A written definition of emotional, mental, or verbal abuse is one person subjecting or exposing another person to behavior that causes or results in psychological trauma. It also causes a destructive sense of fear and guilt. Emotional, verbal, or mental abuse which are all the same can most certainly lead to physical abuse if left unchecked. Over time, it only becomes more severe.
You may go through life living with behavior patterns from others that go unaddressed, and not even realize it’s happening. Why is that? Perhaps you might find yourself comfortable in a relationship, thinking it’s normal because there are no bruises or marks to reflect abuse. Oh.. but there is! The marks and bruises are on the inside and they are just as damaging. It changes your perception of your self-worth, not to mention other severe consequences such as depression, fear, anxiety and even physical effects on the body.
Emotional abuse most often involves control and power. It starts when the abuser gets upset or angered for any particular reason. They may start to belittle you, say hurtful things, humiliate or terrorize you when the rage starts. It only escalates from there. Then comes the apology along with an explanation to try to justify their unacceptable behavior. Asking for one more chance and promising to change. They will often blame you for their unhappiness, attempting to instill guilt that it’s “all your fault”. It’s their way of manipulating the situation so perhaps you will have sympathy for them. They may also tell you that things will change only if… That’s how they stay in control. Remember that it’s never your fault!
It’s your responsibility to be aware and protect your personal boundaries. Dr. Phil says,” There are no victims, only volunteers. “ I believe that’s a bit trifle but does hold somewhat of a valid point. It’s your responsibility not to live your life “just going along for the ride”. There is more to life than that and you have choices. If it’s not working for you, know when to walk away. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but your life may depend on the choice you make.
Healing from abuse is an essential part of your well-being. By having proper counseling and guidance, will help the healing process and teach you intervention skills; so you don’t allow yourself to go back into the same type of relationship. Whatever your situation is, you deserve to live without pain and fear. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you in a dangerous or unhealthy situation.
If you know of someone who is being abused; listen to them, believe their story and support them. Sometimes they cry silently. There are services and resources available to get help. Please do so!