Is Emotional Abuse Part of Your Relationships?
We humans are not dumb. When we are opposed or oppressed, we are always ready to fight back. But what happens when you are manipulated bit by bit? What do you do when the person you love is the one who makes you feel miserable? When your partner has turned into an abuser? Do you defend yourself or allow it to go on?
There are different kinds of abuse: verbal abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and physical abuse. All these can result in a post-traumatic stress disorder in the victim. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder that requires help, patience, and understanding.
Our interpretation of reality is very different. This is why people stay in abusive relationships for years without doing anything. They convince themselves that their abusers will change, that they triggered the outbursts, that everything will go back to the way it once was. You can only realize you are being abused if you believe that truth. Until you see the truth, no one can make you see it. When the once-sweet relationship becomes an abusive relationship, it is time to let go.
Emotional abuse is a silent killer. Unlike physical abuse which is characterized by dramatic outbursts, it can be more elusive and sinister. But don’t get us wrong, both emotional and physical abuse are dangers to a person’s mental health.
In some instances, both the abuser and victim aren’t fully aware of what’s happening. People tend to think that only romantic relationships can be emotionally abusive. However, any relationship can be emotionally abusive – parents can abuse children, bosses can abuse subordinates, and children can abuse other children.
What is Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abuse, also called psychological abuse, is any act including isolation, humiliation, verbal assault, confinement, infantilization, bullying, or any words and other deeds that may diminish the sense of self-worth, dignity, and identity. Researchers refer to emotional abuse as chronic verbal aggression. Many people who suffer from emotional abuse show personality changes, have very low self-esteem and may become anxious, depressed, or suicidal.
If you are emotionally abused, you may convince yourself that you’re not being abused since you aren’t being hurt physically. However, any attempts to control you, isolate you or scare you are abuse. They can have a negative impact on your emotional and physical well-being. What’s more, emotional abuse is usually a precursor of physical abuse. While it doesn’t leave physical scars, it is just as bad.
Take an Emotional Abuse Test Today
Emotional abuse victims often get wrapped up in their relationships and miss the signs of abuse, even though they are there. In addition, most abusers know how to keep their victims off balance by attacking and retreating – lowering their self-esteem. If you suspect that you are a victim of emotional abuse, take this emotional abuse test.
- Do you feel emotionally numb or helpless?
- Do you feel afraid when you’re around your partner/parent/boss/relative/friend?
- Do you feel like you can’t do anything right for your partner/parent/boss/relative/friend?
- Do you avoid some topics because you fear to anger your partner/parent/boss/relative/friend?
- Do you feel you deserve to be mistreated or hurt?
- Do you feel like you have no control over your life?
- Are you constantly criticized, mistreated, yelled at, humiliated or ignored by your partner/parent/boss/relative/friend?
- Do you feel that your choices and opinions are not respected?
If you answered “Yes” to most of these questions, you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. Reach out to someone as nobody deserves to be in an abusive relationship. There are many people ready to help you if you only open up.
Danger Signs of Abusive Parents
Child abuse can take the form of physical abuse, mental abuse or psychological abuse. Below are a few danger signs when a child is a victim of abusive behavior from their parent:
1. Behavior changes (low self-esteem and confidence)
2. Sexualized behavior and language
3. A sudden interest in sexual things
4. Sleep problems (nightmares, insomnia)
6. Inability to focus
7. Drug and alcohol abuse
8. Random unexplained injuries
19. Rebellious behavior (unstable emotional well-being)
Emotionally Abusive Parents Test
An emotionally abusive parent or caregiver prevents a child from developing properly. He creates an environment of anxiety, fear, and hostility. Children are usually sensitive to the opinions, feelings, and actions of their parents or caregivers. If you think that your parent or guardian is emotionally abusive, answer these emotional abuse test questions.
- Are you told that crying is a sign of weakness?
- Does your parent or guardian always have the last word?
- Are they unforgiving and never apologize when they offend you?
- Do they insist they are always right and constantly oppose you?
- Do they blame you for their failures and disappointments?
- Do they often tell you that you don’t deserve all they do for you?
- Do you feel like you will never please them no matter what you do?
- Do they constantly hurt your feelings, embarrass you, or put you down?
These are what the scores in the parental emotional abuse test mean:
2-4 “Yes” answers: Your parent or guardian has a negative impact on your emotional health.
4-6 “Yes” answers: Your parent or guardian is somewhat emotionally abusive.
6-8 “Yes” answers: Your parent or guardian is emotionally abusive.
The emotional abuse test is just one of the many ways to address the emotionally abusive relationship of children and their abusive parent. No child should ever have to go through this emotional neglect.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
People in emotionally abusive relationships don’t always know it. With time, they may develop coping techniques such as denial so as to deal with the stress. But prolonged emotional abuse can lead to grave conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Learn to spot emotional abuse from early on. Here are some signs of emotional abuse.
Not one abuser considers himself an abuser. As a result, they never stop abusing. Abusers often pretend to be victims in order to escape judgment or condemnation from people they want to please or impress. They also do so in order to convince themselves they are good people.
Lack of Respect for Personal Boundaries
Abusers see their victims as extensions of themselves and not individual people with a right to their own choices and opinions. They have no idea where their rights end and their victims’ rights begin. They invade their victims’ personal space whenever they want and have no respect whatsoever for their boundaries.
If you are constantly humiliated, put down, or made fun of by someone, they are emotionally abusing you. An emotionally abusive person will continually demean you, point out your flaws, belittle your accomplishments, or correct your behavior. Nothing you do will ever be good enough for them. They will make you feel like you can’t do anything without their help or approval.
Emotional Unkindness and Breach of Trust
Emotionally unkind people are not encouraging, respectful, understanding, or compassionate. They may ignore you when you start a conversation, fail to show concern when you need it most, or reject you. Since they don’t care about their victims, they can lie to them and cover up wrongdoings.
All these signs of emotional abuse may be difficult to spot for some because they are too blinded by their love of the person or the situation.
Final Thoughts on the Emotional Abuse Test
Emotional abuse often turns into sexual or physical abuse. Don’t wait till things get bad to do something. Don’t wait till abusive relationship signs get worse. If you’ve told your abuser to change numerous times and they still behave the same way, it is time to cut ties. Walk away from the relationship and start living in a place of power, not fear.
A person who is emotionally abusive does not love you. A person who is emotionally abusive is not worth fighting for anymore.
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Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.