This was originally published on Liberal America on July 28, 2016.
When you hear the term abuse, you probably think of violence. However, there are many ways people abuse each other. You may only think of verbal abuse as being a product of schoolyard bullying, but it happens in many other kinds of relationships. Many people in romantic relationships experience verbal abuse from their partner. Parents often abuse their children as well.
There are several signs that you may be experiencing verbal abuse. Here aresome of those:
Verbal abuse can cause real hurt and stress to the victim. You may feel like you just can’t communicate. You may end up with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression or anxiety. You may believe “things will be better later.” You just keep telling yourself that things will get better after you find a job, get a promotion, get married, etc…
Here is one powerful story of a survivor:
“Whoever made up that rhyme about “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me” was just plain wrong! Words do hurt. People who are subjected to verbal abuse suffer. People who are subjected to it over time can get so used to it that they lose their sense of themselves as people worth loving.”
Parents can also be verbally abusive as well. Here is a story:
“Wondering if any of you have spent time picking through Mother’s Day cards, yet can’t seem to find one what truly expresses your feelings?”
“Well, for years I have – then usually end up allowing my frustration with the process to cause me to just grab one and go.”
“It has taken many years for me to realize WHY I couldn’t find an appropriate sentiment, and now that I understand my motivations I’ve come up with one that truly represents my feelings.”
It is not just young children experiencing abuse. Adult children can face abuse as well. It can hurt just as bad when your parents treat you badly as a result. They may question your life choices or turn political discussions personal. They may call you nasty things and treat you like you are stupid. Spread the word! Stop the abuse now!