SHUT UP! – A Poem About Verbal Abuse

 

tiko-giorgadze-149019

I wrote this poem a few years ago while I was doing research on the topic of women and verbal abuse. I believe in the power of words. The power to inflict harm and the power to produce healing. The power to damage someone’s self-worth and deform reality and the power to lift, inspire and affirm truth. Verbal abuse and bullying are never okay.

SHUT UP!

So predictable

So relentless

So cruel

With your words you carve out a space in my heart

A place you’ve claimed as your space

It penetrates like a fiery dart

So predictable

So relentless

So cruel

What’s your problem?

Why do you make me out to be a fool?

Am I your puppet, your punching bag, your trash?

All your words do is thrash

They cut and wound and pierce

The pain throbs inside, so fierce

The heat inside me ebbs and flows

No one knows, no one knows

And so, on and on and on it goes

How heavy and how frantic I feel on the edge of sane

It’s so inane

It’s so loud on the inside when I scream

Like a dream

Like a mad, mad dream

It echoes from every wall inside my head

From every chamber within my heart

When did this start? Why did it start?

Who even cares

It doesn’t even matter now

I almost don’t matter now

So predictable

So relentless

So cruel

Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up!

I just want the pain to go away

Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up!

Leave me alone.

Go away!

You,

Yes, YOU…

Take your words and go away.

-April McCallum

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

Singer-Songwriter Ashley Stringer: Songs of Healing and Hope

Ashley Stringer – Singer, Songwriter & World Changer

Ashley Stringer is a vibrant young singer and songwriter who hopes to change the world one song at a time. She started writing songs at twelve years of age and will be releasing her first album while she’s still fourteen. Her songs represent a journey woven into a musical tapestry of good news. News of healing and hope, identity and joy. She can be found in coffee shops, church venues, special events and sharing her unique sound on social media, including her own YouTube channel. I recently interviewed Ashley about her love of music and passion to express her thoughts and heart through songwriting.

Music & Song

Q: Ashley and music go hand and hand. Smile. Did you come from a musical background growing up, or was music just born inside of you when you came into the world? Or, maybe a little of both?

A: My mother’s side of the family is musically inclined but I have always had a love for music since I was very little. I was either eleven or twelve when I believe I realized music was my passion.

Q: You sing, but you also play the guitar. Do you play other instruments as well?

A: No, I would love to learn to play the piano soon.

Q: Music is a universal language. How does it feel to use your gift of music and then also to have a platform to share it with others?

A: I feel blessed that God has revealed to me the gift of writing and singing, and count it an honor to be able to sing His praises.  It’s a privilege to write music and I pray that with every song there will be an audience that can relate to it and be ministered to by it.

Q: What is at the heart of your music… What propels you to want and need to express yourself in song?

A: Writing songs and expressing myself seems like a natural thing for me to do. When I have ideas or thoughts I journal them and that’s where a lot of my music comes from. I pray that others are blessed by the songs that were birthed from personal experiences of my own or ones that others have shared with me that I have put to songs.

Q: Have you identified a word or a couple of words that describe what you feel most near to through your expression of music… meaning, your “message”?

A: Honesty, Joy and Freedom.

Ashley in the recording studio.

Ashley in the recording studio.

Songwriting

Q: Not only do you sing, but you are also a songwriter. When you write songs, do you have an idea in your mind of the person, or a type of person, you are singing to/for?

A: First, I always write for the glory of God. Second, I write songs for people who are walking through challenges. I want my music to bring hope, encourage, and help others realize they’re not alone.

Q: When did you know it wasn’t enough for you to only sing, but you also felt compelled to write your own lyrics as well?

A: When I was being bullied, I taught myself how to play guitar and not too long after, I started writing songs. During that season of loneliness, writing music was my stress relief. Anytime I was hurting I would play my guitar and God would put lyrics on my heart and notes to strum on the guitar, He helped me author what I think is beautiful music.

Q: It must feel extremely freeing and gratifying to be able to sing words that are straight from your own heart and mind. With both gifts (voice and writing), you are able to truly express, in the way that you want, ideas and thoughts and challenges for others to hear. Would you comment?

A: Absolutely, every song is a story that allows the listener to pierce into the window of my soul. I pray that through my honesty others will be touched and experience healing through Jesus.

Listen to Ashley’s single about bullying and fitting in called “Simple Smile“on YouTube. (See the cover photo below).

Growth in the Journey

Q: Have you ever felt fear or comparison creeping in, and if so, how do you deal with that in order to push forward?

A: I have to remember when I feel this way that God only created one me and my story isn’t going to be like everyone else’s and that’s okay. I sing only for God’s glory and I don’t let comparison creep in. 

Q: What types of things have you done to help yourself communicate your messages through music even more?

A: I have been actively a part of dance troops and taken vocal lessons since I was very young. I’ve ministered in worship and word at several churches and coffee shops. I’ve volunteered for several years leading worship in kids ministry at a church. I feel that all of these things have helped prepare me.

13062129_113038522435091_1799273581811935992_n

Ashley’s anti-bullying single, “Simple Smile”.

Following Your Dreams

Q: What have you found to be one of the most challenging parts of seeing your dream become a reality?

A: Patience and trusting God has perfect timing for all things. I was hoping to have this current album completed a long time ago, but studio production is time-consuming and costly. We have had to wait on producers, musicians laying tracks, and much more.

Q: How did you overcome that?

A: It’s a daily “die to self”. My parents remind me often to trust God and His timing for it all.

Q: If you could give one or two pieces of advice to others who want to follow their dream, what would it be?

A: Dream Big! Trust that God knows what’s best for you and know His timing is Perfect. God won’t put you in a situation you can’t handle.

Q: I know you have amazingly supportive parents. What’s one of your favorite things about how they’ve come alongside you in your musical journey?

A: I’m grateful to have parents who are willing to invest in my dream. They constantly encourage my gift. They have absolutely been a pillar of strength for me on this journey. I owe so much of this to my Dad for being our family’s covering, priest and encourager.  My mom is co-producing everything with me and the other producers.  She has a good ear and gives me advice and keeps me grounded.  She takes me to vocal lessons, studio recording sessions, and makes all possible on the ground-level.

Ashley wrote a song for her father while he was undergoing treatment at MD Anderson for Stage 4 cancer. They later created a short video featuring her song, “Journey“.

Social Media

Q: Where can people connect and learn more about your music? Do you have a website, blog, FB or Instagram page? 13007283_113616142377329_2278447126599045461_n

A: I am available on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. I also have a YouTube channel where you can see covers I have done, and more. (My website is currently being updated.)

Q: How has Social Media made an impact or opened doors for you to share your talent?

A: It has allowed me to get exposure from people I would have never reached before. 

Q: How have your fans played a role in building your momentum?

A: I really wouldn’t say I have much of a fan base, only time will tell. I have followers on both Facebook and Instagram, but haven’t intentionally sought to build a base yet.  It has all been organic and we trust in time it will grow on its own.

Q: Do you use any hashtags specifically for your music on social media?

A: #SimpleSmile, #AshleyStringer and #ConsumedByYou which is the title of my album.

Personal

Q: Your faith is at the core of who you are as a young woman. How has your faith strengthened you, inspired you and/or made you more confident and free to be who you are?

A: The bottom line is, I couldn’t do this without God. He’s the one who has opened every door, made way for every relationship, and empowered me to do what I do.

Ashley with her father, Doug Stringer.

Ashley with her father, Doug Stringer.

Q: You travel a lot with your family. What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to so far?

A: I’ve traveled to seventeen countries many of them multiple times and so far I don’t have a favorite. I’ve enjoyed them all!

Q: What’s someplace you’ve never been that you’d love to visit one day?

A: Greece, although I will be traveling there in the next few weeks! (Ashley just returned from Greece and loved it! See her photo below.)

Ashley’s 2017 trip to Greece.

Q: Name a musician, past or present, that is one of your favorite inspirations.

A: Tori Kelly and Celine Dion are my two favorite artists. I admire their vocal ability and Tori’s consecrated walk. 

Q: What is your favorite genre of music? Is there a genre you’ve not yet explored but would like to?

A: I really like Christian Pop and Christian Rap.

Q: Tell me something that your followers may not know about you yet.

A: Most people don’t know I’ve been homeschooled most of my life and really enjoy it.

About the Album

You’ve been busy preparing to release your new album…

Q: What is the name of your album and can you tell me a little about why you decided to do it?

A: My album will be entitled “Consumed By You”. I began to write music and thought releasing an E.P. would be cool but then God gave me enough material for an album.

Q: What is something significant that you’ve learned or discovered through the process of stepping out with your music and sharing it with the world?

A: Just how much healing can come from music

Q: Okay, Takeaways… What do you hope people will come away with after listening to this album?

A: That whatever my listeners may be facing, they can make it through. God loves them, and with Him, all things are possible.

Q: It’s been a joy to watch your talent and journey unfold. I’m sure this is just the beginning. Can you share something you’d love to explore or do next?

A: It’s hard for me to see too far down the road. I’m just excited for every ministry opportunity I have today. 

Q: Where can we hear and purchase/download your music?

A: I have a single out on iTunes and the album will release mid-February. You will be able to listen through Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.

Love this Girl! Stay tuned for more of Ashley Stringer, singer, songwriter and world changer.

Connect with Ashley Stringer!

The best way to connect with me is through my website or my social media accounts.

Facebook: @AshleyStringer

Website: AshleyStringer.com

Instagram: @Ashleymstringer

Twitter: @AshleyStringerr

YouTube: Watch/Listen to Ashley on YouTube

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

Simple Smile: Anti-Bullying Song by Ashley Stringer

13062129_113038522435091_1799273581811935992_n

“Simple Smile” is an anti-bullying song written by Ashley Stringer. Ashley is a fourteen-year-old singer-songwriter who has a passion to share her gift of music to bring hope and healing to those who need it most. She writes:

“This song was written when I was twelve years old. I realized the value of affirmation that would come from a smile, and the deep hurt that can occur when one feels rejected by their peers.

My prayer is that we would recognize that smiles are priceless, and when shared, they can change someones outlook. Share a smile, and be givers of hope.”

“Bullying is a physical or psychological aggressive behavior intended to harm or hurt others. The bully uses offensive bullying words in the process of victimization, states NoBullying.com. ” The general view is to make the affected person seem worthless, unloved, and uncared for.”

The Bully Project says, “Bullying today does not just happen at school. It happens on the streets of our towns, in our homes, at extracurricular activities, at camp, online (cyberbullying), and in many other places.” They’ve created a film called, “Bully” that speaks to this issue. According to their website, 3 million kids are bullied each month, and 13 million kids are absent from school every year because of bullying.  

Many youth suicides have been connected with some form of rejection or bullying, to the extent the victims no longer felt welcome in this world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on youth suicide states that suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, resulting in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year. Read my blog Victims of Bullying.

Whether bullying occurs at home, in school, in a public venue or online, it is always victimization. It is always connected to rejection or trying to diminish another’s self-worth. And it is always wrong.

The Bible says that out of the heart, our mouths speak. Unfortunately, too many hearts, instead of being filled with contentment, goodwill and joy are filled with just the opposite and it’s spilling out and doing incredible damage. I’m grateful for people like Ashley, who understand that even the simple, under-valued things like befriending someone who’s lonely, listening and showing compassion, helping someone in need, offering a prayer, or a simple smile can literally change someone’s day, their mind, their world and possibly even their future. Just by knowing someone “out there” cares, means there is still hope. Listen to Simple Smile and Watch the Music Video by Ashley Stringer and share with someone who needs to hear it!

HELPFUL RESOURCES:

“Understanding Bullying” CDC Fact Sheet

Information on Bullying by StopBullying.Gov

“Impact of Bullying Words on the Victim” by NoBullying.com

Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide: The Lasting Effects of Bullying 

The Bully Project

Online Security Tips for Parents & Kids

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2015

Stop Bullying Now!: A resource website sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that addresses the warning signs of bullying, how to talk about bullies, how to report bullies and cyberbullying and offers a 24-hour help hotline for victims at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

Scars Speak

9fzcbfucmxi-allef-vinicius

What comes to mind when you read the word SCAR?

A scar can be left over from a surgery or a “trophy” on a veteran of war. It can be a reminder of a painful accident or a traumatic physical assault. And not all scars are visible to the eye. Sometimes we carry internal scars caused by wounds from a verbal assault, emotional or psychological damage.

“We’re stronger in the places we’ve been broken.” – Ernest Hemingway

One thing all scars have in common is they tell us that at some point in time, trauma occurred. They also tell us by their nature, the incident that caused the trauma happened in the past. The hurt may or may not remain, but the scar always does.

Some may look at their scars and be unaffected or even laugh because they don’t have any recollection of the actual incident. They may have had surgery and been under anesthesia. Or, they may have received their wound in an accident but their memory of the event has been erased.

There are some people, however, who have to look in the mirror and live with negative memories associated with their scars every day. They are the ones I’m writing about today. Scars caused by abuse, neglect or violence. Their scars are a constant and merciless reminder of pain. The relentless pain of hatred, rejection or violence against their person or spirit. Those memories summon our worst nightmares and haunt us with torment. Sometimes the scars taunt as if to say, “You deserved what you got” or “You’ll never be good enough. You’ve got the scars to prove it”. They are reminders of the powerlessness in abusive encounters. To some, a permanent warning sign to stay inside an imposed boundary. And they can’t be erased. The most we can do is cover them so the world can’t see. Because if the world sees them, they will wonder how our scars came to be, and we can’t bare to reveal or re-live the trauma.

Donita’s mother burned her with cigarettes and left scars from beatings with an iron hanger. Veronica’s uncle sexually assaulted her and her sister leaving a different set of scars. The pain of shame on top of sexual assault with the pressure of keeping a secret no girl should have to bare. Morgan’s arm is scarred with needle marks from a life she desperately wants to forget from her drug-addicted past. As beautiful as she is, Chandler wears scars under her clothes from cutting. No one knows because she masks it with a fake smile. Shauna wears long sleeved blouses and lots of bracelets to cover her wrists after attempting suicide. Makeup and jewelry cannot completely hide years of abuse to Trina’s face and neck at the hands of an abusive husband. Women and girls with faces and bodies acid-burned by their own husbands, fathers, brothers and family members–people they should’ve been able to trust to love and protect them. Every single scar from abuse cries out, “Why me?” Our faces, our bodies, our minds and our spirits are such a deep part of our identity. When we are assaulted in any way that is meant to inflict injury and pain by another, visible or not, it is inexcusable. When it is self-inflicted pain or abuse, we hurt and scar the same.

Thankfully, as the saying goes, beauty truly can come from “ashes”. We can rise to a better place. The other thing that all scars have in common is they Tell a Story. Your story. A very personal story. A painful story. A pain-filled story. But yours, nonetheless. So what’s so great about having a personal painful story? Nothing. That is, nothing in and of itself. But your scars, our scars, tell us and the world, “I am here!” They say without speaking a word, “I lived through it!” THAT is the story. THAT is the grace. It is your badge of courage. It says you are a fighter, a victor.

The truth is, the scars are proof that you made it through. You are meant to be here. And maybe one day, you will come to understand that you lived (or made it through the pain) to tell your story so that others can learn from it. And in so doing, what someone tried to take away from you, (your confidence, self-worth, freedom, identity, voice) ended up positioning you to give strength (and courage and hope) to another. And in the process, gave you back the voice no one could ever truly take.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

Victims of Bullying

It takes courage to stand alone for your beliefs in the face of intolerance and judgment.

It takes bravery to use your voice when presented with lies and betrayal.

It takes boldness to speak out when everyone else’s silence is deafening.

It takes faith to keep believing in humanity when humans tear us down.

It takes strength to get up and face your demons, your critics, your enemies.

It takes heart to forgive when those who hurt us don’t even know they need our forgiveness.

It takes tenacity, sometimes, to simply breathe in and breathe out.

It takes resilience to take one more step, look in the mirror, face your fears and live to fight just one more day.

Those who keep on keeping on in the midst of unwarranted aggression, torment, fear and bullying are warriors. They are the ones who are strong enough to refuse ultimate defeat. They refuse to allow the smallness, ugliness and false accusation of bullies to define them or keep them pinned down. But, remember–not everyone can hold on.

It takes just one to stand, speak, be bold, have faith, take heart, be strong and resilient with us–so that we no longer have to be alone.

Stand up. Speak up. Together, we are stronger, and just a little bit braver.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

Freedom Series: Abuse to Favor

 “For me, my dreams were shaped out of a childhood that was fenced in by fear”

Abuse to Favor is a 96-page minibook that is a part of the Freedom Series created by popular author and speaker, Michelle Borquez. Each booklet shares a woman’s true story about her journey from brokenness to freedom.

In Abuse to Favor, Jo Ann Aleman shares her story, struggles, and triumph over abuse.  It begins with her father, a man she recalls as generous and loving with his children, but extremely abusive to their mother.  Her “normal” was a violently abuse home life fueled by alcohol binges. A home (a life) that healthy families would see as filled with fear-invoking, pain-inducing, spirit-shattering chaos.  Time and again, her mother would pack the children up and flee for safety, then return when things seemed more settled, and so it went on and on.

The cycle brought on by her father’s rage and abuse directed at her mother caused her to go to a place she felt more secure–her mind–a place that no one could touch, a place that seemed safe. Like so many others in her situation, she dreamed about how her life would be different. She fantasized about someone coming to rescue and protect her: a savior.

But, as with any story of abuse, there’s always more than what appears on the surface. Why did her mother stay in that abusive situation? Her mother stayed because of her own experience with abuse. She and her siblings experienced great physical, emotional and mental abuse by their stepfather.  So she promised herself that her future children would never be subjected to a stepfather. But it wasn’t that he was a stepfather. It was that he was a broken abusive man.

“Many times we think of abuse as being only physical; however, abuse takes on many forms. Sexual abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse—even neglect–are all perversions of real, unconditional love.”

Fast forward to Jo Ann Aleman’s adult life… with her childhood promises to herself still with her, she married someone she thought would take her in a direction that was new and better. To a place she could only recognize in her dreams. But he didn’t.  She shares about his abuse and the ultimate disintegration of the marriage.  So longing to be loved, she quickly found herself in another marriage, this time to an older man. She hoped he would bring the security she so desperately wanted. Again, it was not to be found. He too, abused her both physically and emotionally.

“Many nights I was awakened by his fists pummeling my face. He would get so drunk that he would black out, and the next morning we would wake up to a house that looked like a tornado had ripped through it… He was bent on compete destruction.”

As you may have noticed in your own life, there is this resilience about human nature. No matter how bad things get, no matter how improbable the odds, in our little broken torn-apart state, we still somehow find a way to reach out like a flower in the shadows, straining toward the sunshine, hoping against hope for something good.  Jo Ann Aleman was no different. Her heart reached out yet again, longing for love. She spent twelve years in “prison” with her third husband. A man who abused her through fear and intimidation, lashing out through physical, sexual, emotional and verbal abuse. But this time, it spilled over onto her daughter.

That’s when something shifted. This time, she didn’t reach out to a man, but to God. She writes, “Although we are all somewhat conditioned by our environment, something deep inside of us reveals the truth.” There was more for her.  She wanted once and for all, to be free.

Sharon Kay Ball (a professional counselor) uses biblical illustrations to define healthy and unhealthy thinking and behaviors, and speaks to the issues of conflict, power, authority, power struggles, and abuse that can affect any type of relationship. She also walks readers through common abuser behavior:  using rage, silence, intimidation, altering your sense of reality, criticizing, and blame-shifting to control their victim.

“His words only confirmed my feelings. They shaped me, took root in my heart, and I believed the things he said.”

Ball breaks down the phases in the cycle of abuse and talks about making a “safe plan.” Although it’s crucial to get out of an abusive relationship physically, it’s not enough. Victims need to purge themselves from the damaging affects of abuse that are left embedded in their minds and spirits. That means talking about trust, low self-image, forgiveness, anger, and learning how to move forward.

Aleman writes, “I was free on the surface, yet broken and deeply wounded inside.” That was, until she decided to no longer allow herself to be defined by abusive men, but by a loving God who offered hope and healing.

You may also be interested in:

Domestic Violence: But He Really is a Good Person

What is Emotional Abuse?

Quotes From Women Who Have Suffered Emotional Abuse

Sexual Violence Against Women: Rape, Abuse and Incest

Innocence Lost: Women and Childhood Sexual Abuse

Note: Rose Publishing provided me with an advanced reader copy of this booklet.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

Freedom Series: Fear To Courage

Unhealthy fear is a liar. If not stopped, it will always seek to bully us into believing lies about ourselves and about others, ultimately morphing our reality. It is a thief. It robs our peace and joy, and in many cases, the faith and courage to follow our dreams and live healthy fulfilled lives. But the worst part about unhealthy fear is that it can become a slave master. Its single focused goal is to destroy the truth and any potential goodness in our lives by disempowering us and holding us captive.

From Fear to Courage is a 96-page minibook that is part of the Freedom Series created by author and popular women’s speaker, Michelle Borquez. Women desperately want to get to the other side of fear, shame, low self-esteem, hopelessness, or any other issue that keeps them from finding their ultimate freedom in life, but often they don’t know how. The book’s authors use biblical truths to guide readers out of their unhealthy fears into a place of understanding, healing, and freedom.

Have you (or someone you know) kept a secret that has bound you in chains, choked off your voice, drowned your hopes, or silenced your dreams?

In Fear to Courage, Kim Vastine shares her personal story of shame, betrayal, loneliness, and anger brought on by childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by an uncle, someone she “should” have been able to trust. Instead, she was lied to, stolen from, and enslaved to her abuser.  Fear became an unwanted and demanding companion. She uses words like torment, pain, fear, and grief to describe how the abuse made her feel.

Adding fuel to the fire, yet another family member compounded her abuse profile. Speaking of her father’s volatile outbursts that would leave the family, “cowering, sobbing, or desperately striving to seem invisible,” she concluded, “as bad as it was physically, emotionally it was worse.” And just when you wonder how much more a child can endure, she tells of yet another abuse in a place she “should” have felt safe and secure.

The images and memories of abuse branded in her mind helped formulate how she saw the world, God, and herself. My voice was silent, but my heart cried out for justice.” Like flecks of emotional shrapnel searing through the skin, unless extracted, they remain embedded in our minds and spirits. In her case, she learned to mask her negative emotions in deceptive and unhealthy ways.

Paige Henderson writes, “When fear dictates, love is silenced.” This booklet invites women to take the critical journey “moving from life-crushing fear to life-changing courage.” None of us can survive without hope or apart from love. She helps readers put fear into perspective. To understand the awe-inspired “fear” of God and positive healthy choices, as opposed to unhealthy fear that distorts truth, steals our voice, and robs us of our intended destiny. Love is more powerful than fear, but as long as we give fear a place, we give it power.

Then she uses examples from the Bible to show the consistency (predictability) of human nature in our reaction to fear: hiding or running in the opposite direction, and then speaks to trust and identity issues and how they inform us on how we relate to ourselves and the world. The heavy burden of abuse and its fallout are real, but remember, we are not alone in the battle. When childhood abuse occurs, children are left to define their trauma through their own experience and feelings, never grasping what it all means and where they fit in the overall scheme of what has happened to them. (Underscore, to them.)

Abused children typically draw conclusions based on false thinking, and as they mature and advance into adult relationships, they act out what they believe. Although a woman’s body matures and changes, for those who have suffered from childhood trauma, their wounded little girl remains still very much a part of them. That little girl is desperate to be loved, feel worthy, and to be seen and heard. She needs healing.

Henderson talks about the significance of fortifying our lives (how we think, feel, and act) in the way we build our life foundations.  How important it is that we build wisely, and with truth, because eventually, we act on what we believe. We live out our lives, based on what we believe to be true. Using a simple Q&A format, she encourages readers to pause and reflect, and then record their thoughts and feelings. The process helps define the root causes of fear and the difference between healthy and unhealthy fears and their effect.

Armed with a healthy understanding about fear, love, and the importance (and power) of taking personal responsibility for our ultimate wholeness and freedom, Sharon Kay Ball rounds out the book with a section called, “Steps to Freedom.” She discusses the devastation of sexual and emotional abuse including disempowerment and trauma. Readers are then given steps to help in the process of healing those broken places.

Victims of abuse will learn how to un-pack and re-pack, so to speak, their belief systems (about truth, themselves, and others), so they can move from fear to courage, and from victim to survivor. That means taking the power away from the perpetrators, and reclaiming it for ourselves. She reminds us that, “secrets only carry power when they are kept secret.” And discusses how to get past self-blame, the importance of not stuffing bad memories, and how to process anger in a healthy way. She also underscores the value of journaling and working with a professional therapist if necessary.

“When fear enslaves us, it paralyzes us and keeps us from having the courage to live out our purpose in life.” –Michelle Borquez

This booklet begins with Kim’s story about sexual and other abuses. Maybe your fears have different origins. But the fact remains: fear is a liar and fear is a thief. Eventually, unhealthy fear becomes a slave master, and until we replace it with truth, it will keep us where we don’t want to be, in a perpetual internal prison.

It’s time to let go of fear and claim your freedom. Commit to the process because you are worth it. Give yourself permission to take the journey that will eventually lead you out of the cage and into your freedom.

Purchase the book: Fear to Courage

You may also be interested in:

Fear is a Liar

20 Quotes about Pushing Past Fear

Live Fearless, Live Free.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

Note: Rose Publishing provided me with an advanced reader copy of this booklet.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal and Emotional Abuse

 

In June Hunt’s new booklet, Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal and Emotional Abuse, she says: “No one escapes the pain of a broken heart. In the Hebrew language, the meaning of the word translated brokenhearted is literally shattered.”

The award-winning author & speaker packs this mini-book full of biblical-based truths and practical advice on how to stop the pain of abuse and restore peace to your mind, body, emotions, and relationships. You will learn about emotional and verbal abuse, brainwashing and manipulation, the effects of negative words and behavior including the characteristics of passive-aggressive behavior, the familiar faces of abuse, and their root causes.

Then you will get to the good part, the hope part! You will learn how to cope with and confront abusive people, alter the course of an abusive relationship, establish personal boundaries, and gratefully, how to heal a “shattered” heart.

“Words possess immense power. Words can be life-giving as well as life-threatening; life-giving by inspiring us to be all that we were meant to be, and life-threatening by destroying our hopes and dashing our dreams.” –June Hunt

In summation, the author poses the question: “When someone is being verbally or emotionally abusive to you is there anything you can do?” And then responds in conclusion with the affirming and hope-filled answer, Yes! “You do have choices. You can have boundaries. You can have healing.”

About the Author

Author June Hunt

June Hunt is a biblical counselor whose award-winning radio program “Hope for the Heart” is heard on nearly 900 radio outlets around the world. She is a sought-after public speaker on topics such as crisis counseling, child abuse, forgiveness and self-worth. She’s also developed a scripturally based counseling course covering topics including depression and anger, marriage, parenting, stress, suicide, and more. Her “Hope for the Heart” booklets have been translated into 27 languages.

Look for all 25 of the Hope For The Heart mini-books − These books are for men and women who are seeking restoration from circumstances like codependency, anger, conflict, verbal & emotional abuse, and depression.

Purchase the book: Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal and Emotional Abuse

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

What is Emotional Abuse?

“Emotional abuse is about someone manipulating your emotions on a psychological level” according to Gunta Krumins, BA, PMP, author of The Detrimental Effects of Emotional Abuse

Dr. Steven Stosny, Ph.D. says an emotional abuser controls another person by undermining his or her confidence, worthiness, growth, trust, or emotional stability, or by provoking fear or shame to manipulate or exploit; and that “Emotionally abusive behavior is anything that intentionally hurts the feelings of another person.”

Because of the silent nature of emotional abuse, it’s not untypical for a woman to feel hopeless, depressed, confused and/or trapped. In extreme cases, emotional abusers can break a person’s confidence and spirit to the point they can even convince their victim that they deserve what they get. It is twisted, damaging, and it’s all about control.

Emotional abuse is any nonphysical behavior or attitude that controls, intimidates, subjugates, demeans, punishes or isolates another person by using degradation, humiliation or fear.

Examples of Emotionally Abusive Behaviors:

  • Humiliating, degrading, mocking, bullying 
  • Discounting, distorting, negating, lying 
  • Accusing, blaming, and threatening
  • Isolating the victim from the people and things they care about
  • Deception and manipulating people’s emotions, decisions, and situations
  • Withholding affection and emotional support
  • Withholding financial and practical resources
  • Dismissive, disapproving, or contemptuous looks, comments or behavior
  • Threatening harm to the victim, their family, friends, pets, or possessions

“Emotional abuse seems more personal than physical abuse, more about you as a person, more about your spirit. It makes love hurt.” -Dr. Steven Stosny, Ph.D.

Additional Reading:

Stop the Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse: It Hurts When You Love

Quotes From Women Who Have Suffered Emotional Abuse

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

Quotes From Women Who Have Suffered Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse victims (women and men) often feel paralyzed or powerless to change their relationship or situation because their perpetrators are likely control freaks and master manipulators. Because of the silent nature of emotional abuse, it’s not untypical for a woman to feel hopeless, depressed, confused and/or trapped.

Though it can seem unimaginable to people on the outside, some women caught in abusive relationships can even start to believe what their abusers tell them about themselves.

Bullies may tell their victims that they are stupid, unlovable, ugly, or that no one would believe them if they tried to speak up. Often they try to blame the abuse on their victims trying to convince them that the abuse is somehow, their fault. You can imagine the damaging effects to a person’s health, both mind and body, and how living with that constant turmoil, sadly, would begin to erode their spirit.

Here are some quotes from real women who have lived through the very real pain of emotional abuse:

Bruises heal, but you don’t forget words and emotions, how an abuser makes you feel about yourself.

I have always walked on eggshells waiting for his reaction to whatever situation.

I am slowly beginning to realize that I deserve better and I can do better. It’s been a struggle.

I was a happy, confident, outgoing person once.

I would rather he would hit me because at least a bruise would eventually go away.

I am in an emotionally abusive relationship but I don’t know how to leave because he needs me.

I never know what to expect. Sometimes he’s charming, sometimes he’s volatile. He’s a chronic manipulator and deceiver. Everything revolves around “his truth.”

I used to be a happy person who had plans and dreams. The emotional and verbal abuse wore me down. I felt exhausted, numb and dioriented about who I was. I stopped thinking and believing for myself. I lost hope for a better life.

Please do not stay in that kind of relationship. Your children will suffer. 

He is the ultimate narcissist and uses his charisma as a weapon of choice to dissuade anyone from thinking it is him.

He isolated me from my family and the people and things I care about.

He’s constantly putting me down, labeling me, mocking or making fun of me. It’s his way of staying in control. 

He makes me feel ugly, stupid, small. Like I don’t matter, won’t amount to anything, or like I’m not worthy of being loved.

No one deserves to be treated like trash, especially not by the person you love.

Get out now! Abuse only gets worse over time. No one deserves to be treated like dirt. No one.

Do not sit back and take it. Pack your things and leave.

I am in domestic violence counseling and trying to put back the pieces of my shattered life.

Abuse isn’t love.

Sometimes it helps to take a step back and listen, because it can help you assess your own relationship or situation. If reading these quotes sounds only too familiar to what you are experiencing, it’s time to seriously think about what you really want out of life.

You do have a choice. Choose life—your life.

Don’t give another person permission (in essence) to define who you are, or how your life story will read. If you are already in an abusive situation, be wise about your next steps, stay safe and row toward freedom.

You matter, and you deserve to live a life filled with color, joy, peace, and fulfillment.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share
©Destiny's Women™ is a blog founded, written and published by April McCallum -- "Championing the Life, Freedom and Destiny of Women" Creative Commons License
This work by April McCallum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.