Although experiencing emotional abuse is very common, most people do not realize how significant and powerful the consequences can be and how often emotional abuse undermines a person in just about every area of their life.
What exactly is emotional abuse? Emotional abuse includes consistent patterns of behaviors over a period of time from an abuser which include deliberately withholding approval or affection, frequent name calling or criticism, throwing things, erratic driving, making threats to harm or destroy pets or treasured items, displaying excessive jealousy and withholding access to essential items like financial records.
“One of the most damaging things about emotional abuse is that it distorts your vision, causing you to see a false reflection in the mirror. It causes you to distrust what your eyes see and what your heart feels deep down,” explains psychologist Gregory Jantz in his book, “Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse.”
Here are 3 Reasons why Emotional Abuse is so Damaging:
- Lack of Self- Confidence–Someone who suffers from lack of self- confidence often has trouble making decisions and frequently second guesses their ability to make sound decisions without frequently consulting others to get their validation and opinions. A person with low self-confidence can be easily swayed and usually fears failure so much that they choose jobs and activities that are beneath their true level of abilities because of their excessive fear of failing and a deeply rooted fear of not being able to measure up to high expectations.
2. Unrealistic Guilt— If you often find yourself saying, “It’s all my fault,” you may be experiencing the effects of emotional abuse that casts you in the role of having to defend every single shortcoming you are blamed for by the abuser. “If she had trouble sleeping, it was because you were keeping her awake. If he failed at a sales presentation, it was because your lousy mood spoiled his concentration. If she couldn’t find what she was looking for, it’s because you hid it.” You find yourself accepting responsibility and feeling guilty for everything that is going on around you, even if you had nothing to do with it.
3. Physical Effects to your body— Frequently feeling frustrated, guilty, anxious and hopeless wreaks havoc on your immune systems over the long term. These powerful feelings product high levels of chemicals within your body that are designed for you to fight back or flee. When you don’t do either of these, the chemical levels stay elevated within your body which can lead to addictions, eating disorders, migraines, depression, anxiety, digestive disorders, skin rashes chronic fatigue and many other chronic health conditions.
Knowing more about emotional abuse is the first step to taking back control of your life.