Emotional abuse is devasting, traumatic, and every bit as dangerous as physical abuse. The effects of emotional abuse can lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, PTSD, fear, hopelessness, shame, nightmares, racing hearts, even physical pain that is manifested by the emotional trauma.
Emotional abuse is serious and a huge component of domestic violence in relationships.
What does it sound like?
“No one else is ever going to love you like I do. This is the best you will ever have it.”
“You’re fat. Ugly. Overweight. Gross. Disgusting. You have a beard. Are you even a woman?”
“Can you do anything right? Are you always going to be a screw up? You have no value. You contribute nothing to this world. The world would be better off without you.”
It’s talking to others about your shortcomings in front of you or so that you know what they are saying. Talking about you behind your back… but making sure you find out about it.
It’s humiliating you in private and/or public.
It’s making you feel like you are the crazy one when you speak up. “What do you mean I say hurtful things to you? Can you even count the amount of times I’ve told you that you are beautiful? That I love you? I can’t believe you would accuse me of being mean! You just want to tear me down!”
Pushing guilt on you. The guilt! It’s all your fault, never theirs. They never would have reacted how they did if you didn’t start it! They would never have responded unkindly if you hadn’t attacked them first! “How can you blame me for this fight? You were the one who brought it up! You’re trying to make me feel unworthy! You’re shaming me! You need to be loving and supportive in this relationship or it’s never going to work!”
Oh, how messed up it is. So. Messed. Up.
Emotional abuse is mind games.
You begin to question yourself. You will even get to the point where you think you are the crazy one.
This is emotional abuse. Damaging. Traumatic. And a major characteristic of domestic violence.
Learn the signs. Understand what emotional abuse is. Get help, spread awareness, and help others.
Help is available, start here:
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Respect – the National Dating Abuse Helpline
Text “loveis” to 22522
Live chat at www.loveisrespect.org