Emotional Abuse…

In addition to the #MeToo movement, there is another issue that, until recently, was never addressed in polite company. Emotional Abuse is exhibited in many forms: parent to child; child to parent and spouse/significant other to spouse/significant other. The relationship will start out lovingly but over time slowly disintegrates. Usually the abuser lacks empathy and views their victim with disdain and jealousy especially if this person was a strong, independent individual at the beginning of the relationship. If the abused does not “toe the line” in the abuser’s eyes, punishment will be meted out in the form of reprimands some of which said “as a joke,” silent treatment, withholding love and affection, reneging on special time together and gaslighting, This slowly whittles away at the abused’s self-confidence. This person becomes too frightened to attempt anything new or different in life out of fear of the repercussions from their “loved one.” The abuser also does his/her best to separate the victim from family and friends thus rendering this person totally dependent on the “terror” in his/her life. The abuser, who has managed to maintain his/her friendships, will happily relate to the victim that his/her friends are in agreement with the persecutor and, in this person’s eyes, the mistreatment has been validated…if the truth had been expressed. What most individuals don’t realize is that the abused is usually a “people pleaser” and someone who had been mistreated in one form or another while growing up or in an earlier relationship. If you are experiencing this or know someone who is in such a relationship, there is help! Please check out The National Domestic Violence Hotline or www.thehotline.org or 1 (800) 799-7233. If you are connected to social media, there are numerous emotional abuse support groups listed on Facebook. Permission needs to be granted by the site’s administrator but the camaraderie and advice is priceless.

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