Emotional abuse is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships.
For me emotional abuse was allowing others to dump their issues and anger on me. Over the years, I had developed coping mechanisms to deny and minimize the issue in order to deal with the stress. It was easier to take it, internalize it and build up a wall than to confront the issue. I repelled from confrontation, thus letting the person believe that their behavior and treatment of me was okay.
Ways to Break the Pattern
Put your own needs first. Stop worrying about pleasing or protecting the abuser. Take care of yourself and your needs, and let the other person worry about themselves.
Don’t engage. If the abuser tries to pick a fight , don’t engage with anger, over-explaining yourself, or apologies to try to sooth him. Be silent and walk away.
Realize you can’t fix another person. They must want to change and recognize the destructive quality of their behavior and words.
You are not to blame. You are not crazy. There is nothing wrong with you. Realizing this is the first step toward rebuilding your self-esteem.
Seek support. Do not close yourself off from the world. Do not retreat. Do not detach. Talk with family, friends, or others you trust about the situation. It will keep you grounded in reality and help you feel less alone.
Know when to walk away. Recognizing when it won’t change. Be prepared to leave and not look back. You are a person of value and deserve to be in healthy relationships.
Emotional abuse will erode your self worth and slowly disintegrates a person’s sense of self and personal value. Remember you are a person of worth.