Anxiety can be the result of many abusive behaviors and traumatic experiences. Verbal abuse can also play a huge role in this illness.

Sticks and stones may break your bones and words….they can hurt you too. Verbal abuse is demeaning, disrespectful and just plain wrong. Have you ever had someone in your face yelling at you because they’re upset, or have you been called names before? I have, and unfortunately, I have called people names myself. We often look over this form of abuse and think it’s okay, but it’s not okay at all.

Verbal abuse – the worst kind

Whether it’s bullying, cyber bullying or domestic abuse, verbal onslaughts can be worse than any other form of abuse. The reason this is true is that it affects the connection between the right and left hemisphere of the brain. Considering our brain develops over time, for many years, the developmental process is affected by this violent verbiage.

Just as with sexual or physical abuse, we are changed dramatically as children, then as adults, we look at the world in a completely different way than those who were not abused. Many of us suffer from anxiety as a result of verbal abuse.

Observations show the truth

While observing, through a brain scan, young adults between 18-25, scientists were able to tell the difference between those who suffered from anxiety and depression as opposed to those who did not. Those who did suffer from anxiety and depression were also former victims of verbal abuse.

It turns out that these same individuals which experienced verbal abuse, went through this trauma during middle school years, a time when the brain is developing at its highest rate.

Verbal abuse/emotional abuse

Both verbal and emotional abuse are similar. In fact, when someone is verbally abused, it affects them emotionally. Particular words even used passively, can cause severe damage to the self-esteem and emotions. This can act as a domino effect, causing disruptions in the victims work, relationships and home life, even years later.

At some point, anxiety will kick in, which will then become a rather uncontrollable response to otherwise normal changes in life. You can see the connection between these things and even imagine the permanent and detrimental damage that can and will be done to the brain and its structures.

Now, let me be frank with you

There are many symptoms associated with verbal abuse. There are immediate consequences as well as long-term effects. Here are a few examples of the damage that can be done just by speaking harshly. All these things can be directed linked to anxiety disorders, by the way. This is going to make you think about what you say beforehand, trust me.

Short-term effects:

  • Trouble communicating
  • Overanalyzing situations
  • Low self-esteem and no enthusiasm for life
  • Impaired decision making

Long-term effects:

  • Migraines
  • Chronic pain
  • Digestive disorders
  • Anxiety (there it is, folks)
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicide

Now you can see what your harsh words and name calling can do to someone you love. Maybe it doesn’t cause this much damage in the first, second or third incidence, but over time, great harm can be done. Basically, people learn to frame their life around what others think and say about them, if they have yet to discover their own healthy self-esteem.

Anxiety surely can come from verbal abuse, and if you are enduring such abuse, you need to put a stop to it. Want to know how to recognize verbal abuse? Let me help you change your life, check out the list of indicators below.

Name calling

Verbal abusers use name calling as a way to shock you into doing what they think is right. It’s basically about instilling fear. Calling you names is normal to them, and damaging to you.

Behind closed doors

Most often, the verbal abuse will happen behind closed doors. This is because the abuser knows that others will recognize the abuse, while the victim, alone, will be easier to manipulate.

Surprise abuse

Many times the verbal abuse will occur when you are starting to gain a little enthusiasm. If you seem happy, notice how the abuser will swoop in and start criticizing you. I believe, personally, that the abuser is afraid of losing control when you’re happy. I will even surmise to say that if they aren’t the source of your happiness, they become petrified and use abuse to gain control again.

Attacks the victim’s interests

The abuser will attack the things that the victim loves to do. If you are able to function enough to enjoy something on your own, the abuser will degrade what you do. Notice how your abuser never likes the things that you are interested in. It’s a clue.

No apologies

Unlike most other disagreements or fights where both parties apologize, the abuser will never admit to any wrongs. When he is proved wrong and there’s really no way for him to deny that fact, he will respond with, “Just drop it” “Just forget about it” and “It’s over”. This shows that he cannot win but he will not lose control.


The victim of a verbal abuser will always feel isolated from other people, namely family, and friends. The abuser feels that once you’re isolated, they have full control to make you into whatever they want.

Of course, a little personal input

Since I started blog work for this page, I have over turned many rocks which covered the damage done to me in the past. I have discovered so many things which have played a role in my life and that molded who I am today. Unfortunately, many of the things that I overlooked were actually abusive and destructive. These were both things that I had done and things that were imposed upon me as well.

Verbal abuse was one of those things, and I believe whole heartedly that a good portion of my anxious behaviors derived from the hateful words and manipulative actions of my abusers. I know now that it wasn’t normal to be called names, degraded and humiliated in front of other people.

I no longer have the victim mentality that I once buried myself in, and I hope my work can help you too.

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This Post Has 62 Comments

  1. Minhthi Xuan Nguyen

    How harmful words are.

    1. Sherrie


      Yes, I agree. Word can create or they can destroy.

      1. Theresa

        Thank you so much for your website. It’s really helping me process everything that has happened to me over the years and to plan what I need to do now.

  2. Stephen Perry

    Being screamed at and berated from birth to move out for every single thing I ever did set me back 20 years. I’m forty and just realizing I’m a person worthy of good things and hapiness.

    1. Vero Hunter

      Yes you are, don’t let aholes ruin your life, cut off all ties from toxic people!

    2. Helena Romih

      You are wonderful just like we all are ☺️

      1. Sherrie

        I agree!

    3. Sherrie

      Yes, Stephen, you are worthy of whatever you desire.

  3. Vero Hunter

    No wonder i have stressful anxiety just thinking about my mother in law, pure f*n torture! Cutting off all ties is the best!

    1. Sherrie


      Verbal abuse can be a monster. The best thing you can do for revenge is grow stronger.

  4. jake

    very much unfortunately my abuser was my father
    i’m sure . he destroyed my bigger brother now he blames him because he can’t be independent
    i became independent and learned many stuffs he doesn’t know . now he still trying to control on me
    the only reason i’m still living with him is my dear mother. unfortunately my mother is very submissive

    1. Sherrie


      My mother was also submissive. She would cook and if she forgot something, my father would refuse to eat at all. This would upset her so badly because she knew he would then blame her for not eating. It was a powerful manipulation. He was also verbally abusive, yelling at her, and at me. My heart goes out to your family, Jake. I hope everyone can find peace in the turmoil.

      1. Theresa

        This exact thing happened to me last night with my husband. My mother-in-law bought us some nice steaks for Christmas and my husband decided that he was not going to eat anything that I made because I made him angry by leaving the coat closet door open. So he told her that I had ruined the steaks and that I insulted the quality. He ranted for hours about how he works so hard all day and then is unable to eat a decent meal because his “POS” wife…I think you get it. It’s his loss the steaks were excellent, I was able to have a few bites beforer before he picked it up and threw it outside. It sounds crazy but I’m grateful that this happened because I finally have had enough after eight years And I have a little money saved that he does not know about

  5. Wendy Thompson

    So true.. the awareness of domestic and family violence campaigns should be focusing on Verbal Abuse of Adults and Children as much as Physical Violence.. Just because you don’t see it on the Outside does not mean it is not there. Verbal Abuse leaves lifelong scars too.

    1. Sherrie

      Yes, ma’am, it does. As I have said before, I am learning all the little reasons why I react to things in my relationships. I have triggers and temper tantrums and always thought these things were normal. As I learn more and more about abuse and trauma, I understand where my less-than-savory aspects of my own personality come from. Verbal abuse from my past is probably why I yell sometimes now. It takes practice to stop that too and not let the abuse pass down to my children. Thank you for reading, Wendy.

  6. Leslie

    I just left my teaching job because I’ve been verbally abused by my principal and vp for 4 years now. It happens frequently and I’m alone behind closed doors. They tell me I’m hates by all, even my family. They hate my face and everything about me . Every time I get anxious and start crying, and I can’t breathe. I’m taking disability leave because I have serious PTSD. It’s so bad I can” t even think about school without shaking and gasping for air.

    1. Sherrie


      What you are going through is a form of bullying, and here we thought we had gotten rid of bullying. This makes me angry and I send love to you. I hope you can find support for what you are going through and are able to reveal these negative things about the ones who are persecuting you. Be strong! You know in your heart what kind of person you are.

    2. Theresa

      I understand what you’re going through. And because they are in a position of authority some people might think “well why would they do something like that? maybe she just wants attention, maybe there is something wrong with her”. Until it happens to them it can be hard for them to understand just how bad it is so try not to take it as a personal reflection on you. But it seems like this type of abusers always need a target and I bet now that you’re not there to pick on they’ll focus their attention on someone else and maybe people will start to notice that there’s a pattern

  7. Sakib

    Sherrie I can’t believe anyone would be horrible to you when you seem like such a nice person. I wish I could give you a hug.

    1. Sherrie

      I am just an ordinary person, and it doesn’t matter how nice you are. There will always be someone who will want to be abusive and manipulate nice people.

      1. Sakib

        Well its all yin yang, the light can’t exist without the dark, unity of opposites etc. I’ve noticed that difficult people make you stronger and you have to experience unpleasant stuff that makes you grow. Just like medicine tastes awful but apparently benefits you in some way. Keep travelling and you meet so many nice people, they are out there!

    2. Julian

      The nicer you are, the gentler you are, the stronger you are, the bigger the take-down and the bigger the prize.

  8. Sharren

    I was abused By My Sperm donor(AKA Father) He abused Me verbally for Years. I was called a Slut at 5 years old. It got worse over the years. A friend of his also started to sexually abuse me at 5 then at 8. Then had My Sperm donor sexually abuse Me when I was 12 years old. I hate him for what He has done to Me, and I can no longer have it out with Him, because the Mongrel up and died from Lung Cancer 2 years ago. I hope He suffered So badly. Trying to get on with My Life, have an Amazing Husband of 24 years after constantly falling for Narcs. Thanks for the insight Sherrie, it is welcome Knowledge that I am not just losing My Mind, but I am suffering from Long buried trauma’s. xoxo

  9. Julie

    Do you think this can create in a person the need to go to great lengths to avoid conflict or confrontation?

    1. HeWhoShallNotBeNamed

      I think so!

  10. Lisa

    So any articles or steps for children/teens/adults who are being verbally abused-what to do about it. How to reinforce its not about them but about the abuser’s issues of control. Steps to take to avoid these people especially if it’s your parents.

    1. Theresa

      I think what needs to be made clear to people is that it’s only going to get worse even though it might be hard to believe it’s possible. These people are never going to change and it’s not about you it’s entirely about them

  11. LiLi

    I have been dealing with verbal and emotional abuse for several years of my life. In the recent few years I just figured out that what I was enduring was abuse. It happened so frequently that I thought it was normal. I believed that I was the problem because I was blamed for everything. I thoughtI was worthless and couldn’t do anything right because I was always making mistakes, and being verbally attacked for it. I couldn’t understand how someone could be so mean. I still don’t understand. I have both a narcissistic mother and grandmother who have attacked me all my life. Dealing with them has been both mentally and physically draining.
    Imagine someone provoking you into a argument everyday over the simplest of things. Most things that people wouldn’t get upset over they become enraged over. The slightest disagreement, or different opinion and they are going off on a shouting tirade. It’s always their harsh loud tone, yelling, along with the disrespect and insults. I of course feel offended every time and because I speak back they always call me disrespectful and blame me for their heated anger. And when the episode is over and hours have passed and I’m calmed down they come into my space and bring up the situation all over again to start a brand new argument. I kid you not. I have tried everything, I tried speaking back but that only makes it worse by arguing. I’ve tried walking away out of the room but they have followed me, banged on my door, or even worse physically blocked my pathway so that I won’t get away. I’ve tried staying mute as they go off on their tantrum, but me staying quiet makes them repetitively call my name over and over again for several minutes or physically poke me in the chest with their finger just to provoke me to answer them back, I get so annoyed that I finally am provoked to speak back and no matter how calm I am a argument still erupts. I can’t escape it. I’ve tried everything. And if they aren’t yelling, cursing me out or insulting me, it’s public humiliation. I promise my mother finds comedy in embarrassing me at the most inappropriate times. Like in front of a guy I like, or friends of mine. It doesn’t matter she’ll tell a story so embarrassing to make me look dumb, or she’ll yell foul language just to scare and humiliate me in front of company. I wish I was making this stuff up but unfortunately I’m not. And it’s so bad that it’s physically making me sick, but at the same time most days I wish to be sick because when I am sick they are actually nice to me and let me rest. How crazy is that. I just want it to end. I feel everyday like I’m walking on sharp knives. I never know which one of them I’m going to get nice or mean. I feel like I am in a dark room with no windows or doors. I can’t escape. I hate to blame them but I feel like they are the root cause for my anxiety, depression, and anti social ways. I don’t like being around people because I don’t trust people. I’m scared that someone I get close to will hurt me and be mean to me and treat me like they have. I just want to feel loved but I feel so hated. And I fear that I’ll be alone for the rest of my life because I can’t open up and just be myself. We live in a time right now where people have short attention spans, people glorify sex more than they do real love. And I just am old fashioned. I have a old soul, I believe in love in a traditional sense and I just don’t know if I’ll meet a guy who will accept all my flaws and painful heavy baggage. I just want to be happy and I feel the first step is to rid myself of these hurtful people in my life, but it’s hard because I’m codependent on them, which makes my situation ten times worse. I really have no choice. I wish there was a place that helped verbal abuse codependents get their own individual apartments. Because I so need to just have my own space, away from my abusers and I don’t want to live with anyone else. I just want to have my own individual place to myself and be independent for a while. Get to really know myself and make my own decisions and fully feel like the adult I am. But I know that this idea is just wishful thinking. Most people ignore and don’t understand the pain of victims of verbal abuse, or people who suffer with anxiety, social fears, or depression. Most say I’m making excuses, get over it, and call me lazy.
    I’m not, I’m just hurting and hurting so badly it’s making me physically sick. There is so much I haven’t said but just know my life has been horrible pretty much my entire life and I have nothing to be happy about.
    It’s crazy because in the past three years all of my cousins and friends have revealed to me that they always knew I was being mistreated. They all said they disliked my mom and grandmother because they were so mean to me. Imagine that your own peers describing your own mother as mommy dearest. Such a damn shame. Anyway I’m done… I just had to vent.

    1. Jessica

      Lili, where do you live?? There are safe homes for victims of abuse in most areas. As far as I know they feel that abuse is abuse, be it physical, emotional, sexual, etc. The shelter in my area even has accommodations for families to bring their pets because a lot of times that’s the one thing keeping someone from getting out of an unhealthy situation. Also science proves that animals help with healing from almost everything! Search google for safe haven, battered women’s shelter, abuse victim refuge or other similar terms and don’t give up! I hope you can separate yourself from the madness you’ve described and that you can find a secure and safe support network for your journey toward healing, trust, and self reliance. Im sure it’s scary or intimidating to think about leaving and being on your own but when you realize what the ABSENCE of abuse feels like, your apprehensions will melt into relief, and with practice and support you’ll grow into a life and self that you love and OWN. Love and light to you. -Jess

    2. Michael

      Lili how horrible this tribulation you have had t ok endure. I can sincerely relate, with several managers and my ex. Wife changing int ok a darker, demonic entity full of hate and disdain.i am truly sorry.

  12. Joyce B.

    I believe I am a victim of verbal abuse. My first husband verbally abused me and called me names. We had seven sons together. I divorced him after 28 years because he physically beat up one of my twins. I met someone else after a while, who is younger than me. He seemed very nice, very respectful, very caring about what I had gone through with my first husband. After a couple of years of being married, he too, started to not only verbally abuse but physically abuse. He didn’t punch or slap – he pushed – pushed me into a wall and my collar bone broke – pushed me down several times – finally, I had enough and threw a cup of coffee at him and told him I was NOT going to be abused any longer and I was going to get a divorce. He stopped the physical abuse – but the emotional abuse continues. I had an automobile accident and he screamed at me when I called him – never asked if I was alright. Sometimes he doesn’t answer me when I talk to him – he shows no emotional “warmth” at all. We have very little “togetherness”. In the evening when we’re watching TV, he’ll either get up and go to the kitchen on his computer – or he’ll just go to bed. He sleeps in a recliner in a room off the living room because he had back problems and can’t lay flat. I feel as if I’m always alone, even when he’s home. (he is still working) He has his clothes all over the place – on the floor – piled on top of the washer and drier – in order to do laundry, I have to pick up his clothes and pile them on a couch in the family room where he sleeps. He uses foul language a lot, mutters and complains about everything – doesn’t do certain things around the house that need to be done which would make things a little easier for me and make me a little happier. He always complains that he’s tired and sleeps quite a bit when he’s home..He works 4 – 10 hour days. On the days he is home and we do have dinner together – he quickly eats his food, puts his dishes on the counter and either get on his computer (laptop which he uses on the kitchen table) or walks away to another room, leaving me to sit and finish eating alone. (I eat slowly). For the last couple of years, I periodically have heaviness on my chest, shortness of breath, a feeling of being “drained” and passing out. I was just in the hospital for three days – nothing wrong with my heart or lungs. Two of my sons told me it is anxiety and stress. I am a young 81 years and should not have to be living with this “negativity” and/or being ignored sometimes. There is no feeling of love for him anymore – I feel that he destroyed what love I had for him – there is no closeness and gentleness and understanding from him at all – really never was. I do what I can on my own. He’s there for me for doctors’ appointments and help in that way (I’ve had a few medical problems, including cancer), but there’s not a lot of compassion or support or love. I feel I’m to old to get a divorce and get away from him – but I need to put an end to the feeling of always being alone with no companionship. I try to ignore him sometimes – sometimes it works – sometimes it doesn’t and I have these “attacks” of not being able to breath. I have to change MY life style – but how?

  13. Raeleen Mcadam

    omg 🙁

  14. Molly

    I have recently been told to shut the f up and told I’m making him lose his friends cuz I’m antisocial and forcing me to talk the people and arguing with me in front of them. Then he says I cry a lot and to grow up. Isn’t this all signs of verbal abuse?

  15. Lily Rafton

    When I was young (around the ages of 5-8), I was verbally abused by my tap teacher. As you can see, this went on for at least 3 times a week, during a time span of roughly 3 years. Now, as an older teen, I suffer from social/ ‘normal’ anxiety and lack of self confidence. No one is probably going to answer, but, is it possible that she was the cause of my problems?

  16. Sheila

    Could very be the reason. I am sorry that happened to you.

    My mother was VERY verbally abusive growing up and at times physical. She screamed and yelled so much all the neighbors knew and felt sorry for me. I acted out w/ drugs and alcohol as well as MAJOR eating disorder. I got my food in order 9 yrs ago and now that my mother is dealing w/ dementia and guilt tripping me to move back to her state, I am finally getting counseling and better. For one thing I thought my sister was a loon for having anxiety but now at 54 I am experiencing it the first time in my life and it is horrible. May we all find the healing we need.

  17. Maureen Sheridan

    Ive been married for 30 years and been abused for 30 years, first it was sever physical emotional and sexual abuse, there are so many instances to write down, its very difficult to ell anyone. He would always threaten to take away our daughter if I said anything, his parents new but didnt care. He ties me to a table with duct tape and sodimized me he has punched kicked pushed me threaten to disembowel me and bury me in a ditch no one would care as no one cares about me he would say, he has thrown me out of the car in the middle of no where at night to find my way back, walked 23km home.I broke my elbow so bad on day it was twisted around(he didnt do it i fell) had no phone daughter was 2 years old, waited for him to come back from work to take me to hospital but instead he got mad said I was interfering in his drinking time drove us to his parents house so they could watch the baby cause I couldnt they didnt do anything either till the next morning when I was crying in pain his father drove me to hospital had surgery.I finally went to police with all my abuse allegations they arrest him, but before the trial he threatened me and my daughter if I didnt lie and say I made it up he would make me regret it, Of course I believed him he was a monster.He quit drinking 15 years ago and the physical abuse stopped but the verbal emotional abuse continues,I feel like a fool for putting up with it all, I walk on egg shells, get shaky and nauseated when he is due home, I feel like I have no soul, I have no emotion or joy just empty. I do not tell him everything for fear of his reaction. I have finally made up my mind to leave him, Iam 53 years old and I just want some life back, but how do I tell him? Iam so nervous about how he will react.

  18. Dave

    My wife grew up in an abusive home. Her mother, who was abused by her father, was emotionally and verbally abusive to my wife and 1 of her sisters. Now, I am the target of my wife’s emotional and verbal abuse. The first 5 years of our marriage were ok. She was controlling and would argue to the death about anything but it was manageable. Then, we had our first child and it has gotten progressively worse. Now, 24 years later, we can’t have a conversation beyond figuring out the daily schedule. She is very controlling of everything that goes on in our home. I have tried addressing the behaviors but she just stonewalls, dismisses and blames me. I have struggled with depression for about 17 years and have become very withdrawn from our family. Unless and until she recognizes that her behavior is destructive, our marriage is doomed. My youngest is a freshman in high school so I must endure this hell for another 3 to 4 years.

  19. Amy

    Hi this is Amy,i dnt even know where to start, I have been in this marriage for about 8 years,at first I was happy but then comes the criticism starting from the movies I like to watch to each dissension I make, now I am like someone sleeping on a tree, there is a child at steak, I am fearfull all the time when I’m in a social situation expecting what he might latter criticise about me later on, I don’t get supportive advice from him when I am seeking for one when I have stressful day at work he always make it my fault, I always pray, but now a days when I’m being insulted, I can’t take it anymore, my self believe and esteem has been washed off, I have no friend to talk to I even am scared to befriend anyone cause I’m always concerned what others think of me,i think I’m not worth anything, I’m screaming in silence everywhere I go. I’m scared to leave cause I think no one will be able to love me and I’m putting my child’s future at steak, please offer me a feel good advice!!!

  20. Kerri

    I’m shaky as I type this. Its 230am. I lost my father on March 13, 2017. Losing him & what has transpired since then has been insanely difficult. I feel as though my legs are buckling under the pressure.

    I married my oldest sons father shortly after finishing high school. Had my first child just before turning 20. By the time I decided to end my marriage, our son was only around 7mo. Eventually, I remarried again but ended up in an emotionally & verbally abusive 2nd marriage & he also was an alcoholic. 3rd times a charm, right? It took me all this time to not look away from the fact I’ve been in another emotionally abusive marriage. This time, over 10 years together. He is now my oldest sons step-dad and only father figure bc my first husband passed away unexpectedly just recently due to alcohol overdose causing heart failure. He was only 37. I’m 36. I have 3 kids. So much trauma in my background I’m a walking head case. I’m completely and utterly lost. Scared. Alone. Afraid to talk to anyone about any of it. I feel as though I’m crumbling. I’m strong and I KNOW I can manage. I’ve been through extremely difficult times before x100! but I’m having so much trouble with making up my mind. I know I have to be open about all of this with my spouse but then I’m also scared of that. I can feel it in my chest. It’s to the point where I’m going to have a nervous breakdown it’s been building for a while.

  21. Jacquilin

    Excellent! You spoke it right!!!! This is a topic that most of the people dont even think that they are doing it.

  22. evelyn

    I have learned how to be aware and mentally handle verbal abuse and physical abuse.In some instances in the past I didn:t realise at the time that the behaviour of this individual was starting to go into my physical system. causing distress and nervousness.Yes you described the behaviours to a tee.I avoid people now who cause me to feel uncomfortable my advice is do not dwell on the abuse suffered and get help to move on but most of all learn to trust someone and share otherwise this is so important for the future.Do not continue to live this way move on regardless Time is a great healer

  23. María

    Thank you so much for this post!! It brings light to a lot of anxious feelings that remain from bad experiences in my teenage years. Thank you!!

  24. Gina

    Can u recommend resources to help with this?

  25. Dewi Jones

    Why isn’t Psychological abuse mentioned, as is featured in the 1940’s film ‘Gaslighting’?

  26. Mei

    Thank you, trully, i also felt the same emotions that i had experienced while reading your blog and i an now avoiding the abusers. Sharing and retrospecting the good side and quality can only help oneself to overcome the negative eefects and it is never a hard thing ’cause our love ones are always there to supports us.

  27. Ian

    I appreciate and agree with the premise of the article, except the part where the abuser is described as a ‘He’ My abuser is a she. Women can verbally and psychologically harm even better than men in a lot of cases. Emasculation and high drama are the tools she uses. I feel like a shadow of myself sometimes. I skulk and avoid in the hope she doesnt blow up again. Ive developed a bowel disease that I suspect has come from all of this. Some days are better than others though.

  28. Michel

    Sherri, How do you overcome 59yrs of major verbal abuse and some minor physical abuse?

  29. Corinne Basquez

    My 7 year old granddaughter is a victim. The abuser is her mother. I know the damage she is and will experience her whole life because of it. The isolation is real. It’s a very scary situation that I am unable to protect her from.

    1. Jo

      Firstly, I am so sorry to hear about your family situation. I am not an expert but I will offer some advice based on experience. If you are so inclined pray for your family, your grand daughter, but also your daughter/daughter-in-law. Pray trustingly for wisdom from God and he will give it. I would advise to seek professional help, to see what best course to take, and for support. Forgive me, I do not know your situation. My heart goes out to you. You are not alone. God bless. Love and prayers x

  30. Judy S. Giles

    Having an education, understanding constructive criticism, and having a love interest as a job or hobby, can influence our common-sense and reasoning powers. Taking care of our bodies with the right nutrition, exercise can lend to future capacity in enabling our psyche. and not taking a pill every time we fill faint. Knowledge, taking care of our Health, and Being Aware of Reality!

  31. Michael

    An exceedingly well written article! It demonstrated all of the characteristics of a narcissist. Someone who I used to be married to exemplifies these qualities on a daily basis as if they were a line item bulleted point list condition per condition in so far as the way she not only disrespectfully treats my 13 year old son, but treats me as well. Toxic, dark, evil, self righteous, misaligned, harmonically out of sync, disillusioned, disdainfull, hateful, overbearing, jealous, controlling, manipulative, these are all the characteristics of an abusive person and or mindset. RUN!!!! do not walk away from this type of person.

  32. Tania

    I was physically and mentally abused. I used to say the mental abuse was worse as at least l could try and defend myself with the physical but the emotional abuse has everlasting effects.

  33. Irene Chanel pearce

    It’s amazing how something that was referred to as teaching showing them is so destructive and violatile is once referred as to learning methods the other is the ripples in the after affect and yes as it something I’ve incurred in my life I have all ways told people it’s much worse then the aggression physical abuse it’s there way and our way of we perceive our selfs through their words and eyes it’s with us playing over and over again it’s how we shape our selfs not to achieve try to positively approach our next steps as being can’t never won’t not good enough prettysonez it’s way it programmed in us never to move ahead only to hover over what could be would be that aNd positively surrounding our selfs with people that can see our true worth and qualities

  34. Carol

    So true. AND, I think it may have played A ROLE IN the establishment and maintenance of the PATRIARCHY. Here is why.

    What I believe is much more ignored is: what happens when an abused child becomes a parent and has both ingrained anxiety and the habits of isolation and not being forthcoming with true feelings–or opinions?* Then there is a likelihood that this parent also raises children without emotional intimacy, leading to a next generation of potential isolation and inability to express intimacy–at least with persons of the same gender as the wounded parent. Of course there are other factors in life than the one parent, but each parent is extremely important. (Heaven help the child with two non-intimate parents!) Children raised this way will choose partners/spouses on this basis also, involve themselves with an abusive spouse. I suspect this pattern continues for many generations in some families. It might even become a social pattern in some communities. Did this sort of thing contribute to the entire patriarchal system that downplayed/downplays the value of women? It now seems easy to me so see this as a factor. The two became mutually reinforcing patterns. After all, the patriarchy existed for many thousands of years in Eurasia –and was forcibly spread by European colonialism elsewhere.

    *Affects behaviors and roles in workplaces and other organizations as well as parenting. It affects policy decisions–as we surely know.

    1. Jenny

      This is an excellent reply… to tie in abuse with patriarchy as a technique of maintaining it and it’s inter generational effects.

  35. J

    Thank you all. I have been abused so much In my lifetime. It is a real problem to most of us that survive it. Talking to my dearest friends whom have known me for decades. They take the time to care. Thank u for this post.

  36. Teresa

    I agree with this article. I hope there will be a follow up article that will discuss building self esteem after suffering verbal abuse.

  37. Karen

    Being verbally abused as a child and now reading this article has opened my eyes to my behaviour and at 51 I’m now feeling lost and guilty and really don’t know how to fix myself.

    Everything I read seems to be true but I always feel I’m being attacked and respond incorrectly

  38. Kit

    Wow! Amazingly insightful! I grew up being bullied at home by my father and at school by boys who said awful things to me because I was fat. And they often said these things to me in front of others. The only person I really felt safe with was my mother, and when she was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 32, I developed first anxiety, and then a panic disorder. Losing her when I was 36 was the worst experience in my life and I was never the same afterward. To this day, I fear being intimidated and I often isolate from others rather than risk being in painful relationships. Right now, I am debating about attending my 50-year high school reunion. I have few good memories about my childhood, and aside from visiting my hometown and visiting my parents’ graves, I’m unsure about spending time with former classmates. Some have already apologized for their behavior via social media messages and frankly, I really don’t want to hear confessions from them about things they did in the past I was unaware of, just because they want to alleviate their guilt. I would have preferred not knowing! Yet, I feel pressure to attend, as I am 68 years old and believe this will probably by my last chance to see everyone. as we live 1500 miles away from my hometown. So, there is anxiety present for me in this decision nd I stay undecided…

  39. lalitha Subramanian

    This is very true about verbal and emotional abuse. I am going through verbal and emotional abuse from my husband for 31 years. We are married for 39 years. First eight years was good and everything turned upside down when he did the landmark forum education in Quincy MA. Now I am unable to make a decision whether stay with him or go and live with my daughter. My kids grew up watching their father treat their mom with verbal abuse. any tip to go through this abuse. I am 66 and still working. He never had a nice job for a long time.

  40. Robert Bengtson

    Great overview and important to point out.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about this in terms of our core beliefs / belief-systems.
    How they get developed (imprinted, implemented) when we’re young.
    And how significantly impactful verbal abuse can be.

    Who do we think we are?
    What would Love do?

  41. Virgins

    I’m Interested in the empirical researched you used for this article as you don’t cite any sources other than lived experience. I was verbally abused by my ex for 20 years. Our son sadly witnessed this. He ended up ghosting me, not his dad, 5 yrs ago at age 29.
    His only explanation ? I tried to get him help for depression at age 16 after he had been suicidal. None of my sons verbal abuse of me was acknowledged as being learned from his dad. It’s frustrating. Good read. I’m a research based person so any data or sources would be appreciated.

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