How often, when you’re asked if you’re okay, do you answer “I’m fine”?

How much thought have you given to whether that’s true — and what experiences might have left you not “fine”? 

For many men who’ve survived verbal and/or emotional trauma, it’s hard to come to grips with the impact that had on them.

They don’t want to believe that such experiences can harm their enjoyment of life. 

Maybe you feel this way, too. But, in truth, emotional abuse impacts the survivor greatly. These impacts can be evidenced by:

  • Doubt: Questioning yourself, your merits, and/or your value.
  • Negative Self-Talk: Having an inner monologue that assumes the worst, about you and about your circumstances. This inner voice can come from the language your abuser used against you.
  • Shame: Feeling like something’s wrong with you.

These struggles will continue unless you recognize the abuse and work to heal from it.

Otherwise, even if you try to address the symptoms, you won’t get at the root of your negative sense of self. 

When I went to therapy, I was deciding to acknowledge the abuse I went through. I was able to use therapy to work against my abusers’ voices in my head. It took work, but those harmful effects began to lose their control of me.

I invite you to seek help, if you’re starting to recognize these harmful effects. Your pain is real, and you deserve to live a life that’s free of it.

In what specific ways might verbal abuse affect someone’s everyday life?

By Matt Burton