Ouch! That Word Hurt! by Deedra Hunter, LMHC

I have never had sticks and stones hurled at me but- words? A half century ago it was called “teasing” and no one paid much attention to it. Today, we call it bullying and the practice of it is getting a lot of attention. Why? Because words do hurt, and can cause long term psychological problems known as post traumatic stress disorder. If you or a loved one has ever been bullied you know how much it hurts and how those painful memories seem to always be lurking in the background of your life.

What is bulling? Bullying, like other forms of abuse, is about power and control. The bully will name call, abandon, scare, threaten, and manipulate.

What does the bully look like? Perhaps you think a bully looks tough and mean but not necessarily. He or she may be good looking, well dressed, and extremely well mannered. The bullies who are beautiful, friendly, and charming are the most dangerous because they catch you completely off guard. They also are clever never to have witnesses around when they batter thus making it very hard to convince an outsider that abuse is going on. Their goal of power and control is accomplished. You feel depressed, unworthy, insecure, vulnerable, and defeated. You become afraid to speak up for yourself and are now completely at the merci of this unpredictable bully. You have lost your life.

What to do? Recognize you are in the grip of a bully and have the courage to break free. It starts with talking to someone you trust, calling an abuse hotline, getting counseling, or joining a support group. It is never too early and it is never too late to reclaim your life. The wounds to your soul cut just as bad and go just as deep as any that have cut your skin. Verbal abuse hurts and only you can decide you’ve hurt enough.

Written by: Deedra Hunter is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has also published a book called; Winning Custody: A Woman’s Guide to Retaining Custody of Her Children.


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