Verbal abuse can often go unnoticed because it does not have visible impacts like physical abuse.
Verbal abuse can often go unnoticed because it does not have visible impacts like physical abuse. The detrimental nature of abusive words hit deeper than physical abuse. When one goes through physical abuse, the wounds can heal probably leaving visible scars.
However, the wounds of verbal maltreatment remain in the psychology system, thus; affecting the victim’s development and progress.
About my experience
I was raised in an extremely violent environment. Every week presented violent drama that ended up with my mother being battered by her husband (who was my stepfather at the time). I don't remember ever feeling safe and I could wet the bed out of anxiety.
I was called stupid and a good for nothing for years. Whenever I expressed myself, I was shut down with beatings and threats. As I grew up, I developed unhealthy coping mechanisms such as extreme introvert tendencies.
I have always felt unwanted and alone. It has taken quite a long time to rewire my mind and renew the perspectives about myself.
Evaluating your own experience
Verbal abuse can go unnoticed especially if your parents provided your basic needs. Parents can use derogative and demeaning words on you then show affection later. This can be confusing on how to feel about the whole situation.
You know you have been abused and what your parent is doing is wrong. However, you avoid speaking up for yourself because you fear their reaction. Or, you just know it will be fighting a losing battle.
In my experience, I began my healing journey after self-evaluation that sparked deep awareness of my pain and struggle.
Awareness is the gateway to self-realization. This way, one can harness the effects of childhood abuse to levels of consciously controlling how they express the pain.
In this blog, we are going to discuss how to evaluate your own childhood verbal abuse experience. The following six steps will enable you to tap into the relevant memories of your experience.
- You were frequently frustrated because your intentions were being misunderstood.
- Your parent was angry with you several times a week.
- When you bring up the issue at hand it’s not dully acknowledged.
- You often wondered what was wrong with you.
- Your view was always wrong.
- When you try to discuss your view your parent/s were either angry or have no idea what you are talking about.
1.Your parent was angry with you several times a week.
Growing up, you just could not live your best life. No matter what you did there was always a fault. Being yourself and expressing as the child that you were caused you more trouble than good.
For instance, your mother was probably a clean freak and you were not allowed to go against the grain. You had to wash dishes a certain way or clean up in her best fashion. Missing a spot resulted in name-calling and belittling.
What are three major experiences that come to mind when you think of your experience? Why do you believe your parent/s was angry with you?
2.You were frequently frustrated because your intentions were not understood.
Growing up, I could barely explain the reason why I made a mistake. A mistake was the parent’s perspective and judgment towards my actions. My intentions could have been playful or just naughty. However, the punishment was ambiguous where I was called names and thrashed until I begged for mercy.
Give an example where your intentions were grossly misunderstood and you ended up being punished.
3. When you bring up the issue at hand, it's not dully acknowledged.
Abusive parents are manipulative and narcissistic. When you call out their actions, they will dismiss their actions and will barely be accountable. Whenever I reminded my mother of her abusive instances she often claimed to have forgotten. Nonetheless, these instances remain so alive in my mind and reality.
The problem is we are not the things we do. Children are human beings. They can have bad days as well as adults. In your experience, you were probably abused for just having an off day. You could not express what was bothering you. You had to follow protocol and if not you were abused for it.
Do you feel like you were acknowledged much as a child?
4.You often wondered what was wrong with you.
In what specific ways do you often feel like something is wrong with you?
Verbal abuses have lasting consequences because they are often continuous and repetitive. Extreme verbal abuse can eventually make someone feel like something is wrong with them.
Name-calling and belittling can eventually influence a person’s perspective of self. The ideologies that you are not good enough can cripple your thinking process, thus; making one believe they are less.
Verbal abuse causes the victim to verbally abuse themselves and eventually abuse others.
5.Your view was always wrong.
There is no winning with an abusive parent. It is often their way or the high road. Such individuals barely apologize and they think their view is always right.
When you counter-argue to express your view they will claim you are rude or proud then they will remind you how they think you are stupid and your view means nothing.
What are some of the experiences where your view was not respected as a child?
6.When you tried to discuss your view your parent/s were either angry or had no idea what you are talking about.
Did you ever try to discuss your view when your parent was angry with you? How did it go?
In my experience, whenever I tried to explain why I did what I did, I was dismissed. My parent shut my sentiments with claims that my reasons were invalid. They said I was trying to convince them. However, this was not my intention. I was simply trying to express my thought process.
Verbal abuse is detrimental to a child’s progress. Long-term exposure to extreme adversity causes self-esteem issues in a child's development.
Research done on college students found that the students who were raised in abusive environments experienced mental illness symptoms ADHD .depression, disassociation, and anxiety in their young adult life.
Through self-evaluation, one can become aware of what they are going through. It is imperative to note that these experiences can be alchemized into healed and more conscious expressions.