Thursday Treadmill Treats
The effects of domestic violence
October is National Domestic Violence month and I will be writing about this unspeakable injustice all month….please reach out to someone who you may know is suffering today…
There is an old saying “stickss and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me”
That song is not true and it was obviously made up by someone who was never verbally abused. Words can cut you to the bone just as surely as if you were cut with a knife. The scars from the abuse will last a lot longer than the scars from an actual beating, they scar your heart and haunt your mind for years.
Even when you think you have moved on, changed your life, something will bring you right back to that moment and you will remember their words as clear as if they said them to you yesterday. You will second guess yourself, you will start believing all they have said to you and about you.
Sometimes they will haunt you forever.
“You are stupid, you cant make it without me, you cant do anything right, why do you always twist my words around, its because of you I act this way, I was just kidding, cant you take a joke, your worthless”
These words and many others, change who you are, it doesn’t matter if your a college graduated, a high school drop out, a business person or blue collar worker, verbal abusers don’t see color, gender or education. They are bully’s and they want to have control over you and your life and will stop at nothing until they get it.
They break you down little by little until you wake up one morning not knowing who you are, not liking who you are and believing all that has been said about you is true.
According to Patricia Evans the leading expert in verbal abuse, the long term effects on verbal abuse is overwhelming on both men and women and the effects on children can last a lifetime. Victims of verbal abuse may:
*Have difficulty forming conclusions and making. decisions
*Feel or accept that there is something wrong with them on a basic level (selfish, too sensitive, “crazy”, etc.)
*Analyze and relive abusive experiences to see where they made mistakes
*Doubt their ability to. communicate
*Experience self-doubt, low self-confidence, and lose. spontaneity and/or enthusiasm
*Believe and say things like “Everything will be better when the baby is born,” or “Everything will improve after he finds a job.”
The effects of verbal abuse on children ages 18 and under include substance abuse (more prevalent in males) physical aggression, delinquency, and social problems. The more verbally aggressive the parent, the more pronounced the problem.
A study of physical health cconsequences of physical and psychological abuse concludes:
Verbal abuse is strongly cassociated with chronic pain, migraine and frequent headaches, stammering, ulcers, spastic colon, and frequent indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation along with many stress-related heart conditions.
The psychological effects of verbal abuse include:
fear and anxiety, depression, stress and PTSD, intrusive memories, memory gap disorders, sleep or eating problems, hyper-vigilance and exaggerated startle responses, irritability anger issues, alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, self-mutilation, and assaultive behaviors.
There are many other studies out there that will give you facts and numbers, but they can never truly know the pain you feel when you are a victim of verbal abuse. You feel you will never do anything right, that if “only” you could make them happy, you walk on eggshells not knowing what person they will be that day.
You wonder how they can say they love you yet treat you this way?
If they are your parent, you wonder why they don’t love you, your constantly running after their love and acceptance, you will take it into adulthood and lot of the time continue the vicious cycle.
You feel unlovable, unworthy, and you question everything you do and say. Until the day you realize it is about them and not about you, this is their issue, not yours. No matter how “ good” you are, how “right” you do things, it will never be enough for them, they will find fault in the perfect.
They need to put you down in order to make themselves feel better, they are lacking but they put the spot light on you, so you don’t see their faults, it has nothing to do with you.
Get out, get help, do research, talk to others who have been there, start to love yourself again. You are worthy of being treated well, until you realize this, they will continue to have power over you even 40 years from now.
Keep saying “not my monkeys… Not my circus..”
“Be the change you want to see
” And just when the caterpillar thought his life was over…he turned into a beautiful butterfly”
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