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What are the Signs of Emotional Abuse

Updated on September 3, 2014

What are the impacts of emotional abuse?

Emotional Abuse is equivalent to physical abuse however, some say it is worse.

There are varying ways we fall into emotional instability:

1. It can come from growing up in a chaotic home where this behavior is modeled by a parent(s).
2. It can easily evolve when someone has a sensitive temperament; highly feeling or easily hurt.
3. It can come from living with a personality disorder; either inherited or due to growing up in a chaotic abusive household.
4. It can come from being married or co-dependent on someone who has a personality disorder such a narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, anti social etc...
5. It can come from excessive abuse or bullying over a period of time.
6. It does come from believing things said about your "personhood" and agreeing to it. Example: a parent told you that you wouldn't amount to much as an adult or you had a sibling tear you down and started believing it and accepting their labels for yourself.

The impacts of emotional abuse can be substantial and life altering!

  • ​You will feel inferior to others and need constant approval usually from those who abuse you most.
  • Find yourself naturally comparing your standard of living to others you believe "have it together."
  • You will live out of constant regret and feel uncomfortable making a decision without weighing others' opinions.
  • You may be co-dependent or suffer from major depression.
  • You will suffer with long bouts of low esteem. You will struggle with having fleeting moments of self acceptance until you compare yourself with someone else.
  • You make assumptions about other people's lives and you compare and contrast your life based off this assumption without actually having any concrete evidence to support your viewpoint.
  • You will question your worth as a human being; believing you are not worthy to live or receive love like others are, just because___________________.
  • It is hard for you to find or state positive traits about yourself.
  • You think you deserve to be abused verbally or physically. You believe everything is your fault, especially when told so by an abusive parent or partner.
  • You will get into a relationship(s) with an emotional abuser(s).

What Healthy People know:

  • We are all worthy to be loved, happy, successful and purposeful because we are human beings, created in God's image.
  • We all have our own distinct purpose and value.
  • We have the choice to receive what is said about us or not.
  • We know our self esteem is measured from intrinsic worth not extrinsic (what we can do or how we look).
  • We are responsible for our actions alone.
  • We do not have to be by-products of our upbringing. We can choose something different.
  • It is okay to ask for help. It is necessary to become educated, especially when our environment has set us up to "just accept" as is.
  • Most do not grow up knowing this stuff. You must choose to educate yourself and receive the truth, then change can occur.
  • We are able to trust ourselves to make good choices and handle the consequences of those choices.
  • We are not victims at the hands of others. We can fight back and determine our own destination in life.
  • We are loved because of who we are! PERIOD!
  • Establishing boundaries is necessary and a vital foundation to live from, for self protection and dignity.
  • We are not responsible for someone else's choices or consequences. We do not lose our own personhood at the expense of being in a relationship or partnership with someone who is unstable or dysfunctional.

Words are Power

Once we agree with something said about our personhood, we will subconsciously accept it as truth, and will live out of that reality, even though it is distorted. This is where you hear about how WORDS are very effective and can become damaging to self worth or positively propel us to take healthy chances and make choices that benefit our wellbeing.

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