Recovering From Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is a difficult subject for me to write about, but there are a few things that I feel like are important to put down. I have difficulties with anxiety, but I feel like this is linked closely to how I’ve been treated while growing up. When I’ve researched this topic I have found that the consequences to the vicitm also describe many of my own struggles. The nature of emotional abuse can leave you feeling doubtful about what you’ve been through because it’s very subtle. With other forms of abuse there may be signs to indicate that a line has clearly been crossed, but with emotional abuse it can wear us down for years before we realize what’s going on. Your feelings can be twisted against you to make it seem like you’re the one to blame. It’s also isolating for the victim as it’s possible that nobody else experiences this behaviour. We don’t always doubt what we see, but things can be more complex than they appear on the surface; On many occasions others have looked at me like I was the one at fault, when really the other person was putting on an act. It can make you feel like you’re going crazy.
I made a major mistake in how I attempted to overcome what happened to me. It felt like it was expected of me to bounce back right away after removing the connection to the source of my problems. I tried to soldier on through and was ashamed to admit to how much it had affected me. As more time passed I felt even worse for how it was still causing me problems. It wasn’t like I’d been left permanently harmed by the way they had treated me; It was just words right, so why do I still feel like this? A few years later an advert came on TV in which one person was shown verbally attacking the other. It was trying to raise awareness of how serious abuse can be, even if it’s not physical. Seeing this helped me to feel reassured about my own situation. Emotional abuse is insidious.
Even if you remove a problem it doesn’t mean that you’ll immediately feel better. If you’ve been treated badly for a long time it can shape the way you see yourself and the world around you. As many of us will have experienced, negative thought patterns can be difficult to shift. I often feel like I’m not good enough. If a person gets angry with you over silly things often enough, it can leave you with an anxiety over each choice you make. I feel uncomfortable expressing my feelings and opinions in person. There’s a lot of resentment too, and also shame and guilt over letting it happen or not being able to stick it out. Many abusers don’t realize what they’re doing and are possibly victims themselves. Some will keep pulling you back in by claiming that they’ve had a tough life. It’s left my thoughts caught in a loop between wanting to feel compassion for others and needing to protect myself. I don’t believe time can heal all wounds. I believe that some can fester for years until you get the closure you need. I should have sought support and encouragement much earlier on, but then there was the doubt as to if it was just me being too sensitive.
I’m still figuring out how to overcome the anxiety I’ve been left with. I hope to one day rediscover myself before that person entered my life. I’ve found that no matter what anybody else tells you, your own gut instinct is usually worth listening to. If something feels very wrong despite outward appearances, then that’s probably a sign that you need to get out of a situation. I’ve found that keeping a diary or talking to others that aren’t connected to the person in question are good ways to sort through your confused thoughts. It also helps to frequently remind yourself that every human being has a right to their thoughts and feelings. You have just as many rights to feel good about yourself as the next person does. It’s also not your fault.
- Psychology Today – What Drives Emotional Abuse and How to Begin to Recover
- Live, Bold & Bloom – 30 Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship
- Thought Catalog – 20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths and Psychopaths Use To Silence You