|—||Phillip Seymour Hoffman|
Emotional abuse can be either verbal or nonverbal. Teasing, belittling, sarcasm, and taunts are all forms of emotional abuse. Nonverbal cues might take the form of expecting more from children than they can reasonably deliver. Conditional love, with its message of “I love you, but…” is also a form of emotional abuse.
Emotional and verbal abuses are easy to deny because the scars are hidden; there are no bruises to heal, no visible wounds to point to. It is harder to say, “Yes, this really happened!” If you have always lived with them, these behaviors might even seem “normal” to you. But for all of their seeming invisibility, they can be very damaging.
The outward effects of physical abuse are usually easy to see. Not so easy to see are the scars brought by the constant fear of being hurt, the ever-present threat of physical violence. The fear of physical abuse hangs over a child all the time, never dissipating. The uncertainty of when the next blow will strike is often dreaded more than the blow itself.