Being a Verbal Abuse Victim Turns My Anxiety Into Control

May 12, 2022 Cheryl Wozny

For those who know me best, I have a strong desire to take responsibility for many things. From making sure everything with a friendly gathering goes exactly as I planned to the time the kids need picking up from their activities. My spouse is no stranger to my anxiety-driven internal scheduler, whom he refers to as my need to control everything. As a victim of verbal abuse, has my anxiety turned into attempts to control everything?

How a Verbal Abuse Victim's Anxiety Creates Control Issues

What my husband sees as being a control freak is my deep-rooted anxiety for the unknown. Growing up in a home where you are unsure of the circumstances, this anxiety can alter your perception, even as an adult. 

Seeking structure and order helps calm the uncertainties that appear in my mind daily. Occasionally, I remind my spouse that I'm not trying to control everything but that my intricate planning helps calm my anxiety so I adequately prepare for whatever lies ahead. 

Control Turns into Responsibility 

An integral part of being a victim means that you sustain a certain amount of blame from your abuser. Whether you did or didn't do something you should have, or if they feel you directly affected a negative aspect of their life, abusers do not take responsibility for their behaviors and project this on their victims. 

This misplaced blame is what many victims harbor internally and is what drives us to take responsibility for things, even things we are not responsible for. I know this feeling all too well, unfortunately. 

Often, my therapist has cautioned me about taking on things that are not mine to bear. From how someone feels about me to taking on too many tasks and not asking for help, my anxiety and the internal need to be responsible continue to dominate many aspects of my life. 

I Am Slowly Letting Go of Control

Through therapy, I am slowly learning what elements I can and should take responsibility for and which I can let go of. I have to make a conscious choice to remember that I cannot help how others feel about me and that I do not have to do everything on my own. 

I am starting to ask for help, although that process is still challenging. And with each day, I become a little more of the person I want to be -- someone that does not get upset if everything is not exactly perfect or has to do all the tasks or they will not get done. My anxiety is still present, but it is not nearly as prevalent as it once was. 

The world will not collapse if I choose not to take responsibility for everything, and I will be a better person for it.  

APA Reference
Wozny, C. (2022, May 12). Being a Verbal Abuse Victim Turns My Anxiety Into Control, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 24 from

Author: Cheryl Wozny

Cheryl Wozny is a freelance writer and published author of several books, including mental health resources for children titled, Why Is My Mommy So Sad? and Why is My Daddy So Sick? Writing has become her way of healing and helping others. Find Cheryl on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and her blog

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