If I’m going to use one word to describe the serious consequences of emotional abuse, it’s “invisible”. In a relationship, emotional abuse doesn’t leave you with physical scars, but deep heartache can become an invisible burden, and you probably don’t want to see it.
Andrea Matthews, the author of Psychology Today, says the tactics of emotional abuse include constant criticism or control, verbal attacks and verbal abuse, humiliating or demeaning language, cold war, refusal to communicate, and forcing the other person away from friends or family who can help.
There are some common words like this:
“I know what’s best for you. Your friends don’t really care about you as much as I do. ”
“What are you talking about?” I’ve never said that before. ”
“You won’t leave me.” Even if you go, I won’t allow it. ”
Dr. Lenore Walker and some people who have experienced emotional abuse conclude that emotional abuse, like general abuse, usually occurs in four stages: the accumulation of contradictions, the outbreak of contradictions, the conclusion of reconciliation, and the restoration of calm. At each stage, the victim is firmly in the hands of the abuser, feeling that he no longer fully believes in his feelings and opinions.
Whether the other person is the person you love or the person with whom you work, if the other person has achieved control over you through debasement and isolation in your personal relationship with him, the pain often accompanies you for many years, with many serious consequences: anxiety, depression, complex post-traumatic stress disorder. And without faith and help from others, it is often difficult for a victim to recover.
Remember: your own inner feelings are real and reliable, no matter how others force you to doubt yourself. You are always worth understanding and healing.
When an emotionally abusive relationship finally ends, exhausted victims are always the first to ask, “What am I going to do now?” Here are five suggestions from the experiences of some emotional abuse survivors:
How to leave an abusive relationship? 1, time belongs to you
In an emotionally abusive relationship, the abuser is good at constantly trying to get you to devote time to his attention, emotion, and effort. Time becomes a power, and the abuser will do everything in his power to deprive himself of his own time.
You can recall whether he often doesn’t allow you to go out with a friend, whether he has ever said that your dream is a waste of time, or whether he often cares about who you and who you do and how you use your time, whether you feel scared rather than free after leaving the relationship.
Ava, who has been in an emotionally abusive relationship for three years, says:
“I loved him very much at first, but then I found that our feelings became a heavy burden. Every time I get along with him, I quarrel. The way he declared sovereignty was by threatening to leave me or actually leaving me for a short time. If I wasn’t what he wanted me to be, he would threaten me like that. ”
The abuser just wants you to feel lost, panicked, lonely, and you’ll feel like you can’t live without him. But it’s not, it’s not that he can’t.
Your life is your own life, all the time is yours, you can decide what you want, who you want, when and how you want to do it.
But emotional abuse can cause you to lose that ability, and you can’t say when you’ll get it back. So you have to take care of yourself – go to a poetry group that you’ve always wanted to go to, to keep pets you’ve always wanted to keep, to pursue jobs you’ve always wanted to do that you haven’t been able to do – and be kind to your time.
How to leave an abusive relationship? 2. Redo your boundaries
For those who love themselves and others, a sense of boundaries is important. Boundaries help you identify the boundaries of your interactions with others around you, where it starts and where it ends. A healthy boundary is established through constant communication so that everyone involved is aware of their responsibilities, mutual understanding, mutual understanding.
“For me, healing is about realizing that my needs are worth meeting, and that’s my responsibility, and I can choose who I want to stay in my life, ” Jordan says. Her parents had a long history of emotional abuse of her. “I think healing is the right thing for me because I feel less angry and stressed and have a clearer mental space and time to get along with the people around me who really support me.” Although Jordan did not break off from her parents, she was slow to set a boundary away from her parents in time and space.
Once the boundaries are set, life may not change completely for a long time, but power is indeed established and carved back into your hands. Unless you want to remove the boundary, it will always be there to protect you.
How to leave an abusive relationship? 3. Forgive yourself
The abuser is wrong about everything you do. It’s not your fault, it’s not yours. Feelings of guilt, shame, and fear don’t deserve more spiritual energy. The best thing you should try to do is to forgive yourself.
Even though the National Hotline on Domestic Violence has defined emotional abuse as a form of domestic violence, people are still hesitant to trust or support victims.
“When I talk to people who don’t know my ex-husband about what happened to me, they especially support me in caring for me,” Eva says, sharing her experience, “but when I talk to people who know me and my ex-husband at the same time, they fully understand that the way my ex-husband treats me is problematic and is controlling me, but they don’t seem to want to call it abuse.” It’s as if all my experiences aren’t qualified enough to count as abuse, or maybe they just feel uncomfortable with the word. ”
It’s not your fault that abuse happens in any form. No matter who or how you come into your life, no matter how long the relationship lasts, no matter why you didn’t end it earlier, it’s not your fault. The important thing is, now that it’s over, you’re alive, you’re free.
How to leave an abusive relationship? 4, knowledge is power
Learning about abuse and how to rebuild yourself is not easy for people who are in or out of abuse.
After all, you’ve been forced by your abuser for a long time to learn only his point of view, to see the world only from his perspective, and now that the relationship is over, you’re sure to feel some confusion and confusion, normal fear. For many people, access to psychological knowledge or psychotherapy is an effective way to heal wounds. “Psychotherapy has t ted me to ask for help and to fix myself when I need it, ” says Katie. She suffered emotional abuse five years ago and lost a good friend who had been together for 18 years. She added, “I didn’t know I was really cured when I was able to talk about the past without a tear.” ”
You’ll find plenty of resources around to help you heal, such as courses, community groups, and a quick search of the Internet. There are also many articles about emotional abuse, with common sites such as BetterHelp, Love Is Respect, The Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness. From setting healthy interpersonal boundaries to conflict resolution skills, there’s always a lesson or article waiting for you not far away. Every new lesson is to equip yourself with a new weapon.
How to leave an abusive relationship? 5. Get your own story back
Those who emotionally abuse others are very good at tricking victims into believing a false narrative or story. Thus the victim feels that the abuser is always right to say anything, except to obey their views and decisions, the victim has no opinion or sovereignty at all.
There are many false narratives of abuse intent, and the most common lie is to tell the victim that you’re gone and I can’t live, that you’re already an “over-the-future” “cheap” and that no one will love you anymore. The abuser is trying to change the way the victim sees himself, thereby changing the victim’s entire inner state of mind and external situation. And such a lie, such an offensive narrative, from a person you trust and love, will inevitably bring you very contradictory and complex emotions, will cause long-term serious adverse effects.
So when an emotionally abusive relationship is over, the way you look at yourself may still be influenced by those lies. And all you have to do is hurry up and get your own story back. Smashing lies, getting out of control, realizing yourself is like waking up from a dream.
Rebuilding yourself is a highly personal step, and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, including share your story publicly. No matter where you go with your story, it’s your choice.
The trauma of emotional abuse is hard to heal, and the damage you suffer is, after all, accumulated over the years. So of course you’ll find it difficult to rebuild yourself, otherwise why abuse is called abuse. Each person’s path to healing will last a different length of time and will go in different directions depending on the situation. But believe that wherever you go, you get help and love – you’re not alone.