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About Verbal Abuse in Relationships Authors

My name is Kristen Milstead and I am thrilled to be a new writer for HealthyPlace on Verbal Abuse in Relationships. I grew up confused about what verbal abuse was. I learned that it was okay for people to say abusive things as long as they also mixed in kind or loving statements, apologized later, or both. Not surprisingly, I started choosing boyfriends who ended up saying and doing abusive things to me. Not all my relationships were that way, but enough of them to call it a pattern.
Moving on from verbal abuse isn't easy. For a long time, I couldn't get past the verbal, emotional and sometimes physical abuse in my previous relationship because I hadn't confronted it. In practical terms, I moved on quickly. We didn't have any children, so I was able to move out of our home and get on with my life (minus a brief and horrible reunion, several abusive texts and some social media blocking). Within months, I met someone else and learned what a healthy relationship was supposed to look like. However, feeling safe and comfortable in my own skin after two years of psychological damage wasn't easy. Almost six years later, here's how I moved on from verbal abuse and why I'm leaving the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog.
My name is Emily J. Sullivan and I’m thrilled to join the HealthyPlace blogging team as the newest author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog. My earliest friendships and my first dating experiences were rampant with dysfunction. Con men, mean girls, gaslighters, and narcissists have always found their way into my heart. I’m not sure if it’s because I could always see the good in people or if I was an easy target. Whatever the reason, I spent years of my life in relationships and friendships with people who have been able to emotionally overpower me with verbal abuse. Verbal abuse can mentally cripple a person, diminish their self-worth, and alienate them from the loving relationships in their lives.
I’m Emma-Marie Smith, and I’m proud to be joining the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog here at HealthyPlace. A few years ago, I met a man who was charming, intelligent, and good looking. My family liked him, my friends liked him, and he did all the things a good boyfriend does. He bought me flowers, left love notes under my pillow, and was always proud to introduce me to his friends and colleagues — but that wasn’t the whole story. The verbal abuse began weeks into our relationship and lasted for almost two years.
I am Kellie Jo Holly, and I participated in the cycle of verbal abuse with my soon to be ex-husband for almost 18 years. I retain the relationship with him because we have two sons together who are now teens. Leaving the marriage did not end the abuse. Stopping verbal abuse has more to do with my reaction to it than convincing him to stop!
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