Write about: the punching bag.
There's a punching bag at the gym I've been going to. I punched it a few times last time I was there, just to try it out. And now we get a prompt out of it too.
"How can you be so stupid?"
He shrugs awkwardly, smiles bashfully. Mistakes have been learned from, he knows how to respond now. No more backtalk, never cry, don't even let the anger reach his eyes.
Just keep himself small, non-threatening. Weak. Not worth the time or effort. Being a pushover avoids all that extra abuse. It's much more manageable this way.
Roll with the punches, that's how he survives. At least, it has been.
You have to understand, this has been going on for years. Longer than he cares to think about. And all that rolling has covered a lot of ground on the plains of his soul. He is running out of territory now, the cliff is approaching.
A few more blows to his confidence, a well-placed shot to his self-esteem. That's all it will take to bring him to the brink.
And then he will be forced to make a choice: fall to irretrievable depths or, at long last, take a stand for himself.