Donald Trump should learn that his words were verbal abuseBy Morgan Nicodemus | 10/31/2016 8:59pm
Please allow me to introduce myself as a woman. I am not a “nasty woman,” but I am a kind, educated, determined, beautiful and strong 21-year-old woman. I am not a woman who would let Donald Trump do “anything” to her, but I am a woman who was raised by a mother and father who took the time to teach her the priceless worth of both her body and her mind. I am a woman who has heard what he has said and has been impacted by his words. I am a woman who believes he deserves to hear what I have to say in return.
When I was 18 years old, I was verbally abused for three months. Each day spent with my abuser felt like an agonizing eternity that I would continue to suffer in silence. You cannot see my wounds, because they are on the inside of my mind, unweaving and categorizing every word that is now said to me as “Real” or “Not Real.” My case is special. My abuser was not my boyfriend, or family member or my boss — my abuser was a close friend, my roommate to be exact. My abuser was a person who I looked up to with admiration. Someone who constantly had the attention of others. Someone who had more power than I did. Someone who terrified me by the shocking ease in which she could identify flaws in everyone around her and in me. Someone who reminds me of Donald Trump. People often say that bullies prey on the weak, but I have never been weak. Even the strongest of people can be taken down by verbal abuse.
Mr. Trump's words are not just words. Currently, his words are reaching the millions of people of this nation who will cast their vote for our next president in less than one month. We live in a nation that is fascinated with perfection and obsessed with external beauty. Our magazines on grocery store shelves are adorned with photoshopped brides and augmented celebrities, our TV shows are laced with sex scenes that celebrate infidelity, and our news stations are now filled with him. Each day that I turn on the news or scroll through social media, I am reminded of Trump and his unforgiving candor that relentlessly makes the women of this nation feel worthless, disregarded and disrespected. He has claimed that no one loves women more than he does, but if this is how he expresses love, I never want to see the way that he expresses hate.
My abuser lives far across the country now, away from me and the pain that she will never know what it is like to feel. But the words she told me have never left me. Every morning that I look into the mirror, I must force myself to refuse the imperfections she found in me, a task that is so much harder than I ever imagined it would become. As a victim of verbal abuse, I have learned the crucial importance of using words to encourage each other and ourselves rather than using them as weapons to destroy. But I do not think Trump has learned this lesson. As smart, successful and powerful as he is, he has yet to learn what it feels like to have someone else's words define him. He has yet to learn what it takes to overcome the weakness someone creates in him. For that, I am jealous of Donald Trump. And for that, I feel sorry for him.
Mr. Trump's words were not just “Locker Room Talk,” his words were verbal abuse. I have been continually conflicted by his choices this election season, because although I am a Conservative, I am a Christian who is dedicated to the basic morals of my religion. Kindness, generosity, forgiveness, love and trust are principles of my faith that I cling to with reverence each day. These are principles I have yet to see in him. He has called women “slobs,” “ fat pigs” and “animals,” and continually addresses women’s physical attributes as though their breasts are their names. He does not know the effect he has, and does not realize what his words are doing. Neither did my verbal abuser.
I am woman who is 49 years younger than Donald Trump. I am a woman who has not owned million dollar companies like he has, nor I have I ever run for president, nor have I ever had the kind of influence he has on America. But I am a woman who has overcome the horrifying reality of verbal abuse. A woman who is stronger today because I was once broken. A woman who feels the weight of his words as though they were aimed directly towards her. I am a woman who is begging him to stop.
Morgan Nicodemus is a senior majoring in public relations. Her column runs biweekly.