Hurt people, hurt people. The sentence seems clear, but for some, it may be as clear as a window caked with winter slush.
Some people don’t see the abuse they put on others because they don’t recognize what they’re doing as abusive. Sexual abuse and physical abuse are evident as abuse. We see its active forms of action and output, but what about other forms of abuse which don’t necessarily leave a visible physical calling card.
You may be abusing someone and may not know it.
Other Types of Abuse
The following are my loose definitions of four other forms of abuse. In my research, I’ve found some articles identify 10 forms of abuse, but I believe these four cover a large territory of the abuse realm.
- Verbal abuse is using words to attack or destroy the recipient’s spirit. Verbal abuse can demoralize a person’s belief about who they are and their abilities. I’ve seen verbal abuse referred to as verbal bullying.
- Mental abuse is using a systemic set of activities to make a person believe or think something about themselves or others which is not true. For example, mental abuse can make the recipient think or believe they are worthless. Verbal abuse may be part of the mental abuse but can also include the absence of words, such as treating the person as if they don’t exist.
- Emotional abuse can include verbal or mental abuse and is intended to make a person feel something about themselves or others which is not true. For example, emotional abuse can make the recipient feel worthless. Emotional abuse can sir up a spectrum of emotions in a person ranging from irrational sadness to irrational anger.
- Spiritual abuse can include all other forms of abuse including mental, verbal and emotional as well as physical and sexual. Sadly, it is often done in the name of the Lord God. Spiritual abuse uses a system of activities to pervert what a person knows about who God is and what he does. When spiritual abuse is at work the abuser can become God-like to the recipient. This is the form of abuse which saddens me most because it lies in God.
What About Me? Get Real Here.
If you find yourself practicing one or more of these abuses on someone, then you have the answer to the question. Somewhere along the line of life, you became an abuser.
The next step is highly important. First, STOP. Then get professional support to help you stop.
But you know that’s not all I’m going to encourage you to do. Instances of abuse appear in all forms the Bible. Even Jesus went through abuse before he died and rose. In each instance of abuse calling out to God (prayer) was required. I encourage you now to begin praying to the Lord God for strength to do what you need to do, which is get professional help to stop being a hurt person who hurts others. There is a way out and God always forgives those who truly want to heal.