All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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Emotional Abuse – Just FRACK off!

One of the few things I never failed in was my walk from Inverness to Drumnadrochit in September 1997. I’ll always remember how it felt during those last few miles telling myself constantly…the home stretch, not far now.

Which is where we are now. The home stretch; not many pixellated words left now.

“We have nothing to lose – nothing, absolutely nothing – that’s more valuable than our self-respect, our sense of self worth,”

“Emotional abuse can include verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics like intimidation, manipulation and refusal to ever be pleased. Emotional abuse is like brainwashing in that it systematically wears away at the victims self confidence, sense of self worth, trust in her perceptions and self concept. Whether it be by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the guise of ‘guidance’ or teaching, the results are similar. Eventually the recipient loses all sense of self and all remnants of personal value.”

Halt.
There’s something there I don’t like.
Let’s give them another chance:

“Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be longer lasting than physical ones. With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism and accusations slowly eat away at the victims self esteem until she is incapable of judging the situation realistically. She has become so beaten down emotionally that she blames herself for the abuse. Emotional abuse victims can become so convinced that they are worthless that they believe that no-one else could want them. They stay in abusive relationships because they believe they have nowhere else to go. Their ultimate fear is being all alone.”

What?

Was it impossible for them to type their, them or themselves? I have lost count of the number of times I’ve read articles, opinion pieces, news snippets or whatever where the victim is always feminine and the perpetrator masculine. It’s degrading to both men and women. Now I’m aware that there are more documented incidents of abuse on women, but I am just so tired of men always being painted as the big bad; imbeciles with no emotion or feelings. I mean does it ever occur to people men don’t talk about their emotions because society doesn’t let us?

Men can self harm.
Men can suffer from depression.
Men can feel both emotional and physical pain.
Men can cry.
Men can be upset.
Men can have low self-esteem.
Men can have body issues.
Men can be abused; physically, sexually and emotionally.

Just because we have penises (and the odd hairy back) doesn’t make us immune – and just because women have ovaries (and the odd hairy back) doesn’t make them infallible angels.
It’s sexist to say otherwise.

For a man to be a victim it doesn’t make them weak or not masculine. It means they have emotions, it means that they are human. I’ll stand up for my beliefs more than most do – but I’ll also crumble and cry when I need to. It’s not a case of whether I’m manly, masculine or any of that stereotypical crap propagated by the media and society.

It means I feel.

However the common perception, at least from my experiences, is that if a man is abused he is therefore weak for allowing it to happen to him in the first place. He deserved it. Therefore he is not worthy of a place in society. Sure, some hold the same perception for women, but both are absolutely fracking wrong. No-one deserves to be abused in any way shape or form. They are not weak for allowing it to happen to them.

They are actually stronger than the abusers for surviving the abuse in the first place.

If I was to stand up and say I was raped I would (quite possibly) be called a liar and (most likely) laughed at for allowing it to happen. For not fighting back. But ten percent of all rapes have men as the victim. If I was to stand up and say I was raped I would (quite possibly) be ostracised and judged as unworthy, unmasculine, by the women in my life or society in general.

Me admitting to being emotionally abused is the same.

All abuse is the same and should be treated as such. Whether the victim is male or female…and more needs to be done to raise awareness of abuse in all forms and protect the victim. Too often the abuser gets off Scot-free and gets to live a perfectly normal happy life – whereas the abused has their life destroyed and lives in silent pain for the rest of their days.

“It’s the non-stop, nagging, nit picking voice in your head, telling you that nothing you do will ever be good enough, that you’ve missed all your chances and messed up all your opportunities, that you don’t deserve love, respect and happiness,”

Like I said to the psychiatrist…tell someone something enough, they’ll believe it…which I nicked from Tony Hill in ‘Nocebo’…“Oh c’mon, did it ever occur to you if you tell a little girl over and over again that she is evil she’s gonna believe it!” Ahh, Robson, we love you and you delivered that line so so well :)

The same goes for anyone.

Child
Adult
Male
Female

The more you attack someone the more you criticise, the more you abuse – the more damage you are doing to the most fragile organ of the body. It changes processes, patterns, thoughts, affects the inner working of the synapses and lobes. Like I’ve said before there is a difference between criticism and criticism…but you know, it’s all bullshit. I can sit here waxing lyrical about emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, but what’s the fucking point? No-one believes the victim. Especially the male, he’s just a useless, worthless, weak willed, good for nothing fuckwit who should just go kill himself. Women are perfect little angels who never do anything wrong. They can sleep with whoever they want, whenever they want and bugger how their boyfriends might feel. They can be fully aware their boyfriends have serious illness and assignments to write but still see absolutely nothing wrong in dumping someone by text message. They’ve got a broken heart cause they dumped their boyfriend, yep, it’s up to him to fix it. He’s not ‘caring’ enough – yep – have a go at him because you should always care for someone who ends a relationship and friendship with no warning or explanation by text message. Attack everything your ex-boyfriend has ever done, said, felt or thought – even if it’s exactly what you’ve asked him to do. NO problem. Nothing wrong there. He’s a man, he’s supposed to just take it. He has no feelings or emotion. Never tell him why the relationship ended? Expect him to sacrifice friends? Manipulate his friends away from him? That’s how it should be. Blame him for everything he’s ever done in his life. Fine. Blame him for everything that’s gone wrong in your life, even when he hasn’t had contact for weeks, again, fine! Remind him in detail of every mistake he has ever made ever. Over and over again? No worries. If a man were to do any of that… Yeah, none of this is gonna have any bloody ramifications, just because I’m a man! Fuck. Fuck!! FUCK!!!

You see this is the problem with emotional abuse.

It!

Never!

Fucking!

Goes!

Away!

Ever!

“The victim of emotional abuse isn’t always aware of just how much pain and danger he or she is really experiencing,”

The emotional abuse – in reality – ended in July 2007 when I severed contact with my ex. I had to change my phone number, cancel my email account (losing 18 months of emails in the process) and for a period even sever contact with friends whom I missed dearly in order to limit the potential contact. It had been one of the most fucked up weeks of my life (well, since February 2007); mania, feeling like I was God, streaking in public, singing Song for Ten

in a casino complete with dance routine improvised on the spot, severe self harm. The last thing I needed was more arrogant self-grandiose bullshit by email, especially in tandem with the other event of that week. You see this was also the week I was triggered out of the manic phase and the last thing I needed was more abuse. Like I said in an earlier post – the timing of that email was second only to the text message of February 2007 in terms of destruction caused.

The emotional abuse – mentally – has never ended. Whether I’ve been in Melbourne, Caldicot, Cardiff, London, Inverness, Fort William, Drumnadrochit, Alice Springs, Sydney, Perth, Albury, Cootanumbra…there is always something to remind me. Places, people, faces, songs, smells, clothes, conversations, words, grunts. It doesn’t take much to force that fragile organ to remind you of something. It doesn’t even need a trigger, not really, the words are there, branded into my mind like some twisted Overlander Restaurant gimmick or fetishists dream.

The illnesses I endure feed off them; bipolar, self harm, hallucinations (they all love it)…all of them!

Almost every waking minute all those words, sentences and intent pulsate and surge through my mind. Little quells them. Self harm does, for a while, but I think only a lobotomy – or death – will rid me of these internal scars completely.

Sure this may make me weak. I don’t care any more.

Harden the fuck up! as the Aussies say Don’t let it get to you. Prove how strong you are.

Ummmm, I think I already have. What I went through in early ’07 would have killed most people. You hear about people who kill themselves because they lost a job, lost a relationship, had an argument, lost a gerbil, were a bit stressed at work, got a cold. All tragedies. I’ve lost everything, multiple times, but I’m still here.

“We have nothing to lose – nothing, absolutely nothing – that’s more valuable than our self respect, our sense of self worth,”

The abuse I received took these from me.

I didn’t want it to.

I’ve fought hard for this not to be the case.

As I said to the psychiatrist…it’s had me questioning the essence of “me” for years…I started writing the blog to help find it again; sharing my soul which I refused to believe was selfish, uncaring, wrong, repulsive, like a cancer, but as the words which cut me deep continue to bleed. Me, Addy, Andrew, continues to bleed with it. Eventually he’ll be gone, and a mere shell will remain. I know this to be true. It’s not what I want. I loved Addy, in many ways I still love Andrew, but unless I can find a way to heal the wounds, he’ll be gone.

Dead.

Not physically, I’m not talking about that.

But emotionally; because death, ultimately, occurs when the soul is destroyed.

A few months ago I coined a new phrase for myself. All of the shit that’s happened to me, all of the depression, self harm, loss, to me came about from shyness, which became social anxiety disorder, which – with the emotional abuse – become something a teensy bit different…


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Emotional Abuse Part IV: Related Links

It’s not that I’m obsessed or anything, but I’m really struggling to overcome the emotional abuse I suffered so have been spending as much time as I can afford trying to find new information and coping strategies to recover.

So here are some excellent sites/blogs I have discovered regarding emotional and/or other abuse.

Sanctuary for the Abused
A blog containing articles, links and support for survivors of verbal, emotional, online and psychological abuse. LOTS of information here I’ve only touched the surface of what they have to offer, but so far it is excellent, and come highly recommended.

Abused No More
Emotional abuse recovery Coach Annie Kaszina enables women to understand and heal swiftly from the trauma of an abusive relationship.

And a couple more articles:

From the Abuser’s Point of View
An interesting insight of abuse as told from what the abuser may be feeling. Once again, the abuser is painted as a man; although in a lot of cases the abuser is male, it would be nice to occasionally find a sight which discusses the man as “victim” rather than “perpetrator”.

Eight Ways to Spot an Emotional Manipulator
Another great article on eight ways in which someone will act if they are emotionally abusive or have the potential to be emotionally abusive.

Effects of Emotional Abuse
A nice article on what the longer term effects of emotional abuse could be if not dealt with in any way.

And with that I think I’ll leave my emotional abuse series for a while. It’s opened up a lot of scars I had forgotten about and I need to work on finding ways to overcome these issues, but with everything will keep you posted on my progress/lack of progress.


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The let’s answer people’s "google searches" post!

My minds racing at a thousand miles so many thoughts, feelings, emotions, rational thoughts, irrational thoughts, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and they’re driving me insane not even slowly insane fast fast faster than the speeding colour red insane that I need to do something pointless and rather weird to try and take my mind of the suicidal urges I’m feeling.

So here we have it folks, the let’s answer people’s google searches post!

It amazes me sometimes what brings people to my site. The things people write into google which brings them into my merry world: denise welch drinking again alcohol that’s a good one, but the best, the absolute best which had me merrily laughing and giggling away, “emily lloyd” wanking…who would have thought that would bring someone to my site? Bet they were disappointed!

Anyhow…some searches are actually pretty cool, gets me thinking, so here we go, hold onto your hats and lets see what we can find out.

1) “Movie TV Show Self Injury”
This one got me thinking. I can think of only one example of each: Takin’ Over the Asylum on TV and Secretary at the movies. So I flung myself into research mode and tried to find a few more…Girl Interrupted, Thirteen, 28 Days, Seventh Heaven (TV Show), Strong Heaven (TV Show)…and that’s the best I could come up with, which is pretty pathetic, but then I’m in that sort of mood…anyone know any others?

2) “Songs about depression and self harm”
This is a good one. So many songs are about love and lost love and happy bouncy pop numbers by ridiculously under-dressed pre-pubescent starlets gyrating around as if they know everything about sexy sensual antics it’s ridiculous. What about songs about depression and self harm, where are all they, eh? How about these?
[RED ones are self-harm, BLUE ones are depression]
Underlying Depression – Van Morrison
Black and BlueCounting Crows
Manic Depression – Jimi Hendrix
SmokeNatalie Imbruglia
Terminal Spirit Disease – At the Gates
If You Can’t Leave it Be, Might as Well Make it BleedDashboard Confessional
I Won’t Stay Long – Sixpence None the Richer
My Heart Is The Worst Kind Of WeaponFall Out Boy
When Silence Cries – Trail of Tears
Judge Yr’selfManic Street Preachers
Only Happy When it Rains – Garbage
Not an AddictK’s Choice
Put on Your Old Brown Shoes – Supertramp
Roses in the Hospital – Manic Street Preachers

3) “Overcoming emotional abuse in friendship”
An excellent point. In my posts covering emotional abuse I talked specifically about emotional abuse occurring in a sexual relationship, however emotional abuse can occur in any form of relationship. It could be teacher/student, parent/child, friend/friend, boss/employee even student/teacher or child/parent is possible. Overcoming emotional abuse in any form is an incredibly difficult thing to do, as even if you talk to the abuser and try and get s/he to realise that what they are doing is having a detrimental affect on you and your self esteem, they will often deny what is happening is their fault, they will in fact deny the abuse is occurring.

Something you can do is talk to a trusted friend and tell them what is happening and how it is making you feel. You could also try and convince the abuser that they require “help” to overcome whatever issue is causing them to be emotionally abusive, but this is dangerous, as it could lead to further abuse or an escalation into physical or sexual abuse.

Overcoming emotional abuse is a very tricky and difficult thing to do. Ultimately, you may have to sever the friendship/relationship with that person if you feel nothing is ever going to change. This will hurt more than you can know, but if it is the only way to stop the abuse, it may be the only option.

I’m not sure if that’s been of any help to anyone, including myself. I’m just in a really bad way today and trying to occupy my mind. It’s not really working so we’ll call an end to this post and see what happens.


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Emotional Abuse Part III: Further Reading and Support

In part I; I looked at what emotional abuse consists of…
In part II; I looked into my own experiences as the victim of emotional abuse…

There are a lot of people out there who are either in, or think they are in an abusive relationship. It took me months and several hours spent in the Adelaide public library to work out that I had been the victim of emotional abuse.

Collected here are some resources and articles which you could use to better understand your situation and ways you can deal with it.

(A lot of these articles have been written from the POV of abusive man/victimised woman which I find a little frustrating, as more needs to be done to bring the “abused man” into the spotlight – but if you are an emotionally abused man just swap the s/he’s around and you’ll be fine)

———-

Articles of Interest…

Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out: On Relationship and Recovery
By Patricia Evans
An article which summarises a book on emotional abuse, very informative with insight from victims of abuse.

Emotional Abusers
By Natalie P.
An excellent “rant” on emotional abuse that made me laugh, made me angry and made me cry. It was like reading about my previous relationship (if you swap the he’s and the she’s!)

The Guilt of the Abused
By Sam Vaknin
An article about the how the abused often feel guilty or blame themselves for what is being done to them.

Emotional Abuse
By Steve Hein
An excellent resource of emotional abuse information, written predominantly from the perspective of abused teenagers/children from their parents but the information is equally relevant for the abuse in adult sexual/friend/work relationships.

Verbal Abuse
By Kerby Anderson
An article which includes a religious/biblical reflection on emotional abuse.

Responding to Emotional Abuse: How you can help someone you know
Includes some excellent information on how to help and support someone who is in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Facebook Groups…
These two Facebook groups offer information and support to victims of emotional abuse.
You will need a Facebook ID to access these groups.

STOP Emotional Abuse
Stop Psychological Abuse!!!

Recommended Reading…
Some books which deal with emotional abuse.

– Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse [Gregory L. Jantz, Ann McMurray]
– Trauma and Recovery [J L Herman]
– Emotional Abuse: The Trauma and the Treatment [Marti Tamm Loring]
– Stalking the Soul: Emotional Abuse the Erosion of Identity [Marie-France Hirigoyen]

———-

As I have mentioned in both previous parts you are not to blame for the abuse! Nothing you have done warrants such appalling, insidious and damaging treatment.


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Emotional Abuse – Part II: The Effects of Emotional Abuse

The above diagram illustrates the cycle most abusive relationships rotate through.

My Abusive Relationship

Anyone who has visited my Facebook page will see that my relationship status is listed as “it’s complicated…”; I cannot be with another person until I have healed the scars from my previous relationship.

The reason I am finding it so hard to heal those scars is simple; I still love her. I know this is irrational…but that’s what depression is. A cavalcade of irrational statements being flung at you by your own mind. You know it is wrong, you know it is unhealthy, you know you shouldn’t feel that way…but love is just as irrational as depression. Combine the irrationality of love, depression and an abusive relationship and what do you get: utter brain shutdown.

It’s so hard for me to write about my abusive relationship because of this love. A huge part of me despises this person for what she did to me earlier this year, a huge part of me blames her for what has happened.

Which isn’t to say I don’t also blame myself; I do. I made mistakes, I did many things wrong.

We all do.
We are all human.

But the thing is, and the thing which finally made me realise that I was in an abusive relationship was that she never, not once, admitted to doing anything wrong. Everything was my fault. Everything was always my fault. Even if it had absolutely nothing to do with me, she found a way to blame me for how she was feeling – even after she broke up with me, everything was still my fault.

What finally made me realise I was the victim of abuse, after research, were:
1) Everything on the lists in “Part I” she did at some point inflict on me.
2) That my feelings or needs were never of any importance to her.
when I asked for things they were often made light of or completely discarded out of hand as being not what she wanted. Whilst suffering from glandular fever I was not making enough effort in the relationship or in my personal life, despite the fact I could have died if I pushed myself too hard. When I was diagnosed with CLL, as mentioned in previous posts, she did not seem to care in any way what my problems were – focussed instead on only hers.
3) That no matter what I did, said or thought – it was never good enough for her.
I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that no matter what I did. No matter what I said. No matter what I thought. Nothing was ever good enough for her. I have so many examples of my words and actions never being good enough for her we would be here til Doomsday if I were to list them all! The final straw, and what made me finally realise I could not have anything to do with her was when she attacked me for doing two things – one of which she had categorically asked me to do – the other being something she had implied she wanted.

Being a victim in an emotionally abusive relationship is painful, it has long reaching devastating consequences in all areas of your life. The affects of the emotionally abusive relationship in my life are clear to anyone who has read this blog.

So we’re back to the whole irrationality of life, love and depression. She abused me, frequently, I know that, I don’t however know if she knows this. Do abusers ever know what they are doing? Or have they excused their behaviour to themselves as being something the victim has bought on themselves?

I even know why she was abusive toward me, I know why she was eliciting control and the excuse she gave for it.

It is an excuse so many people give in her situation: they hide it behind the pretence of changing you. That what they are doing they are doing for your own good; not realising they are actually doing the complete opposite.

I also have an idea as to who she was trying to change me into, and therefore have a much clearer idea of why she needed to illicit control over me. Which is something most people who are victims of emotional abuse do not ever understand, so at least in this case this is a positive.

This understanding however has not made it any easier to overcome the scars and hurt she has torn into my soul; I honestly don’t think I will ever get over them.

I still love her, I have never lied about that at any point in time. I think I always will love her.

Why am I writing this?

There is a method of treatment for mental health problems called cognitive behavioural therapy. CBT is a psychotherapy based on modifying the assumptions, beliefs and behaviours of a person. In the simplest possible terms, it is all about positive thinking. If you do something wrong, instead of reinforcing the belief that you are a “terrible person” and a “complete failure”, CBT works to modify the way you think so that instead of the negative statements you’re saying to yourself, you instead reaffirm yourself with positive statements. You can read more about CBT at this Wikepeida entry.

The emotionally abusive relationship I experienced, in essence, was CBT in reverse.

If you are telling yourself, and are being told, that you are strong, smart, a good person, courageous then you will eventually believe that you are (CBT at work people!)

If, however, you are telling yourself, and are being told, that you are weak, useless, pathetic, insignificant, never thinking of others, selfish then you will eventually believe that you are (reverse CBT at work people!)

No amount of pretending will make you believe you are a good person if all someone is telling you is the exact opposite. Especially if you have more than one person saying those things to you.

I think emotional abuse is something the world needs to become more aware of. Everyone in relationships make mistakes, argue, bicker, annoy, upset and hurt the other person. It is how these issues are handled and overcome that defines the emotional connection the two of you share. There is a difference between constructive criticism and abusive criticism, there is a difference between a constructive conversation and an abusive one.

No-one – ever, period – deserves to be the victim of abuse in any form.

———-

Endnote:

I have written these two posts in an effort to bring emotional abuse into the spotlight.

I am aware of the mistakes I made in my relationship and am not excusing them in any way.

Whilst in the relationship I never thought what was happening to me was abuse, it was only after (specifically the months following the break-up) that I realised I was not (nor had been) treated well in any respect. It was only through research that I started to make the connection with emotional abuse.

If you feel that you are the victim of abuse please talk to someone, anyone. You do not have to deal with it yourself, and you should never feel that you are alone. In hindsight, this is what I should have done.


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Emotional Abuse – Part I: "Words are just as powerful as the fist,"

What is emotional abuse?

If I were to ask you to describe an “abusive relationship” I would lay money on you giving me the following: a man physically hitting/slapping/beating a woman.
Am I right?
Maybe not, but based on the vast majority of internet pages, Facebook groups and television commercials this is the general consensus of an abusive relationship. The fact that this is not only sexist – implying all women are saintly victims – but also blatantly ignores another form of abuse should all be staring at you in the face.

Abuse is any form of treatment where one person asserts control, power and dominance over another.

This treatment can be both physical and emotional. I was the victim in an emotionally abusive relationship, and it has left scars which I don’t think will ever heal.

The difference with emotional abuse over physical abuse is that although physical abuse does leave internal damage, there is always external damage which proves to other people that this is actually happening. .

Emotional abuse damages only internally, eating away at your very heart and soul until there is nothing left. You cannot prove to anyone it is going on, and often disbelieve it is happening yourself.

Victims of physical abuse have foundations, laws, charities, organisations, television commercials all fighting to protect them and offer support, counselling and guidance. Which is a good thing!

Victims of emotional abuse have nothing – they often do not even know they are being abused.

What are the symptoms of emotional abuse?

Have you ever been in a relationship where:

  1. You understand their feelings, but they never attempt to understand yours;
  2. They dismiss your difficulties or issues as unimportant or an overreaction;
  3. They do not listen to you;
  4. They always put their needs before yours;
  5. They expect you to perform tasks that you find unpleasant or humiliating;
  6. You “walk on eggshells” in an effort not to upset them;
  7. They ignore logic and prefer amateur theatrics in order to remain the centre of attention;
  8. Instead manipulate you into feeling guilty for things that have nothing to do with you;
  9. They attempt to destroy any outside support you receive by belittling the people/ service/practice in an attempt to retain exclusive control over your emotions;
  10. They never take responsibility for hurting others;
  11. They blame everyone and everything else for any unfortunate events in their lives;
  12. They perceive themselves as martyrs or victims and constantly expect preferential treatment.
    [Taken from This is War: ABUSE – Emotional Abuse]

Well if you have, then you have been/are the victim of emotional abuse.

Abuse is about power. It is about someone asserting control over their partner/family member/friend/loved one so they remain the centre of attention.

They achieve this power in a number of ways:

Mind Games ◘ Silent Treatment ◘ Destructive Criticism ◘ Humiliation (public or private) ◘ Isolation ◘ Making you feel ashamed ◘ Making you feel weak ◘ Using a disability against you ◘ Making you feel crazy ◘ Brainwashing ◘ Putting you down EVEN when it is clear and obvious to the abuser that you are already down ◘ Blatant disregard of your feelings ◘ Demoting your opinions, beliefs, values ◘ Denial of past actions and unwilling to accept any responsibility ◘ Unwilling to discuss or talk about problems unless their rules (and only their rules) are adhered to ◘ Putting the entire blame for everything on you ◘ Insulting your friends and family ◘ Unwilling to compromise ◘ Cutting you off from family, friends, community, social network (enforcing isolation) ◘ That no matter what you do, say or think, it’s never good enough.
The above list is not comprehensive, merely for example purposes only. If you are being abused the abuser may use some, all or none of the above examples; their method of abuse may be entirely different.

There are many reasons why people become abusive. Abusive childhood and a sheltered insecure upbringing are two examples. There may even be psychological reasons at play. Often it comes down to a lack of insecurity.

Their insecurity with themselves pushes them to justify their reason for existing. In order to feel good about themselves, in order to ascertain that they deserve a place on this earth they need to retain control of all situations and relationships around them.

They do this by attaching themselves to people who they see as *weaker* than them, people who will be more easily controlled and dominated. This way they can retain control of the situation and the person.

The abuser, in all honesty, may not even be aware that they are being abusive – because to them this behaviour is normal, and even when challenged, will not admit to themselves to being wrong as this has implications on the very self-worth that they are trying to prove to themselves.

A sizable number of experts believe that emotional abuse has more damaging and far reaching effects than physical abuse, and I – far from being an expert – agree with them.

Emotional abuse can lead to:

Low self esteem ◘ Fearfulness ◘ Inability to trust ◘ Sleeplessness ◘ Anxiety ◘ Physical complaints with no medical basis ◘ Stress ◘ Underachievement (due to lack of belief) ◘ Self blame ◘ Self deprecation ◘ Extreme dependence ◘ Depression… ◘ Social Anxiety… ◘ Other mental health problems…

[Note: now the smart ones amongst you would also be able to work out that most people who suffer from a mental health problem (such as depression) are in an abusive relationship. Both abuser and abused are the same person.]

What can be done?

So little is known about emotional abuse that it is only recently that the effects have started to be recognized. Detecting emotional abuse – unlike physical abuse – is difficult as there are no clear indicators or signs that someone is being abused. Adding to the problem is that there is no consistent definition as to what constitutes emotional abuse, so it is hard to effectively conclude whether it is taking place.

Remember that if you are being abused it is not your fault!
You have done nothing to deserve this treatment, you do not deserve to be punished in this way, there is absolutely no excuse for what is being done to you.

The best advice that I can give, if you believe that you are being emotionally abused, is to talk to someone that you trust. Explain to them the situation, how it is making you feel and know that there is always someone there who knows how you are feeling – you are not alone, and there is help available.

Continued in:
Emotional Abuse – Part II