Domestic violence has been a large topic in the media lately. So I think it’s time that people become more aware about the different kinds of abuse. Abuse is not just limited to someone beating, shoving, and cussing at you. There is a whole different side of abuse. It’s called psychological, mental, and emotional abuse. Some people might say that this kind of abuse is the most damaging because it causes emotional wounds that don’t heal like physical wounds.
Psychological abuse takes a toll of someone’s self esteem. They can begin to feel worthless, helpless, and even hopeless. Most abusers have a way of manipulating their victims by making them feel like it is all their fault. Which it isn’t.
One of the most common forms of psychological abuse is called “gaslighting.” Basically it’s when someone relays false information to another person to make them question their memory, perception, and sanity. An example of this would be someone denying that previous events had happened, causing you to question if it had really happened the way you thought it had. Another common form of psychological abuse is that love comes with “terms and conditions.” The famous line of this one is, “I love you, but...” they make you believe that they will no longer love you if you don’t cut a certain friend out of your life, or stop being so involved with other activities. For the abuser, love is a word that they use to control you. Another common form of abuse is that the abuser will “throw you a bone.” They will compliment you, give you gifts, and apologize profusely for poor behavior just to get you to believe that they aren’t abusive. It is all just part of the vicious cycle.
Other ways that Psychological abuse occurs
- Humiliating or embarrassing you
- Constantly putting you down
- Lack of communication
- Ignoring or excluding you
- Inappropriate behavior with the opposite sex
- Unreasonable jealousy
- Extreme moodiness
- Rude jokes or constantly making fun of you
- “I love you but…”
- “If you don’t _____, I will_____.”
- Domination and control
- Withdrawal of affection
- Guilt trips
- Making everything your fault
- Isolating you from friends and family
- Using money to control you
- Constant calling or texting when you are not with them, but not communicating when they leave
- Threatening to commit suicide if you leave
It is so very important for you to remember that it is most definitely NOT YOUR FAULT! They have a way of finding your insecurities and triggering them. Making you feel like you are worthless without them. They will be charming in public and around friends/family, but that is only to get them to have a good impression of them.
If you find yourself in a psychologically abusive relationship, please remember that you cannot change them. A majority of abusers do not see anything wrong with their behavior and will not change. You may need professional help to leave the relationship. In my case, I needed the police and a counselor. At times you may feel like it would be easier to just go back to that person, but I can promise you that it is not. It only becomes more abusive. You will be making the right choice when you break it off, and don’t look back. In the end, it is so rewarding.