The Haunted House – Explain Verbal Abuse

If you’ve tried to explain verbal abuse to anyone, you may have found yourself at a loss for words. You may doubt your ability to paint an exact picture, or maybe when the words come out, your friend gets a blank look on her face. You think she wants to say, “What’s so bad about that?”

She doesn’t think that, by the way. It’s your own doubt of yourself that makes you interpret her in that way. Her inquisitive look is her saying, “I don’t get it yet. I believe you are in pain. Please, go on so I can understand. Explain verbal abuse to me.

To help people understand, you could explain verbal abuse by telling a tale people love: the ghost story. I’ve written the framework, now you take it, juice it up your own way and explain the hell out of verbal abuse!


I Loved You Once

Pretend for a moment that you live in a real haunted house with the ghost of someone you loved dearly while they were living and loving you. But now, in the afterlife, something is different, wrong…

The ghost in the house whispers delightfully in your ear, and as you smile, the same spirit springs from behind the corner, scaring the life out of you. Scared, then confused, you face the ghost and smile, assuming the scariness was all in good fun. But suddenly the ghost turns on its loud voice and demeans you, calls you stupid for not being afraid of it. It gets right in your face and you feel its icy breath on your cheek. You squeeze your eyes closed tight, too afraid to see. And then suddenly, the voice warms – “What’s the matter? Why are you so jumpy? I’m worried about you.”

explain verbal abuse - "losing yourself" by Mandarino at DeviantArtCrying, you reach for the ghost. You reach for the one who once loved and protected you, the one who now seems so different… But the ghost, the one you loved, is gone.

Shaking, you move carefully on through the house, wondering if the ghost is really who you thought. You come to avoid mirrors because the ghost puts its ugliest reflection in them. You don’t want to enter the cellar for wine to calm your nerves because the ghost, in a rage, once scared you half to death down there and blocked the door so you had to listen to it.

This same type of activity repeats itself for a week, and then the house is eerily silent. Nothing moves, nothing whispers. The sun shines brightly through the window. But you continue to cautiously look around corners, fling open shower curtains with your heart pounding in your chest. You are anxious and wish you could leave the house, but you’ve invested all your finances into it. There’s nowhere to go.

And who do you talk to about a ghost for goodness sake? Anytime someone’s come to visit, the ghost was silent – not a peep. It appears that you live in the perfect house. If you started talking about a ghost, people wouldn’t believe you. They’d think you were crazy! Maybe you are crazy.

The silence continues for another week. You begin to appreciate the sunshine. You begin to humming out loud and smiling at yourself in the mirror. You feel good about your house; you feel your spirit and hope returning.

So as you start down the stairs to grab that bottle of vintage wine, you hear a whisper in your ear…


Did you like this story?

If so, you will appreciate Kellie Jo Holly’s books and workbooks.

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Comments

  1. This is a great analogy. You nailed it!

  2. PERFECTLY described, Kellie! So many times when abused try to explain what is going on in the house, they sound CRAZY. In fact, the crazier you sounded to me – the more serious I knew it was at that time in your house.

  3. I will always treasure this analogy. It describes so perfectly what I have struggled to figure out how to express a former relationship. thanks so much. Malika

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