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Signs and effects of emotional abuse

Nothing is more damaging to your confidence and self-esteem than being in an emotionally abusive relationship. Unlike physical abuse, which rears its ugly head in one-sided drama and emotional outbursts. Emotional abuse is a lot worse than physical abuse as the impact lasts much longer. Physical abuse has physical effects like bruises and cuts, but the...

emotional abuse

Nothing is more damaging to your confidence and self-esteem than being in an emotionally abusive relationship. Unlike physical abuse, which rears its ugly head in one-sided drama and emotional outbursts. Emotional abuse is a lot worse than physical abuse as the impact lasts much longer. Physical abuse has physical effects like bruises and cuts, but the effects of emotional abuse may be harder to spot. Torturing a person this way breaks them from inside out and sometimes beyond repair. If the abuse is for a shorter period, the victim might survive and be in a better shape. However, it tends to leave a lasting and long-term impression.

Emotional abuse is usually subtler yet intense.

Sometimes it’s just stern words which progress to bitter and downgrading words which bruise self esteem and then it finally blossoms in to full abuse. The most obvious scenario for emotional abuse is in an intimate relationship in which a man/woman is the abuser and the woman/man is the victim.

However, studies show that men and women abuse each other at equally. In fact, emotional abuse can occur in any relationship — between parent and child, in friendships, and with relatives.

Unlike violent abuse, emotional abuse creeps in without notice and the emotionally abused does not realize that they are gradually shaving of inches of their identity and worth until they are completely helpless.

WHAT IS EMOTIONAL ABUSE?

 Emotional abuse is a form of brain-washing that slowly erodes the victim’s sense of self-worth, security, and trust in themselves and others. While ignorance is not an excuse, it is the main reason why people are on the receiving end of abuse of any kind.

Here are twenty things to watch out for. These signs will bring you back to reality if you are already in an abusive relationship or will stop you from going in to a relationship that will leave you emotionally drained.

Just in case you are already a victim, you need to get out while you still can before you lose yourself massaging someone else’s damaged ego.

  1. This person shows complete disregard and disrespect for you and everything that you hold dear.
  2. They make you lose your self-esteem with their selfish and extreme use of sarcasm.
  3. They regularly point out your flaws, mistakes and/or shortcomings. They announce your mistakes and flaws from the rooftops and repeat them over and over to you so much that all you can see are your flaws. They brainwash you to forget your strengths and see yourself as a person who can never do anything right.
  4. An abuser will manipulate you and blackmail you emotionally. They subtly blackmail you and manipulate you so much so that you become a puppet acting exactly as they want you to. They even go the extra mile and attempt to guilt, shame, or frustrate you enough to coerce you into compliance.
  5. They are intolerant of any seeming lack of respect.
  6. They make everything you do or not do about them and their feelings.
  7. They exhibit unpredictable emotional outbursts.
  8. Always wants to be the center of attention. They want you to breathe, drink, eat and live them.
  9. They are overly and inappropriately jealous of attention from or conversation with others?
  10. Monitors your telephone calls and or texts or emails.
  11. They make decisions that affect both of you or your family without consulting you or reaching an agreement with you.
  12. Constantly crosses your boundaries and ignores your requests.
  13. Makes embarrassing and degrading jokes in public at your expense.
  14. Calls you names at the slightest opportunity. His/her words cut through you like a sharp knife and bruises you over and over and over. Sometimes, they are aware of the pain they inflict but do not care about how their words affect you emotionally and otherwise.
  15. The person is frequently emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable when they feel like.
  16. Threatens infidelity, break-up or a divorce to throw you off balance. Every time.
  17. Belittles and minimizes you, your accomplishments and or your hopes and dreams.
  18. Invalidates or denies their emotionally abusive behavior when confronted.
  19. Plays intentional mind games to blame their bad behavior on you.
  20. They make you push the people who love and care for you out of your life. Thus making them your life wire.

Truth is, the list is endless and the above are just but a few.

cycle of emotional abuse

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Short term effects of emotional abuse

  • Intense feelings of fear
  • Guilt
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of confusion and denial
  • Extreme feelings of aggression or compliance
  • Frequent crying
  • Feeling powerless (like everything you do makes no sense)
  • Avoidance of eye-contact
  • Feeling undesirable

Long term effects of emotional abuse

  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Withdrawal
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Emotional instability
  • Sleep disturbances and nightmares
  • Physical pain without cause
  • Suicidal ideation, thoughts or attempts
  • Extreme dependence on the abuser
  • Underachievement
  • Trust issues
  • Feeling trapped and alone
  • Substance abuse
  • Clinging to the abuser

First, you need to understand that emotional abuse is a crime, and you should absolutely seek safety from an abuser (you can contact us by calling the helpline, 08091196264 or sending us a mail at mentallyawareng@gmail.com) . The effects of emotional abuse are rarely handled alone. Please seek help.

The victim of emotional abuse has been groomed by the abuser to accept the abuse as “normal.” They learn to accept this treatment as “what they deserve.” The abuser starts out many times as a charismatic and even kind person and gains the victim’s trust. Once they have that, they can start manipulating and controlling them.

Abuse, of any kind, is an inhuman act that needs to stop. If you see somebody who might be going through this, do not hesitate to offer help, even though they might deny it. If you’re going through this kind of abuse, going through all we mentioned above, don’t even doubt the fact that you need to get out of the situation and away from the abuser. If the person loved you, he/she would not harm you in any way.

Always ask for help.

-Nwokedi Chinaenyenwa Uju

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