Harsh words and criticism still hurt me however now I am able to say NO, this is not acceptable and detach from people who mistreat me. I am a highly sensitive person and I am not shamed anymore about that. I describe my spiritual journey this in my book “My Journey to Self-Discovery, A Memoir of my Slovenian Roots and Growth in America” which can be purchased by going to my website www.NaturalStressManagement.
I used to keep attracting the “wrong” people in my life who had mistreated me the same way that my mom did. It is an ongoing healing journey. In a way, it was a blessing in disguise. If I didn’t learn how to heal, and adopt techniques that work, I wouldn’t have been able to help thousands of people in my clinical practice. Especially women really resonate with my story and it gives them hope that if they continue healing and working on self-love, things will change and they will finally feel good about themselves.
The worst thing is when abuse starts with your family members; the people who are supposed to love you and protect you. I know how it feels like to continuously walk on egg shelves and in fear that you will be severely punished, criticized, and humiliated. You have no self-esteem and don’t trust people. Drama and toxic environment is a norm so when you find yourself in a relationship that is loving and peaceful you almost don’t know what to do with it. I say to my clients that if it is “boring” it is HEALTHY.
In her book, “You Can’t Say No To Me” Suzette Haden Elgin speaks about the importance of recognizing abuse. Awareness is the first step. Two major risk factors for illness and injury are HOSTILITY and LONELINESS. People who are hostile or lonely (or both) get sick and injured MORE OFTEN. Verbal abuse is literally DANGEROUS to our health, in the SAME WAY that contaminated food and polluted water and toxic waste. I have been suffering from anxiety and depression all my life which was directly related to the trauma associated with the abuse. Luckily, I knew early in my life that it is NOT MY FAULT. Working with a compassionate therapist was key to my healing. Remember, you DID not cause this in any way to be mistreated this way. Abusers will try to convince you that YOU MADE THEM this way. Don't believe this!
If you are the victim of verbal abuse, here are some guidelines:
1. No verbal abuser can achieve their goals of verbal abuse without the PARTICIPATION of a verbal victim.
2. Because it takes for both abuser and victim to carry out verbal abuse, the victim shares SOME responsibility for what happens and the victim is not helpless. I will add that you can leave the person or situation if the abuser is not open to getting professional help.
3. There are other ways that don’t involve pleading and interacting to achieve your goal of putting an end to the hurtful behavior.
4. The ONLY way to deal effectively with the abuse is to use LANGUAGE (including body language) – make it ABSOLUTELY CLEAR to the abuser that you WILL NOT serve as a verbal abuse victim.
What helped me in addition to therapy are some other techniques and approaches:
1. Journaling (I’ve been journaling since age 9 and that’s how I was able to write my book)
2. Meditation (I’ve been meditating now over 15 years)
3. Exercise, including yoga, hiking, and swimming
4. Working with a therapist and energy medicine healers
5. Eating healthy, mostly plant-based diet and drinking plenty of water
6. Sharing with compassionate and kind people who became my friends
7. Never believing for a minute that any kind of abuse is justifiable
8. Utilizing Reiki and other energy medicine techniques, such as Emotional Freedom Technique (“tapping”). I am also a Reiki level II practitioner
9. Spending time in nature
10. Loving myself no matter what!
Don’t suffer; seek professional help. I offer 15 minutes complimentary consultation at 561-299-1028 or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org