The deep scars of emotional abuse
Abuse by definition means to treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly. As a woman and mother of four, any type of abuse on women and children really hurts me. I know that when we talk abuse, we often look for physical scars, but the scars that we don’t necessarily see, run even deeper. Imagine having to deal with being degraded by what a person says to you or having to deal with how they put you down and having those insults find a home in your heart. Something degrading said enough times could leave deep scars and have a lasting effect. So deep that it may affect other relationships in you have in life, whether they be friendship, work, parenting, or business. You ask yourself how you walk away from this. It becomes even more difficult to grapple with if the abuser is someone who you love, respect and cherish.
Psychology experts say not all emotional abuse involves shouting or criticism. More common forms are “disengaging” – a distracted or preoccupied partner or “stonewalling” – a partner who refuses to accept anyone else’s perspective.
Partners who stonewall may not overtly put anyone down, but punish by refusing even to think about their partners’ perspectives. If they listen at all, they do so dismissively or impatiently.
Psychologists say It’s important to note emotional abuse is about the effects of behaviour, not the words used. You can say the most loving words with sarcasm and silently communicate contempt through body language, rolling eyes, sighs, grimaces, the tone of voice, disgusted looks, cold shoulders, banging dishes, stonewalling and cold shoulders.
What I found useful were these tips on how to deal with emotional abuse
I know that it is not easy, to admit and accept that all the dreams of a fruitful friendship and sometimes a happy union are far from your life, but when you have the courage to change your situation you start to break the cycle of abuse and steadily walk towards mending the wounds that run deep within you.
Over the next 16 days, I will take you with me on a journey looking at different forms of abuse. and in the end, if anything I hope that it will empower you and give you strength to do what it is right which ever end of abuse you find yourself.
Follow @raphata on twitter