Nurtured in the furnace of shame,
The abuse-foetus grows,
And lies in wait,
Fed on the poison of rejection,
Never good enough,
Never loved enough,
And then it stirs
And leaves the eternal scar.
How it rings eternally in your ear,
Bringing fear at your worthlessness,
Becoming the inner negative voice,
Reminding you of your uselessness,
Eternally labelled stupid and incompetent,
Hardly fit to inhabit the space you take.
Your soul bows before the onslaught,
A tree in the eye of the storm,
The wounding hail that stings,
Before the calm
Unlike physical abuse, verbal abuse is not illegal, except perhaps in the context of workplace bullying or defamation. It is, however, lethal in its destructive power. No wonder St. James writes about the tongue, and how this small bodily member can inflict such huge hurt! A tiny spark can destroy an entire forest! This is well illustrated in Patricia Evan’s blogs, The Verbally Abusive Relationship and Verbal Abuse. Survivors Speak Out, which are worth reading for a more comprehensive understanding of verbal abuse.
Adapted from Jim O’Shea’s book Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying published by Cork University Press
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