You never really know what a person is going through. Our inner world is one of the things that people tend to keep completely for themselves, and no matter how empathetic or sympathetic you may be, you will never know the exact way someone feels, no matter how much they try to show you.
But, simply the fact that our inner world, our feelings, and emotions are not straight out visible, doesn’t mean we don’t have any. A person’s emotions are an intense and powerful part of their everyday life. The hurt and pain people can go through is oftentimes masked, and people who do not sit down and reflect on their feelings, on what is making them feel the way they are feeling, won’t be able to learn how to take control of them. Often, even, people do not realize they are the victims of emotional abuse, in these cases, it tends to go unnoticed. However, it’s important to take time, and try to be as objective as you can whenever you notice you are not feeling well, or are, in any way, feeling hurt emotionally.
Emotional abuse comes in different ways, and as mentioned, it may even go unnoticed. However, it leaves effects on your persona and mental health, and you will notice it with the passage of time. According to Psychology Today, emotional abuse is an attempt to control, the same way people try to control through physical abuse. Unlike physical abuse, this kind of abuse uses and misuses emotion, it does not use physical hitting, nor grabbing or pushing, but the damage it causes might be equally damaging. There are cases when the perpetrator of emotional abuse does not even know they are being abusive, and their actions might even come as a sign of insecurity.
This kind of abuse is not merely occurrent in relationships, it may come from your parents, it may happen in the workplace, it may even occur in friendships. It’s essential that you understand your emotions, try to distinguish the way a particular person makes you feel, and discuss things with the people who are causing the emotional damage and try to make things better. After all, there is no selfishness when it comes to taking care of oneself when you notice the people you surround yourself with are doing you no good.
There are particular signs you must look at and observe to find out whether or not you’re being the victim of emotional abuse. When it comes to relationships, emotionally abusive partners tend to show signs of excessive controlling, they check on you constantly to the point it becomes unbearable, they try to control who you hang out with, and even become jealous over the most innocent and ordinary day-to-day interactions you may have with people. They make you feel stuck, almost like you have no power over yourself whatsoever. They lack empathy and compassion and are not there when you need them the most. They weaken your efforts and disregard your opinions, often even call you out to being ‘too sensitive’. Gaslighting is also another method they use to manipulate you, they blame you, and guilt trip you continuously.
As previously mentioned, there are cases when even the ones who you expect to never hurt you, might do so. Family members that you hold as your nearest and dearest might not really know how to act properly, and this way their emotionally abusive behavior might make children suffer long-term effects. Growing up in a toxic environment is never a good thing. People who have grown up with an abusive parent might have noticed the perpetrator of emotional abuse tends to belittle them, place ‘inappropriate expectations’ on them, such as expecting to be perfect at everything they do, or even contribute to the family income at very early ages. They degrade their child through verbal abuse, humiliate them publicly, they tease, or even isolate them from other children and the rest of the world.
Emotional abuse can be devastating. It often becomes confusing for the victim to see who is at fault. They will blame themselves. If your partner keeps calling you ugly, incompetent, or even stupid, it pains you. As Psychology Today puts it, “it makes love hurt”.
Which are the long-term effects of emotional abuse?
Healthline suggests that according to studies, severe emotional abuse can be as harmful as physical abuse. It can cause damage to your mental health and will leave you scarred. According to the same study, it has been theorized that emotional abuse might even lead to conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome as well as fibromyalgia. Some of the effects of severe emotional abuse are:
– Low self-esteem
– Chronic pain
– Social withdrawal
Which are the short-term effects of emotional abuse?
According to Healthline, emotional abuse can even have short-term effects, like feeling confused, scared, or even hopeless. Among these, the other short-term effects of abuse are:
– Difficulty in concentration
– Feeling moody, constantly
– Seeing nightmares
– Racing heartbeat
– Ache or pain
– Muscle tension
People who have experienced emotional abuse might even find themselves:
– Crying frequently
– Feeling shame or guilt
– Avoiding eye contact
– Feeling manipulated
– Feeling undesirable
– Feeling powerless
Which are the emotional abuse effects on children?
Emotional abuse will affect children in ways you probably never thought of. Research has shown that children who have experienced emotional abuse will be affected as follows:
– They will not eat well and therefore they will not grow well.
– Their mental development may be held back. There might also be effects on their intelligence and memory.
– They might be unable to express emotions appropriately, and they will show difficulty in trying to control their emotions.
– They can show behavioral problems such as: difficulty in socializing, learning difficulties, and relationship problems.
– They might show rebellious or violent behavior.
If you are or have been a victim of emotional abuse, be it from a romantic partner, friend, or even from your parents, try to discuss things, try to settle particular issues with your loved ones, if nothing works try to distance yourself from toxic environments that are bringing nothing but pain and doing nothing but harm to your mental health.
Remember you are more than simply words uttered by the people who do not know how to love. You are more than the blame they have put on you, you are more than the belittling, humiliating, or whatever it is that the perpetrators of emotional abuse have inflicted upon you. You are here, you are worthy, and you belong. You’re a child of the universe.