How to deal with emotional abuse? How to recognise it?

What is emotional abuse and how can you recognize it?

If someone makes you feel little, nor not good enough, hurt you, or reject you and threatens you that is means you are emotionally abused. Emotional abuse is as damaging as physical and mental abuse. The only reason for emotional abuse is the person trying to mess with your head and trying to control you. 

There are many types of emotional abuse such as:

–     verbal where someone screams and yells at you, insulting and swearing at you. 

–     Isolation that where someone stops you from meeting your family and friends and sometimes even removes you from the place where you are connected to people so you would be alone. 

–     Financial where the person controls the money and won’t allow you to spend money or even make decisions about finances. You will not have a say at all. 

–     Hurting you that is when the person is deliberate will make and do things to hurt and harm you. So, you would comply with his or her requests and submit to their abuse. 

How to recognize emotional abuse? You can start by answering these questions:

1-  Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells?

2-  Do you feel scared to express yourself and you change your behavior because you are frightened?

3-  Do you feel controlled and isolated and alone?

4-  Do you feel you cannot make financial decisions by yourself?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you are experiencing emotional abuse. It is important that you recognize the signs and if you are being emotionally abused make sure that you take the right actions to protect yourself. Here are few steps that you can take and hopefully that will help you. 

Here are few steps to take when you feel you are emotionally abused:

1–  Recognizing and knowing

This is so important that you are sure that you are emotionally abused. Once you started recognizing that you are being manipulated and you are now in a much better position. You are now in the knowing stage which will help you greatly. Knowledge is power and once you are now educated and know what is happening in your life. You can start by taking the safest and right actions to help your escape the abuse and get away from the abuser. You also get to know your rights and you will not be convinced easily by the person’s behavior to control you. You will be able to reach out to the right people who specifically deal with your situation, and they will guide you on what to do. 

2-  Do try to change the person

Trying to make the person who abused you understand what he or she did is wrong is not going to be successful. You will be wasting your time if you try that. The person who is abusive does not change just like that from a conversation. Understand that you are only responsible for your actions and the abuser is responsible for theirs. From experience as I tried to help my abuser and we went to a therapist however it did not work. My abuser would twist everything and stopped going to the therapist and counselor and ended up badly. My advice to you is don’t try and think you can change your abuser. Focus on yourself and your safety. If the person becomes aggressive or violent make sure you don’t retaliate and immediately phone the police to get protection. Don’t allow the abuser to provoke you in any way until you are safe and able to get some help and support. 

3-  Leave the abuser 

I understand leaving an abusive relationship is not easy especially when you are monitored 24/7. The first thing that you can do is have an emergency bag ready where it has all your documents, clothes, and money if you can. You can leave the bag in the car or near the door ready to go. If you are able to leave the abuser, take your bag and find a safe place to say. You may think a lot about such action, and you may feel scared to let go and leave the abuser. However, I want you to remember that the abuser will never change so remind yourself of that and remind yourself of all the suffering and pain that person caused you. It may be difficult at the beginning and scary however do not make excuses for the abuser and stay strong. 

4-  Get professional help

When you are trying to escape the abuser make sure you get professional help for example here in the UK there are many organizations that can help you, for example, National Victim of domestic violence, The sunflower center, and women’s refuge. In the US there is a family advocacy program and national domestic violence hotline. I will leave some links and phone numbers for you to check out. Make sure you don’t let the abuser know that you are contacting those professionals. After leaving the abuser now you can continue the professional help by taking a course to educate yourself more about abuse and how to prevent it and protect yourself if ever happened in the future. Also, you will be able to get a therapist where the person will help you emotionally and mentally to regain back your power and stability if this service is available.  

5-  Take care of yourself 

Once you are feeling safe and calm now you can make plans on how you want to live your life. Remember that the abuse is not your fault. Normally abusers choose their victims and study them. It is all planned in the abuser’s head so do not blame yourself nor feel quilt about it. Celebrate that you escaped the abuser and be happy that you are free from abuse and manipulation. Find ways to release any stress that you may have, and you can check my episode where I discuss how to deal with stress, I will link the video down below if you are listening on YouTube. Do the things that you love to do and love yourself unconditionally. Take off your victim’s t-shirt and put on a survivor t-shirt. You are a hero and a strong person and rejoice that you are now free, and happy, and living your life to the fullest. 

So, we will recap quickly first you need to recognize that you are being abused and figure out what type of abuse you are experiencing or going through if you can. Then, take the steps after knowing and recognizing, don’t try to change the person or convince them to change. leave the abuser safely and get professional help and take care of yourself. Lastly, if the person becomes aggressive make sure that you phone the police and get the protection that you need. It is important that you put your safety and people around your safety first before you do anything and seek protection as soon as possible. Don’t delay it and do not give justifications to the abuser.

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