Verbal abuse can come from individuals of any age, including children. Unfortunately, the understanding that kids can be cruel is too common for many parents. So, why do children resort to verbal abuse to handle difficult situations? The answer could be due to learned behaviors or a developmental phase.
Disorders Resulting from Abuse
Verbal abuse can impact the way children view relationships and themselves. Sometimes parents exhibit verbally abusive behavior toward each other without involving the children as recipients. Although the kids may not receive any verbal abuse from their parents, this dynamic still profoundly affects children and how they develop into adults.
Navigating relationships can be confusing, especially with narcissistic behaviors like paperclipping -- being kept on the backburner -- from a partner. Are you the victim of paperclipping? Knowing what to look for can help you avoid hanging onto the idea of a potential relationship with no possibility of commitment.
Sometimes behaviors appear in relationships that can make you feel uneasy or confused. Breadcrumbing is one of these habits that may have you wondering if it is verbal abuse. If you haven't heard of this term before, it can be good to know what signs to look for and if the breadcrumbing is severe enough to classify it as verbal abuse.
Speaking up against abuse can be especially difficult for anyone who has been a victim of repeated verbal abuse. Although I find it easy to be the voice for others when I see an abusive situation, it's entirely different for me. I have often faced circumstances when I knew I should have said something and defended myself but could not find my voice. I still struggle to have the same strength I give to others vulnerable to abuse.
Recently, I've had to visit doctors regarding my physical health. Usually, I am fine with these mundane appointments, but one particular incident left me shaken and upset. However, it wasn't because I wasn't prepared or something went wrong. Instead, I felt unseen, unheard, and minimized by how the specialist talked to me during my visit.
The holiday season can bring feelings of community and love, but for many estranged verbal abuse victims like myself, it's a reminder that there are family members who are no longer part of their lives. Avoiding a verbally abusive situation benefits the individual but can also bring emotions of loneliness and exile with estrangement.
As I work through my healing journey, I've noticed some specific triggering elements that leave me feeling uncomfortable. Even as a young child growing up, I remember the emotions of mistrust and suspicion when trying to determine if someone's words and actions were genuine. My trust issues from child abuse made it almost impossible to tell the difference between a lie and a joke.
Facing verbal abuse can be traumatic for anyone, especially when it continues for years, like in my experience. After existing in a world that includes regular abusive treatment, it can be difficult to see past your own painful situation.
Although therapy has immensely benefited me, I've learned it is okay to take a break from therapy. There were times I did not want a break. Sometimes I counted down the days until my next appointment, feeling like it would never arrive. During my darkest days, I talked to a therapist every week, sometimes multiple times a week. However, I also experienced times when I didn't want to talk about my feelings or work through any issues at all. At times, I was not motivated to do the internal work I knew I had to do.