Verbal Abuse: A Silent Suffering

Written by Marlene Espinoza, Staff Writer

Although relationships are based on communication with one another, disagreements can occur often. Some therapists may recommend discussing disputes, as the first step to a healthy relationship. But, what exactly determines a healthy relationship?

Miscommunication between couples can either alter, or damage a relationship. In fact, a quick exchange of harsh words can develop into verbal abuse, without even knowing. According to New York City Psychologist, Devon Mac Dermott, verbal abuse is chronic vernal interaction that is unwanted and makes the victim feel some kind of emotional harm.

Verbal abuse is so imperceivable to the naked eye. So, it can occur in loud to quiet comments and put-downs. However, it can decrease a victim’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Put-downs give the abuser more power and control over his victim. This type of abuse particularly involves the need to control and to be superior.  because the abuser can appear very affectionate at times and later become enraged, it can seem normal. But, it becomes a pattern. Therefore, verbal abuse can be undetected and continuous.

The most dangerous thing about verbal abuse is it can lead to physical abuse. Once the abuser discovers that he no longer has control over his victim and the emotional abuse is not as effective, violence comes to play. It is not only a pattern of abuse, but an indicator of an unhealthy relationship.  Verbal abuse produces a toxic relationship, which involves anger, emotional manipulation, and other negative and hurtful feelings.

According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Affective Disorders, people, who were verbally abused as children, are at risk for depression and anxiety as adults. As a result, victims continue to be abused, become the abuser, or both.

Child Negligence can cause unending pain and a substantial aftermath. Because everything begins at home, parents are their child’s first teacher.  Therefore, a child will be taught what a relationship is by his or her parents’. Because nothing stays hidden from a child, watching body language and facial expressions will be noticed. Witnessing a parent being put- down, or insulted can easily display a poor perspective of a healthy relationship to a child. In fact, it can send mixed messages. It can accelerate to domestic violence and endanger the relationship.

Verbal abuse, not only affects your emotions, but, your thinking and beliefs. U.S., states that verbal abuse breaks your spirit. However, one can never tell whether they are a victim, or not.

In the beginning, the abuser can approach his victim in a smooth casual way. In fact, he might come on too strongly, or too soon. With a harsh response of shut up, verbal abuse can erupt in a relationship. Therefore, responding to such negativity can only add more conflict.

Name-calling is basically an act of gaining control. An abuser will always try to justify and rationalize his behavior. However, an abuser is not as superior, as he seems. In fact, he is just as fragile, as his victim. In comparison to his victim attempting to leave, he also attempts to hold on” to his victim. This puts the victim at risk and makes the abuser powerless. Unfortunately, the thought of killing his victim, or taking his own life can be a result.

For some victims, walking away from an abusive relationship is difficult. Because they have been longtime victims, they have grown accustomed to such behavior. Although they find it hard to trust again, they continuously find themselves in similar relationships of abuse.

Identifying verbal abuse, before it chooses you, can help save your life sooner than you think. Paying attention to allegations of past relationships is definitely a lifesaver. Especially, if the abuser claims his ex is insane. When it comes to a police report, or allegation, there are no fabrications. In fact, it remains on file.

Feeling a bit confined and having to neglect time with family and loved ones because of your partner can be another early sign of abuse. The abuser may begin to determine who and where you should spend time. To gain more control, the abuser can get the urge to approach his victim with an ultimatum to either change, or he will leave.  What he is actually saying is Please leave because I am not going to change.

In every relationship, couples should feel free to discuss any issues between each other. Each partner should be able to decide for his or herself. One should never be in control over the other. Communication is the key to a healthy relationship. But, trust is what keeps the communication going.

A healthy relationship brings healing to the soul and joy to the spirit. No one should have to endure abuse. True love never causes pain, or hurts. Living with insults and fear is not healthy!  Be in control and say no to verbal abuse!