“The most maddening—and the most common—response I get when I write about the daughters and sons of unloving mothers is that people point out that the ones I write about were “only” (quotations marks mine, and meant ironically) verbally abused. Science knows better, but the culture does not; the mantra seems to be that if you’re not bleeding or physically maimed, you’re not really hurt.
Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Obviously, I can’t claim to have “only” been verbally abused, but this makes sense. Children are learning about their place in the world, and understand the value they have, when that process is short circuited by physical or sexual abuse, the effects are felt well into adulthood. Why would children being verbally abused not have that process short circuited as well?