just be a legend passed down from my mother's and older brother's version. Although, I do remember the plum tree we had from that same time frame. I won't go into the history that far back, though, as it is more of a myth. I do think my parents divorce was a choice that allowed, one of them to escape a relationship that was, at the least, verbally abusive. And that lasted for a nice section of my childhood. The quiet years of my life, from 3 to 9, when I don't recall much yelling or throwing, at all. 

When my parents screamed at each other, the effect it had on me is hard to say, but violence breeds violence, and, at the least, I have had to fight to not repeat the behaviors I grew up learning. I learned to yell loudest and get reddest, and fortunately, only a few of my oldest friends have seen this piece of my personality; this echo of a violence and anger of which I was exposed from a young and tender age.

There were times in my youth that I huddled in fear listening to screaming, degrading words, the throwing of items and the slamming of doors, broken glass and tears. I held my trusty Teddy Bear and wished it would stop.  This was how my father would treat my step mother. I don't know what the reason was, but it was unacceptable.

My mother eventually dated and married someone who is verbally abusive, again. It is something I still see her living with, twenty years later. I can’t begin to understand what makes that situation seem okay to live in, but there are many things that have happened in her life, and something makes her stay.

I feel so fortunate to have grown up without physical abuse, and I have lived through the effects that has on some of my loved ones. It’s hard to believe the human mind is capable of some of the coping mechanisms it has. I’ve done my best to grow and learn; to observe myself, to stop myself, and to avoid situations that would trigger my anger. I do yoga and meditate to help my mind clear and to have a place to bring myself to when I feel the learned behaviors trying to take action.

What verbal abuse looks like, taken from;

Are you experiencing some of the following common displays of verbal abuse?

·         Criticism. You’re never good enough. Harsh, persistent and ongoing.

·         Sarcasm. Cutting, biting tone and attitude.

·         Put-downs. Repeated insults and attacks.

·         Shaming. Disgust, you are bad/wrong “What’s the matter with you?” or “What were you thinking?”

·         Name-calling. Insults disguised as pet names, swearing.

They have a hotline you can call for support – 1.866.223.1111 any time of day, seven days a week.

Mostly, I wanted to write just to say that verbal abuse IS abuse. If someone is yelling at you, telling you that you are worthless when you do something as simple as spill some milk, that is not acceptable. You deserve better, and so do your children. Get help and get out. You are the only one that can do it.

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Grey Morgan is the same person as everyone, works at a bakery and loves puppies, from Asheville NC, and hopes to make the world a better place. 

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