When a woman is subjected to verbal abuse you can’t see the wounds that eventually will become scabs and then hopefully heal. Verbal abuse is an on-going process in which someone is belittled and made to feel inferior. It can cause untold damage to the victim’s self-image.
Christa is such a person. After a long journey of verbal abuse she was finally able to free herself from that situation. Her story is one of inspiration, courage and hope for any woman wanting to claim back her life without “gates” around her heart, as Christa puts it.
In a relationship we as women give of ourselves emotionally, physically and financially. And when there’s verbal abuse in a relationship it means a total onslaught on all the facets in which you can give of yourself.
This is why it’s so difficult to walk out of such a situation – the person’s self-image can be affected to such an extent that she starts believing she can no longer function on her own. We must encourage women such as Christa. Her story serves as an inspiration to others to break free of relationships in which their self-image is broken down by the sharp blade of a tongue.
This kind of liberation can begin only if we – the friends, mothers and daughters in their lives – provide the necessary support, continue to point out problems and bring to their attention things they might have become blind to. It’s the same for any form of addiction, the road back begins with the admission that they’re in a destructive relationship which they must leave, step by step.
Zelda la Grange, private secretary to ex-president Nelson Mandela, will be blogging for YOU during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. Sheworks with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and does motivational talks. She is also active with projects such as Bikers for Mandela Day and Sisters with Blisters in her role as patron for the 1st for Women Insurance Trust.