Are you being verbally abused? It’s there. It’s always in the air. It could strike or rebound at any time. Have you gone nose-blind to it?
“Nose-blind” is a phrase from a TV ad for air-freshener. The reason you’ve gone “nose-blind” to the awful smells in your house or car is because you have grown accustomed to it. You’re used to being verbally abused. That’s not a good thing to be used to!
Is that what’s happened with you and verbal abuse?
When you grow up being verbally abused, it seems normal to you. It’s the only thing you know. In fact, you’re more surprised when other people are kind and nice to you. You’ve come to believe you deserve to be berated, put down, abused. You’ve certainly been told often enough that you do, right? You’ve been told that you’re so dumb, unthinking, selfish, difficult, annoying, inconsiderate, impolite, and worthless that you deserve all the abuse, and that you brought it on yourself, too.
As you grow up and step into the world of relationships, you often choose–or, are chosen by–people who can almost smell your insecurities. They soon begin to treat you badly. Not that you notice, though, you’re used it it. Deep down, you think this is how you deserve to be treated.
Note, though, that you can be having a wildly successful career, and still have this happen to you. Verbally abused men and women often live compartmentalized lives: no nonsense, get-it-done, no-flies-on-me living in the outside world, and undermined, controlled, and demeaned at home. I’ve seen this so many times with my clients. It’s crazy-making!
Do you have a parent or partner whose reason for getting up in the morning is to find fault with you, and put you down?
Are you justifying the verbal abuse in any of these ways?
- You think the perpetrator is just having a bad day or going through a bad patch.
- You think you deserve it.
- You think your thoughts or feelings are wrong and unreliable.
- You think it is you who cannot communicate well.
- You believe you are the one who needs to change.
- You have been told by your abuser that s/he is smarter, wiser, clearer than you, and you bought it.
- You were abused by a parent as a child and you think it is “normal.”
- You see similar behaviors on TV and you think that’s just the way men or women are.
- You think you are a bad person if you get angry.
- You are more concerned about them liking you than with how they are treating you.
- You make excuses for the abuser’s bad temper or bad behavior. Does “s/he had such a terrible childhood” ring a bell?
- You deny that it is abuse, even though it is constant and directed at you.
And, there are so many more. You may be mentally adding your own right this minute!
You can stop being verbally abuse, and refuse to accept its close cousin, emotional abuse. It takes courage and a strong belief that you matter, and you can do it!
You have to change your thinking and the way you see things. You need proven strategies that empower you. AND, you have to have support from a professional who can hold the new vision for your life while you grow into it.
That’s why I work with my clients all over the world to help them find freedom from verbal abuse. I’ve walked through the lonely tunnels of self-doubt, misgivings, and the “impostor syndrome” myself. Sure, I looked like the most confident person on the planet, but inside, it was hell. That’s why I can help. I’ve walked that road, stumbled many times, but made it to safety years ago. It’s not just book learning for me. It was very real.
If all this is sounding all too familiar, know that things can change…and greatly for the better.
Wake up your senses. Don’t be nose-blind to verbal abuse or emotional abuse that is happening to you now. Have a good look at where it might have happened to you in the past. Then, believe you deserve to be free from it, inside and out. Take action. Demonstrate that you matter.
You CAN wake up, smell the herbal tea, and choose to live fully, healthy, confident and empowered.
© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, The Relationship Help Doctor
I’m always here to help you. If you’re ready to rid yourself of anything that looks or feels like abuse in your life, let’s talk. Free half-hour consultation for those ready to do the work.
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