My Verbally Abusive Past Doesn't Define Me

February 2, 2023 Cheryl Wozny

Living with verbal abuse can drastically alter your life choices and how you navigate the world. However, it's critical that you break away from being the victim if you are recovering from a verbally abusive past. Dealing with abuse is only part of your story and is not the only way to define you as an individual. 

Getting Wrapped Up in a Verbally Abusive Past 

It can be easy to hyperfocus on your verbally abusive past as you try to heal. Learning how to handle your triggers and manage feelings can be challenging as you slowly build a life without abuse. While I was in therapy working through my past, I felt I would never break free from the emotions I harbored from being abused. 

There are many ways you can process your verbally abusive past, like recognizing what went wrong and how to handle the situation differently. Unfortunately, my underlying depression and anxiety made it difficult to move forward as I picked apart these negative life experiences. 

Some ways I remained wrapped up in my past included: 

  • Revisiting old situations to pick apart every detail
  • Wishing for a different outcome
  • Holding onto my anger surrounding past abuse
  • Not recognizing how continuously reliving my verbally abusive past kept me a victim

Moving Away from a Verbally Abusive Past

Only I could pull myself into the future and focus on a brighter life outside of verbal abuse. Although I had to recognize the harmful behaviors I was subjected to, I slowly learned how to use these situations to build better relationships.

It can be challenging to heal and move away from a verbally abusive past. I didn't know I couldn't process my hurt and heal until I realized how I was letting my past define me.

These days, I may touch on a specific verbally abusive situation in therapy, but I don't obsess over what could have been different. Instead, I can explore possible outcomes and use the tools I have gained in treatment to make better choices now and in the future. 

Living with a verbally abusive past is not ideal for anyone. However, I am thankful that I have a terrific support system to help me work through these negative situations so I can heal. I am no longer the person who suffered verbal abuse, but instead, someone who overcame a verbally abusive situation and found a better life with healthy relationships

If you are stuck reliving your verbally abusive past, seeking professional help can be beneficial. Many qualified mental health doctors are here to guide you with tools and resources to aid your healing. So, there is hope if you want to explore a life of peace without your verbally abusive past hanging over you. 

APA Reference
Wozny, C. (2023, February 2). My Verbally Abusive Past Doesn't Define Me, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Author: Cheryl Wozny

Cheryl Wozny is a freelance writer and published author of several books, including mental health resources for children titled, Why Is My Mommy So Sad? and Why is My Daddy So Sick? Writing has become her way of healing and helping others. Find Cheryl on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and her blog

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