Dawson’s Blog

What Is Verbal / Emotional Abuse?

what is emotional abuseAs I’ve been blogging about abuse, and read your comments and hear your stories on my radio show, I’m continually faced with how cruel so many people can be to each other. Perhaps you have suffered tragic abuse at the hands of someone you thought you could trust. This is not how it’s supposed to be. But even though we live in a world where abuse runs rampant, there is still reason to find hope and keep pressing forward with your life. I want to help you do that. I’ve blogged about physical and sexual abuse, now I want to explore perhaps the most common abuse of all verbal/emotional abuse.

Even though we live in a world where #abuse exists there is still reason to hope and press forward. Click To Tweet

What is Verbal/Emotional Abuse?

Justin described it like this: My father has always been very verbally abusive to my brother and me for as far back as I can remember. He’d tell us that we would never amount to anything, and would never be a real man like himself — some ‘real man’ huh?

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. This old saying could not be farther from the truth. Verbal/emotional abuse happens when yelling and anger go too far or when someone constantly criticizes, threatens, or dismisses you until your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are damaged. It also includes being around constant family conflict.

Here are some examples of verbal/emotional abuse:

  • Constant belittling, shaming, and humiliating
  • Calling names and making negative comparisons to others
  • Constantly telling someone he or she is “no good,” “worthless,” “bad,” or “a mistake”
  • Yelling, threatening, or bullying
  • Ignoring or rejecting someone, giving him or her the silent treatment
  • Witnessing acts that cause a feeling of helplessness and horror, such as domestic violence or watching another sibling or pet be abused

boy with hands on earsThis kind of abuse may seem invisible. But the effects can be extremely damaging and may even leave deeper lifelong psychological scares than physical or sexual abuse.

Kent shared: My mom tells me that she doesn’t want me, and that she doesn’t love me. And that’s not right. I thought a mother can love her child forever, maybe she does and just gets sick of dealing with my daily problems/concerns. Kent is feeling deep pain he never should have to feel. No child, teenager, or young adult should be responsible for the emotional well-being of his/her parent.

Jenn described her abusive home life: My mom has this strange way of doing things and she abuses in the way of controlling me to the point that I feel if I don’t please her I feel like my heart breaks because I’m breaking hers. She controls me in the way she guilts me into everything — going to the store, being with my boyfriend, hanging out with friends — she feels if I’m not spending time with her or doing what she wants me to, she feels empty. And then I feel horrible, which is why I got into cutting. She controlled me in the way that I could not say ANYTHING to anyone about problems within our family — nothing could go outside of our house. I feel so trapped in my own home.

A child is not responsible for the emotional well-being of his parent. #notyourfault #childabuse Click To Tweet

It’s Not Your Fault!

You’ve heard me say this before, but you must realize it is not your fault you are being treated the way you are. You don’t have to carry around guilt and shame for something you haven’t done. You’ve only been in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person, and absorbed the wounds of someone else’s dysfunction and illness.

Cera shared her thoughts on being emotionally abused: I often think this is tGetting over abusehe type of abuse that is the hardest to identify. I always thought my feelings of never being good enough were because I was a horrible daughter and I didn’t deserve to be treated well. I often hid my feelings and did things perfect or didn’t do them at all. When I am put in a situation I think I may not be perfect at, I began to fear what everyone is going to say and think. I am beginning to realize I am not perfect, but that’s okay because nobody is. 

The part you can play when abused is to choose how you’re going to respond to it. You can let it turn you into a miserable, depressed person. Or you can allow the pain and hardship you’ve experienced turn you into a compassionate, caring person who can help other people going through their own difficulties.

When you take the weight of someone else’s dysfunction and illness. #emotionalabuse Click To Tweet

Jodi wrote with some words of encouragement: I have pretty much been through a mentally abusive time with my family the past four months — my parents are in the process of a divorce. I live with my mom and my dad doesn’t talk to me. All I can say is take it day by day and always know that there are people that care about you and that can help you any way that you need it. Count on your friends to be there for you.  Jodi gave some good advice.  There is HOPE to get through and move forward in a healthy way.

If you determine you are living in a verbally/emotionally abusive situation, it’s important that you tell someone. Find someone you can trust to talk about what’s going on at home. It will help you get perspective on your situation, and help you decide what actions you need to take to protect yourself. You can always chat with us here at TheHopeLine. If you are in immediate danger, contact the police (911) as soon as possible. You can also call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

Please continue sending me your stories in the comments below, it’s extremely helpful to others to know they are not alone and to hear your perspective.

If you have been verbally and emotionally abused, your self-esteem may have suffered. To start building it back, check out TheHopeLine’s eBook on self-worth for practical advice about things you can do to increase your self-esteem.

Dawson McAllister Dawson McAllister (born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania) is an American speaker, radio host, and author. He is the founder of Dawson McAllister Association and TheHopeLine and host of the national radio program Dawson McAllister Live, which is aired on Sunday nights. Dawson has been speaking to and in support of teenagers and young adults for over 40 years.
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  • hopeful101

    my mom has been verbally abusing me for the last 3 years she has called me worthless and stupid and told me she wishes she never had kids when she looks at me shes called me out of my name plenty of times and has hit me with more than a hand or belt. sometimes it seems as though she does it just for fun what do i do?

  • EC

    I used to have a very good friend. Once my self esteem became very low and i was depressed. I thought she could help me feel better since we were best friends, but now all she tells me is that im not worth it and all i do is complain now, when i really aren’t. She also tells me to suck it up. Now i feel even worse about myself. She made me even quit school and move to homeschooling. She is so senseless.

    • Karen Parker

      you dont need that and you have a right to your feelings… and you are worth it, if you ever need to talk, feel free.. you can write me back.

  • A, You’ve gone through so much pain and suffering and it’s important that you reach out and talk to someone about what’s going on. Will you call or chat with a HopeCoach tonight? Call 800.394.4673 or chat at http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp. Perhaps we could look in to some alternative places for you to live. You are worthy and you deserve a better life. Please call or chat with a HopeCoach soon.

  • Your situation sounds really difficult. We care about you and want to help. Call or chat online with one of our HopeCoaches anytime 24/7. You are not alone. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Kat, Thank you for reaching out for help about the abuse that is going on in your home. You are not alone in your struggles. We are here to help you in any way we can. We would encourage you to talk to your teacher or guidance counselor at school about what is going on. Please call us at TheHopeLine or chat with one of our HopeCoaches about what is going on and when you feel you need to talk. We are open around the clock and ready to listen. Call 1.800.394.4673 or to chat go to http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp

  • Natalie Rustie

    I’m 54 in a couple weeks and still live at home, only because my mother relies on me for so many things. She keeps yelling at me, I can’t do anything right, I’ll never be a good wife or mother, I’m a slut for wearing make-up, etc. She can’t do anything because she wants others to take care of her business, like healthcare, giving her the insulin, cooking for her, going to the store, etc. Her legs are bad, but the doctor tells her to walk, which she doesn’t do. She just wants to be waited on yet yell and degrade the person who waits on her. She treats my father the same way. He’s a reformed alcoholic and I fear he will go back to drinking. But I desperately need to move on with my life. I want my own apartment, my own things, my own life. I don’t want to live someone else’s life, and I can’t get her to understand that. I’m thinking of moving out quietly and having NC. I don’t want to do things that way, but she’s forcing me to.

    • Andrea

      I see you posted 14 days ago. How are you now? I can’t tell you how much I hope you’re alright. I’m also a caregiver but for my father. He gets upset alot over little things. They say its the illness talking not him. But, hes been an angry man since i was 10. Will you be strong and live your life how you think you should so that I know it can be done?

  • Stephen Chang

    I am 20 years old and is someone that is currently dealing with emotional and verbal abuse from my father. It doesn’t matter what I say or do, it is still never good enough. He is very distant and only focuses on his job and my mom. He has called me names, said that I was annoying and told me to shut up. If I don’t agree with what he says, he threatens to kick me out of the house. He claims that he never has abused me. He used to lock me in the storage room in our basement when I was younger. He allowed my mom to physically abuse me and didn’t do a thing to stop her. My mom has denied abusing me as well. He and my mom did not get help for controlling their anger and it has resulted in shouting matches. He says I twist other people’s words and put words in his mouth which is not true. He constantly focuses on my failures and is rarely supportive or encouraging. He thought that it was better to go to a bible study rather then go see me play water polo at States my senior year of high school. I am currently in college and would rather distance myself from my parents then suffer more pain. But I don’t know where to start at all and if anyone is willing to give me advice or help, that would be great.

    • Stephen Chang, It is safe for me say that I understand what you going through because I am verbally abused as well.

  • Asami

    Being the middle child i didnt get much attention. My mum would refuse to kiss me or hug me, didn’t take me to first day of high school for my younger siblings. I got compared with my sister for everything which led me to hate her. My mum would say lots of things that mad me feel sad and i though “it’s because im the middle child” until i heard her tell me dad ” i dont like her that shameless girl with no future ” i prayed my dad will say something will something back. He didn’t. He agreed. Tomorrow I’ll go catch a train to school and never come back.

    • Eric He

      How are you Asami, I just read your comment and wanted to know how you are doing. I hope you are still well and have found another way. I have thought about doing that many times as my parents are more than dysfunctional. However I feelt that you should not take things like that to heart even if what she said does not do you justice. You are NOT worthless, noone is. What really matters is what you think of yourself, and how you respond to what others, even if they are what your birth parents say. I dont have to know you, yet I believe you can do great things. But, please do not run away, and if you did allready, think about your younger sibling, you must be there to protect her from what you have experienced.

  • Ayanna

    My mom yells at us saying “None of my children were born with balls. I have balls. I don’t know who’s children you are but definitely not mine!” “You wanna go to a foster home go ahead but as soon as you complain I’m whooping your A**!” “Ask your stupid sister about her stupid a** mistake.” “All of you guys are pu**ys!” “Nobody can ever love you like I do. You wanna know why? Because I gave birth to you!” My older brother, younger sister and I usually take it all. My sister tried to tell our school consueling officials but it just backfired in more yelling. Our unofficial rules for the kids is to do as she says, don’t talk back and keep your mouth shut about home. We are scared that if we tell someone child services will come and separate us. I’m just counting down the years until college.

  • Chris

    I am 21 and have no job, because I don’t have qualifications. I have been forced to live with my parents while I study, but they make it so difficult for me. They constantly shout at me and my father belittles me and mocks me about every little thing, even since when I was young. I also used to get bullied by all the kids at most of my schools, where people excluded me all the time. I am always blamed for every mistake or problem in the house and made to feel guilty because I can’t bring in any money. I am constantly reminded that I don’t own anything. My father even put me in hospital one time after I woke up after a night out. He backhanded me while I was in bed and I knocked my head hard against the sharp edge on the bed frame. I never have any time for studying because I have to drive the family around all the time. When I am at home I never get a moments peace. I have no money and am threatened that I will be kicked out if I say anything nasty to my father. I am also can’t hang out with my brother without being interrupted rudely by my father who doesn’t want me spreading my bad ways to him. Let it also be noted that I don’t drink, take drugs, or smoke. I have a clean record. I also get no help from government either. I also clean the house and cook the food, and clean the dishes + transport my family to work and everywhere.
    I also haven’t been out to do anything fun for over 2 years.

    So what do I do then?

  • Please call or chat with a HopeCoach. We care about you and have resources for you. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Please log in and chat with a HopeCoach. Your mom won’t hear you texting with us. No matter where you are we can help you! Here’s the link to chat online http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Please contact TheHopeLine and chat with a HopeCoach online. We can help you sort through your options to get out of this abusive situation. We care about you! Here’s the link to log in http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • I have a friend who fits exactly into this description. She confides in me, but I want to help. What should I do?

  • Your Average Joker

    My Mom has abused me ever since I was little. My mom suffers from severe anxiety, and sometimes gets panic attacks. Me and her have always argued. My dad is an alcoholic and spends most of his days drinking. He’s a bit of an angry drinker. It takes something very little to make him mad. One time I made him mad and he slapped me. When me and my mother argue, I’m always the one who gets blamed. My mom always calls me names. And it hurts every time. She’s threatened to put my head through a wall, and to punch me.

    I’ve been pretty depressed lately, but I don’t know who to tell. I feel like my parents would be ashamed or mad at me. ;-;

  • Papyrus

    My mom calls me mean names all of the time. She says i am the dumbest person in the world. Meanwhile, my dad says he doesn’t and never did want me and he says that i am going to end up like my older sister(who dropped out of college and is working poolside at some casino). I have thought of running away and even suicide multiple times. One time I even walked toward the knives, thinking of my suicide note and what it was going to say.

    But, I have been given a lot of things. I have tons of games and toys, and my parents help me with my homework. I have good food and good clothes and I go to a good school. We go on cruises all the time and they always make sure I have tons of fun.

    I can’t tell if this is Verbal Abuse because when it’s good,it’s great; but when it’s bad, it’s horrible

  • I am so glad you are speaking up and reaching out for help. I am sorry your father is being so unsupportive and mean to you. We care about you. You can chat with a HopeCoach on TheHopeLine anytime. It is private and free. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • We are here for you. Our chat system is available through our mobile app or on the internet. We chat with people all over he world. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/ Our HopeCoaches are available 24/7 and it’s free and private. We care about you!

  • Thanks for sharing your story. That is a lot of emotional abuse and crazy thinking you have had to deal with. I am glad you have friends who understand. If you log in to chat on TheHopeLine, http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/, we can help you find some resources that might help. Keep surrounding yourself with a good support system. You are a survivor and can encourage others who may be facing the same struggles.

  • Thanks for reaching out for help. We are here to listen to you and to keep you safe. Please chat with a HopeCoach http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/ at TheHopeLine. All chats are free and private. We care about you.

  • KC, please chat with us online at http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/. Our HopeCoaches can help you sort through this. You are not alone. We are here for you 24/7.

  • I am so glad you contacted us. You definitely should talk to someone about what is going on. Go to an adult in your life whom you trust, like a teacher or school counselor or a pastor. Or you can also call a free private hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

  • I am so sorry your mom is treating you this way. It does sound like verbal abuse. You can chat with a HOpeCoach to talk about how to deal with your situation and to have someone who will listen and understand. We are here for you 24/7 – chats are free and totally private. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • You are really going through a lot! If you want someone to talk to about this, please chat with a HopeCoach. We are here for you 24/7 kaylapaige29@outlook.com

  • Yes, we can help you! We have resources we can connect you to, like an email mentor. You have received so many negative messages. You need some positive people in your life to encourage you. Chat with a HopeCoach anytime 24/7 http://www.thehopeline.com/GetHelp/

  • I am really proud of you for speaking up. What you experienced is real verbal abuse and thankfully it sounds like you are able to see it for what it is. Sometimes people who are verbally abusive hate themselves on the inside and it spills out on the ones that are close to them. You have a future and can overcome the lies. Talking with a HopeCoach can help you figure out what to do next. You have a whole new chapter waiting to be written! Chat with us anytime 24/7. We are here cheering you on! http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Wow, you are receiving verbal abuse from so many different people in your life. Sometimes when we have been disrespected by a parent and even our own children it feels like you can’t climb out of the pit, but you I believe can. We are here to support you. Speaking up about it is a really important first step. Chatting with a HopeCoach can help you move forward in a new and positive path. We are here for you 24/7 http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • kentuckyygirl

    what actions should I take if me and my little brother are being verbally and emotionally abused? this has gone on as long as I can remember. I’m 16 and my brother is 12. I’ve lived with it as long as I could and I am tired. I mentally cannot take anymore.

    • I am so sorry you are having to go through this. You sound like a really caring big sister. Reaching out for help is the first step. Please chat with a HopeCoach and we can talk you through what to do next. We are here to help – http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • You are very brave. Proud of you for speaking up here. Our HopeCoaches can help you sort through the options and connect you with help. When people are verbally abusive it generally is a sign of how much they hate themselves. You can love your dad, but hate his actions. Chat with us online. We want to help – http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • You are really receiving a lot of verbal and emotional abuse from your mom and even your little sister. And it sounds like you don’t really have nyone to talk to about it. We are here for you 24/7 to chat with you online. We believe in you and we want to encourage you. Check out this video of someone like you who was helped by contacting us – https://youtu.be/JBVezZV60ng And here’s the link to login and chat anytime 24/7 – http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/ We care about you!

  • Sounds like you are in a very abusive situation, both physically and emotionally. Please chat with online and we can help you sort through your options. We want to help you. Chat lines are open 24/7 and i’s free and confidential. We care! http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • AwesomeSportsPlayer244

    So I am 12. I live with my older brother, who is almost 18, and my mom and dad. I have recently joined new extra curricular activities. In a certain activity, you are required to wear a tie. So my mom comes as usual, late. I have been trying to tie my tie for 45 minutes and she just comes and keeps asking WHAT R U DOING?? Her calls keep getting more abusive( verbally but not swear words) just like a really strong and mean tone.Since no one in the house knows how to tie a tie, she asks my brother to do it(he wasn’t at home). I tell her its to late. I come down and say its not worth it, Ill just go upstairs, and she say violently, ” NO, COME DOWN RIGHT NOW”. She ORDERS me to come with her and I repeat with a more aggressive tone, it’s not worth it. She gets fed up and then goes into the kitchen and says she is not my mother anymore and I am not her son, merely a guest and she keeps on saying bad things. It is not just the tie incident, it happens a lot often nowadays. So I walk upstairs, wondering what to do, and here I am, typing up whatever this is. Can someone please advise me on what to do in this situation?

    • That’s a lot for one person to handle. It is really good that you are talking about it. Your mom sounds like she’s really stressed out and she is taking it out on you. Please chat with us online and we can help you sort through what to do and how to handle those explosive situations. We are here for you 24/7 http://www.thehopeline.com/GetHelp/

  • xaml

    I believe my grandmother verbally abuses me a lot.I use to get all A’s in school and now I am in 7th grade. In English, there are REALLY hard reading test and I sometimes get an F on them but on my overall grade in my report card it is a B.My school calls if I get an F so there is no way of hiding it. When I get an F, I immediately get scared and disappointed.She first asks me what happened, did I not turn it in? I say”no, it’s a test, I just got 3 answers wrong and I got an F.She says”well, you gotta make it up”
    I say,”It’s a test, I can’t ‘make it up'”
    Then she says”Well, your just going to keep it and get a B on your report card?”
    I say”yea.” then she starts ranting how I can get into college if I would actually pay attention, and use my brain instead of filling in random answers. and how if she could’ve had my brain and been able to get into college,she wouldn’t just throw it away like I am doing.And then she says I will just have to clean toilets my entire life. And how my watching YouTube is why I’m failing and I won’t study(which I DO study, and I use YouTube to get happy and relieve stress).It also effects other things like she made me join Basketball since my dad and his brothers and sisters were the best ball players and I am really tall.Today during practice, I kept messing up because I was so concentrated on getting it right, I was overthinking it and got scatterbrained.Eventually, I started to cry because I couldn’t get it right.They were assuring me they were worse than me when they started playing a couple years ago but that didn’t help because I always feel like if I am not PERFECT, my grandmother with somehow find out and get mad at me for not being perfect.

  • xaml

    hey, no one should do that to ANYONE. That is TERRIBLE and you shouldn’t have to go through that, especially at 13. I’m 12 and I have problems too. My refuge is YouTube and I know what you mean.Its like a completly different world where EVERYONE is accepted. I am luckier than you because I go to a country school where weirdness is accepted sort of. But I can be there for you if you want someone similar to talk to.btw I tried to follow you since we are sorta similar but I couldn’t since your account is closed.but I am still here to talk!

  • And if you need to talk to someone we are here for you. Chat online anytime 24/7 with a HopeCoach http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Kristy, thanks for your encouraging words for Oran and prayers. We have a partner website where you can request prayer and pray for others. http://www.theprayerzone.com/home

  • Thanks for opening up about your situation. Verbal/emotional abuse are very real. We are for you. Chat with us anytime 24/7. It’s free and confidential. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • RACHEL BURR

    I never understood or really knew about emotional abuse till a few years ago when i was in therapy for depression. Ultimately i was diagnosed with BPD (borderline personality disorder) and told she believes that it devolped when i was young as a direct result of how emotionally abusive my dad was/is towards me. Things got a lot better then, was getting the right help and wasnt living with my parents which was the main help. Fast forward, im now 27 and a single mom to a beautiful 2 year old girl. I had to move back in with my parents for finacial help cause i couldnt afford rent. Since then ive became increasingly depressed, i recently lost my job when i couldnt come in cause daugter had the flu so at the moment moving out is impossible. Since that happened my dad has been starting to treat my daughter how he did me growing up. Ive had flashbacks of things i didnt even remember and how horrible they made me feel. Im beyond angry at him and feel helpless at protecting my daughter from it because of having to live here. My mom is great and never acts this way but also refuses to do or say anything to my dad about it. Ive told my mom that if i catch him treating my daughter this way again that ill pack us up and leave without and second thought regardless of having no where to go. My mom doesnt see anything wrong, says its just how he is and i need to just stay out of his way and keep quiet. Hes acts like this towards her to and i cant immagine how she thinks nothings wrong with it when her side of the family are all very family involved/loving/supportive people. Been getting really depressed again and know none of this is good for my daughter. Hoping i find a way to get us both out of here and soon.

  • Lilly

    I don’t know if my parents verbally abuse me. All of the stories tell about parents saying that their child is terrible. My parents normally yell at me saying I did something wrong. My mom also thinks that I am a brat and say thing far worse than brat. They make me feel like I am a terrible person and everyday I get on the bus I dread going home.

  • Knowing that your mom was abused explains a lot about her behavior towards you. It is wonderful the love you have for her. It is really important for you to know that deep down she loves you too, but she never learned how to express love, only how to express abuse. It is all she knows and so I feel sorry for her. But you also need to know that you are loved. If you want to talk about it we are here for you 24/7 – all chats are confidential and free https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • I am so sorry you are going through this.You sound very brave. You can chat with us anytime 24/7. We are here for you. Here is the link https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Please don’t be afraid to reach out to us. We understand about abuse, eating disorders, and stress. We are here to listen and help in any way we can. Online chat is safe, private, and free. Please let us help – https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • I am so sad that you are being treated this way, especially by your own family. People who are mean and critical usually hate themselves even more and are often jealous. Anytime you are struggling we are here for you 24/7 – chatting with a HopeCoach can give you strength. We can also connect you with an email mentor who will encourage you and support you – https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • I am so sorry you are experiencing such heartache and stress at such a young age. It does sound like verbal and emotional abuse for all of you. Your mom sounds like a really special lady and I am so thankful you have her and your sister to encourage and love each other. Sometimes it helps to talk about it and so we are here for you 24/7. You can chat with us anytime about your feelings, fears, and frustrations – https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Amy

    You are right – weight does not count as beauty. You are a beautiful and special, always remember that. I am sure what you are going through is difficult and if it makes a difference I am really very sorry. I will pray that things get better for you. And if things go to far, dont be afraid to tell someone.

  • Brandon

    I’m 13. My home life is decent. I have food, water, and shelter, but my father is always threatening me telling me he’s going to give me two black eyes or punch me in the face and sometimes he does harm me like one time he beat me with a belt for mins straight all over the body then spit in my face, another time he choked me, and there’s more stuff then just that. He also tells me he doesn’t love me and he doesn’t love me and that he hope I go to Juvey because ever sin the sixth grade i’ve been finding myself getting into trouble and I really messed up this time I have WELL over 45 felonies some federal offenses racked up and this isn’t my first time going to court either, so I probably will. Also my mom, the nicest person ever recently had a stroke due to meth and has to go have a surgery not to far in the future that she could possibly die from. I don’t know what to do I get so mad sometimes just thinking about him that I black out and when I confront him he just calls me a sissy and threatens me and says “So you think your hard?” I feel like my head is going to explode. The only time my father is nice is when he is high and or drunk. Also my parents fight all the time at least once a month (usually due to alchohal) and they always drag me into it making me pick sides and my dad usually harms my mom when they fight.My whole life my dad has made anywhere from $20,000-$30,000 a year, but recently my dad got a carear making $700.00 a week which didn’t make anything better considering we still have to catch up on all the bills and he’s even worse because his job is awful so just is way worse especially when I get in trouble. Also now he doesn’t trust me (anymore then he did) because recently I stole his car and ran away. Also my dad says that i’m retarted and stupid. I know sometimes parents say that sometimes when they’re mad, but he actually genuenly believes i’m stupid. For example Dad: Are you retarted? Me: No. Dad: Well I think you are. Maybe we should take you to the hospital or something. We have this conversation pretty much daily. Anyone know what I should do?

  • Sophia

    I’m 13 years old. Every since I was ten, my mom has been really focused on my grades. I know she loves me, but whenever she sees a grade that she doesn’t like, she gets really angry and calls me things like a failure, or says that I’m unable to achieve anything in life. Then she’s always fighting and yelling at my little brother and I feel like I’m the reason that these things always happen. When my grades started to slip, she got really angry at me. She told me that I didn’t care. But in reality, I actually did. When I told her, she says that I can’t prove that u care because I’m not panicking. My mom is also homophobic, and it doesn’t help the fact that I’m gay. She consistently denies my sexuality and says that I shouldn’t be supporting these people. When I came out to her, she sent me to a therapist to fix me.

  • Please chat with a HopeCoach about your situation with your grandmother and uncle. We can help you. We are here for you 24/7 – https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Anonymous

    I’m 20 years old my mom is always calling me horrible names like stupid and she tells me she wishes I wasn’t born or wishes I died when I was born today she told me that I was the stupidest person she knows in her life and she never ever lets me have any freedom last year was the only time I didn’t care that I betrayed her and didn’t come home til 12 but since I got pregnant I’m 7 months by the way she says I’m mental and she says I need to be put in a hospital and she threatens to tell the doctors things that will have my daughter taken from me she doesn’t like my boyfriend so whatever he does wrong I get the blame and she tells him he’s a deadbeat and a liar … I’ve been mentally abused for 8 years I haven’t been physically since I was 8 to 12 years old I’ve gotten slaps to the face here and there since I was 13 to 20 none recently but I feel scared and unsafe with all the threats I can’t even move out cause she says I’m too stupid and there are medications I need I can’t get those on my own sad to say someone please help me i have no one to talk to at all about anything I lost my friends and I’m just really scared help!!

  • Please chat with a HopeCoach. We can help you with your situation. What your step-dad is doing is so wrong. Sounds like you have a burden to stand up for your siblings and your mum, so that they won’t have to be abused anymore. Here is the link to chat – https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/ We are here to help.

  • You are definitely being emotionally and physically abused. What you are enduring is really terrible. Please chat with one of our HopeCoaches. – https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/ We are here for you 24/7

  • It definitely sounds your dad is abusive. Please chat with a HopeCoach – https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/. We are here for you 24/7 all day every day

  • That is a really difficult family life. I admire your care and concern for your little sister. It is good that you have each other. Please chat with a HopeCoach and perhaps we can help you come up with solutions for how to handle your parents. https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Wanda Kemp

    It feels like i woke up from a dream of someone elses life after 12 years. I used to write his words down… i knew they were bad but his words became my words. it started with our first Christmas together. i was wrapping presents and doing a terrible job. he started laughing, said i didnt do anything right. i didnt cook right, didnt dress right, didnt wear make up. after that i became the bad welfare mother he would never take parenting advice from. The night he said that, i cried all night and he sat there and watched. The next morning i was exhausted, red eyed and swollen, i took the kids to school and came back and cried some more asking him why he thought so badly of me why he was with me. He told me he never said it. it didnt make sense to me, nothing made sense. i started seeing everything through his eyes. he attacked everyone i got close to and i started seeing them as a threat too. He told me, look at the way people are looking at you and I did. They were looking at me the way he was looking at me. I was sure of it. I stopped talking to people, i stopped talking to them mostly because I couldnt explain in my words what he was doing because i had his words in my head. Every time I left him, i was drowning in the misery of his lies. He groomed me to feel that the whole world saw me as he did. It is only now that I remember the fear he put in me, how when I started talking to a friend I had isolated myself from, my heart beat out my chest when he found out and I never understood why. At one point i even called a friend to tell him not to post on my status because it would make him mad. I remember now, all of the words other people have said to me, you put up such a fascade… how do you do it? You’re in pain and you dont even act like it. You should be screaming at him, it’s your life… why aren’t you angry? I wasnt angry… i was confused. I was numb with grief. I was silently drowning. I could never understand how my friends could hold me while I cried but he couldn’t. That’s not true, he held me while I cried about the people i felt completely isolated from, asking me ,”Do you want me to beat them up for hurting you?” I literally had flashbacks about the things people would say, “What’s the matter with you?” I told you that you were bad” All of which confirmed everything he said about me, that there was something wrong with me. I remember all of it, all of the nasty things he ever said to me, did to me and I wonder how long it will stay with me? I also wonder after I leave him when the numbness will come and then the pain, the drowning…I remember I used to watch and wait for his lips to thin out, tried to prevent it with everything i had inside of me because I knew what it meant. It meant that those bad words were coming but would it mean that this time he would ridicule me like a child, point his finger in my face like last time, what name would he call me this time. What would he throw against the wall.  What mess would I have to clean up from the emblem of his temper tantrum. The worst part is that my daughter will grow up and find a man just like him and he’s gonna make her cry and he’s gonna steal her joy and her hope and she’s gonna wonder why she wants to die.
    i just wish he would have just hit me, atleast then I could have found the right words to explain what was happening to me. I tried to tell people but I didnt know
    how… i couldnt explain it… all i ever said was he was mean or he doesnt contribute… he’s bad with money…or he mistreats me financially because I was trying to make sense of it by looking at his actions but i never thought about the words. I remember when i would pray out in pain, I knew in my heart God was trying to tell me something. All I heard was, finish your book, finish it… what you are looking for are in the words.
    I remember when i first move to Texas, God was stronger. i would look at signs find words, put them in my book. And I heard God again. The words are every where.. now that i know and have found the right words… i want to shout it from the roof tops… I’m not crazy.

    I wrote this at the end of my marriage. It’s been a year and I’m pretty sure that it was me remembering all the pain he put me through that i had forgotten about during all the times he was nice to me.  I remember the push and pull in the beginning but after I had his daughter everything changed and he did alot of pushing after that.  Accusing me of cheating, looking up my phone bill to call every single of my friends, vandalizing my house the first out of 5 times I left him. The first time I escaped to my mother’s 2 hours away he filed a court order to make me bring my daughter back to the county we lived in.  He made sure I couldnt even survive financially without him let alone emotionally.  By the end, he had me exactly where he wanted me.  At the end of the world, isolated from my family and friends.  I didnt figure out the game he was playing until he tried to turn me against my sons.  It’s weird how every story I read is all the same.  People trying to put together this puzzle that doesn’t fit.  Most people try so hard to figure it out by thinking about what this person has done to them but until they actually figure out what they are doing to them on the inside and the scars they will leave behind, will they begin to understand. 

  • Eva

    On xmas of my 10th year in life, my mom just started. I don’t know why. It came out of nowhere. She became mentally and verbally abusive. My health has gone down, due to the stress, and she yells at me every hour or so, but whenever I read that there was someone who cared for me, I knew there was t, because no one understands me. No one can be trusted. They don’t know how I cry myself to sleep every night, or how my mom pushed away her her own mother. I don’t want to do that. I’m scared. And I’m so alone. So alone. I am determined to live with my mom until I don’t have to, but she has already said that she’ll be the first to move away to Europe away from me. I’m currently 13, and I’m alone. I know that there’s someone out there for me. Whoever you are, you, (as my dream), are probably the only thing that has kept me from all insanity, drugs and suicide and has just kept me looking happy on the outside. I’d like to thank you, and when I meet you, I’ll say it in person, because I KNOW your out there, and I’m not giving up until I find you….. Find me.

    • Karen Taylor-keen

      thats right never give up! God is always there for you. reach out to Him. I’m sorry you have to go through this. as a mommy of 4 it breaks my heart to see kids hurting. my son’s girlfriend is emotionally abused at home as well. I’m trying to get her the help she needs. I don’t know you but I care about you and if you ever need a mommy figure to talk to i’m here. and that goes for anyone. God Bless you

  • This is terribly abusive for both you and your precious child. Please chat with a HopeCoach on thehopeline. We can connect you with resources and help you think through ideas for getting you and your child out of this horrible situation. https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Kiki- you can chat with a HopeCoach right now – https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/ We are here for you and we care

  • Arianna

    And also it’s caused her not to trust her mom and give her depression

  • Please don’t give up. You have a whole life ahead of you. Can you talk to a teacher or guidance counselor at school? You can chat with a HopeCoach anytime 24/7 https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/ We are here for you.

  • Livvy

    My mom has always been abusive to me. Once she tried to strangle me. I had to scream to stop her. When I told her that I didn’t want to do piano anymore she yelled at me and slapped me across the face. I’m honestly scared of her in a way. I’m 12 years old and this started when my family and I moved to Georgia, coming from Florida when I was just about to turn 5. She’s called me stupid and idiotic just because I had a few B’s on a report card. A few months ago she called me a bitch. She’s the cause of my depression. She and my dad have called me fat when I was 10. I wasn’t, I was under weight. So I started to eat less and skip some meals to live up to their standards. a few months after that they said I didn’t eat enough but I was too scared to tell them that they had said I ate too much. As of right now, I’m about 14 pounds under weight. I have no clue what to do to stop this all and I just want some help.

  • Chloe

    Hi everyone
    I am 41 and when I was growing up I had none stop mentally and physical abuse from my mother. She hated me from the day since I was born as she always say I was the mistake that destroy her life raising a kids while she was 18. My mother often told me she throw herself down the stairs to try get rid of me. When I did anything wrong she would throw me outside in the street naked from the ages or 9 – 14. I stand there for every one to see. She beat me until her hands turn blue, she hit me so hard that eventually I never felt the pain
    My mother was like this to me all her life and never changes. She always try to make me feel guilty I was born. Emotion blackmail now I can look back.

    When I got the chance I moved away and start my life as me. It was the best thing I have ever done. I got help tho went to therapy as the memory scare me and make me feel bad about myself. I end up being the nicest person people would meet. I am surprise as I thought I grow up alone. There is light at the end of the tunnel. My advise is you need to tell someone to makes it stop otherwise you grow up with painful memories and guilt. Don’t be like me you can be free. My bigest regret was protecting her as it’s seem to be a cry for help

  • Lys, my heart breaks for what you are going through with your mom. Not only do you grieve the loss of your dad, but you are being verbally and physically abused by your mom. Is there anyone you trust, like maybe your choir director? You really need to talk to someone and we are here for you 24/7. Please click the “chat now” button to get to a HopeCoach.

  • Amanda

    My mother constantly tells me how much of a horrible and worthless daughter I am, and she screams swear words at me even if I just forgot to pick up a dirty sock. She makes me feel so bad about myself… I wanted to kill myself at one point, I felt that I was a mistake, and that mistakes should be erased. I feel like I am worthless. I am kinda pretty but my mother makes me feel guilty about it, so guilty I feel ashamed to admit it. I live in fear, because if I do one thing wrong its the end for me. I have anxiety all day at school, scared that she’ll find something to scream at me about. I am not perfect though, I used to be a straight A student but my math grade has lowered over the years and now I usually get a C. Is this why she treats me like this? Do I deserve to live in fear?

  • Johnnylogan007

    My name is Juan my father has been verbal abusive my whole life. He is a control freak pretty much anything sets him off one time when I was 13 we wrecked the kitchen out of rage near my mom scared he was gonna kill her. I and my sister’s have dealt with this all our lives he got arrested for outburst clearly jail didn’t help. I get anxiety ever time he calls me names and yells.

  • Just me

    I’m 14 and I’m a guy. have always been a great student and I also play bass guitar. My dad is very nice most of the time, but when I do something wrong (I’m quite clumsy) he starts calling me all sorts of names (including: $!&#, idiot, dumb #$$ and more…). It’s really weird because he is nice to me most of the time but his sudden outbursts have forced me to be very scared of him. My mom always defended me. The worst part is that he is not ashamed to call me names and yell at me in public. This destroys my self confidence and I feel extremely confused because in one minute he’s praising me and in the other he is calling me a dumb $!&# . Not to mention his overreaction when I get more than one 4 in school (where I live 5 is the best grade). I really feel confused.

  • Destiny

    First off it’s not only my mom it’s my siblings too. I don’t remember the last time I woke up in a quiet way. My brothers 18 and11 are always screaming on the top of their lungs and cussing at each other every morning and that’s basically how I wake up and also my little brother talks to me like he’s an adult he’s always telling me to go to my room EX. He always is in the living room and I asked to use the tv and he screamed at me and Said ” shut up I hate you go to your room now” and if I tell my mom about these things she just says to leave him alone or if I tell her the boys won’t stop arguing she yells at me and tells me to stop and that she’s about to get in her care and drive away and never turn back or that she hates us and wishes we were never born. And Ik I can be rude sometimes but who isn’t but most of the time it’s because my mom is in the wrong she has a closet full of clothes with tags on them and I only have 2 jackets to keep me warm and when I leave for school it’s like almost 40 degrees . And she also never disciplines my brothers ever so they just keep getting worse and she leaves the house so I have to stay here and hear them argue the whole time and I’m just so physically and emotionally exhausted and I just want to be away from all of it so bad

  • Aimee

    Im 17 coming 18 soon and my dad has been physically and emotionally abusing me my whole life. I always thought it was normal as it was to teach a child to behave but its continued on. He always hits me, tells me i should die and has chocked me out of rage twice. I never tell anyone fearing to be seen as weak (and when i did to 3 different adults they done nothing, which stopped me from asking for help). I have thought of suicide a few times but then i keep telling myself that i have to be strong and get through this. Some days he is so kind and others he is angry. Im always blamed of the household fights, stressing him and being a failure. I dont know what to do, its been going on for so long its the norm for me that sometimes i sit and wonder am i being silly thinking that i should ask someone about this cause no else cared, and after all its me so who would. After all i’ve survived this long so i can survive a few more years of this.

    • Eva

      My dad is a bit like that too…but when you’re eighteen you can legally leave…another six years for me…

  • Rather not say

    Hey there i am a 18 yr old girl…..my dad always calles me names like a c**** and says he is going disown me i’m a lazy B**** he wishes i would have stayed with my mom and i wreaked his life … Also there was one day when he asked me to do the dishes i was half asleep so i was just getting up to do then then all of a sudden i hear him yelling and cursing at me so i walk put to see whats going on he keeps yelling at me and cursing the next thing i know he is throwing the dishes at my feet and there staring…. He never give me money to get stuff i need ill ask e will something along the lines of i don’t have any money mean while he has 600 in his wallet and says its for my younger brother and sister. Here is a more recent senario the other night christmas eve i was having. Problems breathing so i told him i needed to go to the hospital he says i don’t have the gas i told him to drop me off at what come rd and i would take a bus but little did i know there were no buses. So i told him once we got there so he was yelling at me and screaming speeding the whole way he also has a heater for his truck to un fog the windhield. It clips onto the sun vises … So what dose he do he punches it and breaks it and say to me look what you made me do are you happy now …. We never have proper food in the house … Before last winter it was cold so i was using a plug in heater in my room he got pissed off because it uses to much power went in my room was yelling at cut the cord off took the heater outside and smashed it… I”m so done with all this i’ve slit my wrists the pain is daily i don’t want it anymore the only one who is kinda calming it down and sticks up for me and protects me stays with us but my dad has kicked him as of the 1st …i need out of this… i’ve been crying myself to sleep the past week…..someone i need to get out of this place and get my own …..

  • Eva

    I lived with my mom as a child and she had a boyfriend. He had four other kids and we got along fine. But then he would go outside and make himself a cane and start caning me and my brother. I still have marks and its been five years. My mother normally just watched. Once or twice she told him to stop but he hit her. They had a baby together, a boy. I remember him locking this year old boy in the car and taking the keys. We were terrified and he woke up bawljng and we couldn’t her to him. My father won the court case though andbwe moved in with him only over the road from where we used to live. On the sixteenth of August we got news that.. He had killed himself during the night…my mums boyfriend that is…I remember crying for hours…we continued seeing my mother until new years eve when she didn’t come to collect us. That was four years ago. I’m now twelve and I haven’t seen her or my little brother since then. My dad is great and I try to please him as much as only do.. But ….and I’m sure you’ve all heard this before…he prefers my older brother…I try to be good and help and he does nothing but give out yet dad loves him more. Always praising him and stuf making me feel worthless.. And he gets really mad. Like terrifying mad. So not onlybdo I not have a mom but my dad is terrifying. Recently I started going to a child therapy place because my dad realized thathat though my brother had been through about seven therapists I had only been to one social worker. I lied to them as well. I mean…after all that ..they expected me to tell all my feelings to a stranger? I know I was only eight but still..I laugh too much at school pretending I’m fine when halve the time I want to curl up in a ball and cry. I can’t concentrate and recently I have considered cutting…
    I need help but I can’t trust anyone..

    • Karen Taylor-keen

      You don’t know me but i’m a mommy of 4 and if you ever wanna talk i’ll listen. God loves you.

  • Remnants

    I am 10 years old. I am abused emotionally and verbally by my dad. Like this: My mom got a sleep helper thing…. And I said I really needed it because I have trouble falling asleep. I told her I stay up till 9:30 or 10:00 trying to fall asleep. My dad told me that is because I read, and I said I didn’t. In the background, he said, “Yeah, right.” I go through this every day. I used to talk a TON, but I feel as if I talk less and less. I have become very depressed and cry in my room. I stay there all day unless I HAVE to go out. I often think about hurting or killing myself. Just knowing there are others who have to share my pain makes me want to do it even more. The only place that is really home to me is my school, and even there I do not feel good because I get made fun of by the boys, and I feel out of place. I have been driven to the brink of insanity and am slowly breaking, piece by piece. Please…. I can’t take this anymore.

    • Christina

      Hey I don’t know if you’re still around, but my names Christina and I’m 13 years old. I’m here if you want to talk

  • Kourt

    I feel like I’m about to lose my LIFE every time my dad abuses me!

  • anonymous

    i am 16 years old, i am still living at home but i am thinking of moving out. i remember days when i was maybe 8 years old id go to school balling because my yelled at me for not eating fast enough or for silly things like that. i was bullied in school up until middle school, and i only truly had my family. but my mom since i could remember would make me and my sibling hate ourselves at the age of 10, no little kid should be feeling that way that young. we despised other kids because my mom always treated them better and we were jealous just wanting our mothers love. it wasn’t until i few years ago i started to feel depressed, when my grandmother got diagnosed with cancer i lost it, shes the person i love the most. i started to cut my wrists and when my parents found out they grounded me for over a month telling me i’m stupid and pathetic for cutting myself. i was blocked off from any communication with friends except for school so i felt really lonely. and my dislike for my parents started to develop, my mom started to tell me more how im a b*** or a wh*** and other hurtful words. i remember this one day my parents where fighting and my mom tired to get me downstairs but i was afraid to so my mom tried to push me, if it wasn’t for the railing i would’ve fell, my dad had to hold her away from me so i could run upstairs and out of the house. another incident was a few Christmas’s ago, we couldn’t afford a supper or anything so my friend brought me a present which was a hamburger and a bag of my favorite chips the flipped and threatened to kick me out and my dad physically threw all my stuff out into the hallway, it isn’t the only time he did something like that. the most recent time was when we were arguing because i told my sibling the choices their making is wrong things escalated and he kicked my makeup stand and broke majority of my nail polish and got it everywhere, he even once threw a candle at me because he miss heard me and they didn’t give me a chance to tell them what i said i just got yelled at the rest of the night. sometimes im happy but sometimes i feel numb and emotionless. sometimes i cant eat because i feel to sick, and they get mad at me about that too. i get blamed for everything but i am the one who does the chores, doesn’t get in trouble in school. i admit i have smokes pot before but that is only because of where i was in life. i am trying to better myself, ive been focusing in school im trying to get a job but it still isn’t good enough for them, nothing i do is. i feel like im always sinking and when i’m almost at the surface of the water there’s something pulling me back down again.i don’t feel free the only time i do is when im at school or away from this all.

    • Thank you for your comment. We proud of you for reaching out and telling your story. We know this is not always an easy thing to do. It sounds like you have had an incredibly hard time at home and it’s understandable that you would want to move out. We want you to know that you are worthy and we care about you. It’s important that you continue to reach out and talk to someone one on one about your situation. Would you be willing to chat online with one of our HopeCoaches? They would listen, give you some resources and help you. Go to http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp to chat with one as soon as possible.

  • Angelica Larsen

    this has been really hard to write, but everyone’s responses have been encouraging so here we go. I am a 19 year old female and I grew up with a narcissistic/verbally/emotionally abusive dad. My whole childhood was a slap in the face. My parents were never happily married though. My whole childhood they would constantly fight. Not like bicker or anything mild, but just evil terrible fighting. My dad would always get in a psychotic rage. I have seven sisters. Because of the way we were treated by our dad, we all have low self-esteems. My dad is the most selfish, mean, and self-absorbed person I know. My dad never loved any of my sisters. Everything is all about him. I grew up on a farm, and when we were kids, we were only good enough to help him with whatever he needed to be helped with WHENEVER it was convenient for him. If you couldn’t be there to help him right then and there at the minute, my dad would say to us that we were “no good for nothing”, or “you are nothing but a no good, worthless POS”. Even if you did help with stuff on the farm and such, nothing was ever appreciated. Never a thank you, nothing.
    My sisters and I were never brats or unruly children. We were all good in school, went to church, played softball, and adults always had nice things to say about us kids. Teachers, would always say that they wished more students were like us etc. We didn’t do anything to deserve this. I always thought it was my fault for the way my dad treated me. I never had a relationship with him, nor will I ever. That’s just the reality of it for my sisters and me. I feel calmer when he is not in my presence.
    He would like to build you up, just to bring you down. I was the best clarinet player in band, I would get good academic awards because of my hard work. I played softball, and I wasn’t as good as my other sisters, but I tried my best and had fun with it. I was in so many things such as girl scouts and teaching Sunday school at my church and being in the class council, NHS etc. but none of it could amount to anything. One minute he would say “you’re a scholar. You are so smart”. And the next minute he would be screaming at my face calling me names and no good for nothing brat. At a young age I learned to block him out. But, I also blocked out my self-esteem. I didn’t think I was good enough or worthy of anyone being my friend. I thought people weren’t supposed to like me because I wasn’t good enough. I knew that I couldn’t count on him for anything. It was the end of the world if I needed to be picked up from band rehearsal or school etc. As long as my dad paid the house bill, and paid for stuff for HIS tractors, HIS snowmobiles, HIS fun, and whatever he wanted, that is all that mattered. Another thing he would like to do is threaten us. “If you don’t help me with this then I am not buying groceries or I am cutting you off of our health insurance plan.” I was only 9 years old.
    I always wondered what it would be like to have a dad that loved me, said I was beautiful, and gave me hugs and kisses as a little child or took me on a daddy daughter date. When I would go to my friend’s house, I was always jealous of them because they had an involved Dad. I never got to tell anybody about this. Not my friends or anybody. I was ashamed of myself. Was I not a good enough daughter?
    He thinks he is better than everybody else and acts like he doesn’t have any flaws and is such a hypocrite.
    I have always had weight issues growing up, and a Dad’s job is to build a girls self-esteem, not to tear it down. He would criticize my weight. I remember one Saturday morning when I was maybe 11 or 12 years old, I got up early to make myself breakfast. I remember it was like an English muffin with an egg and ham lunch meat, and cheese. He got up and was like, “What’s for breakfast?” and I simply responded “I don’t know what everyone else is having but I made this for myself”. Once again it was the end of the world. He started aggravating me because I didn’t do something for him to bow down to his feet. I remember exactly what he said to me. He told me that this summer I was going to actually do stuff (because you know, I don’t do anything to help him…), and he told me that I wasn’t going to “sit around reading books and eating food”. And he told me that all I did was eat and that is what I just loved to do. I just remember leaving my food that I made in the kitchen and running up to my room and crying. Things like this is why I am such a sensitive person. And the reason why I work so hard is the result of growing up being told that I was worthless and not being good enough. This is why I have a little OCD, and am hard on myself.
    More with the criticizing of my weight. A few years ago he was told by his doctor that he was pre-diabetic. Because of this he was forced to change his eating habits, which he did. But of course, when this happened, everything had to be about him. On a side note ( nobody else in the family could ever have a sick day, God forbid, but if he knew you had a case of the sniffles, he had to be magically 10 times sicker than everybody else). Anyways, when he started losing weight he wanted to be praised like he wants to be praised for everything else he does. He was better than all of the other people in the world that were now heavier than him, and he just felt “so good”, and “the healthiest person ever”…and once again, he was better than all of us and we were no good for nothing. After he was losing weight, behind my back he laughed and told my other sister that he was getting so “healthy and losing weight”, but he just laughed and said that I kept getting bigger and bigger. That is just uncalled for. I wasn’t supposed to know about this, but through the sister grape vine it got back to me, and I just cried. No daughter deserves that. My sisters yelled at him for saying what he said, but of course he denied it because that’s what he does. That day, after all of those years, I stood up for myself. I called him out on what he did. Here me out, I know you are not supposed to swear to your parents, but this needed to be done for myself. That was the day I decided I didn’t need his support or validation for anything.
    I am an adult now, and I go to a University about 7 hours away from home. I am happy with where I am going. I am improving my self-esteem, I have become a better communicator and less socially awkward. I am very hard on myself with my studies, but I am giving myself more credit for what I actually do. I know that sounds silly, but I didn’t believe I was good enough. I pay for my own college. I learned as a kid that I could never rely on my dad for anything. I am working towards going to chiropractic school, and it is going to be super expensive, but I know I can do it. I don’t let his opinions dictate what I do with my life. If this makes me sound like a bad daughter, so be it, but if I said I loved my dad I would be lying. It’s normal to want to stay in contact with your dad, but I honestly feel like I need to distance myself away from him for my own good. Can anybody else relate?

    • Brit

      What you wrote is my daughters dad he is the same way. I have never known a person like him and I am not worried about my daughters growing up around him I’ve been reading a lot online.. Can I ask how your mother was through this? And how is your relationship now?

    • Brit

      I’m sorry I don’t know how to edit what I wrote! I was trying to say I AM very worried about them growing up around him because to him it’s natural and he sees no problem -brit

  • Natalia

    My names is Natalia and im 15 . Ive been in physical but mostly verbal abuse . My mom left me and my brother with our dad when we were little but then came back . My dad lives in colombia . I live here in florida . My dad when i was little only hit me a lil but just because of discipline. He never verbaly abused me . Well when i moved with my mom . I used to cry myself to sleep at times. At age 7,8 i would be called stupid and puta . Something 7 and 8 year olds wouldnt want to hear. My mom didnt know english so i helped her out alot . But as soon as i made a mistake she would call me out pn it and lecture me and then talk bad about my dad . She was nice at times but there were always word said that would just burst me in tears . as i started growing i grew stronger and better . The physical abuse started . Around 11 i rember the time i cracked my brothers phone my mom pulled my hair to the bed and started hitting me .That day i cried and cried it was a horrible day . When i made a promise to not cry again infront of her . I feel as if she takes advantage of my weakness.im 15 now but she stays on my case. I joined sports so i dont have to be home . When i am home i try to do hw and just ignore my mom and go to sleep . I pay bills xfinity and the water and light bill online cuz my mom said to. I bearly have time for anything anymore . Chores hw sports bills and mom . Im in a early colledge program in which i leave highschool with my associates degree . My child hood hasnt been the best but theres ppl that have gone thru worse so i wont feel sprry for myself .i feel so alone . And it just tears me up writing this

    • Karen Taylor-keen

      keep doin what your doin with school and sports. God loves you, He has a plan for your life you will get through this. Please if your mother gets physically abusive call the police. praying for you.

  • madison

    Hi, my name is Madison. Both my parents are verbally abusive. They just constantly degrade me, call me names, and say that i’m always the problem. Every fight they have, the say its my fault they fought. Even my own sister has turned on me. She chimes in when they are picking on me. At first i thought they were just trying to be funny, then soon after, it continued. They pick on me every chance they get. Even when we’re with the rest of my family. No one understands me. They just think this is a joke. I cry all the time, and i’m always so depressed when i come home from school. I just need some one to talk to. Someone who understands me and what my situation is.

  • Karen Taylor-keen

    schools are mandated reporters. that means they have to report abuse to child protective services. or they can get in trouble. please if you mom gets physical call the police, and let that counselor know that you know they have to report to authorities. just because you are a kid don’t think your voice doesn’t matter. YOU MATTER!

  • Fluffy Warrior Girl

    Well, my father is both physically and emotionally abusive… but he makes it to where he hardly leaves a mark… He nearly broke my hand once and my hand hurt for weeks… I had bone bruises and tendon bruises… now my hand hurts in colder weather…

  • sarah

    I am sick and really tired at the end of my tether feeling worthless because my abusive daughter wont stop her emotional abuse towards me.
    She claims to have mental illness, and infront of me, tells a doctor that she is better on the medication, but its total lies! She is the same abusive person she has never stopped being, and I just want it to stop, or we have to part. My daughter is 20 years old, has always blamed me for whatever she can blame me for, manipulates me etc etc. The worst thing is when she attacks me verbally by screaming at me, which hurts my ears, especially since I am partially deaf, this is making my deafness worse. I am not sure how long I can take more of this for. She does nothing, I pay for everything, struggling financially to do that and all I get is more abuse, especially when I have done something for her, or payed for something for her. Why is that?

  • Marissa

    I’ve been dealing with it for 4 years now. Ever since he married my step-mom. She’s a terrible person. My dad used to be a fun and loving person but that all changed when he married her. He started verbally and emotionally abusing me. Throughout middle school i was being bullied at school and home. Anytime i did anything that my dad dint think was “perfect” he would yell at me for it. He would yell at me until i cried and continued until i physically couldn’t cry anymore. The end of 8th grade was terrible for me. My step-mom really started controlling my dad. She would tell him what to do and how to do it. Especially when it came to punishments. That semester, i started self-harming. At first it wasn’t that bad and i would just sharpen my nails and dig them into my arm. It later evolved into me cutting. I did get over it thought (no help from my dad). He still doesn’t even know i did it and its been about a year. I can’t stand living with him. Anytime he gets angry with me he has to first go talk to his stupid wife before he does anything. He doesn’t know how to think for himself anymore. Everything he says and does comes from her mouth. I can’t stand it anymore. He has become one of the most strict parents ever. He forces me to give him every password to everything i own. And if i don’t he takes away my phone (not that i really care anymore. I’ve gotten used to it). When i was in 6th grade i was talking on the phone with my friend when he came into my room and told me to “stop being a b* and clean your room”. He has other names as well. He also has physically grabbed me when he was angry. In my 8th grade year my dad got angry at me (i don’t remember why) and i ran into the bathroom to hide. Before i could close the door he runs in and grabs my wrists. Because i was sitting on the counter i couldn’t do much. He squeezed my wrists until i cried. My wrists hurt and were red for 2 days. I’m 14 and want to just live with my mom but I feel like i need evidence of him abusing me. What can I do?

    • goodluck

      Hidden cameras if you must, or hide your phone somewhere with voice recording on. Get pictures if he leaves a single mark on you and store them somewhere he can’t access, maybe an online secure storage site?

  • Anna

    My mom has emotionally abused me for practically my entire life. She will have her good days were she is nice but when she’s mean, she really knows how to make someone feel at their worst. This is 20+ years of emotional abuse. I still live at home because i am currently finishing radiology school but as soon as i am done, i will be moving out. She has called me pretty much every bad name i can think of. They don’t speak English, so i help them out as much as i can. She screams at me for no apparent reasons sometimes, or for the most stupid reasons where i didn’t even do anything wrong. Tells me to shut up if i start crying or she’ll hit me. Tells me she doesn’t love me, that i’m not her daughter, that i will never amount to anything in my life, that my boyfriend of 5 years will dump me, that no one will ever hire me. it just really hurts inside because i can’t even leave and go anywhere because i quit my job to focus on school till i’m done. She always gives me the silent treatment when she’s mad at me, will turn her head away from me when i walk into the room. I try to spend as much time at my boyfriend’s house but she gets angry that i spend so much time over there. But it’s because i hate being in a negative environment where i’m not happy and am basically stuck sitting in my room because she expects me to just sit at home, in my room, and not go anywhere at all. I just sucks because i feel like no one will ever understand what i go through. I dread/hate going home, i dread when she gets in her moods and i hate that i have to go through that. I stutter sometimes because of this, because she would force me to make myself stop balling my eyes out when i would cry when i was younger. i seriously hate my life sometimes.

    • What an incredible accomplishment to be going to radiology school! I am so sorry your mom is so abusive to you. You are an amazing young woman for continuing your education in spite of the constant negativity from your mom. You can be an encouragement to others who are struggling in difficult situations like this. Keep going and don’t give up!

    • ARia

      sorry you have to go through that. Same situation with me. I stay at my boyfriend’s sometimes, so my mom calls me a slut, but luckily I’m moving out in a few months…woohoo, college!!!

    • James Qura

      Love ya Anna!!!! Cool AF! Inspiring.

  • bitingmytongue

    My parents have verbally abused each other for as long as I can remember. Today, after my dad verbally abused my mother and told her to F*** off and leave, he asked me to go shopping and I told him I didn’t feel like it. When he arrived home from shopping he turned on me and told me I was the cause of their marriage problems, the reason they were both so angry and stressed out, and the reason they’ve yell, swear and abused each other all these years is because I didn’t do enough chores. (like any other kid, I do everything I’m asked but am sometimes forgetful and may every once and a while forget to brush the dog or unload the dishwasher). I don’t know why I am sharing this anonymously, maybe just to get it off my chest so I can try and move on.

  • Slayer

    My mom has been calling me a spoiled brat two faced and many mean things to tell and never motivates me like a normal mom no one will ever understand me

  • Mallory Boyle

    My mom screams at me all the time over the littlest things. She’s told me our relationship is “toxic” and she can’t stand to be around me. My mom thinks I don’t work hard enough in school, even though I have straight A’s. Now she’s threatening to send me to another school, telling me it’ll be good for the both of us, but still to my objection. Then when I tell my dad about this stuff, he just say that she doesn’t mean it and it’s in the “heat of the moment”. Then she turns around and does really nice things for me, but then turns back around again and makes me feel terrible. I don’t know what to do.

  • Arb

    My husband refuses to let me or my 5 month old son have anything to do with my mother.. he says I can see her once a month and that’s it. He says that since she had her near death experiences last March that she’s using it to manipulate me into letting her grandson have anything to do with her and to hangout with me. All because she currently started planning her will and wants me to make her burial arrangements for her when she passes.. To me it seems fitting that she would want to talk about that being she stopped breathing last year and was put on life support. But since she didn’t take me being pregnant very well (as any parent would at first) he thinks she doesn’t really love me or care about my son… I stood up to him this week and told him I will see her whenever I feel like it and so will my son because she’s my mother and he’s always doing family activities with his side of the family. Especially since we live with his parents.. and he told me that if I was going to see her when ever I wanted that I can go live with her… I haven’t packed my things.. but I’m highly debating on doing so.. my sister says this is a form of emotional abuse because it’s been going on for a year now.. any advice?

  • Lucy

    I noticed it said constant family conflict…. I am currently enrolled in high school and my days go fine until I get home and it’s just chaos. My mom yells, my dad yells, my sister yells. Most of the time at me. My sister is always the victim in every situation and I always feel like the lesser child and like they don’t want me. Sometimes my dad says he wishes he never had kids. I can’t leave because I’m still in public school. I can’t call anyone for help because I wouldn’t have anywhere to go that would keep me with my boyfriend, which is just about the only thing that keeps me happy in this world.

    • I am sorry you are having to carry such a heavy burden at home. The conflict can become so overwhelming, especially the constant yelling. Our HopeCoaches are available 24/7 for you. Sometimes it just helps to chat with us about how you are feeling and maybe come up with some ways to cope in the midst of the stress. Click the “chat now” button anytime and we are here for you. You are not alone in this.

  • Emma

    Is there a way I can email you?… I feel like my parents are abusive but there’s that voice inside of me telling me I’m wrong for feeling that way. Especially with my mom, I feel like I “over exaggerate” when I talk about her and that I don’t have the right to claim she’s abusive. There’s a lot of grey areas with both my parents because they can be really great people and they can be really loving towards me. If they’re loving, how can they be emotionally abusive? Can they be both? I have a lot to say about my situation and I don’t think there’s room to post it all here, so do you have an email where I can talk about this with someone? Thank you.

    • Yes, you can actually start chatting with a HopeCoach right now. Simply click the “chat now” button or go to this page https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp. It is safe, private, and free. We are here for you. I will also send you an email. Hang in there!

  • Anonymous

    Im glad I’m not alone. My mom is always yelling at me and I’m 23! She never apologizes and I just can’t win. Yesterday I was saying how it hurt me that nobody came to my daughters baptism but they are going to my sisters child’s baptism. She accused me of being jealous, cursed me, cursed at me, and said a lot of hurtful things. All I said was it hurt me that nobody came when the church is literally two minutes from the house. I’m tired of being yelled at and feeling like the black sheep. Looking from the outside you would think everything is okay but it is not. I’m going to make sure my daughter has the love I never got from my mom and the baby on the way. I’ve had a lot of issues in life and I think it is to do with the emotional and verbal abuse from my mom. I love my mom and you will always love your parents but, I’m upset that I can’t talk to her about anything peacefully as it always turns into a shouting match and I’m always the punching bag. She smiles and goes on like everything is fine not caring what hurtful things she said but, when the shoe is on the other foot it’s a different story. I feel motherless and I feel beat down all the time. I’m at wits end and am ready to give up on our relationship. I’m not sure I want to even have one with her yesterday. Oh if you cry your a cry baby and you hear that crying don’t mean a d..n thing to me. That’s nice right? No matter what you do for some people I’ve realized it’s not enough. I’m glad I found this Hope line and I praise God for not being like my mother.