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Recognize Signs of Verbal Abuse – How To Stop Verbal Abuse (Part 6)

Sometimes the Signs of Verbal Abuse Are Difficult to Spot

Verbal, emotional and mental abuse eats you alive from the inside out, usually due to the abuser’s instruction. Abuse victims are expected to be silent about the types of problems they have at home. Abusers want to project the happy family image at all costs because if their victim appears unhappy and shows the signs of verbal abuse, then the abuser suffers the embarrassment of not being able to satisfy you in the eyes of his adoring public.

Many, if not most, controlling, abusive people have an “adoring public” – they are well thought of at church, work, PTA, by the neighbors, and in the community at large. The abuser’s stature in society is often a secondary aspect of their control and fuels the abuser’s ability to isolate you. Who would believe you if you told about how he acts at home? If you thought, “No one” then your abuser has effectively isolated you to the point of despondency.

The thoughts and feelings victims of abuse often feel are cumulative, built on doubt and humiliation over time. Verbal abuse is sneaky, hidden in the words of someone who says he loves you. It takes a while, sometimes a long while, for victims to realize they have changed into a traumatized and pained shadow of their former selves.

There are some common signs and symptoms of verbal abuse and emotional abuse that victims share. They’re internal and unseen by any outsider the abuser brings near his “happy family”.

Symptoms of Verbal Abuse, Emotional Abuse

  • You feel as if you are paraded about like a silent trophy when you attend group functions for his work or activities. You’re afraid to say much of anything when out with him for fear of later retribution for saying the wrong thing.
  • You distrust your ability to make sound decisions for yourself or family; you go along with his poor decisions without much resistance.
  • You feel uneasy or anxious much of the time; you may jump at small recognizable sounds or feel your heart pounding “for no reason”.
  • You do not get excited over much of anything; if you are excited over a positive event, then that excitement doesn’t last long because you begin to wonder how to present the news to your abuser in order to get the best possible reaction from him.
  • You think that you are crazy; you feel that you need professional help to overcome your deficiencies.
  • Your internal voices are critical, judgmental, overpowering at times, and abusive; you hear the abusive words and phrases he speaks to you in your own internal dialogue.
  • You keep telling yourself it will be better when he retires, the children are grown, he gets that promotion, he finishes that project, after lunch,…You continually wait for the “good times”.
  • You believe that one day your abuser will realize how good of a wife or husband you’ve been and will be sorry; the abuser will do a complete 180 culminating in his/her admiration and support for you. This belief is compounded by the periods of “niceness” in which your abuser backpedals his negative behaviors for long enough to allow you to think “it’s different this time” (aka “the honeymoon period”).

Signs of Verbal Abuse, Emotional Abuse: Feeling Eaten Alive

Those signs and symptoms of verbal abuse and emotional abuse are what eat you from the inside out. No one in this world can know what you think or feel unless you tell them (telling your abuser doesn’t count – he doesn’t care). If you recognized yourself in the list of symptoms, then it is up to you to change your thinking because what you think is killing you.stress

You will stress your body and mind in ways so twisted that you no longer see his (her) abuse as stressful. Your abuser doesn’t have to work as hard to control you when you are preoccupied with thinking that you are good for nothing. If your abuser succeeds in turning your thoughts around to the point where you no longer blame him (the abuse) but instead blame yourself, then his work is a whole lot easier.

Chronic stress caused by verbal abuse or any kind of abuse can lead to or cause a number of physical diseases:

  • Heart problems
  • Immune system deficiencies
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Stomach issues
  • Sexual and reproductive problems
  • Lung troubles
  • Skin/Complexion issues

The symptoms of verbal abuse, emotional abuse will literally eat you alive. It’s your choice whether you allow that to happen or not. Your thinking patterns feed your biological disease, so the best thing to do is change what you think.

You cannot change your abuser, you can only change your Self.

How Do I Stop the Verbal Abuse? (Part 1)
Reach Out – How to Stop Verbal Abuse (Part 2)
Educate Yourself – How to Stop Verbal Abuse (Part 3)
Self Reliance – How to Stop Verbal Abuse (Part 4)
Develop an Exit Strategy – How to Stop Verbal Abuse (Part 5)
How To Stop Verbal Abuse – Wrap-Up (Part 6 – final article in series)

Connect with Kellie Jo Holly on facebook or twitter and read more at Verbal Abuse Journals

This entry was posted in Abuse in Marriage, Abuse in Relationships, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Stopping Verbal Abuse, Verbal Abuse Signs, Work Place Abuse and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Recognize Signs of Verbal Abuse – How To Stop Verbal Abuse (Part 6)

  1. Sunny says:

    what is if your abuser is an licensed caretaker .. a psychiatrist? signs and symptoms are as written.

  2. Kellie Holly says:

    Abusers are drawn to the “helping fields” because their (clients, flocks, patients) automatically see them as authority figures. The brainwashing and verbal manipulation work much better and quicker on people who come to them seeking help.

    Find a new psychiatrist as soon as possible.

  3. Kaajal says:

    I’ve discovered after such a long time in my life that I was abused by my mum b4 marriage and to an extent by my brother as well. Through marriage it was my husband and a constant pendulum I was to swing to and fro, goaded by my folks to go back. I left him finally and came to my folks’ but things don’t get better do they? They’ve gotten worse here and my husband refuses to pay a single rupee as maintenance 4 our son or me.

  4. Mike says:

    What if your abuser is a woman. My wife is extremely abusive. It sorks. Because I ama man nobody would believe that I could be the victim. Our children, however, are very clever. I think they will not forgive her for beibg so evil to me and them… Cant take it any more after 17 years!

  5. Kellie Holly says:

    Mike, I know several people who would believe you are abused by your wife, myself included. Domestic violence and abuse is not only a man on woman thing and new studies are showing that women perpetrate DV in just about equal proportions as men. The thing that sucks for women is that they’re more likely to be killed by their abuser than a man is to be killed by his female abuser. That fact does not take away from the damage abuse causes to you (man or woman!). Check out Survivors’ Mentors – I’ve got someone in mind who could help you feel better and maybe even get the heck out of there!

  6. Julie says:

    Mike, my stepfather was abused by his first wife and he suffered the same as us women who are abused, and I often suspect much worse due to the stigma associated with males being abused. He was a police chief in their city and carried a weapon, so who would believe this tiny woman could abuse him? No one. Not even family. Her verbal and emotional abuse escalated over many years into attempted physical abuse and when he’d simply try to hold her off him, she’d call and report the opposite, that he was abusing her. He’d wake in the middle of the night to find her sitting on top of him with his service revolver pointed at his mouth, then when he’d wrestle her off him and take it back, she’d report that he drew it on her. And everyone believes the woman, right? He had a young son he was incredibly concerned about but eventually, due to society’s stigmas and doubts, and lack of support, he divorced her and moved 2000 miles away for his own safety. He feared she’d kill him if he stayed. He had to essentially start over in his career, but I know he’d tell you it was well worth it. He was then able to take control over his own life, regain his self respect and personal power, and move forward to happiness with my mom, new friends, and a great relationship with his son. I wish you all the best and do understand. I am in a horribly verbally and emotionally abusive relationship, and recently had my light bulb moment that it would never change. I’m now actively working to get myself out. My husband was not always this way, but his family was. He and I both prided ourselves on working very hard not to be like our dysfunctional family members, his having anger issues and mine having addiction issues. I never was tempted by alcohol or drugs, and feel successfully free from those worries, but he eventually succumbed. I am fiercely independent and no one who knows me would ever believe I’d end up in a situation like this, least of all me. But it happened. I have begged, pleaded, screamed, yelled and cried over the years as I saw the signs emerging, but it didn’t stop. And I now realize he’s too far gone and it won’t. It’s worse with each passing day and he’s trying harder than ever to totally isolate me from friends, family and even pets. He’s jealous of everyone and everything in my life. He’s certainly jealous of my strength. He began having life-threatening health issues about 4 years ago and I revived him on numerous occasions. I never said a word when he regained consciousness, but the doctors told him how my efficient actions saved him, and it seemed to fuel his behavior. He seems to resent me for it. That’s when things really escalated, and now his father is dying, and it’s escalating again. I fear physical abuse is in my future if I don’t get out soon. He’s already punched holes in doors and walls, destroyed furniture, etc. And he always turns it around on me, of course. Something clicked last week as I watched him raging out of control over something minute and inconsequential, thinking he’d have a heart attack at any moment with his veins popping out and chest heaving. I asked him to look at himself, to tell me if couldn’t see that his reaction was completely inconsistent with the situation? He told me it was my fault because I was “deliberately pushing his buttons.” In that moment I realized as much as I once loved and respected this man, all of it was gone. I am now married to a stranger, one that I don’t like, much less could be in love with. I realized I need to do whatever possible now to get my life back and be safe. His problems are his own and I am not responsible for them. He’s his own worst enemy and I’ve given him every opportunity to get counseling or whatever help he needs. I’m also beyond caring what lies he will tell his family or others about me when we separate. I am a strong woman and I’m getting out! I pray you’ll do the same!

  7. Kim says:

    I have been married for almost 15 years, and looking back on it, I believe the verbal abuse started almost right away. A couple of years ago, I had an emotional affair with another man who really made me see what was happening at home. Unfortunately, he had manipulated me too and turned out that I was just a rebound girl and he didn’t really mean anything he told me. My husband found out, and things got even worse.
    I’m miserable. I have four kids and I stay for them because I’m afraid of what their life would be like if we were no longer together. I don’t have the courage or the money to leave. I just finally started working part-time after staying at home for almost 13 years, but trying to do it all has left me exhausted and landed me in the hospital with pneumonia for a week this winter. I know financially I could never make it on my own, and I have no support system to reach out to for help. I feel like I’m dying inside. This isn’t the person I used to be and it makes me so sad that I can see the circle of abuse happening but I don’t know how to break free of it. Please help…

  8. tina says:

    hi everyone,
    glad I found this sure, its very interesting. I’ve recently left an abusive, mostly mentally, and just wondered, can this type of abusive relationship make your brain have some type of trauma? I ask because I just kind of lost the plot towards the end, my head was kind of making a crackling noise and began an affair, not even able to think of the consequences. people kept telling me what they would be but I felt away with the fairies. I went to see a phsychiatrist to ask her if id gone mad, and she said I was just fine. still worries me though, was it some sort of break down, I had.net enough big time, relentless crap!! :(

  9. Lydia says:

    Kim I totally understand where you are at. I am trapped like you and feel like I’m dying inside. When I read your comment, thought I was reading about myself. My husband is being very loving at the moment because I emotionally cracked a few days ago and I’m very down. When I’m down he is happy, when I have strength he does not cope. He likes to be the Saviour. He does not believe he verbally abuses me. I am a sexual abuse survivor, suffering PTSD. I understand that victims are difficult to deal with, I’ve been seeking to get better for 14 years now, but I do not believe I have to put up with being criticized nearly everyday and yelled and and feeling like I’m walking on eggshells. I constantly fear that I’m going to get into trouble like a naughty little girl.
    I’m looking at all of my options at the moment….having just told a few very good friends what’s been going on for years….. Much to their disbelief. He is the good guy…everyone loves him….I’m seen as the problem, the one with the issues. It is the most heartbreaking thing for me to have to deal with….being misunderstood.

  10. Cooper says:

    I’m in the same boat as Kim and Lydia; however, my friends have seen it for years. I, on the other hand, always thought it was me. If I wouldn’t do this…he would stop. If I would do this…he would be nicer. After 10 years of marriage and reading this blog, it hasn’t been me all along. There were times he called me a skank, whore, he told me was going to have sex with other girls, and I would yell back at him and then I would apologize thinking if I was a better wife he wouldn’t say those things. Now I look at myself and don’t even see the person I was many years ago. I finally left and taking it one day at a time. There are times where I still feel its my fault and if I’m making the right decision but my friends and family are helping me through.

  11. Andrea says:

    I have been in an abusive relationship for just about 8 years. Just a couple of months ago my husband and I separated and stopped living together to give each other space but still work on our relationship and now we have been talking about getting a divorce. Things haven’t gotten any better at all. He is the meanest person I know- I’ve told him that before… I don’t want the meanest person I know to be my husband… So why am I still so emotionally connected to him, why can’t I just do what I know is right and divorce him? I have a strong support system in place and I will be just fine without him but I just have this overwhelming need to “help” him get better. I don’t think he realizes that he is abusive- when I say that I don’t want to take his abuse anymore he says “yeah, I don’t either” that just makes me so frustrated! He is very good at turning everything around on me to make it seem like he is the true victim. How do you shut off the love you still have for someone and the need to help… I feel selfish for not staying in the relationship and trying to make it work… So confused!!

  12. Kellie Holly says:

    Andrea, one of the keys to NOT worrying about your abusers mental health/happiness is time and distance. Distance is physical distance, but also cutting yourself off from email, text, phone calls, facebook, twitter, etc. It will feel like you’re being mean. He’ll accuse you of abandoning him or being stubborn and unwilling to work with him on the divorce (that’s what attorneys are for). The love and compassion you have for him is better placed elsewhere. Perhaps a friend in your support network could use a bit more attention, or maybe you could ask those supporting you if you could call them when you feel guilt about whatever you think you’re doing to him.

    While you’re at it, delete his friends phone numbers and facebook profiles too. They’re his friends. Let him have them. By blocking them on facebook and deleting their numbers from your phone, you’ll be less likely to try to connect with him through his friends.

    In time, and with the distance from communication, you will discover some new (possibly hurtful) things that he’s done. Your mind and heart will disentangle from him and everything concerning your relationship will seem clearer – and it will become easier to detach and let him go.

    A few words about divorce:
    Keep as much of the communication with him in front of attorney’s or through attorney’s as possible. (Watch out though! My atty charged me $5 for every email. Cost $100 before I got the first bill and figured that out!)

    Your feelings of attachment and desire to help him are normal. However, those feelings will also screw you in a divorce settlement. Don’t think for one minute he won’t use your feelings to get what he wants. Instead of working it out on your own, try court mediation.

  13. Sue says:

    I have been in a relationship with the same man for 13 years. I am wondering now if he has verbally and/or mentally abused me. We have had many screaming/shouting matches over the past years and I was so fed up with him last year that I attempted suicide by taking a bunch of pills and left a letter for him. He found me hunched over on the couch drooling and called the ambulance and I was in the hospital and then sent to the Psych Ward for a week. They never helped me and the meds they gave me didn’t help. I had to go to my own shrink and get my meds fixed. We are planning to get married in May, and now I am having second thoughts. We have been meeting with the pastor, and I think that she may recognize his behaviors becuase she has called him out on some and it made him angry and he felt like she was picking on him and that I threw him under the bus and was yelling and screaming at me on the way home. She cut our visit short because she didn’t think we were on the same page with the wedding. Some of my co-workers want to throw me a Bridal Shower and when I told him he said I couldn’t have one and I had to say no and I told him I couldn’t do that and I was not going to ruin someone else’s happiness in doing something special for me. The pastor called him out on that and told him I am 46 years old and can make my own decisions. Last night, he became angry with me over something stupid (as usual) and began screaming very loudly at me in my face and was so mad that he was spitting in my face. This was the angriest I have ever seen him and his face was turning beet red. I was so scared I thought he was going to hit me. I told him that he was a freak and he needed to quit yelling at me because I had not done anything to him. He kept yelling at me and I was backing up to the couch and he kept gettting closer and closer. He said I was the one who was a freak and that I just keep pushing him and pushing him to his limit. I told him that the wedding was off and that I refused to marry a man that was going to treat me like that for the rest of my life and I threw the wedding invitations and envelopes in the trash. I walked away and went into the bathroom. We didn’t talk to each other for quite some time and then I got on the computer and started looking for jobs in my home town. He came over to see what I was doing and said, “Oh are you looking for jobs in Omaha?” I said, “Yep.” Then he did a total 180. I told him I was moving back to Omaha and I didn’t care if I had to sleep on my cousin’s couch but that I had to get away from him and that I couldn’t marry him. He began telling me how sorry he was and how much he loved me and couldn’t lose me. I told him that we have an unhealthy relationship and that the pastor will see that and I bet that she would not marry us as time goes by. He disagreed with me. He said she would. I began crying and then he began crying and asked what he could do to be better to me, and I told him and he said he would try harder to change. I said I forgave him, etc. He went to the store and bought me flowers to make up. I feel so stupid! I told him about so many other relationships that I know where the men do not treat their wives like this and that the men give them everything and do everything for them to make them happy. I told him how it seems like everything in our relationship has to be bartered and that’s not right. I feel very hurt and disappointed. I have no family or friends. My mom and grandma passed away last year, so I have no one to confide in. I feel like he has isolated me from having friends, although he does let me go out to lunch with them. Some of my friends have quit being friends with me because I haven’t left him. He told his mom and dad last night what he did and they acted like it was no big deal and asked if I was okay and said something about bringing God into our relationship and praying or some sort of crap I don’t believe in. I don’t want to be with him for the rest of my life, but I don’t know how to get out, I feel like he always pulls me back and traps me. I don’t make much money and I would have a hard time supporting myself, and he knows this. I feel like I stay with him in order for someone to take care of me, but he acts like a child and always wants attention. He has no friends because he distrusts everyone and doesn’t want anyone knowing anything about his private life, but yet then he wonders why we don’t have frieds to hang out with. When I meet a new friend he is always like, “Be careful what you say to them.” Why would I have to “be careful?” When we are going somewhere to meet people he always tells me what I can and cannot say or bring up. He doesn’t want to invite anyone to our wedding, but I am inviting my friends to the wedding. He said I am making it into a big thing, when he wanted to keep it really small. He doesn’t want to invite any of the people that invited us to their weddings. He doesn’t want to invite his cousins, but his mom told him we need to do it out of courtesy. I feel like I am trapped forever and I don’t love him anymore, in fact I feel like I hate him even more since the incident last night.

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