Many think of abuse as physical hitting, but there’s a more sinister type of ill-treatment that is purely emotional. The subtle type of mental abuse is not always obvious but it is always hurtful. Blatant abuse is more recognizable of course. It’s usually just plain verbal nastiness by the abuser to the victim. A lot of sufferers complain that home life becomes too sensitive. They often quote the phrase “It’s like walking on eggshells” and this will be one of the reasons emotional abuse therapy may be sought.
The Stereotypical Emotional Abuser
There is no stereotypical emotional abuser. It can be anyone; sometimes those who you would least expect. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always the man doing the abusing either. It’s not uncommon for women, both in their roles as a wife and a mother, to carry out the abuse.
An emotional abuser might use the following tactics to break down their victim:
- Constant calling or texting
- Relentless put-downs
- Domination and controlling behavior
- Extreme moodiness
- Guilt trips
- Humiliation or deliberate embarrassment tactics
- Ignoring or excluding you from conversations and/or events
- Isolating you from your friends and/or family
- Blaming you for everything
- Nasty jokes or persistent mocking
- Saying things like “I love you” followed by … but…
- Playing the “If you don’t _____, I will_____” card
- Threatening extreme acts if you leave (suicide, burning the house down, etc.)
- Never-ending sarcasm
- Use money to control what you do, where you go, etc.
- Refusal to show any signs of affection
As you can see, there are some pretty nasty strategies used by emotional abusers. When these things become constant, over a long period of time, then the psychological damage sets in.
Trapped and Alone
Mental abuse rarely just kicks in overnight. This is something that tends to build up over time, often to the unawares of the victim. The mid to long term consequence of this is that the victims struggle to feel and function normally. Many withdraw from life as they once knew it and become distant in their relationships. In short, they can become trapped and alone in the world.
Our Fredericksburg, VA emotional abuse therapy center has helped to counsel many victims of psychological abuse over the years. Call us today at 540-322-5424 and see how our treatments may help get your life back on track.