The thing about abuse is that you don’t always realize it’s abuse at the beginning. So you make excuses for it. You say stuff like, “Oh he was just in a bad mood.” Or, “She had a rough day—it’s fine.”
It’s not fine. It’s like rock paper scissors but in real life. Rock breaks the scissors, the scissors cut paper and paper covers rock. Mental beats verbal, verbal is the icing on top of physical, and physical trumps mental because it’s visible.
The world we live in today people are so comfortable opening their mouths to let you know every single possible emotion and thought they’re going through. What happened to biting their tongue so that feelings wouldn’t get hurt as much? Or trying to make somebody feel better when they already feel bad? Instead of building up we try to break down the other person so that they change. We tried to show them their flaws because we would rather point out the bad than observe and note the good.
We have all been bullied, we have all been verbally abused, we have all been there, however, some of us have been there more than others. I myself have been a victim of physical, verbal, and mental abuse. I can tell you firsthand I’d rather have physical any day of the week versus verbal or mental. I know I’m a speech therapist for my career, so I’m obligated to enjoy words but also as your non-legal speech therapist, words can kill and words can cure. When you are being told you are a certain way or you get called a bitch or an asshole or a fuck up, those stick with you longer than any black eye. In my case of abuse, I fight back every time, use my tongue like a sword trying not to abuse but to elicit emotions and identify what the other person is doing to me. The really shitty part is is that you cannot control what others say to you, but you can control how you react. Enter the beloved fight or flight. For me, it is always fight for as long as I can remember, it has never been flight. I’m sure that’s why some days I’m too tired to fight back.
I’m a big Robin Williams fan and there was a movie in particular that I did connect to. Patch Adams. There is a quote that I live by from that movie. Most days I wish others lived by it too, "You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you'll win, no matter what the outcome.”
I don’t know how we got to this point where everybody feels they can tell off everyone, hurt feelings, broken spirits. But I guess we're all just five-year-olds running around on the playground in adult form?
For all the broken spirits out there being mentally physically or verbally abused, you have to fight for yourself. You have to fight for your life. You have to fight so the other person can see what they’re doing. You have to fight back, because you are important. You are needed. You have a purpose.