We can be subjected to this form of hurt and not even realize it. There is also the more extreme versions of emotional abuse that can be coupled with verbal and physical abuse. For this post I am just talking about emotional abuse and how it can be very subtle in nature, and how there can also be more noticeable extremes aswell.Part 2 of this blog will have more tips on recovering from emotional abuse. A controlling mum, a narcissistic husband, and a sad story of rape, proof that emotional abuse has many levels.
What is emotional abuse?
It is when a person(the victim) is subjected to treatment that has severe negative repercussions for them emotionally. Emotional abuse is a form of psychological or mental abuse. When a person is under this negative treatment for a period of time, it is then considered emotional abuse. Different people have different tolerances and therefore it can effect a person different depending on the person. The way to know if you are under this abuse is by the effects it has on you emotionally. For example are you anxious all the time and don’t quite know why? Are you fearful? Is there spells of depression? To put it simply, is how a person is treating you causing you problems? I must stress if you are finding things too much you need to talk to a professional to get the right diagnosis. There can be many other reasons for the symptoms I’ve mentioned, but I am focusing on the emotional reaction to an interaction between you and another person. Sometimes it can take only one incident to cause you problems, or it might take a prolonged mistreatment to effect you.
There are many ways we can be emotionally abused. It isn’t always verbal words that can do the hurting, but instead silence and subtle things being done on us, or to us, can cause strife. It may be a physical abuse or even rape as we discuss a little later. It may even be an incident years ago that has come back to haunt you. It can also be what people don’t say that can sometimes cause problems rather than by what they do say.
The controlling mum
One scenario I came across some time back was with a family. The mum was very controlling and manipulative. It came to a point where the children, whom now where adults, became very fearful of the mum. The mum never shouted, or even hit them, but instead would put pressure on the family to do as she would like.The control was immense. If anybody in the family would speak out, they would be verbally hit with “and after all I’ve done for you”, or things like “I’m your mother and this is how you repay me!”. Yes we must respect our parents and all that, but there are parents who will exploit that respect. This mum would control the family by playing their emotions. Emotional blackmail some might say.
The narcissistic dad
Another story of a husband who would rule the house with a dictator approach. Everybody was equal, kids and mother where on a level he deemed lower than him and he was the dictator. He would control everything, from how food was cooked, to what the kids would wear. However these strict rules he implied would not apply to him. He therefore lived a life of wine ,women, and song. This sort of pride comes from massive insecurity, pride, and superiority complex, but either way, his family where the victims. They where made to conform and fear the dad if they made a mistake. The wife became a bystander for fear of getting in the way. Eventually the marriage totally broke down. He loved himself more than anybody else and wanted control over everybody else.
A terrible story I heard a few years back of a girl that was raped. So called friends invited her to a party where she knew a few people. Dancing and drinking went on into the night. Her then friend initiated sex with her, she was resisting but he continued, and then another guy joined in, all while she resisted. She was in a room and raped by two men whom she thought were friends. This had a massive effect on her emotionally. Trust issues, fear, sadness, anger, were just a few of the hurts carried on from this traumatic event. Thankfully with help she is now moved on from it , married with kids, and doing well.
These three stories are sadly all true. There are thousands of stories like them and maybe you can relate to one or something similar. But this post was not to talk about the horrible sad things that happened these innocent people. But instead I want to give help on how to get over whatever may have happened you.
First of all understand this, that emotional abuse also referred to as psychological abuse or mental abuse can come from many different scenarios. A constant state of being under control, or a one off traumatic event like a rape can all trigger terrible emotional responses. Here is a list of possible emotional disturbances when exposed to abuse from another person:
- Chronic depression
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Poor self image
- Self mutilation
The list above are just some of the after effects from emotional abuse. As we stated earlier it can come in many forms. Here are some main types emotional abuse can occur from:
– Verbal aggression (insults, gossip, condescending treatment, etc.)
– Controlling behaviours (a person asserting themselves as the dominant one, intimidation, emotional blackmail, etc.)
– Jealousy behaviours (a person tries to sabotage your reputation, career, family, etc.)
– Physical mistreatment (violence, sexual abuse, aggressive movements, etc.)
In Emotional Hurts Part 2 I will go through how to get over these offences that may have happened you. But for now understand that it can come in different levels and in different forms. Two people may go through the same ordeal but react totally differently. The fact is, if you have been effected and you can identify it in your own life, you have made a move in the direction of recovery by simply identifying it. The reason I say this is because so many people go through life without being honest with themselves. It doesn’t make you less of a person the fact that you couldn’t cope with something. You don’t have to be tough all the time, there will be things we need help on, advice on, and support with. Its ok not to be ok, so get the help when needed. For more on how to deal with emotional hurts and abuse check out Emotional Hurts Part 2. If you want me to email you as I write on these topics, you can subscribe for free at HERE by filling in your email address. Leave a comment or email me if you’d like more advice.