Once you suffer from verbal abuse, it can be hard to see a life without it. I have often found myself over-analyzing responses from people trying to decipher if they are genuine or have an underlying harmful intent. It can be challenging to look past the hostile environment that one is accustomed to and see that there are positive people in the world who do not cause harm.
Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
One significant niche of individuals who suffer from verbal abuse is the senior community. Often abuse happens to vulnerable people, and elders are no exception. But of course, verbal abuse is just one of the many branches of this ongoing problem, making those at risk even more in danger of harm.
Individuals who have faced abuse can tell you all about survival mode. For myself, there were years where I existed strictly to survive. I was not moving away from the abuse or making any intentions of changing my circumstances. Unfortunately, for many victims, this is a realistic and frightening scenario.
When you are the victim of abuse, it can be hard to move away from old emotions and habits when dealing with stressful situations. However, after going through years of therapy, I've come to realize that I am not the same person I was only a few years ago. Of course, people evolve and change, which is a normal progression in life, but mourning who I used to be is an integral step to my healing.
Verbal abuse can rear its ugly head in situations when you least expect it. Often large gatherings with friends and family will bring up controversial topics surrounding politics and current events. When you mix several people in a group with different opinions, tempers can rise, causing some inappropriate comments and even verbal abuse.
When you are trying to heal and recover from an abusive situation, one unfortunate circumstance that can result is survivor burnout. In my experience, it can sneak up without any warning and interfere with every aspect of life.
Sometimes, even when you are no longer the victim of verbal abuse, the lasting effects can hinder your mental health. Finding ways to deal with the possible symptoms of verbal abuse like anxiety and depression are critical for your path to healing if these symptoms prevent you from living a full and happy life. Box breathing may be able to help.
Although victims of verbal abuse do not have bruises or other physical scars, the effects of verbal abuse are still genuine. While anxiety and depression can result from verbal abuse, they are not the only side effects.
Recovering from verbal abuse can be a challenging journey, even if the abuse is in your past. For myself, even decades after I distanced myself from those who are verbally abusive, I can become triggered by others who may not be intentionally abusive, but I interpret it as so.
The effects of verbal abuse from a girl's mother may not only have detrimental effects on her self-esteem and self-awareness but may also change her perception of how she should act as a grown woman. Without a healthy example of a mothering role, girls can grow up thinking abusive behavior is normal and expected.