Emotional abuse is not okay

Emotional Abuse

Source: domesticviolenceuk.org

Sania, a 30-year-old working professional knocks at her parent’s door at 1 am. Her mom opens the door. Sania throws her luggage at the floor and runs into her room. Her mom follows her and is deeply worried about Sania’s state.

Sania- I cannot handle this marriage anymore.

Sania’s Mom- Why? What happened? Did you guys have a fight again?

Sania- Again. We fight every day Ma. Jay gets angry at anything I say.

Sania’s Mom- Calm down. Tell me what happened?

Sania- Nothing. Just that I married an egoistic man with no heart.  All he is good at is abusing and torturing me. The moment he comes back from office, he throws his things around and sits in front of the television. He does not even bother to ask me how I am doing or how was my day. Why would he? I am just his maid.

Sania’s Mom- Men are like that. Look at your dad. He hardly helps in any household chores. It is your responsibility as a wife to take care of your husband.

Sania- My responsibility .What is his responsibility? To use bad words , yell at me and insult me every day. He blames me for every bad thing that happens in his life. Last year when he lost his job, he blamed me for it. I did not ask him to go and fight with his boss. How is it my fault? I can’t live like this. I have suffered enough.

Sania’s Mom- Relax. It is very common to fight on such small issues. Jay will change his ways. Just tell him politely.

Sania- What do you think I have done for the past 5 years? I have tried everything but he just can’t control his temper. He gets abusive and later he apologies but next day he is back to his abusive behavior. It is like a vicious circle  Ma. Yesterday, I reached home an hour late because of work, he yelled at me for 2 hours.I can’t handle his abuses anymore. It hurts Ma.

Sania’s Mom-Hurts.. Did he hit you yesterday? Where did he hit you?

Sania- NO Mom. He did not hit me. Jay has never hit me.

Sania’s Mom- Then what is the problem? He has never hit you, he provides well for the family and he respects us. Sania, be a little realistic. What else do you expect from a relationship?

Sania- I expect respect, dignity, love , happiness and affection. Don’t I deserve that? Is there something wrong with me? He is my husband so he has the right to treat me any way he likes. He is happy only when I do exactly what he wants me to do

Sania’s Mom- I am not listening to any of your nonsense anymore. Go to sleep now. I will call Jay and tell him that you are here.

Sania: There is no need to do that. He does not…

Sania’s Mom- Just go off to sleep. I don’t understand what is wrong with your generation. Yes, one more thing. Your dad will be back tomorrow afternoon from his official trip. I will ask Jay to pick you up before your dad is back home. Let’s not turn this into a big issue when nothing happened. If your dad comes to know about this, he will be very angry at you. .

_____________________________________________________

The situation depicted above is a serious case of an emotionally abusive relationship. Awareness about emotional abuse is low and some how  is not given enough importance in our world. Is it because there is no physical evidence to prove extent of abuse?

The long-term effects of emotional abuse are devastating and can even affect the abused person for the rest of his or her life.  Before the burden of an abusive relationship pushes your friend or family member into an isolated corner, reach out and take these three simple steps–

Listen    –       Support-       Guide

To the victims, there is nothing wrong with you. You deserve all the happiness in the world. Ask for help and get out of this relationship.

Links for help:

Signs of emotional abuse in children: http://www.teach-through-love.com/emotional-abuse-signs.html

Signs of emotional abuse in adults: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

Help line numbers ( India) – http://jagori.org/resources/helplines/

Help line ( International) – http://sweetmarie9619.wordpress.com/international-domestic-violence-links/

Excellent information pool on abuse. Must visit. http://thelaststraw.wordpress.com/

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41 thoughts on “Emotional abuse is not okay

  1. Pingback: A classroom experiment on Racism(must watch)-Watch A Teacher Make Her 3rd-Grade Kids Hate Each Other | Inspiring Evolution

    • Hi Anne,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I completely agree with you. I wish there was a instant solution to it but in reality verbal abuse is the most difficult to deal with.

      Keep visiting!

      Like

  2. A very good post Deepa! Relationships are meant to be cherished and enjoyed. Emotional abuse is the worst of all, it just screws you big time – the way you think, the capability to reach to a situation and all those things changes. Relationships will surely have problems and they need to deal with it in their best possible way.

    I’ve seen a lot of people who fight for such petty things and blow up the situation to a whole new level. I would really suggest them to realise what that relationship really meant, why did they even get into this relationship and how would they feel if that no longer exists.

    Excellent post 🙂 Keep writing.

    Also, as our great ancient people suggest – Do Yoga, it will help you think straight 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks for your encouraging words!!

      Yoga, yes on my to do list. 🙂

      I understand every relationship has issues but in some instances things are way beyond a petty squabble.

      We have to understand the difference between a petty fight and an emotional abusive one.

      Like if your best friend yells or insults her wife in front of you, is that an abuse or a relationship issue?

      If your uncle likes to control every move of her daughter, is it because he cares or because he likes to control?

      The line is not as blurry as we think it is..We all have to answer such questions

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and keep visiting!! 🙂

      Like

  3. Hello there, You have done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from
    this site.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Deanne Bray’s Rude Awakening — ASL Video on Signs of Domestic Abuse | Inspiring Evolution

    • I don’t think anyone overnight decides to abuse others; it is a behavioral pattern that develops over a period of time due to psychological or psychiatric issues. Abusers generally make the victims emotionally dependent on them so that they can treat them the way they want to.
      As far as the victim goes, I am not a religious person but would share a religious teaching by Guru Gobind Singh; “In the eyes of God, victim is a bigger sinner than the abuser because it is wrong to accept abuse of any kind”. I live by this rule. My interpretation is, be kind and loving to yourself so that you can be internally strongly to show such people their right place.

      This is my opinion. Would love to hear yours.

      Keep visiting!

      Like

      • Hi Baldeep,

        Interesting to see your comment. Your opinion is based on your belief and I acknowledge you for that. Since you have asked me about what I think, I will try to say this.

        There is a book titled , “Leadership and Self Deception: Getting out of the box”. While the book focuses on leadership in the organisational context, its argument applies in our life situation too. The book states that people respond to “how we feel about them” and not because “how we treat them.” Let us halt here and absorb the import of what is being said. “Feeling inside” has far greater impact than “action outside.” The genuineness, or otherwise, of what our true feelings or thoughts are, seeps out irrespective how or what we show on the outside.

        We “get into the box” as we allow our lives to be dominated by our insecurities and start projecting our failures on to others to try and protect ourselves from our own reality. This then becomes our strategy of self deception and “keeps us trapped inside the box”, away from the truth of our attitude towards others and its crippling impact on our relationships.
        As an example, if you are in an abusive relationship, this could be due to your belief that you are unloved. If you believe you are unlovable, you will attract those ‘into the box” who can help you to demonstrate this belief because you have it, not because it is the truth. Abuse is one way that this belief can be played out.

        You see what I mean? I have in fact extracted this from an earlier blog of mine called, ” What if….” I invite you to read it in case you are looking for some more elaboration.

        Great talking to you here.

        Cheers

        Shakti

        Like

        • Thanks for sharing your perspective.

          I agree abusers look for weak, gullible preys and this is why women & children are at the receiving end mostly. They even psychologically train victims to turn them into passive individuals.

          Not all victims walk into such situations. What about those children who are born into an abusive family? What about those girls who are forced to marry a stranger just to meet societal expectations? What about those women who are sexually abused to settle score? Does this theory hold true in such cases?

          There is very low awareness about abuse. No one talks about it. This is why most of the victims blame themselves and think they deserve such treatment.
          What you feel inside can surely impact the way you react to your abuser or how soon you get out of that situation. In my opinion, it is okay to feel unloved or insecure. It is a normal human sentiment. What is not okay is to take advantage of that.

          Like

    • Agree.

      I am not a religious person but would like to share one learning from Guru Gobind Singh, a Sikh guru.

      He said victim is a bigger sinner than the abuser in the eyes of God because he is quietly taking the suffering.
      My interpretation is that it is important to fight evil to let goodness prevail.

      I truly hope everyone finds the courage within to fight their internal and external devils.

      Thanks for your comment! Hope to hear from you quite often.

      Like

  5. My mother was very emotionally abusive. It is exhausting and stressful to live with someone like that. Exhaustion and stress are bad for your health. Nobody deserves that. You are right, it is not acceptable.

    Like

    • I understand. Somehow what parents say or do has a long lasting effect on a child’s life but there are ways to move forward. I read somewhere today, there are some people who are like garbage trucks, carrying load of their anger, frustrations and failures looking out for a dumping ground.

      We should never become the dumping ground for anyone. I still have such people in my life but I always push them back to their right place.

      It is ok to have an abnormal family but do not let them define or dictate your life.

      Like

  6. Thanks for writing the post. Just hope that someday the word compassion will come out of the dictionary..Was not aware of the available help..Thanks for the info

    Like

    • I hope so too. I feel very strongly about this issue as this behaviour hampers millions of lives. Every house is affected by this in some way but people have low awareness about this issue. It has not yet become a “marketing friendly” issue as it is a very complex problem and not something that is discussed openly in any society.

      Like

  7. Pingback: Why domestic violence victims don’t leave? | Inspiring Evolution

  8. I think it’s important to note that in that story, the emotional abuse presented is not only from the husband. Both the mother, passively, and the father actively, are also contributing. That last line – ‘your father would be very angry if he found out’ – that is a threat, and it’s a real one. That would be equally as devastating for someone who had grown up with the same kind of behaviour from a father, and a mother who was clearly on the receiving end of the same treatment, and only knew how to capitulate and thus support the cycle of abuse. Sania is not in a safe place here – she is getting hit from all sides, all three other people in this story are contributing to the abusive nature of the relationships. The place that she ran to was the last place she should have gone. If she does not fully realise the dynamics that are being played out, she may end up right back with the husband, and both parents fully supporting his behaviour, endorsing and contributing to the overall effect. This is a very ugly situation being painted here.

    Like

    • I added a parent angle in the story to highlight the kind of treatment generally an emotionally abused victim gets in a society.

      Whether it is your family or friends, they do not take it seriously because emotional abuse to a degree is considered acceptable. They do not understand the seriousness because of lack of knowledge or empathy or responsibility.

      Here the fact that mother is more concerned about his husband’s reaction than his daughter’s state shows that Sania’s father is an abuser too.

      Her mother ,I feel believes this is how marriage is supposed to be. She does not recognise that this is a case of emotional abuse which is a very typical reaction.

      I completely agree with your thoughts. I just want more & more people to highlight this issue and understand that emotional abuse is as devastating as physical or sexual abuse.

      Thanks for highlighting this angle of the story.

      Like

      • I just posted something today that is kind of related, about how destructive and damaging it can be in parent-child relationships and how you can struggle with the fear for your entire life when you’ve grown up with it, and like you said with the mother, come to believe that it’s normal. You expect it, so you keep ending up in relationships that continue the abuse, even as an adult. You tend to marry someone who has the same habits, and who will end up treating you the same way, and sometimes, unlike Sania, you never even realise that *it’s not supposed to be this way.* Anyway, here is a link to that:
        http://narmacil.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/reblog-the-important-thing-about-yelling/

        Like

        • When i wanted to highlight the issue of emotional abuse , the first scenario that came to my mind was the one i wrote about. I am soon going to write about parent-child abusive relationship too. This is another aspect that requires attention and awareness.

          Thanks for all your comments & support. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

          Like

  9. First of all, I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and for the link to this article. am actually going to reblog it on my page so my followers can get to it easily.

    Many people have the misconception that being abused solely includes physical or sexual trauma, completely ignoring the devastation verbal assaults can have on one’s confidence, self-worth, value, happiness, and sense of security. You do not need to be hit or raped to be a victim of assault!

    Unfortunately in my case, the abuse I endured for four years was both physical and verbal. As with the majority of domestic violence cases where there is physical abuse, it started out with verbal abuse, as this is how the abuser manipulates the victim into becoming indoctrinated into their twisted thinking. They have to render the victim so emotionally devastated that they will stay no matter what. Constant verbal attacks are where the control first starts to take root.

    I left my abuser on December 14, 2012 at 7:45 a.m. Since my situation was so volatile, I was forced to flee my home with only the clothes I was wearing and the contents of my purse. I endured ten hours of physical and verbal abuse with him that night, and it was no longer even remotely safe for me to be there. To this day, things were so tense that morning, I believe had I stayed or gone back after work, I would not be here today.

    Today, I am happier than I have been in years. I have surrounded myself with people who care about me and support me. There is a stay away order in place on him, and he cannot have any contact with me either directly or through other persons using in person visits, phone calls, email, letters, or any other type.

    I do want to say to anyone who may read this, if I were given a choice of being physically assaulted OR verbally assaulted every day for the rest of my life, I would choose physical over verbal any day. While I do have some faded scars and other issues as a result of the physical hitting, the emotional scars have left me far more traumatized than any welt, bruise, black eye, pain, headache or anything else ever could. Those for the most part can heal unless they are extremely severe. But when someone destroys the value you have for yourself, your confidence, self-worth, peace, and dignity but cutting into the very heart of you, the scars, although physically invisible, go deeper than any weapon can. They can cause some so much pain that the person will give up on life. And no one should ever have to feel that low.

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing your story here.

      I am really proud that you were courageous enough to take the right stand. I am sure it will inspire many others stuck in similar situation. Before anything else try to reconnect with yourself. Please explore meditation. I am not a very religious person but do believe in asking for help in a spiritual way. Lots of love!

      Like

    • Thanks for sharing, I’m so glad you were able to get out and that you’ve now gotten to a safe place, with people who love and value you. I agree about the physical vs emotional thing, I think I would rather have a few bruises or scars or whatever than be destroyed from the inside out, but I can’t be sure because I never actually experienced any physical abuse myself. It was all verbal, emotional and spiritual – but it left scars all the same. I’ve spent my entire life trying to figure out how to get past it and function like a normal person, and I know there’s still layers and layers of damage I haven’t even gotten to yet, much less dealt with. It’s just so corrosive and destructive in your soul. It’s like you know you’re bleeding out from somewhere, but you can’t find the wound, and you don’t know how to stop it, and it just keeps draining out of you, your life force and spirit and will to live, anything that ever might have given you strength or a sense of worth or any kind of identity of your own.

      Sorry, I’m rambling. I just wanted to say, that was a brave thing you did, and I hope that you are getting some healing for the emotional wounds as well as the physical ones. They can be a nightmare to even identify, and it takes a lot of heart and courage to start facing them and sorting through all the lies and rebuilding your sense of self. I’m so glad you have people around you to support you through it. 🙂

      Like

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