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The After Effects of Abuse — Stupid, Dumb, Foolish and Naive.

These were the four words he said to me.

Keara Douglas
Oct 5, 2018 · 7 min read

Stupid, dumb, foolish and naive.

When he first called me all four of these words I just sat down for a minute and zoned out. I had been called out of my name before. Everyone has at one point in time of their life. But I had never been called out of my name by a man with whom I had broke bread with, given money to and allowed to stay in my own residence as though it was his own when I did not have a dime to my name. I had been called many things before in life as well, but never this. I thought sometimes couples call each other names when they are upset, and that is how it was supposed to be. But this was not the case for me. My case was not just name calling. He actually believed I was all the things he was calling me and treated me as such.

You are not stupid.

The term stupid means that you lack ordinary quickness and keenness of mind. The term means that you are “dull”. The term means that you are irritating, annoying or troublesome. Being called by this term, one of four, just made me feel worthless. I did not feel as though I mattered once the first word left his mouth. I felt like I could not do anything right from that point moving forward. Not anything right by him nor myself. But I also wondered if I am so stupid, why are you here?

You are not dumb.

The term dumb means lacking of intelligence or good judgement. It is another word for stupid. The term means that you are lacking the power of speech, and sophistication. When this word, the second insult, left his mouth I then became angry with myself. Not because he called me more than one degrading term back to back, but because I actually know what each term means and do have the mental capacity to realize what was being said to me. Any term of lacking intelligence should have never been applied to me at all. I knew this then. But again, I wondered, if I am so dumb, why are you here?

You are not foolish.

The term foolish means you are resulting from or showing a lack of sense. It means you are not wise. You lack forethought or caution. It means you are trifling, insignificant, or paltry. Being a fool is not something I was being. Being a fool is not in my nature. Once the third word left his lips, I knew right then and there what type of man I was dealing with. I thought after the third word of degrading me, he would be done and leave me in peace since I was such a horrible person in his eyes. But again, I wondered, if I am so foolish, why are you here?

You are not naive.

The last term, naive, means you are having or showing unaffected simplicity of nature, or absence of artificiality. You are unsophisticated. You have or show a lack of experience, judgment, or little to no formal training or technique. The term itself is like a summary of the other three terms and words I was already being called so the last one did not hit nearly as hard as the first. But again, I wondered, if I am all four of these things, why are you here?

With all four words being told to me and applied to myself on a regular basis, it was like I was being punched four different times in the face regularly. Even though these words being said to me were not physically hitting me, they were emotionally hitting me. The damage has already been done psychologically and that is what he wanted. That is why he was still here. He wanted me to feel less about myself overall, not just in that moment, but long term effects of a lack of self worth. He wanted me to feel the need to question myself regularly and what I stand for constantly, in hopes that I would in fact drop all my morals and become what he has called me. He knew I was none of these things in reality, but what all mattered at that moment was what he could make me believe and what he thought he could make me become. A person who is not secure in themselves will want others to be on there level. The bottom, literally. They hate to see people happy. They hate to feel love.

Emotional abuse often times includes name calling more than anything. An emotionally abusive person is far too scared to actually be physical with their victim or victims. Instead they use words to bring harm on a deeper, psychological level. This is a method of staying in control of the situation. The narcissistic activities going on their brain have them thinking that they are so smart and smarter than anyone else around them that they believe this is the smoothest way to abuse a person because from the outside looking in, no one can see any physical scars or bruises by going this route with their victim. This is very common to happen once the abuser gets comfortable in the relationship (or situationship) often times right before they begin their physical harm.

When an abusive person does not feel in control, they lash out in some way, shape or form. This will often happen physically, but sometimes you have cases like mine where words were used instead heavily and I was able to get out and away from him once signs began to show that he did in fact want to become physical with me. Now that I am able enough emotionally to break down what happened to me and what I went through here in the future since my past has come to pass, I do not think I can recall a time where this man ever called me anything better than stupid, dumb, foolish and naive. There were no “you’re beautiful”. There were no “you’re smart”. There were no simple “I care about you” statements ever made. Not one time can I recall simply feeling like I was loved or cared about by him leading up to that very day of being called stupid, dumb, foolish and naive.

I always wondered, by him degrading me that bad, what exactly did he intend on getting out of this? Did he want me to be nice to him after the fact and act like this never happened on a regular basis in public with friends and family? Did he expect for me to treat him nice after the fact of him treating me like trash? What were his expectations after that point, what were my expectations after that point? I had more questions than answers, so I thought. But again this was the game of an abusive mindset he was playing.

You see how I asked all those questions like that, sort of confusing myself. Well that is what an emotionally abusive person will do often times. They call you out of your name and then expect for everything to be alright. They expect for you to question your sanity and whether things were that bad or whether this really happened how you truly experienced it happening and whether you are overreacting. What is worse is when you go to get outside help, they will have everyone around you thinking that this is all in your mind and you can not keep your thoughts together, truly making you out to be crazy. This is called gaslighting. Very common tactic used by abusive people. It gives them full control over your emotions. The more they control your emotions, the more they control you into doing whatever it is they want you to do. You know how you train a dog to sit and roll over, well gaslighting is how an abusive person trains their emotionally abused partners psychologically. This is also a form of being passive aggressive, where you are manipulating your partner through negativity like degrading terms and name calling, always arguing and can not hold a full conversation to communicate positively. The sick thing about being passive aggressive is that the person doing it is often calm while doing so. They are not causing a scene or doing anything physical, but the hits are being taken in a detached manner.

Do I still feel worthless as I did before while in this abusive relationship (situationship)? No. You truly are the company you keep. The more I began to separate myself in a more permanent manner, the better I became with myself. The more I began to love myself again as I had did before meeting him. I have always known my worth. This goes without questioning. I have always known who I am as a person and even the things I need to work on as a person but this for some reason put a dent in my spirit and my beliefs as a whole. As mentioned before, I never knew what emotional abuse was until I was being emotionally abused on a regular basis. So after awhile I began to believe I was all of these things he would refer to me as because I believed he cared about me and who I was as a person. I thought he was right for a long time and it tore me up from the inside out.

I was wrong. I was wrong about him. I was wrong about the entire relationship, or lack there of a relationship. I was even wrong about myself at that point in time. He did not care about me and he definitely never came close to anything concerning “love”. He was not a great guy and I should have never came into contact with him period. This was not where God was leading me and this is not what God wanted for me. This was not real and it was not true. I was wrong to believe what he told me about me. He did not even get to know me so why was it so easy for me to believe he knew who I was even? Those four words were not and are not me.

Image provided by Giphy

Purple Crown Project

In honor of women who have been mentally, emotionally, financially and physically abused at the hands of a man.

Keara Douglas

Written by

I write to make me happy and to let others know they are not alone.

Purple Crown Project

In honor of women who have been mentally, emotionally, financially and physically abused at the hands of a man.