TRIGGER WARNING: EMOTIONAL ABUSE. There are many forms of abuse, including physical, mental and emotional abuse. Today I have decided to talk a little bit about emotional abuse. So many people are unaware of the signs of emotional abuse, mainly because it’s something you can’t physically see. Emotional abuse (there are many forms of emotional abuse, such as gaslighting) is a discreet form of abuse, which can cause serious damage to a victims mental health.
The reason for this blog post is not to make accusations. I want to speak about my own experiences and if I can, help others to realise what emotional abuse actually is. I’m now in a happy and healthy relationship, but I can see old habits and behaviours in myself that need addressing.
Personally, I’ve experienced emotional abuse in two relationships. I try to see the good in everyone and I don’t want to make excuses for emotionally abusive people. Of course, I am not perfect and I do make mistakes. No one is 100% to blame. I wasn’t always unhappy and I did have nice times in these relationships. I even believe that a lot of time, some abusers don’t even realise their behaviour is abusive.
I’ve realised, due to what I have been through, I have certain personality traits. I’m now defensive, I over-analyse everything and can go into pretty dark spirals of paranoia. I’m now very insecure, especially in regards to decision making (sometimes even when it comes to making small decisions).
I apologise a lot of the time, a lot of the time it’s when I haven’t done anything wrong or it’s something I have little/no control over. I get scared when people show emotional anger around me. I automatically assume it’s me that’s the problem and want to fix it/say I’m sorry.
You are made to feel crazy, that your feelings aren’t valid, you are too sensitive or that you are over-reacting, which causes you to start doubting yourself. The lack of self esteem which I personally experienced was due to being told on multiple occasions that I was crazy, not normal, stupid, thick, mental and so much more. At one point I felt like I couldn’t do anything right any more, whilst also trying to pretend that everything was fine and avoided facing what was actually happening.
I do want to apologise to the people I used to call my friends, who tried to warn me about what was happening on multiple occasions – I just wouldn’t listen and kept trying to convince myself that people can change. These people gave up on me, mostly because I wouldn’t listen to them and they got sick of trying to tell me the same things repeatedly.
I would also like to apologise, but also say a huge thank you, to those who stuck by me whilst I experienced this, including my family. I also cannot thank my lovely boyfriend Kiel enough for the amount of support he has shown me in our time together, being so patient with me, helping us both to understand why I react the way I do to certain situations, and validating my emotions.
I am now in a happier and much healthier place, but it is a tough process. I wouldn’t wish these feelings upon my worst enemy. YOU are strong, YOU are important, YOU CAN DO THIS. Any form of abuse is so dangerous, it does cost lives. Get out – before it’s too late. Once you know the signs, no one can hurt you again.