In one of my previous posts I’ve discussed the topic of emotional abuse in details, but today I’ll be solely focusing on the signs and the healing process of emotional abuse.
Signs of emotional abuse
If you get emotionally abused at any period of your life, it’ll deeply affect your behavior, the way you view yourself and others as a result of your psychological wounds, and you even might not realize the person you’ve become with time.
That’s why acknowledging the signs is a crucial step in the healing process, because how can you solve a problem if you don’t know it exists?
In order for your abuser to be satisfied, they tend to bring others down, nothing you do seems to be enough.
They will never be satisfied no matter what you do or how hard you try and with time you will feel like you are a failure and that you’re not good enough, because neither you nor what you offer is ever enough.
Your abuser sees you as a property of their own, they can’t identify your needs and wants therefore, they don’t treat you as a separate person.
You have to do it their way because its how it’s done, and you become another version of them because they believe that they are the best.
That’s why getting exposed to this type of emotional abuse at an early age causes the victims to have a weak sense of self and are unable to have a separate identity.
Extreme need for approval
Abusers love to be in control, that’s why they take charge of everything and they have a say in whatever you do.
They have to approve of your actions, behavior and even who you are, or you will never be accepted and you’ll never be deserving of love.
With time, the victim tries to meet the expectations of others in order to be loved.
One of the common traits of emotional abusers is splitting, they have black and white thinking.
Meaning when you do something they like they will give you the attention that you need but when you do something that they don’t approve of, they will perceive you as undeserving of love.
That causes the victim to have a shifting self image, with time you won’t be able to have a stable self image.
Depression is common in victims of emotional abuse, with the constant fights to be accepted, loved, cared for, and the emotional roller coster your on, you will eventually break down and feel emotionally drained at one point.
There are many types of self destructive behavior and they are all caused by the lack of self love, and the subconscious repetition of the abusive patterns you are used to.
You can reach a point in life where self destruction can become your comfort zone as it’s all you’ve ever known.
Feeling of emptiness
If you have a chronic feeling of emptiness and you feel like you have no purpose in life accompanied by numbness, this is another warning sign that you are on the verge of breaking down.
It’s a common defense mechanism when you are no longer able to endure emotional pain and you are stripped of your rights to have a separate identity of your own.
Fear of abandonment
Due to the emotional roller coaster caused by your abuser and always feeling threatened of being left behind if you don’t meet your abuser’s expectations, being abandoned will become a constant fear.
You will do anything in your power to make everyone stay even if they are toxic, you will give up on everything and even those parts of you that are so important to feel loved and not feel lonely.
You’re being abused for so long, how can you not be angry about it?
That’s your subconscious reaction expressed through anger due to constant emotional abuse.
At one point you won’t be able to control your anger and you might even get unreasonably angry as a reaction to abuse.
This anger might be projected towards anyone and even people that might not deserve it.
Suspicion and paranoia
Being manipulated by a loved one will make you question the intentions of everyone around you, even if it’s unreasonable, and you don’t have any evidence suggesting that these people have bad intensions.
Healing from emotional abuse
The healing journey might be long but not as long as you might think, you’ve gone through a lot already, so don’t let yourself live the rest of your life as a victim but as a survivor!
Accept that your abuser won’t change
Don’t try to change a your abusers because they won’t.
Your abuser is most likely to have a serious personality disorder that can only be treated if the patient seeks professional help and it’s not your role to change anyone.
Trying to change your abuser will only cause more harm and will result win more conflict.
Separate yourself from your abuser
If your abuser is your partner you have to know how to end the relationship with minimal damages.
But if your abuser is a family member then you have to learn to keep your distance from them as much as possible and avoid arguments.
Either ways you have to be smart about it, you are the only person that can help you in this situation, you know how your abuser might hurt you if they get triggered and that’s why you have to make a smart plan.
Focus on yourself not your abuser
There’s no use in always trying to solve the problem by focusing on your abuser, instead you should focus on yourself and knowing what you want, need and what you actually deserve.
You can start by separating your identity from your abuser, forget about the rules set by your abuser and the expectations you have to meet.
And always remember that you are a person with rights, you deserve to live a healthy life and make your own choices and decisions.
Take your time to heal
Take your time to find your peace and forget about all the anger and hate.
It’s really important to improve your understanding of yourself as it’s a crucial step in your journey to self love and self acceptance.
Build a life of your own
You can and you should start building your own life away from your abuser, try to think of your present so you can build a better future for yourself.
Start a new life where you can be yourself and not be ashamed of it, do what you love the way that you want without anyone controlling you.
Have your freedom back!
For some abuse survivors it can be so hard dealing with the aftermath of an abusive relationship or upbringing on their own.
As emotional abuse can cause serious mental health issues, you can seek help from a professional.
Psychotherapy can help emotional abuse survivors a lot in the healing process, you will find a safe environment where you can get all the help that you need.
It’s a long journey to healing and recovery but always remember that it’s never too late.
Lastly, If you feel like talking, contact me and I’d be more than happy to help and support you on your journey!