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Some things to concider about emotional abuse
January 13, 2006
9:34 am
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Anonymous
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Dear Gettingthere:

You are welcome. I think it is so important to first escape the abuse and then recognize the effects of that abuse. Only then can one heal those wounds and concentrate on self care. Take care of yourself. We will all get there!

M & S

January 13, 2006
9:56 am
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dalpuz
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Good thread here, being a man of course the physical aspects of the abuse were not damaging but, it hurts emotionally. Why does someone you love and loves you, hit. Being put down and all its affects has so bothered me until I came here for understanding. Now I know and understand that its not me. Its given me the strenght to move forward.

Letting it go is hard but its the ultimate sanity check I guess. I played the musice we listened to and it would drive me into the ground. I listen to it now and it gives me the strength I need to carry on. I realize that my feelings of love, heart and soul were doing the right thing. I now helps me understand that my intentions were pure and hope and pray she finds her path to good mental health. Some of the most beautiful flowers just aren't given the water and sun they need to grow.

January 15, 2006
8:55 am
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Dear Dalpuz:

I think that you have a really good attitude.

I have accepted that my exbf is very sick and that only he can help himself.

As for me, remaining in an emotionally abusive relationship has caused me to examine why I stayed with someone that was hurting me repeatedly. I know the answer now and am working to ensure that it never happens again.

I am sorry that you are in pain. You sound like a very caring person. I hope that your healing will be swift.

M & S

January 15, 2006
9:21 am
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Anonymous
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I want to share resources that I find helpful in my own healing from an emotionally abuseive relationship.

Emotional Abuse:
The Most Common Form of Abuse

by Kali Munro, M.Ed., Psychotherapist, 2001

Emotional abuse is the most common form of abuse - and yet least talked about. Part of the reason it is so easy for people to overlook is that so that much of what is considered normal and acceptable forms of communication is in fact abusive. Many people don't know that they have been - or are being - emotionally abused. In addition, a lot of emotional abuse doesn't appear to be severe or dramatic, although its effects can be.

Emotional Abuse is Characterized by a Climate of Abuse

Unlike physical or sexual abuse, where a single incident constitutes abuse, emotional abuse is made up of a series of incidents, or a pattern of behavior that occurs over time. Emotional abuse is more than just verbal insults, the most common definition of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is a series of repeated incidents - whether intentional or not - that insults, threatens, isolates, degrades, humiliates, and/or controls another person.

It may include a pattern of one or more of the following abuses: insults, criticisms, aggressive demands or expectations, threats, rejection, neglect, blame, emotional manipulation and control, isolation, punishment, terrorizing, ignoring, or teasing.

Harassment, physical and sexual abuse, and witnessing abuse of others are also forms of emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse can take place anywhere: at home, at school, in relationships, and in the workplace. Contrary to popular beliefs that bullies are only found in the school yard, many bullies also exist in the workplace.

Emotional Abuse and Gender

Both women and men can be emotionally abused and they can be abused by a woman or a man.

It's unclear whether males or females are more emotionally abusive, however, it seems that girls/women are more likely to use emotional abuse to gain control and power, while boys/men are more likely to use physical intimidation, aggression, and violence.

The Effects of Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is not only under-reported, but it's effects are minimized. The famous childhood verse, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me" is simply not true. In fact, many physical and sexual abuse survivors have said that the emotional abuse was often more devastating and had longer-term effects.

Emotional abuse cuts to the core of a person, attacking their very being. Emotional abuse, if frequent enough, is usually internalized by the victim, and leaves them feeling fearful, insignificant, unworthy, untrusting, emotionally needy, undeserving and unlovable, and as if they were bad, deserving of punishment, and to blame.

Survivors of emotional abuse often have a hard time understanding why they feel so bad. The abuse may not sound like much, and often people around them will minimize the experience, telling them it's not so bad. But a climate of disregard for a person's feelings, where one is subjected to constant or frequent criticisms, being yelled at, or being ignored - has a deep and profound effect, attacking the very self-image and confidence of a person.

Identifying Emotional Abuse

How do you recognize emotional abuse? One thing that can help is to step back from your situation and examine the overall climate in your home or your workplace. Trust your instincts and feelings about people. Sometimes, a person can just look at you and you know that they are looking down at you. Other times, their words are okay but their tone is mean. Emotional abuse is insidious and can be very subtle, so trust your gut; it's telling you something.

Naming It

Because it is harder to name emotional abuse as abuse, it can be harder to heal from as well. The first step is to name your experience as abuse. Trust how you feel. Many people can identify the abuse once they know what to look for because they change from being outgoing, self-confident, and care-free to feeling nervous, anxious, and fearful in the company of an emotionally abusive person. Just because you're feeling those feelings doesn't mean that you're being emotionally abused; there could be something else going on. But those feelings combined with abusive behavior is convincing evidence that you are being abused.

Try describing to other people how this person behaves. Be honest, and listen to the feedback you receive. If you don't feel good about the feedback, try someone else. Remember that emotional abuse is frequently minimized.

Overcoming the Dynamic

Emotional abuse sets up a dynamic where the victim comes to believe that they are to blame and that they must work harder to fix the problems (such as improving the relationship.) This never works because the problem is not the victim; the abusive behavior is the problem. Nothing you do will change that. No matter how nice and accommodating you are, nothing that you do will change an emotionally abusive person's behavior. In fact, many people get even more aggressive when you try to make it better, because they sense that you think it's your fault, and this confirms their own beliefs!

It can be very hard to not fall into the role of being "good girl" or "good boy" when someone is emotionally abusing you, but it's important to avoid that.

If You're Presently Being Emotionally Abused

If you know that you're currently being emotionally abused, you'll need to find ways to protect yourself emotionally; to reduce or stop contact with the abusive person; to find allies; to talk about what is going on, and to look into options to keep yourself from being further abused. This can get complicated, depending on the context, but there are many resources to help you with workplace bullying and abuse in relationships.

If You've Been Emotionally Abused in the Past

Identifying the abuse as abuse is an important step in your healing. It means that you recognize that what happened to you was wrong, hurtful, and not your fault. Placing responsibility for the abuse on the abuser is key to healing from abuse.

Countering Negativity

Countering the negative messages that you received is also really important. You may need to write down all the insulting things that you learned about yourself and counter each one with the truth. It may feel unnatural or foreign to counter these messages, but it will help you to feel better in the long-run. Catch yourself when you find that you are putting yourself down. Take a breath, and remind yourself that you don't want to do that anymore, that you don't deserve to be hurt, and that you want to think of yourself differently.

See if you can come up with something that you like about yourself. If you can't come up with something good, think about how you would like to think about yourself. The idea is to interrupt the flow of insulting thoughts you have, and to find ways to replace those thoughts with self-soothing ones.

By finding ways to be gentle and soothing with yourself, you are directly countering those messages. Being kind to yourself by asking yourself what you need, what you want to do, and letting yourself do those things are all ways to create a more positive and loving relationship with yourself.

No matter what you've been told or how you've been treated, you are worthy of love and respect. The more you know this, the less likely you will be to accept disrespectful or abusive behavior towards yourself or others. You should not have to take emotional abuse from anyone - no matter what the excuse. You deserve to be treated well.

Kali Munro, © 2001.
- http://www.KaliMunro.com -

February 19, 2006
11:58 am
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exoticflower
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Found this on mind control (have been having back dreams about this with my abuser, and last night in the dream my best friend called me and said "hon, he's using mind control". the things our subconcious are aware of, the mind is incredible!! But this morning I remembered the dream, googled mind control, and lo and behold, it was EXACTLY what I was recalling in my dream but had never befere named as such.

But, that's just my stuff. Here's soem of what I found online.

*****************************

One aspect of emotional abuse is that it eventually brainwashes the victim.
THE PROCESS OF BRAINWASHING
(MIND CONTROL)

1. The brainwasher keeps the victim unaware of what is going on and what changes are taking place.

Your partner might control your finances, make plans for you, or not tell you what his plans are until the last minute. He may talk about you to others behind your back, to isolate you from them.

2. The brainwasher controls the victim's time and physical environment, and works to suppress much of the victim's old behavior. The victim is slowly, or abruptly, isolated from all supportive persons except the brainwasher.

Your partner might have insisted that you stop certain social, hobby, or work activities. You might have gotten moved to a new location, farther away from your family and friends. Or you may have been asked (or told) to reduce or stop contact with specific supportive people in your life.

3. The brainwasher creates in the victim a sense of powerlessness, fear, and dependency.

Verbal and emotional abuse creates these emotions, and they become stronger and stronger over time.

4. The brainwasher works to instill new behavior and attitudes in the victim.

Your partner trains to you behave in ways that he wants you to behave. He gradually makes you feel differently about yourself, and erodes your confidence in yourself.

5.e brainwasher puts forth a closed system of logic, and allows no real input or criticism.

In other words -- What he says, goes.

*************************************

In bold are the things specifically I experianced THE MOST, though I experianced all at soem time. Again, I challenge anyone to say that emotional abuse is really just a matter of two people not getting along.

February 19, 2006
12:12 pm
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whidbey
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You won't get an argument from me, Garfield. Yeesh, that's so scary, and exactly what was happening to me.

Did I ever mention the time, when my father was, in fact, dying, while I was down there last summer, that one night he TURNED MY CELL PHONE OFF? I didn't discover it until the next morning. I had gotten a call the evening before from my brother, who told me my father was going into the hospital, and it didn't look good. Good God in Heaven. What kind of person would do such a horrendous thing? He was doing anything he could not to have me leave at that time. I kept my cell with me in my bedroom (yes, we slept in separate beds) from then on. Granted, my father was an N and a major abusive factor in my life, but my concern was my mother and brother and needing to be there for them, who were dealing with the whole thing while I was away. Yeesh...

February 19, 2006
12:21 pm
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exoticflower
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And regardles, Whidbey, of what kind of man your father may have been--these are not decisions for anyone but you to make. That is definaely horrednous, IMHO.

February 19, 2006
12:24 pm
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shelbeegirl
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what an incredible post!!!That is so right. My ex-N has totally destroyed my life by emotional abuse. I stopped seeing my family and my friends. I didnt got to the Halloween party that my good friends had given. I didnt go to my Christmas party. I didnt attend my friends birthday party. All because he didnt want to meet them. He never wanted to meet them!!! He did create a sense of dependency, powerlessness and low self-esteem. What is bad about it is that I am a very good person, I dont cheat, I dont disrespect people(except myself) I am educated and I have a good career. He made me feel like I had nothing.

February 19, 2006
12:27 pm
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gazelle
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DITTO!!!!!!!

PRECISELY!!!

February 19, 2006
12:32 pm
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exoticflower
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Actually, this entire thread is about emotional abuse, lots of checklists, supporting info, definitions of diffferent types, as well as a lot of relating form some abuse victims here (I'm sort of the emotional abuse poster-child and it has become my #1 root issue to work on, you likely almost ALWAYS see me talking about it)

I think one of the big things about emotional and phsycological abuse for me is that it isn't publicly aknowleged becasue of just the things you mentioned--he's a teacher, everyone likes him, we are both cultured. I get so frustrated when abuse is swept under the rug because it doesn't concist of standing in the yard yelling "yer stupid and fat". If it where as simple as that, we would have seen it and left, now wouldn't we?!

February 19, 2006
12:33 pm
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exoticflower
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Oh, before my rant I was going to say too, if you hit "view all posts" in the upper right hand corner of this thread you can get everything that was posted here before--lots of VERY interesting stuff!

February 19, 2006
12:44 pm
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gettingthere
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hi thanks for posting this information and the more i see stuff like this the more i am convinced this is happening to me by b/f is bi/polar which i do appreciate there is a lot of mood swings that go with this but the list above is exactly whta he does to me,,,,,for instance just recently i have become much more incresed self esteem and doing more in my life i have taken driving lessons and got myself a car well initially he seemed ok but over the last four weekends he has been really sarcastic critical abusive and drip drip comments about my car my driving my home my life my children leaving me in tears feeling confused why is he being like this to me any ideas i would be grateful .............GT

February 19, 2006
1:54 pm
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garfield9547
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exoticflower

Your partner trains to you behave in ways that he wants you to behave. He gradually makes you feel differently about yourself, and erodes your confidence in yourself.

5.e brainwasher puts forth a closed system of logic, and allows no real input or criticism

If we can keep this in mind and work on ourselves it would be great.

Thanks for this excellent information

Garfield

February 21, 2006
9:42 pm
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exoticflower
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just boosting this up, for soemone else, but I think a little for myself too, sort of a refresher to stay focused and aware!

March 8, 2008
8:27 pm
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exoticflower
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Every now and again I come back and bump this up for myself...this is one of those times. Wow, I posted this in 20055--so...when do we actually get DONE working on ourselves??! LOL!

March 8, 2008
9:22 pm
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Codi202
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I am posting here what you have in your first post so that we can get the message right away.
I have mistaken bumped up threads for new threads and never saw the original post and missed the point so...) Here it is:

exoticflower
20-Sep-05

I recently read something here about emotional abuse that really upset me after the hell my life was for so long, an artical that suggested that physical abuse is the only sort in which there is a victim and danger, that emotional abuse is just 'a bad relationship that one or both parties can decide to leave'. It was this sort of thinking that left me believing I wasn't abused, thtat lead to the hopeless thoughts and attemt of suicide, that still allow people to say that our relationship was fine, I was just crazy and should have left (all the while him telling me I was dilusional, that my friends and social network where unsafe for my daughter, that I would risk her safely because i was unwell and couldn't see that, eventually believing that all of my problems made my only ali (who I believed was him), myself, and my daughter cripplingly unhappy and destined to suffer...which resulted in a suicide attemt and a lot of self hatered and negative messages, nightmares, things i am still working through every day.
But I do have these little tidbits about emotional abuse, I thought I would post them here...it does effect your health, it does effect your ability to percieve yourself as capable, which DOES effect your ability to leave. It isn't simply a bad relationship if you have no bruises, marks or scars, abuse is abuse, no one kind is less relevent, important, signifigant or dangerous than any other. I will post things supporting that statement often on this thread, it's hard to accept that you have been abused and even harder when your abuse is being minimalized or discounted. SO, here's my first little tidbit.

**********************************

A 1999 study published in the journal Violence and Victims showed that psychological abuse, particularly ignoring and ridiculing victims, contributed to depression and low self-esteem. Psychological abuse has also been linked to anxiety, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. When the abuser has also used physical force, every verbal assault can trigger a response in the victim's body and mind as if physical danger were imminent, Ganley says.

Each time the abuse begins, the victim's body gears up as if to fight or to flee, which can result in long-term health consequences including high blood pressure, asthma and other illnesses triggered by stress, Ganley says. Victims may develop a sense of helplessness and lose the ability to protect themselves. "They may be irritable, hostile and angry a lot of the time under this threat," Ganley says. A 1990 study published in the Journal of Family Violence found that 72 percent of victims reported that emotional abuse, especially ridicule, was harder to bear than physical abuse. "There's a sense that it gets you where you live when someone who loves you says terrible things and keeps you from your friends and people you care about," says Tolman.

************************************ More to follow...please don't take emotional abuse lighty, it is DANGEROUS to the victim, and societies disregard of it as a tangeble crime against ones health and well being does not help victims to realize the severity of their circumstances, even supports the abusers brainwashing in a way!

March 9, 2008
8:38 am
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Codi202
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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger is true,but at what cost.

Not the way to gain strength.

March 9, 2008
9:07 am
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Maisie
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"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger is true ..." I disagree - just because you're not dead does not mean you haven't been crippled or seriously weakened.

***not feeling optimistic today***

March 10, 2008
11:01 am
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wasabi
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WOW This is so true!
21 years I have endured HIM & his abuse!
Mostly emotional some physical!
But the hatefull cruel words have broken my spirt & have damaged not only me but my children!
My oldest suffers the most he has major depression & mood swings & anxiety, he will have to be on medication the rest of his life!
My daughter is an over achever & has anxiety , & sleeping disorders!
My yongest has trouble focusing in school has anger issues & also anxiety!
Well Me! I have depression, anxiety , sleep disorders , panic attacts & have had susideal thoughts!(Not any more, suside but all the rest I can not control!)
Becuase I have desided to leave & LIVE a better life for myeslf & my kids! To hell with him!
I have trun to drinking to nume my thought! This only made it worse!
So I cut back on drinking!
I'm getting into therapy & have come to this site about 8 mths ago it has realy helped!
SO YES I totaly agree the emotional abuse HAS majorly dammaged myself & my children FOREVER! an they will have to have help dealling with it for the rest of there lives!
An my boys want to HURT there Father so I have moved them out for there safety mentaly & physicaly!
It's so SAD!
WASABI

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