Open Communication About Abuse Is Best for Healing
As a victim of verbal abuse, it can be challenging to look past the hurt and focus on the positive aspects, especially if you are in the thick of the situation. One way I found to help me heal and keep moving towards a more positive environment is to open communication about abuse with my loved ones and those around me.
Open Communication About Abuse Can Be Beneficial
While some individuals may not find talking about their experiences helpful, I have seen three specific benefits.
- Better understanding -- When I discuss my anxiety and fear from my past experiences, my loved ones have a better perspective on how I view specific triggers. However, this does not mean that those close to me must walk on eggshells and avoid topics or behaviors. But once they are aware of how I view certain words or actions, they understand how to approach these situations with more empathy.
- Nonjudgmental expression -- For many individuals, myself included, talking helps me feel better. Having someone to listen to my thoughts and emotions without finding a solution or making assumptions is highly beneficial for my self-esteem. In addition, this nonjudgmental environment helps me learn to trust again, enforcing better relationships for my future.
- Awareness -- With any sensitive subject matter, the more often people talk about it, the more accepting and aware individuals become. So, if talking about my history with verbal abuse situations can help someone avoid the same circumstances or give them the strength to change their environment, I take it as a positive result.
How Open Communication Helps My Family and Me
Not only does having open communication about abuse help me through my healing journey, but it also benefits my entire family. My children often ask me questions or come to me with concerns that we can discuss together.
With two adult children and two young ones at home, I find that as each of them matures, they bring something different to the conversation. The older children have adult relationships and frequently ask me for advice or my take on a situation. My young ones begin communication with circumstances that they come across at school or sports, prompting me to respond. In these cases, I do not shy away from stating how I feel a situation is not supportive or how I thought they handled an issue with maturity.
My family has not always been this way, though. It takes a great deal of trust for children and adults to have constant, open communication, primarily through difficult times. My older children have occasionally preceded their conversations with, “Don’t freak out, Mom, but I have to tell you something.”
Thankfully, I have carefully learned to take a deep breath, assure them I will not "freak out," and hold my tongue as I am that listening ear. I try to be that nonjudgmental person for them that I need when I face anxiety or fear myself. And I hope that they continue this open conversation with their own friends and family as they grow and mature. This way, we can all bring more awareness and understanding in our personal relationships and avoid making bad choices or repeating mistakes with verbal abuse.
Wozny, C. (2022, February 17). Open Communication About Abuse Is Best for Healing, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, February 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2022/2/open-communication-about-abuse-is-best-for-healing