Verbal affirmation: That is my love language. I don’t really remember when words became so important to me. I remember writing my first song when I was in the 4th grade. I wrote songs and poetry in high school and even had a poem published in a creative writing publication through the school.
I do remember, however, when words started to hurt, when words felt like fists, when words changed me for the rest of my life. That is what verbal abuse will do to you. It leaves you in deep pain, beaten, and defeated. “I love you, so I’m going to tell you all that is wrong with you! Everyone else, your friends and co-workers, they think the same things about you that I’m saying. They just don’t love you enough to tell you.” I heard that day after day. Words and more words just chipping away at my lonely soul. Oh if only I had really known by heart Proverbs 18:2 “Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.” (That’s a good one and pretty much describes a verbal abuser.)
Here is one small example. When he would get angry he would (what I call) rage at me for hours. He would go on and on about what I had done wrong, twisting and turning it making me wish I was smarter or could have known how to say or do whatever it was I had not done right. I remember one night he was angry at something I don’t recall what it was. He had been raging and angry for a couple hours and I was exhausted. I was exhausted from defending myself and the long day and needed to go to work the next morning. I turned the light off and told him lets just try to calm down and go to bed. I got into bed and he flipped the light on in my face and said he was not finished with me yet but that he would after his shower. While he was in the shower I went and made a bed on the floor of the baby’s room thinking he would leave me alone and let me sleep if I was in there because he would not want the little one to wake up. Exhausted, I drifted off to sleep until I was awakened suddenly feeling breath on my face and in the darkness I was able to make out his eyes a few inches from my face. My heart began pounding. He coldly whispered that he was not finished with me and if I wouldn’t come back into our room he would drag me back in there. I started whispering/begging to let me sleep and finish it the next day but he grabbed the corners of the blanket and proceeded to drag me out of the room. He got about half way and I heard the baby stir. I did not want the little one to wake up! So I got up, head hanging and followed him back into the room. I don’t remember what happened after that. I just remember my deeply broken and bruised spirit as I walked out of that room. I remember the fear, shame, and humiliation.
At the end of the movie, Labyrinth, is another very good example of what emotional and verbal abuse looks like. The goblin king originally plays the victim making the object of his affection, the girl feel like she is ungrateful for all he’s done even though the things he’s done have actually been against her and have been meant to harm her. Next is the big part of the contradiction of abuse. He says to let him rule her. He says to do as he says and he will be her slave. That can not happen it is the opposite. You can not have both because one will always be in control and dominate the other. Also, more importantly, when comparing it to spousal abuse is how he says to fear him and love him! Take a look at this verse! 1 John 4:18 NIV “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” You can’t have fear of that person and receive love! That’s not love.
Because verbal affirmation is my love language, I honestly think that is why that kind of abuse had such a profound impact on me. Words, good and bad, hit right to my heart. My husband can clean and do laundry (which I’m not hatin) however if he doesn’t verbalize his love to me, I wonder what ulterior motive might he have. Sounds crazy but that is me.
This post was also published on familyfusioncommunity.com and here is the link: http://familyfusioncommunity.com/2013/11/04/words-words-words/. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you need someone to pray with you if you are in this kind of relationship.