Why Verbal Abuse can be just as Damaging as Mental Abuse

Words can slap. The emotional bruise you left on me tonight may not be as visible as a cast or a welt, but it’s certainly just as painful. A stinging choice of words targeted the insecure areas of my being make me weak.

It’s hard for other people to understand my unhappiness. The circle of physical violence is more obvious, more tangible. Verbal abuse is insidious. If you’re not witness to the exchange, it’s hard to believe it exists.

Oh, you’re sorry. It didn’t mean anything. Yes, it does. Yes-it-does. It means you are mean, or weak, or scared, or maybe just plain stupid. I don’t really know nor do I care. Just stop. Stop it. I can’t be around your abuse anymore. Let me make sure I’m being heard-yes, it’s abuse. I’m sorry doesn’t cut it anymore. Would you break my arm, buy me a rose, and expect forgiveness? Maybe.

No. Not for me, not anymore. If you don’t mean what you say, don’t say it. I’m littered with scars and still nursing wounds from past battles. If you could see what I feel I would have the face of a beaten boxer and the body of a malnourished child.

The black and swollen eyes are from my vision being pounded with images of failure. My mouth is cracked and bloody from trying to speak while my words were forced back down my throat. My cheeks are red and stinging from all the slaps to my self-esteem and my nose is broken to prevent me from breathing the air of change.

I have the body of a malnourished child because I’ve been starved. Love, support and understanding have been denied to my hungry soul for too long. I am still a child because my environment has stifled my growth.

If only I could lift the hurt from the pain, maybe then I could forgive you. But first you have to understand what you’re doing. Take responsibility for what comes out of your mouth.

Your behavior is not my fault. I’m not a puppeteer pulling the strings on a marionette. More precisely, I’m not the voice of a ventriloquist. You own what you say.

I am hurt.

I am abused.

Stop beating me with your words.