I relate to these excerpts from the article entitled “Escape From an Emotionally and Verbally Abusive Father” on the Psychology Today website. They continue to help me understand verbal abuse and why it is so hard to know it’s happening when you simply grew up with it and trusted your parent.
“Many victims of emotional abuse don’t even know they are being abused. Before Dianna read Patricia Evans’s books, she could never put her finger on what was wrong, but now she had words for it. Finally she could make sense of what her father was doing, as well as explain her unhappiness and her suicidal thoughts.”
…”Most people did not believe Dianna was being verbally abused, because her father wasn’t abusive when others were around. It’s common, unfortunately, for abusers to act one way in private and another way in public.”
…”The fact that Dianna’s father seems so normal—even charismatic, fun, funny, and sweet—to others has made it difficult for Dianna to receive any empathy or understanding as well. In fact, many relatives and friends still try to convince her that she should have more contact with her father and visit him. Over time, she has had to distance herself from certain relatives, and her circle of friends and family has shrunk more and more, making her feel more lonely and isolated than she already felt.”