Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Verbal Abuse; When Children Abuse Parents

If you have ever been ripped open by someone else's rage, you know how excruciating, confusing and mind bending the experience of being deliberately harmed can be.

When those we love are unable to rationalize their feelings, we sometimes wind up being used as an emotional whipping post.  Because we care for the one we love who seems to be in pain, we stand there and listen to their words in an attempt to somehow comprehend where their pain is coming from.  But when the one we love is spewing in rage, and the words that are coming from their mouths are cruel and spoken with the intent to cripple us, it is all but impossible at times to not crumble under the weight of the verbal attack.

Verbal abuse is not an easy form of abuse to acknowledge or identify.  Because the one who is in rage is convinced their anger is justified, they are detached from the consequences their words are having on their victims.  Because very often people who are raging and spewing their crucifying accusations at others do not resort to violence, the abuser fails to recognize they have done any harm.

When a parent is verbally assaulting a child, it is fairly easy to identify.  And when a man is demoralizing his wife, this too is a situation involving verbal abuse that is not difficult to define as abusive.  But when the rage involved belongs to a child, and the person at the other end of the rampage is a parent, it is not a situation that is as easy to identify as abusive.  Because their is a presumed responsibility of parent to child, the boundaries are not as easily defined.  But anytime a person is in rage, and as a result is unable to take responsibility for the cruel words that come from their mouths, the exchange is considered abusive.

When there is a deep love between a parent and a child, and when the child lashes out, is accusatory, casts blame, is vulgar, disrespectful, and belittles the parent, it is quite difficult for the parent to be able to think clearly.  Because as parents we want nothing more than to witness our children being happy, when we discover our children are unhappy, and then in turn are blamed for their unhappiness through the rampage of verbal assaults, it is sometimes an impossible thing not to crumble under the weight of shattered dreams.

It is crucial however, that parents do not tolerate verbal abuse. In order for healing to ever occur, boundaries must be adhered to.  Open, clear, calm communication, with the heartfelt intent to heal what is at the root of the issues is essential to the healing process.  If the child is unable to speak about their feelings without an attachment to rage, then professional help should be considered.

There is never any reason to feel like a prisoner in ones own home.  A parent should never fear their child's anger, rage, words, or physical abuse.  Whenever words are used with the intent of harming another in an emotional, spiritual or intellectual way, the exchange is considered abusive.  Detach, stay quiet and calm, and above all things maintain clear boundaries, and seek help from professionals.