Emotional Abuse vs Physical Abuse

Emotional AbuseEmotional abuse versus physical abuse. How are they alike and how are they different?

The photo above was on my Facebook and it really tugged at my heart strings. I left a comment which read, “Physical abuse leaves abrasions and bruises, and possibly visible scars. Emotional abuse leaves a hole in your heart that can’t be filled. I keep hoping that just maybe someday the hole in my heart will be able to be filled. The hurt stays for years.”

Now I will go into further detail about abuse as I see it and as I felt it growing up. For as long as I can remember I have been told many different things over and over again. None of the things that I can remember are positive, unfortunately they are all negative. They started before I was even 4 years old. Here goes the list:

1, You haven’t been wanted since the day it was known that you were going to be. It wasn’t until I learned about the reproduction cycle for females in the fourth grade when I was 9 or 10 years old. I was crushed. My mother had always told me that my real Father had wanted her to fall down the stairs and “lose me”. When I found out about miscarriages I knew what “lose me” meant.

2. You are just a tomboy, you don’t even act like a little girl. Little girls don’t climb trees and shed roofs. I liked to play with the children that were having fun, and it seemed to me that the boys were always having more fun than the girls. And because of my roughness, I was also told that I could wreck a battleship.

3. Since I was very skinny as a little girl, I was called such names as; “Skinny Minnie”, “Olive Oil”, “Bean Pole”, and even “Telephone Pole”. Yes, I laughed at them, but they hurt and I cried when I was alone.

4. You are my backwards child and always do everything wrong. You are so exasperating that you could make a preacher cuss.

5. You are so accident prone it’s not funny. You are just an accident waiting to happen.

6. I wanted to be a nurse when I was growing up, so I took all the courses I needed in high school so that I would be accepted into Nursing School when I graduated from high school. Before it was time to apply to the different schools, I was told that,”You will never make it in nursing school. You better go to business school so that if and when you fail out of nursing school, you will have something to fall back on.” So I went to business school and got a computer programming degree. After graduation, I was so busy paying back the school loan that I never did go to nursing school.

7. I was so depressed about everything that was happening to me, that I was a mixed up mess. My mother told me that a psychiatrist would have a field day with me.

These are the major ones that always come up when I least expect them to. Something totally different can be happening and a conversation get started and turned around and the paths in life that people chose come up. It’s then, that totally unexpected the memories come flooding back.

All emotional scars do not come from things that have been said, they also come from things that are done and not done, but still “speak” very loudly. Growing up, as I said , I was a skinny child with poker straight hair, and threw temper fits and hit my head on the bars of my playpen. I was always in pain from my stomach or bladder, and therefore kept throwing the temper fits. My sister, on the other hand, was pretty and had naturally curly hair, and would sit on a blanket for hours pulling the fuzz and making little fuzz balls between her fingers and sucking her tongue. I was usually dressed in cotton dresses and my sister was dressed in lacy velveteen dresses a lot. She was always being held and fussed over. I was left to fend for myself. I can remember one time when my great Aunt Eunice and Great Uncle Everett were at my grandmother’s house visiting us. They were taking pictures of all of us to keep for later. We had a rocking horse and were told to group around it. My brother was in long pants and a button down the front shirt standing in front of the rocking horse, my sister was in a velveteen dress with lace on it standing beside my brother, and I was sitting on the horse wearing a cotton dress. I had fallen a couple of days earlier and had a skinned up knee. So that people would notice me, I pulled up my dress and showed my skinned knee. When I see that picture to this day, I just want to cry.

It is true that a person can forgive others for things that have been said or done. One thing that most people find almost impossible to do is to forget about the bad things that happen in our life. Possibly this is true because the bad things hurt so much worse than living everyday life. When we are handling life from day to day and not being upset, even if we are extremely happy, unless we are somewhere special like on vacation, we don’t remember all these times as being specific times. However, when bad things happen, they are usually so traumatic for the person that the incident is remembered. Since the bad things are remembered, they tend to resurface whenever something similar happens. With them resurfacing like they do, they are even harder to try to forget. A person has to concentrate everyday not to let these flashbacks take charge of their life. I know that it is very hard to do, and at times, almost impossible to do, but we have to keep trying. As Winston Churchill said in a very famous speech, that I have copied an excerpt from here, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” These are very powerful words.

On the same line I wrote a poem about being a winner or a quitter, and have put it here for you to read if you would like to.


Winners never quit and quitters never win

For if you’re a quitter then you’ve stopped trying and given in

A fighter never won a fight with delivering a powerful blow

A runner never won a race by running very slow

This is how it goes in everyone’s life

Even in the middle of turmoil and strife

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Is a phrase that helps people do a lot of growing

They say “The best things in life are free.”

And that “No one ever said the way would be easy.”

There are so many different walks in life

Here too you have to decide what for you will be right

If by chance the firsr one you choose doesn’t work

Don’t be a quitter but a winner and for another one look

For you can’t give up if you want to win

Because winners never quit and quitters never win


Bonnie Jean

November 11, 1989

This poem won an Honorable Mention March 31, 1991 from the World Of Poetry.

I hope this post helps in some way. I know the struggles, because I have them everyday, just like everybody else. How these struggles affect us depends on how we react to them. I wish everybody the best in their reactions.