Social illness

How to Deal With Verbally Abusive Parents — Talkspace

How to Deal & Heal from Parental Verbal Abuse 

Ideally, a parent should provide warmth, comfort, and support. When parents are verbally abusive, it can leave you feeling as though you don’t deserve love. You may fear future treatment or believe that you’re alone in your feelings. 

“Healing from parental abuse can be hard, as the effects of it can be seen in adulthood as well. By engaging in therapy, one can process through negative thoughts and feelings from that time and learn strategies to deal with it.”

Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LMHC

If your parents have verbally abused you (or if you’ve also experienced emotional abuse), it’s important to recognize that you’re not alone. While verbal abuse can be extremely harmful, you can learn to cope with and heal from the abuse you’ve experienced. Dealing with your abuse will allow you to build healthy relationships and have a more enriching, full life.

Understand that it’s not your fault

Many victims of parental abuse blame themselves. Even if your parents had good intentions, they’re still responsible for their own behavior. Remind yourself that you didn’t do anything to cause the abuse. Your parents are the ones at fault, not you.

Set boundaries

If you choose to have a relationship with your parents, setting clear and firm family boundaries is important. Sit down and talk with them about their behavior. Let them know that you won’t tolerate verbal abuse. If those boundaries are crossed, remove yourself from the situation and remind your parents that you won’t allow this behavior any longer.

Be compassionate

Many parents who verbally abuse their children also experienced childhood emotional abuse themselves. Try to empathize with your parents and forgive them for how they treated you. Even if you don’t want to have a relationship with them, forgiving your parents for past behavior can help you let go and heal.

Focus on personal growth

Instead of ruminating on what happened in the past, work to build a better future for yourself. Think about your personal goals and what you want to achieve. Setting aside time for personal development can help you rebuild your self-confidence and improve your life.

Ask for help

Healing after emotional abuse or verbal abuse can be a long and challenging process. Therapy can help you process your abuse and recognize how it’s impacted your life. With the help of a mental health professional, you can also learn to set boundaries with your verbally abusive parents and protect yourself from their toxic behavior and future harm. 

Talkspace can be your first step toward healing from a verbally abusive environment and abusive parenting. Our online therapy platform makes it easy for you to get the help you need.

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