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I just read this excellent article about emotional abuse on the Live Bold and Bloom web site. It is called 30 Signs of Emotional Abuse.
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If you have ever been in an abusive relationship or if you are in one now, you may recognize some of the things on the list.
Some of the most common are :
Making you feel that they are always right and you are always wrong
Having to ask permission to go places and do things
Feeling like you need permission to make decisions
Isolation from family and friends
They control you or treat you like a child
Humiliate you or put you down in front of other people
Sarcasm or teasing to lower your self esteem
Accusing you of being “too sensitive”
This last one which is “accusing you of being too sensitive” is a typical and very powerful tactic that abusers use. They do this to minimize and invalidate your feelings. It keeps them from having to be accountable for their behavior and treatment of you.
It is easy to feel shame when an abuser accuses you of being too sensitive. They are saying that they are emotionally stronger that you. You cannot “take a joke” or handle any criticism. But at the same time any tiny amount of criticism of their behavior is not allowed.
This is the double standard tactic, which abusers use. There is one set of behavior rules for you but they can act any way they want to. Their rules are subject to change at anytime. You are expected to follow the new rules even if they do not tell you the rules have changed.
No amount of reasoning or trying to compromise will work. The communication is not genuine. They may act like they are “looking out for your own good” but it is an act designed to disguise the abuse.
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Abuse can occur at any socioeconomic level. It can occur in families between any combination of family members. The most well known abuse is that of husbands to their wives, but this is not the only way abuse occurs. Wives can be abused by their in-laws. Parents can be abused by their teenage or adult children.
Mental and emotional abuse can destroy someone’s independence and feeling of self worth.
Financial abuse can be hidden but can cause devastation in people’s lives. Psychological abuse can be in the form of systematic brainwashing by people who appear in public to be benevolent and altruistic.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Victims are afraid to come forward because they fear retaliation and because the abusers control all of the money and the victim’s ability to leave and support themselves. There are hidden threats and implications that outsiders of the situation do not know and many would not believe.
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Abusers are generally people with narcissistic personality disorder or anti-social personality disorder. These people are very good at creating a facade in the world of being wonderful. charming people. The closest relatives and friends to the victim and the family often would never believe the victim even if they did say something.
The victim themselves becomes confused about reality and their own ability to be able to leave the abuser. The abuser is often many steps ahead of the victim and has set up punishments for the victim and ways to block them from being able to live independently.
Awareness is important if victim’s of abuse are to be able to reach out for help. You can visit the National Network for Domestic Violence HERE.
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There are some pins, ribbons and other Domestic Violence Awareness products HERE if you are interested in wearing or displaying them. There are probably other sites as well. This is just the one I happened to come across.
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