Verbal abuse shouldn’t be overlooked and thought of as something that just happens or is a part of a person’s personality. Yet, the reality is, a victim may tolerate the verbal abuse because it isn’t physical in nature. Anytime someone is critical, using hurtful words, or making threats, it is a method being used to control another person. Hurtful words can cause a victim to feel worthless and inadequate. The person may begin to believe the words that are spoken to him/her. Victims of abuse suffer from thoughts and emotions that range from sadness, depression, anxiety, and a fixation on self-harm and/or suicide. For some, the suicidal thoughts become more intense and thoughts become actions. Abuse is about power and control over the victim and causes fear and feelings of low self-worth and low self-esteem. Victims fear leaving for many reasons which ultimately keeps them in unhealthy relationships.
Initially, the abuser may say he/she was “teasing” after the harmful words are spoken. Once the words are spoken, the relationship is bruised and part of the victim’s belief in self is diminished. As the relationship continues, the verbal abuse becomes more hurtful and damaging. Abusers verbally demean victims face-to-face and digitally on social media, text messages, and emails. They use various tactics such as insulting, name-calling, and embarrassment in private and in public places.
Verbal abuse includes:
- Calling the victim degrading names
- Telling the victim about sex with another man/woman
- Puts down your goals and dreams but eagerly brings awareness to your mistakes
- Threatens to commit suicide if you leave
- Blames you for the abuse
- Threatens to share personal videos he/she has taken and post on social media or share with your family
- Doesn’t allow you to communicate freely with him/her or anyone else
- Threatens to harm you, your children, family, friends, or pets
- Dismissing the hurtful comments
Healing from a verbally abusive relationship begins with acknowledging the abuse. The victim must also be open to the healing process and place the blame where it belongs, on the abuser and not himself/herself. Seeking support of trusted family members, friends, counselors, and support groups allows for confidential communication and guidance. Victims can check with their employer to learn whether counseling services are offered to employees. Meditating and journaling can also help with the healing process.
Remember, you are WORTHY!
Wonderful “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 NIV
Original “You are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 GWT
Righteous “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10 NKJV
Transforming “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
Hopeful “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NIV
Yearning for God’s plan “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
One of the goals of healing from a verbally abusive relationship is to increase one’s self-esteem, self-love, and self-worth. Yes, a focus on self. If children are involved, as the healing process continues to evolve, the children benefit from a healthier relationship with the parent. As a person heals from the verbal onslaughts and ongoing negativity of an unhealthy relationship, he/she embraces the essence to Love Himself / Herself to Life!
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please CALL 911.
For crisis and counseling services, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. Hotline advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to provide confidential crisis intervention, safety planning, information, and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.