Verbal Abuse and the Effects

Finally! It’s time for Mars to come out of it’s retrograde and go direct again! Anymore aggression from those around me and the feeling of blood boiling within myself as well, may have sent me into cardiac arrest if it persisted -_-

One thing that I have really been struggling with the over the last couple of weeks is the amount of verbal attacks, insults, criticism, threats, sly comments, and outright bullying I have been victim to, been a witness of, or guilty myself. (Here is where I want to defend myself and justify any single time that I was rude or mean. I would like to tell you that I didn’t mean it, but I know that in the moment of any such argument, I definitely mean(t) it. Although I do feel as though my fuse is much longer than others, I know that at times I have said things that were most likely crossing a line.)

Feeling as though I’m being attacked from every angle, by multiple people, for totally unrelated things, I have began to fall under a pretty deep depression. I have genuinely been feeling like my life has been going in a more positive direction and that I’m working really hard to form lasting relationships with my kids. As I’m beginning to feel joyfulness in life again, my perception is that the rug was pulled from under me and as I fall, multiple people are yelling at me that it is my fault. Not only are they defensive and swearing they didn’t pull the wrong, they also belittle me for even falling, and then shame me for even standing on the rug (which was totally unsuspecting and quite beautiful).

To me, it’s obvious that they are guilty of pulling on the rug. Perhaps they were unaware that I would fall, but since I did fall, no one wants to admit pulling it. Instead, they blame me, mock me, and try to convince me that I’m overreacting with my feelings of confusion and disbelief. Although no one admitted pulling it, they want me to get over it anyway and move on.

I could have moved on very quickly if whoever pulled the rug had just confessed they pulled the rug and realized it was a mistake to pull the rug. Since no one admitted to it, however, and wanted me to feel stupid/crazy/ashamed for the entire situation, my natural reaction is to either get angry by these reactions toward me or isolate myself because I’ve been pushed out. Later, this results in feelings of hopelessness and loneliness.

How to Know if You’re Being Verbally Abused or Bullied:

  • If criticism isn’t friendly, out of a place of love and compassion, or isn’t helpful and honest.
  • If someone is being demeaning, belittling, mocking, or speaking to you unkindly or out of anger
  • When another person uses threats as a way to control or manipulate you
  • If the “conversation” leaves you feeling small, worthless, highly anxious or nervous, stupid, or with any other types of negative feelings about yourself that you didn’t previously have
  • If someone calls you names they know you don’t like, maliciously mocks you, or purposely uses words to make you question yourself, your beliefs, and/or your own feelings
  • If a person or people gang up on you to seclude you from the rest of the group to make you feel unworthy or inadequate of being within it
  • If you’re singled out, publicly shamed, humiliated, disgraced, shunned or rejected without reason, or used as the example for the current jokes
  • If someone yells at you, threatens you, or curses at you threateningly, shows their aggressive feelings to scare you to have power and control over you
  • If they use the helpful or necessary things they have done for you in the past to justify their current treatment toward you or act as if you suddenly owe them; so their abuse toward you is apparently evening the scores
  • If you came to them with something that was bothering you and their reaction is defensive and quickly turns to everything that you have done wrong instead, turning the conversation back on you so that you’ll question whether or not you’re actually right for feeling that way – confusing you
  • When someone tells you that they must be right because others agree with them, making you feel like you’re already losing because everyone is on their side by saying things like, “everyone sees who you really are. It’s not just me. I’m just the only one who’s honest enough to tell you that you’re lazy and weak-willed. And I actually tell you this to help you out so you’ll make healthy changes.”
  • When someone goes to multiple people saying negative things about you to put you under a microscope of doubt and scrutiny, trying to isolate you, while keeping you at arms length so that you’ll continue to come back to them
  • When a person uses a secret you trusted them with as blackmail, a bargaining chip, or a way to put more focus on you so you’ll be in question
  • When someone purposely speaks over you, ignores you, or interrupts you personally and not others
  • When a person takes back promises, offers, or responsibilities because you didn’t do what they wanted you to do or didn’t react they way they wanted you to react
  • If someone suddenly leaves you with more responsibility than is fair because they convince you that you deserve to have to do more because you never do enough or convince you they do a much better job and you should “step it up”, even if they have no such proof
  • And many, many more!

Can Verbal Abuse Sound Friendly?

Some tactics of verbal abuse are quite underhanded and hardly even noticeable to anyone except the victim, making it hard for even the target of the abuse to realize they are indeed being abused. Oftentimes, attacks are smothered between words and sentences that sound friendly, innocent, and merely concerned for the person under attack.

When the victim becomes defensive, upset, or angry in regards to the treatment they’re receiving, they often receive reactions that make the abuser appear shocked to be accused of being a bully after they did so well to cover their assaults. After all, no one wants to be the bad guy and they especially don’t like to freely admit that they have actually been the bad guy.

It is also not uncommon for many families to pick a person to single out, oftentimes pushing them to become estranged. In society, this is generally known as “the black sheep” of the family. Unfortunately, once a family member or two have decided this person is not living the way they think they should be or isn’t acting in a way that suits the family’s reputation, the other family members will seemingly join in pushing the victim away from the family; as they’re manipulated by the bullies.

What are the Effects of Verbal Abuse?

The biggest effects from being verbally abused is gaining anxiety, loneliness, isolation, gaining feelings of unworthiness, hopelessness, helplessness, depression, sadness, emptiness, body tension, headaches, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, over-eating, under-eating, little self-worth, self-respect, lack of trust in others, feelings of being betrayed, abandoned, or rejected, body dysmorphia, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, poor hygiene, OCD, behavioral, intellectual, emotional, or personality disorders, and even PTSD.

Verbal abuse can have consequences that last a lifetime. It can create feelings of chaos and confusion, paranoia of others, feeling disliked or even hated by everyone, feeling useless, unwanted, or like you don’t have a place in the world. It is not uncommon for people to be accused of things they’re not guilty of to, in fact, act out out of anger and sadness, or to prove a point, react in the ways they’ve been accused of and actually becoming that person because they feel as if they have nothing to lose or thinking that they “might as well” be the person everyone said they were.

If a person has experienced verbal abuse for the majority of their childhood, especially by a parent, they likely will suffer from being uncertain of their intuitive feelings. They can even frequently hear their abusers voice in their head putting them down and being critical of them instead of feeling motivated and finding a clear path they feel safe and confident walking on.

Alcohol and drug addiction are frequent dependencies for abuse victims because they want to shut their negative thought patterns down or forget the way they feel about themselves and how they think everyone else feels about them. Risky or promiscuous sexual behavior, attention-seeking behavior, poor eating habits, smoking cigarettes, and forming co-dependent relationships are also common. Unfortunately, if help is not found for victims, many of them do and will turn to suicide.

Where Can Victims Find Help?

There are many forms of abuse, so I have provided a link that includes hotlines for several different organizations that assist in helping those who are or have been abused. https://victimconnect.org/resources/national-hotlines/

Here are Shelters: https://www.domesticshelters.org/

A Helpful Link Filled with Other Resources for Therapy: https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health-resources#finding-therapy

The suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255 and further information can be found on suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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