How does anyone really begin to define verbal abuse? For each person may define it differently. I think we all have different capacities of tolerance based on our upbringing, our environment, our genuine nature, and the ability to escape the verbal abuser (for hours, a day, a week, etc).
If you have never experienced a constant barrage of verbal assaults and abuse, you may assume that what you did really really bothered that person and they were angry. You may assume that this person has an anger problem and does not know how to handle their emotions like you, so you tolerate the behavior because you feel sorry for them. You may assume that if you argue back or debate their issue, you could be in danger. It is a very unhealthy spiral and leads to a BROKEN HEART AND CRUSHED SPIRIT.
~~4 COMMON SIGNS OF VERBAL ABUSE~~
1. You never know WHAT will set this person off. The occurrence that this abuser thinks is relevant could be that you used the ground beef to make meat loaf when you had no idea this was their intention and it sets off a huge firestorm. This person misplaces THEIR keys, wallet, credit card, etc and YOU become their target of blame and they force you to stop whatever you are doing with all sorts of verbal assaults of your faults. A common figure of speech in regards to this sign of verbal abuse is, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”. You never know how a day can turn on a dime and leave you crushed in spirit!
2. Your once pretty confident self has big-time diminished! Maybe you have accomplished great things in a career or come from a loving family where you felt confident to love life well. Usually the verbal abuser, lacking much self confidence themselves, will need to put you down as much as possible. They will diminish your accomplishments. They will make you feel ugly and unattractive over and over. They whittle away at the parts of you that actually they initially fell in love with, ironically. They discourage you in your career or your passions and then when the income suffers, that gives them ANOTHER reason to attack your self esteem of not financially providing or contributing well to the family.
3. This abuser of your heart and soul will also take simple joys away from you. It may be a gym membership. They may begin to put down the loving relationships you have with family or/and friends. They may highly discourage those loving relationships because not only are they jealous, but it will keep you dependent on them. Things that give you a sense of joy and bring beauty in your life, if they are aware of these, can be one by one taken away from you. There is a severe form of mental, verbal and emotional abuse called Stockholm Syndrome. It is a psychological response where a “captive” begins to closely identify with their captor, going into survival mode. Marriage and children can complicate an ability to leave a situation and the abused feels trapped and allows most freedoms to be removed. It could be as sad as a child being raised in a home where that is all they know, with no escape.
4. Your nerves are on edge all the time. Due to the constant “walking on eggshells” and the unannounced verbal assaults, consisting of yelling and/or cursing, you feel like you have the jitters all the time. You feel like you cannot calm down or that you are on the verge of a breakdown. You may cry at things you normally would not. You may even find yourself defensive and arguing back at things that would not be worth a fight. You feel your own nature changing to meet the harsh demands of this abuser and it is taking its toll on your own mental, emotional, and physical health.
This person you have allowed into your life, that you grew to love is now hurting your very fiber. They are stealing the positive legacy that God intended for you to leave! I understand -wholeheartedly- feeling “stuck” with no options. You have to start with telling ONE safe person. If you have alienated yourself out of depression or because this significant other has for you, you need to selectively reach out to those that love you genuinely. That is a first step. And, being a strong believer in Christ (even in hardships, and YES I questioned Him and what purpose any of that held!! I was hurt and upset!!), I would highly suggest reading your Bible. If you do not own one, go get an easy to read version. If you find that funds are too tight, go to a local church and ask someone on staff. Do you know how many Bibles are left there. You may find a new friend and get a special Bible. I am not a fan of the King James version, but that is just my preference. I get lost in the “thee’s and thou’s formality” and in 3 versus, I am wondering what I will make for dinner!
Start with the very beginning, Genesis. Take your time and soak in all that God created. Each book of the Bible leading to the New Testament, has its own theme, shock, and beauty. Pray and you will begin to see small and large miracles only you will be aware of. That part is so incredible.
I encourage you to take walks and be out in nature. Use this time to re-calibrate your nerves. Practice the simple pleasures that give your mind a reprieve from the abuse. You know the things that bring you simple joy! Practice those. TAKE STEPS TO HEAL YOUR BROKEN HEART!
In the meantime, I will be praying for you as a whole. If you want me to pray for you by name with specifics, you can message me or leave a comment. God bless!