An emotionally abusive relationship, in very simplistic terms, is much like standing in a too hot bath
and sinking back in so as to not feel dizzy. – Jackie Haze
Emotional abuse can put you on a downward spiral of break-downs and depression. It can be hard to pinpoint emotional abuse because there’s a very thin between you thinking you’re over-reacting and actually hurting from the other person’s behavior.
It may also be very confusing because at one point this person is a darling and they’re giving you the world and the next minute they’re making you feel worthless.
It also happens gradually over time so you may not think too much of it but it eventually compounds and spills over and becomes part of the relationship; before you know it, your mental health is deteriorating and you’re in need of help.
How can you spot an emotional abuser?
They show you intense love that may feel suffocating. They are so quick to shower you with gifts and praises – often in an effort to cover up their toxicity. They may also make you believe that you’re destined for each other and you should plan your future together as soon as possible. They don’t give you enough time to establish proper intimacy because they are out to make you see they’re into the relationship.
They make you question your sanity, decisions, or reality. They make you feel like the bad guy when you’re not – especially when they do something wrong. You could have an argument because of something they did but they end up turning it on you so and making you feel like it’s your fault so you apologize for something you didn’t do.
They completely ignore your existence by refusing to communicate or reach out. They shut you out from their world – and later come back with a flimsy excuse so that you can understand them. They refuse to give you access to their emotional space which makes you feel isolated and unwanted.
They don’t miss a chance to remind you of your flaws, mistakes, and shortcomings. They call you names, make condescending remarks, and embarrass you/make fun of you in front of others. They disregard your opinions, ideas, feelings, and thoughts.
They are hell-bent on micromanaging every decision you make from the clothes you wear, your finances, the friends you keep, your time….every single little thing. They assert this control through threats and manipulation in order to frighten you and make you obey them.
They attribute their own shortcomings/emotions to you. They could be cheating then accuse you of cheating. They take unpleasant emotions and place them onto you to make you look like the one who’s having them.
What you need to remember when you go through Emotional Abuse
No form of abuse is ever your fault. You don’t deserve to be treated unkindly no matter what you’ve done. The people who hurt you have their own inner demons and until they seek the help they need, they will continue to pass on the hurt. You may also feel like it’s your job to fix things but it’s not; you’re not a rehab. The confusion, fear, shame, and anger may make you feel like the abuse is warranted but that’s all a lie.
Emotional abusers can strip you of every bit of self-worth you may have which may leave you feeling like you’re not deserving of healthy love and relationships. This is your sweet reminder that Abuse happened to you but it doesn’t define you. You are neither the pain nor the scars you’ve endured. There are people who will love you right and be genuine about it. Love you will never have to question.
You won’t be okay overnight. It may take a while for you to get your mental health on the right track. The wounds might keep reopening and you may find yourself back to the start but don’t give up on yourself. The key is to do whatever it takes to get there; seek therapy and be gentle with yourself through it all.