- Use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose
- Treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly
I agree abuse is a verb; it’s something we do to hurt others or something we suffer from. It is something we all have an understanding of even if we can’t put it in so many words. There are various types of abuse – Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, and lesser-acknowledged Emotional Abuse.
Emotional Abuse also is known as Psychological or mental abuse is the one that leaves no visible marks, but breaks a person from inside and as September is “Suicide prevention month” we thought of raising awareness on emotional abuse so that people know what it is and so that they can walk out of an unhealthy relationship, because emotional abuse is often most hurtful and difficult to deal with, as it happens in close relationships where people open themselves expecting comfort and support that comes with healthy relationships. But more often now there are so many of us out there who feel unloved, unappreciated, hurt and somewhere feeling that it’s all our fault. Stop right there, this can be very easily the trap of emotional abuse laid out by your abductor.
The reason why this form of abuse is dangerous is because of its insidious nature because it cannot be seen. Physical abuse leaves a mark that someone may possibly help you with, but no such luck with emotional abuse. The fact that people don’t understand and realize that they are victims of it, leaves them open to more hurt, lower self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness. Prolonged exposure to it pushes its victim to the abyss of depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and sometimes suicide.
We need to understand and be able to combat it. Here are a few pointers to tell you if you are in an abusive relationship:
- You’ll be made to feel worthless like you can’t do anything right. You’ll be told how you are not good enough for anything, and that you ought to be grateful for whatever treatment you get
- You’ll be belittled, mocked, criticized mostly, privately or in front of people. Your feelings won’t matter, beyond that you’ll be made to feel guilty for feeling bad about it, else you’ll be labeled over-sensitive
- They are emotionally distant, will ignore your requests or feelings. You’ll also be subjected to silent treatment if you deter from their thinking
- Control is what is at the crux, they will try and control all aspects of your life, financial, people, professional
- Isolating you from others to reinforce their stake
- You are not a part of the activities or other things in the abuser’s life
- You are blamed for everything, any bad event, even when you feel hurt from their actions you are the wrong one
- You feel ashamed, guilty. Confidence, self-respect all just seem concepts, not something you should have a right at
- They use intimidation, threats including self-hurt, just to keep you under their thumb
- They deny all their abusive behavior
- All your efforts and achievements would be trivialized
- They will violate your boundaries, insult your intelligence and make you doubt yourself
Relationships in a person’s life are like a safe haven where you are accepted and celebrated. They are the strongholds on which one builds their life, so don’t invest in the wrong ones, else your whole life may come crashing down. Make it work if you can, else walk out.