April 30, 2011

Emotional side effects of verbal domestic abuse

by Wayne Leon Learmond

Created on: April 09, 2011

The emotional side effects to verbal abuse are many. Those who suffer in silence from verbal attacks from their husbands, wives or indeed, even children, begin to withdraw from society. There are those who have suffered many years of physical and, indeed, mental abuse. The legacy of that is fear, self-loathing and, a feeling of low self-worth.

People who are victims of verbal abuse tell of how they withdraw into their shells. They speak about a once, happy-go-lucky person, who did not worry or stress about anything in particular. They speak about how nervous and anxious they have now become. How the mere sound of the key being turned in the lock as their partner returns home can result in panic attacks.

They become jumpy, trying to please, but always, - within their partners eyes - failing. They tell of breaking into tears on a regular basis [which is again, caused by stress and anxiety]. And of how this emotional turmoil has taken its toll on their lives [both in physical health and mental health too].

For years partners put up with constant verbal attacks from those who say they ‘love them’. The love of their husbands or wives who verbally abuse them has become ‘twisted’ to such an extent, that many women and men look on it as the ‘norm’. This, despite the fact that they know deep down it is not ‘normal’ behaviour at all.

Yet, the fact remains, that despite all of the mental abuse suffered by wives or husbands, there are many who still refuse to leave. This is a curious fact that needs to be looked into a lot more. There have been numerous cases in which a husband or wife has broken away, and left their abusive partner...yet, they go back...why?

Their new partner may be ‘kindness personified’, and would do anything for them. However, there is something missing in the relationship. It is a curious fact that many women, and indeed men, begin to miss the ‘abuse’ they received from their ex-partners. It is as if their minds have been ‘conditioned’ to receiving verbal abuse,. And the fact remains that there have been many cases in which victims of verbal abuse, have begun an argument with their new partners, in order to generate a ‘reaction’.

When they do not receive the reaction they are looking for, then they may leave, to go back to their abusive partners. It is almost as if they cannot function without the drug [for that is what it has become for many who are verbally abused] of being verbally abused. They miss it and, yet many, when questioned cannot explain why?

There seems to be a definite psychological aspect to this problem and, may experts look upon this as just one aspect [out of many] of unnatural, psychological behaviour. This is a direct result of physical and mental abuse. Other psychological symptoms, due to verbal abuse, are a husband or wife who slowly withdraws from society as a whole.

They become very insular and begin to hide within themselves, not wanting to go out, or to do the things they used to love doing. They begin to slowly withdraw from their friends, and spend majority of their days, indoors. They become more and more 'detached' from the friends they once knew. And the one who is in 'control'is their verbally abusive partner, yet, many victims place all their hopes and fears on the ones who say that they love them.

They seem to give up control of their own mind, and so, this gives their partner ‘free reign‘. Victims may call this ’love’ [giving up their lives for the one they love], but outsiders, who can see what is going on, will call it something else - manipulation.

Many victims of verbal abuse become sub-ordinates’ to the verbal attacks. And many begin to believe the lies, and ‘put downs’ their abusive partners use, to keep them in ‘control’ [and to keep them in ‘check’].

The fear of ‘failing’ their abusive partners, in some way, can cause untold mental damage. This is because those on the receiving end of such assaults can never relax. They can never be ‘themselves’ and constantly seem to be waiting for the ‘next attack’ to come their way. They have lost the ability of all rational thought, and have given up that right to their partners who - they say - 'know them better than anyone else'.

There are no easy solutions in reference to verbal abuse and assaults. One can only offer help, if it is asked for by the victim. At the end of the day, it has to be the victim’s choice to seek help. Friends and family may try to persuade them to leave their abusive partners, but other than attaching a lead around their neck, and forcing them out, there is nothing anyone can do.

Organisations, in the form of ‘support groups’ exist, for those people who are going through this. The link below will give you access to those groups. They offer anyone who is suffering right now, the help that they need.

Psych Central Abuse Support Groups


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