I know that this may get me into trouble but I have such a hard time trying to understand the mentality of women that choose to stay in an abusive relationship. One answer is that they geniunely don’t know that it’s abusive. Maybe it’s not as abusive as the last relationship they were in. For the moment, let’s take out the physically abused and focus only on those that are psychologically abused.
This type of abuse is difficult to recognize, dismissed outright (it must not be real if there’s no mark) and once those on the outside do recognize it, the abuser then begins to target them. They do this by manufacturing crises, fabricating anything from conversations to actions (you didn’t just see what you saw). Planting seeds of doubt and deception so that you’ll turn on those closest to you. Preying on your weakness to stand up for yourself or speak up for what is right. Attempting to convince you that everyone is against you and out to sabotage you.
Let’s define it.
Psychological abuse, also referred to as psychological violence, emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Emotional abuse is just one form of abuse that people can experience in a relationship. Though emotional abuse doesn’t leave physical scars, it can have a huge impact on your confidence and self-esteem. There are a few different types of emotional abuse and it might not be noticeable at first. However, recognizing if you are being emotionally abused is the first step your recovery.
This might be a problem if you:
- Feel like you’re not good enough
- Are afraid of your partner leaving you
- Are called names by your partner or they put you down
- Are afraid, threatened or intimidated
- Feel like you are going crazy, or feel confused about the truth
What is emotional abuse?
Many concerning relationships involve aspects of emotional abuse. The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at a person’s feelings of self-worth and independence. In an emotionally abusive relationship, a person may feel that there is no way out of the relationship or that without their partner they will have nothing.
Emotional abuse can feel equally as destructive and damaging as physical abuse and can do a terrible amount of damage to a person’s mental health. It’s common for physically abusive relationships to also include aspects of emotional abuse as this is how power and control is maintained within the relationship.
Types of emotional abuse
Some types of emotional abuse can include:
- Verbal – yelling, insulting or swearing at someone
- Rejection – pretending not to notice someone’s presence, conversation or value
- Aggression – name calling, public embarrassment, calling someone stupid, blaming them for everything
- Being afraid – causing someone to feel afraid, intimidated or threatened
- Isolation – limiting freedom of movement, stopping someone from contacting other people (like friends or family)
- Money – controlling someone’s money, withholding money, preventing someone from working, stealing or taking money
- Bullying– purposely and repeatedly saying or doing hurtful things to someone
- Denial – ignoring that they said anything, inflicts emotional punishment, intentional countering and refusing to accept any other view point
The impact of emotional abuse
Though physical violence is often seen as being more serious than emotional abuse, this is not the case. The scars of emotional abuse are real and long lasting. Emotional abuse can leave a person feeling depressed, anxious and even suicidal, as well as having a negative impact on self-esteem and confidence.
There is hope
It’s easy to say what you would and wouldn’t do. Doing that, however, provides nothing but even more abuse to the person who’s genuinely seeking help. If they’re asking for or seeking help, then they have realized that there is a problem and need help to resolve it. Be that help for them! If it’s you seeking the help, look for local support groups that you can attend or talk to. Know that you ARE worth it and deserve so much better!
Recovery is a very long and difficulty process to go through and some may find that it’s more comforting to remain in the abusive relationships rather than to leave them. Even with that said nothing in life is easy that’s worth it. You can begin the journey to wellness today! If you are in immediate need, don’t wait, take action today! It always escalates, usually into physical abuse. If you want to be a statistic, be one of the 10000’s of women that not only get out of those relationships alive, but heal from the damage caused!