Signs Of Emotional Abuse

Posted: November 25, 2015

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All abuse is not physical abuse, some of it, is emotional abuse. Here are signs of emotional abuse. 

Before trying to understand whether you are being abused, try to understand what abuse means. It is not always about battery, verbal or physical assault (though battery is obviously abuse). It is not like they show in the movies — a drunk husband coming home and screaming at his wife or hitting her.

The important thing to realise here is that it is not as though abused people don’t have a life with breaks, vacations, gifts and other occasional good moments.

Often, abuse is a cycle. If you google cycle of abuse, you should be able to figure out the pattern it takes in your life. Reading about the cycle of abuse helped me recognise the pattern of abuse in my life:

  1. Scream and threaten
  2. Cry and seem genuinely upset for justifying the abusive behavior
  3. Make you feel guilty for adding to his stress — enough to make him behave badly
  4. Show me how reasonable he is by doing a nice thing and telling me that he does it even though I don’t deserve it

More on my experience here.

And if you are married to a narcissist, then reading this article might help you identify what is happening in your life.

Unlike physical abuse which leaves marks, emotional abuse is insidious and you don’t realise that you are a victim of domestic violence till it reaches a point when you feel powerless to walk away. Here are some feelings that are a sure sign that you are in an abusive relationship:

  1. Tightly wound up all the time because no matter what you do or don’t, you can trigger an episode where he is shouting or threatening or telling nasty things about you
  2. Guilt when he does something nice and because you feel rotten all the time even on ‘family’ vacation or when he gives you a gift
  3. Fear that he will separate you from your child
  4. Shame that he has heaped on you because he keeps telling you everything that is wrong with you
  5. Worthlessness because you are fat/ugly/in any way not good enough for him to share his life with you
  6. Unworthy of love and affection or basic human decency
  7. Helplessness that you can’t change your situation because you are dependent on him
  8. Fear that he will abuse your child
  9. Deprived because he refuses to have sex with you citing any of the reasons I spoke about

If a person makes you feel like shit — it is not about you allowing bad things to happen — it is NOT your fault. It isn’t your fault because you being the normal one who hopes that things will change someday. You try to look at the bright side and say stuff like at least I am not being burned for dowry or others have it much worse. You try to rationalise his behaviour by saying that he is stressed at work, he is not a  bad a father or anything else that makes you feel better at that moment.

I have also read that a woman going back 6 times at least to her abuser before she finally leaves him (if at all). So if you do that as well, don’t beat yourself up over it.

And it you need to talk to someone, look up a domestic violence/depression/suicide helpline and talk to someone ASAP.

Cover image via Shutterstock

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1 Comment

  1. I agree with the walking away bit, but sometimes it is about fleeing the abuser cause standing up to them when you are living with them might not be possible.

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