From the moment someone is born, their mother has incredible power over them. She has the power to build them up or the power to tear them down. Ideally, one would have had a mother who was: loving, supportive and kind, for instance. But there are also people out there who had the complete opposite.
Their mother could have been someone who wasn’t nurturing on the odd occasion or they may have always been this way. And as they have so much power, it won’t necessarily matter whether one had a mother who was verbally abusive every now and then or all the time.
The fact that one has been exposed to this kind of behaviour, no matter how often it occurred, is enough to cause all kinds of damage. And while one may no longer be a child, it doesn’t mean that the past is truly behind them.
There is still the chance that one’s mother is still causing them problems, and yet one doesn’t need to still be in contact with her either. She could have passed away or one could have cut off all contact, but her presence can still remain. And this is because she still exists in their mind.
However, even though one had or still has a mother who is verbally abusive, it doesn’t mean that one is able to admit to how they truly feel. And one of the reasons for this is how mothers are generally portrayed by society.
They are generally seen as people who deserved to be revered for the effort they put into raising a child, amongst other things. And this is an outlook is something that will apply to a lot of mothers out there. But as anyone will know who has been verbally abused by their mother – it doesn’t apply to all of them.
This social conditioning, along with the views of other people who had loving mothers, can stop someone from facing their emotional truth. Should one face how they feel, they could end up feeling: guilty, ashamed and fearful. As well as having to experience being rejected and abandoned once more.
These factors can then cause one to live in denial, and all the time they live this way, they will never truly heal themselves. They will continue to be tormented internally and to attract situations that mirroring what is taking place within them.
If one doesn’t deny how they feel, they can end up blaming their mothers for what happened. And while this may allow someone to experience a momentary release, it won’t allow them to move on from what happened. One will need to embrace how they feel and through this, healing will take place.
As a child, one wouldn’t have had any boundaries, and so they would have been wide open to all that was said to them. If ones mother generally gave them massages that were positive, supportive and empowering, this wouldn’t have mattered.
The problems arise when one had a mother who was: critical, hateful and abusive, for example. This is what one would have internalised. And everything would have been taken personally, even though it was simply an expression of the pain their mother was in.
Ultimately, it had nothing to do with who one was and yet that wouldn’t have mattered; It came from their mother, and so it was taken as the truth.
As these messages entered one’s mind, they would have gone on to become their self image. So how worthy they are, their value, how competent they and if they are lovable, will depend on how they were treated.
And when it comes to people who were verbally abused by their mothers, there is going to be the chance that their self image is not very empowering or even very accurate. They could feel as though they are worthless, a failure and that no matter what they do, they will never be enough.
How one talk’s to themselves would also have been defined by how their mother spoke to them. In the beginning, their mother would have needed to be around for them to be verbally abused, but as time passed, her voice would have become internalised.
And this voice, as well as their self image, can cause one to sabotage their relationships, success, happiness and health. Instead of one being their own best friend, they are then their own worst enemy.
What this verbal abuse can lead to is the outlook that one is inherently flawed. No matter what they do or what they achieve, they will never be worthy of what life has to offer and even life itself.
And if one had a mother who did all they could to pull one down, it is only normal that one would feel this way. Carrying a deep sense of shame is a consequence of what they have gone through.
This is why it will be important for one to embrace their emotional truth and to admit to how they feel. When one denies how they feel, they allow their feelings to control them. And even though they were treated in these ways, it doesn’t reflect who they are or their value.
It might be necessary for one to seek the assistance of a therapist or healer to allow them to move beyond what happened. The emotional pain of being verbally abused is probably still trapped in one’s body and this will need to be realised. And the beliefs that one created about themselves, as a result of how they were treated, will also need to be changed.
This won’t happen overnight, but if one puts in the work, their life will gradually change. The most important thing is that one reaches out and doesn’t suffer in silence.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.