Blaming, shaming, and name calling are a few identifiers of verbal abuse which can affect a victim emotionally. The victim’s self-worth and emotional well being is altered and even diminished by the verbal abuse and the result is an emotionally abused victim. The victim may experience severe psychological effects. Source: Wikipedia

We’ve all experienced the devastation of a friend or family member who’s experienced emotional and verbal abuse. We probably think we understand it. We try to empathize. We try to help.

And then it happens to us. We are moving through life, navigating obstacles, overcoming self-doubt, pushing through trials, maybe even stretching the limits a few times, but always, always with positive thoughts, good intentions, and worthy goals, when someone decides it’s their job to remind us how unworthy we are.

When it happens to you, those words of comfort you once offered your friend or family member suddenly seem empty. When it happens to you, you realize you really didn’t understand. When it happens to you, you clearly see that NO one else could totally understand the pain you’re experiencing.

I’ve experienced emotional and verbal abuse a few times in my life, you would think I’d be prepared, or my psychic-skin would be thick. But I wasn’t, and it’s not.

The biggest challenge for this kind of abuse is it’s not visible, it’s not something you can easily pinpoint or explain to others. But it’s devastating.

And the second biggest challenge is the deliverer of this abuse rationalizes it in their head, “I have to be this hard on you to make my point.”, “I know I’m being overly aggressive, but it’s for your own good.”, “Let’s call everyone you love and bring them into the conversation, then you’ll see that I’m right and everything I’ve said and done was right.”

Really? It’s just not that easy, pal. Not after you’ve ripped out my insides, undermined my self-esteem, overreacted, falsely accused, misinterpreted, transferred your own issues to me and more. Repeatedly. Over and over again. As if once wasn’t enough. It’s like the bully at school who hits once to make a point, then over and over again to make certain you got the point.

I was listening the first time.

Words are damaging, they sting long after they fall from someone’s lips. And they can’t be taken back or erased.

They say time heals all wounds, I hope that is true. And I’m so grateful I no longer need to reply in kind. I can look back over days and days and know that I never ONCE replied in kind. Not once. I can almost sleep at night, when my subconscious is not replaying the rantings in my head.

When it happens to you, your life changes, your relationship changes, and nothing will ever be the same. But life does go on and I’m a survivor. I’ve been there, done that. And I refuse to do it again.

My name is Jean Krisle. I love my life. And I’m proud of who I’ve been, who I am, and who I am becoming. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I am human. I am imperfect. I am me. Thank God, I am me.

When it happens to you, remember your self-worth, remember who you are, remember that no one knows you better than you, and remember that no one has the right to call you names, belittle you, or cause emotional damage with their words. No one. Ever. Period.

When it happens to you, remove yourself from the conversation. Hang up, leave the room, call a friend for a ride. You are worth it.

Jean Krisle is the CEO/Founder of 10,000 Beds, Inc. a 501c3 nonprofit organization. She is also a professional speaker with past audiences around the world. Jean started 10,000 Beds after wrestling with addiction in her own family. You can support 10,000 Beds by making a contribution today to help provide scholarships for those without resources seeking help for addiction.

With a unique model of partnering with treatment programs throughout the United States, 10,000 Beds is an anomaly in the nonprofit and addiction treatment worlds. All staff and board members are 100% volunteers.

On a minimal annual budget of less than $100,000, millions of dollars in scholarships have been awarded over the past two years.

  • 2016 – 10,000 Beds awarded $1,000,000 in addiction treatment scholarships
  • 2017 – 10,000 Beds is on target to award $2,500,000 in addiction treatment scholarships
  • 2018 – 10,000 Beds has set a goal to award $5,000,000 in treatment scholarships

This is possible because of the extraordinary treatment program partners throughout the United States. We are so very grateful. 

Currently #OnTheRoad4Recovery to elevate awareness, change perceptions around addiction and recovery, and connect with partners new and old, Jean continues to inspire and provide hope to families, organizations, treatment programs and leaders. 10,000 Beds comes from a place of gratitude. Thank you for your support!