Have you ever gotten one?
One of those emails that comes when you’re busy with everything else that is very important – and out of the blue you start reading the next file in the list and you’re taken aback. It accuses you and attacks you, and it says I hate you, using other words. It’s hate mail, and it leaves you shaking if you read it to the end.
You want to yell and scream, and call the person names in return. You wonder where this is coming from…
You ask for a conservation instead – knowing it must be a misunderstanding….
When the conversation that is supposed bring understanding happens, none of the accusations or hurtful words are ever acknowledged. More confusion. You face more criticism and attack and no one ever apologizes. Someone bullies and pushes until you give in… You give in, because you know by now, it is the only way to escape. Duck, run for cover, unless you escape it will not end.
You feel like you’ve been hit by a semi truck and left on the side of the road to die.
All you care about now is how to defend yourself from THAT person. How to escape, how to get away and how to make sure that never happens again.
It’s not pretty – it’s anything but.
It has happened to me several times.
At the end of that day, I crawled in bed – at 7 pm.
I did that for 3 days. I physically felt sick. I wanted to stay in bed – forever.
Verbal abuse is when someone verbally attacks you. I know I’ve been abused when I have a physical response to the attack. I go into defensive survival mode. I get nauseated and overly tired.
Experts say that verbal abuse creates emotional pain and mental anguish. It is a lie told to you, or about you. The words may be emotionally damning, or careless, but it is something beyond harshness or constructive criticism. It comes from a place that is outside of the boundaries of your relationship that imposes someone else’s definitions of you – and includes their unreasonable judgments.
Patricia Evans (http://www.verbalabuse.com/) says — verbal abuse defines people (the accused) by telling them what they are, what they think, their motives, and so forth.
They say perception is reality.
The attack that I endured recently came from someone who appeared to be normal and decent, and it came of the blue. In an instant my perception of THEIR reality changed. I realized that I didn’t really know them like you thought. I realized that they thought their violent behavior was somehow acceptable. When I tried to understand why someone who I previously trusted, had become violent I felt emotionally drained, confused, and bewildered.
It wasn’t until I talked to a friend at the end of that week that things started getting better… I was in the presence of someone who cared, and knew me and respected me. It was someone who knew I wasn’t any of the things that I was being accused of, and I needed to hear her say it, out loud. I needed to think and problem solve, and the only way for me to do that was to talk to someone. I also needed physical presence – because the verbal abuse, from the electronic and subsequent real-life conversation was violent on so many levels. It took every ounce of my energy to manage it all.
Why do I write?
What’s the point?
Presence can be healing.
Subsequent to the attack, and when time finally permitted I sought presence. I sought the presence of words that gave me hope, and words that brought comfort and healing. I sought the presence of people who I knew cared, and who I knew were kind and respectful. They had my best interests at heart.
Psalms 16:10 (NIV) says;
“You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
I first sought the presence of my heavenly father, and Savior.
Then, I sought presence and advice from friends who cared.
I needed a safe place.
I found words of comfort, wisdom, protection and hope, and when I did, I finally slept restfully.
Psalms 91:1-2 says;
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
The promise is sure. I will continue to find rest and protection in trusting God.
If you are in need of protection, or healing presence today, I pray you will find this shelter as well, and when another needs it, I pray you will bring them healing as well.
If you are in a relationship that is chronically abusive, or are struggling with this issue at a deeper level – this website also offers helpful resources – http://www.verbalabuse.com
If you are thinking of writing one of those emails ….think again.