The Effects of Emotional Abuse
When we talk about abuse most people instantly shift their minds to physical
Or sexual assaults. The instant image that comes to mind when you hear the word abuse connects to physical in some way shape or form. It makes sense because growing up society has taught us that when you place hands on someone in an inappropriate or violent way that is “abuse”. We hear it in the news every single day. We also hear about stories in our own communities. It brings sadness when we hear the latest story of abuse even death, but we live in such a fast-paced society the images do not stay with us long, until the next big story!
The one thing that we never hear about or rarely hear about is emotional abuse and how that can play a big affect on those who suffer silently. They are all around us walking the same steps in life as we do. Some may be children, others teens, and many adults! They silently fit into society internalizing the emotional abuse at the hands of a parent, caregiver, so called friend or partner, and among peers and the work place. It is happening everywhere, but nobody is willing to talk about it.
When someone is emotionally abused repeatedly, it breaks down the psyche. The daily word bashing eventually busts down even the strongest walks melting you into submission. Sometimes it happens without even realizing it as you make excuses inside your mind as to why this is happening. Then you are emotionally stuck, physically paralyzed retracing your steps daily, now walking on egg shells afraid to have an emotion or thought. Daily life as you once knew it is now gone. Sounds awful, doesn’t it??
Now imaging being a child. Think back to a time in your life when you were young and carefree, that feeling of happiness, laughter and fun, then take the next step add in continued criticism, sarcasm, shaming, yelling and the demeaning glare, with a tad of self-righteous bantering. That will definitely change the mindset of an innocent child. The child’s brain is like a sponge taking it all in, and the daily verbal attack changes the child and that once happy child is now, moody, angry, silent then explosive. That once positive smile is now replaced with fear, uncertainty and sadness. Words Hurt! Words Damage! Words Stick!
When I was young and going through my own forms of abuse, emotional abuse was a big one, and it took away my control, my beauty, my self-esteem and my life. I was broken down and beaten on every level. In my memoir “The Unspoken Truth” I talk about how I felt worthless to the world, my abuser told me I was weak and nothing for so long I believed him. I was thirteen years old, Yes, thirteen and when I thought of myself I felt like I was garbage on the bottom of someone’s shoe. I also felt like in some way I deserved it all. What a horrible way to think and feel.
Nobody should ever have to feel this way young or old. We need to take a good look around us and LISTEN. Hear the words of others, and take it in. If it sound demeaning to you, I am sure it is. When others lash out in anger those words can hurt and be far more damaging than others real know.
I ask as you step forward in life choose your words carefully, and if you know someone young or old in this type of situation, ask the questions, offer help. YES, I know many adults in this situation do not know how to get themselves out of this type of environment and feel helpless, but support, positive re-enforcement and encouragement just may be the ticket that sets them free once and for all.
As for children our innocent victims in all this mess, please be that VOICE that helps them through the storm to safe waters. By raising your voice, you may just be saving a life without even know it.
I will continue to raise mine in hopes to bring help, awareness, healing and change! We Stand Together.
Embrace The Journey.