According to Patricia Evan’s in The Verbally Abusive Relationship, There are 15 different types of verbal abuse:
Purchase her book here: http://www.patriciaevans.com/
**You can find Types of Verbal Abuse #1-5 HERE
**You can find Types of Verbal Abuse #6-11 HERE
11. Name Calling
~”You are a cruel, cruel woman.” He held the door open to the van while the children sat in the back, witnesses to everything that was being said. I was leaving our visitation with him and taking the kids back home. He had grabbed the door and held it while he railed at me about breaking up our family.
~I was very pregnant. Whenever I would bend over for any reason a loud, shrill beeping sound would echo throughout the house. He was ‘beeping’ at me like a hauling truck beeps when it backs up. The message was clear. I was huge and he was laughing.
There are a lot of other stories I could have told for name calling. The names that come out of an abusers mouth are vile and targeted directly to the victim’s heart. Calling me “cruel” was calculated to hurt me the most because he knows that I value kindness, fairness, and gentleness. I wanted to make the point that name calling can, and usually does, include names that aren’t necessarily the worst swear words our language has to offer. Name calling can also include gestures and sounds.
Name calling defines a person. It is intended to define who they are and what their motivation is. It is usually said in such a way that the victim becomes defensive and yet has no viable recourse or road of defense. It is definitive and final when someone calls you names. Using obviously hurtful words, like fat, slut and bitch is verbal abuse, but so is calling someone what could be considered ‘nice’ words if they are used to hurt and define the victim.
Are you called names? Can you think of names you’ve been called that are obviously hurtful and mean? Can you think of names you’ve been called that are not so obvious but have hurt you deeply?
If you say “YES” to any of these questions, you may be in a verbally abusive relationship.
“I don’t remember saying that? Are you going crazy? I would never have said something like that! I work all week, why would I want to go anywhere today? I was planning on going to church!” I had got up early that morning and worked hard at getting the kids ready for an outing to the beach. We had been planning for a few days to take the kids to the beach. I knew that the majority of getting ready was my responsibility. I had lunch packed, kids dressed, extra clothes packed, towels, blanket, water, and even buckets to collect beach treasures in. I had just woken him up so we could leave in time and he blew up!! He wasn’t ready to be awake. We didn’t plan to go to the beach today.
Forgetting is an effective way to get out of doing what was promised. It is also a great way to conveniently change reality by denying what happened. Often, when an abuser forgets, they will also accuse the victim of making things up or trying to control them, when in fact that is exactly what the abuser is doing. It seems really unreasonable, for most of us, to accuse someone of purposely forgetting, as you are basically calling them a liar. The abuser counts on the fact that you will have a hard time arguing reality with them.
Do you often wonder if you are going crazy because you can’t seem to remember things? Does your memory rarely match that of your abuser? Are you scared of holding your abuser accountable for their memory because you know they will ‘change’? Do you make contingency plans when you are preparing to do something or go somewhere, knowing that he might ‘forget’?
If you said “YES” to any of these, you may be in a verbally abusive relationship.
“Go sit in the car.” His tone was definitive. I was not to say anything else. I had disagreed with him, out loud, in the store. He had had enough and had ordered me to go to the car like I was a little child. I refused and his tone became darker. “I said, go to the car.” I stared at him for a long while. Our eyes making contact. I dared to refuse again. He slammed his foot down and glowered at me. “You’ll regret this.”
Ordering is a direct form of control. It presumes the victim is to be treated like a child, and the abuser is in charge as a parent. Ordering a grownup around is humiliating to the victim. It’s also scary because it has been driven home time and again that the victim must obey. Spiritual abuse often goes along with ordering because women and men are taught women should always obey and submit to their husbands. Even though this is not biblical, it is what an abuser will use to order their victim to do their bidding.
Are you told, in no uncertain terms, what to do? Are you bossed around and punished if you don’t ‘obey’? Do you jump when he says jump, knowing that if you don’t you’ll pay for it?
If you say ‘YES’ to any of these questions, you may be in a verbally abusive relationship.
I asked him to fix the drawer. He got really mad and threw the drawer down the stairs. I got so scared and went to hide in the closet. Later, when I came down determined to confront him with his behavior, he denied it ever happened! He even took me by my arm and forced me to look in every nook and corner of the basement for evidence that he had thrown the drawer. He had obviously cleaned up the mess and when I found some evidence, I was too afraid of him to confront him with it.
Denial is also called ‘gaslighting’. It is when someone denies reality outright. They will deny specific situations ever happened, they will deny their words, they will openly and defiantly deny the victims experiences and do everything they can to prove that the victim is nuts. They’ll say they never did it, it never happened, you were imagining things, you must be going crazy! After years of gaslighting, victims will lose their ability to believe in their own experiences. Its an extremely effective form of control and abuse used to gain control over the victim’s thoughts and mental capacity.
Are you told you are crazy for thinking something happened? Do you wonder if you are insane? Do your experiences get questioned and denied?
If you say “YES” to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship.
I can’t remember what led up to it. I can’t remember if I had done something or said something or what. All I remember is standing there and all of a sudden, yelling and swearing he cleared the desk with his arm. Paper, pens, files, keyboard all went flying across the room. I was frozen scared. He yelled and yelled.
Abusive anger can come out of nowhere for no reason. It is often explosive and scary. The victim is left stunned, confused and often feeling blamed for whatever just took place. Afterward, the abuser will blame by coming up with reasons why they did what they did. They’ll explain their behavior in such a way that removes their personal responsibility.
Does your partner suddenly burst out in anger? Do you sometimes feel the anger building but don’t know when it will explode? Do you try to keep tabs on your partners mood so that you can tell when the explosion will take place? Does your partner explain away their abusive anger?
If you answered ‘YES’ to any of these questions, you may be in a verbally abusive relationship.
I found, that the more I was subject to verbal abuse from my ex, the more chaotic my brain became. It’s like his manipulations caused my brain function to melt. I felt like I was walking through a mud bog, at night, without direction or light. When I had my ‘AHHA’ moment of realization that I was being abused, I put myself on a path to learn as much about abuse as I could. The very first book I read on the subject was Patricia Evan’s book “The Verbally Abusive Relationship”. It was a life saver for me emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.
I was so afraid and yet so empowered to learn about what I was living through. It was those steps toward understanding that finally set me free. I was worried that I would break some sort of Biblical command if I began to stand against the abuse in my relationship. It took time but I soon realized that throughout the Bible, it is clear that God does not condone or excuse abuse.
Through my journey, I learned that the Bible instructs us to be wise as serpents and at the same be as gentle as doves (Matt 10:16). We are also to guard our hearts which means, in part, to protect ourselves from harm physically and emotionally (Prov 4: 23). By having knowledge of verbal abuse and manipulation, you will be better armed to recognize, deal with and guard against the tactics of verbal abusers. God never intends for anyone to be verbally harmed by others. Verbal abuse goes directly against the Biblical mandate to love others as yourself. Don’t be afraid to judge the words and actions of those who might harm you, as your body and mind are a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).
I am no longer afraid to face abuse and call it out for what it is. I no longer worry that I was sinning by leaving my abusive marriage. I am at total peace, knowing beyond any doubt that Gods will for me and for all his people is love, and love is not found in an abusive relationship.
I pray that your journey will bring you to freedom and safety!