PREVIOUS: What if emotional abuse #3
TYPES of EMOTIONAL ABUSE (E.A.) (cont.)
NEGATING Ways (P. = Perpetrator / V. = Victim)
a. Denying – Perps
• dismiss emotional needs, especially when you’re in great pain (of any kind), with the intention of hurting, punishing or humiliating
• withdraw emotionally, refuse to listen or communicate, using the silent treatment as punishment
• disallow & overrules your viewpoints, or feelings that differ from their own
• refuse to consider your request to be treated better
b. Invalidating – they
• refuse to acknowledge reality by denying specific events actually happened
• negate your observations, memory, even your sanity
• trie to distort, undermine & negate your perceptions of the real world
EXP – Perp’s responses :
— IF you don’t like that they called you a bad name, they may insist : “I never said that , don’t know what you’re talking about,”…
— IF you’re hurt by something they did or said, they’ll sneer “Geeze, I was just kidding! That shouldn’t bother you. That’s your problem. You’re too sensitive…”
P.S. A possible counter: “Well, you’re not sensitive enough!”
c. Minimizing : a less extreme form of invalidation – they
• may not deny that a particular event occurred, but will downplay the severity of an abusive episode, & question the validity of your emotional experience or reaction
• may say “You’re exaggerating, blowing this out of proportion , You made that up, You’re over-reacting….”, implying your “crazy” – actual experiences are faulty
d. Trivializing : An even more subtle form of denying – they
• underplay their own behavior while telling you that you actions, thoughts & feelings are not important or legitimate (don’t make sense)
• suggest that what you’ve done or said is stupid, unimportant & not worth bother with
UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS – They
• put unreasonable demands on your time, energy, space, money…..then berate you for not fulfilling all their needs
• demand constant attention, to spend all your free time with them, & expect you to put aside tasks & down-time to focus on them
• let you know that no matter how much you give, you’re falling short
• say you’ve stupid but expect you to be lawyer, doctor, parent, lover….
• accuse you of being selfish if you don’t do exactly what they want
WITHHOLDING – they
• refuselove, affection, approval, appreciation, validation
• won’t say where they’re going or what they’re doing
• never gives praise or shows appreciation for your efforts
• doesn’t pay attention to or help with everyday ‘little things’
• leave out important information you need
• never shows concern, won’t offer to protect & never have your back
Some Results in YOU
Overall, long-term abuse creates ‘learned helplessness‘ (MORE…)
• lose respect for yourself • self-esteem erodes • often get sick
• always on edge, anxious, off-balance • become hopeless & depressed
• question & mistrust your own perceptions & opinions – lose all confidence in your most valuable survival tool: your own mind
ANTIDOTES to E.A.
No one can take in love when they’re scared all the time! (See Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). And we won’t ever feel safe if we:
a. choose & then stay with abusers
b. stay emotionally shut down, or over-react to every event
• The best defense is to know what to look for (T) AND then to stay awake to physical reactions that tell us how we’re feeling (E).
Being in touch with our intelligence, intuition & every nuance of emotion is vital : they let us know when who or what we’re around is appropriate or inappropriate – for us. Then we can act accordingly. That’s up to US!
• As we clean out old pain we clear a channel to our True Self, which includes having legitimate, in-the-moment reactions to our environment.
Like the ‘Ick Factor’ – that little jolt in the gut when we’re with someone who says or acts in away that’s wrong for us. Whenever we experience & acknowledge that ICK, we need to ask what they meant by that comment, or just say ouch!
Whether you’ve spent a few days, weeks or months with an Emotional Abuser, you can recognize if they’re unable or unwilling to change. It may be time to curtail or eliminate the relationship.
NEXT: Direct abusers #1