Emotional Abuse 4: Consequences

The effects of emotional abuse are cumulative and hence it keeps increasing over time. In an emotional abuse, the attack is on the self esteem of the victim. Over a period of time, self-esteem, self-confidence, and patience are worn down. As a result, you will wonder in confusion about what is real and true.

  • Are you who your spouse says you are?
  • Are you stupid, foolish, and an idiot as your spouse says?
  • Are you lazy and a failure as a wife/husband?
  • Are you incapable of making good decisions?
  • Are your perceptions incorrect?

No, not at all, but that is what you being to feel and you also start questioning your on capability. Do you engage in self-blame and turn your anger inward? Are you angry about the injustices? Do you feel depressed, lack of concentration, de-motivated, helpless, hopeless, worthless, unloved, inadequate, incompetent, and very anxious? If yes, you are probably victim to emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse is crippling. It robs you of your self-esteem, the ability to think rationally, confidence in yourself self, and your independence. Slowly you start blaming yourself for all problems and fights. You move out of the real and true world as reality faded away, and lies take root. You feel that you have all the deficiencies, causing the problems, and hence tend to excuse the abuser, and eventually accept your suffering as what you deserve.

If words and behaviors of your spouse have caused any of the following feelings it is time to seek help:

  1. You have to do excessive follow up on your spouse even to get an important thing done.Example: You have to remind your spouse time and again about paying children’s school fee, doctor’s appointment, picking children from school, going for a birthday party, renewing passport, paying electricity bill, etc).
  2. You feel a sense of depression and anxiety most of the time. You don’t remember the last time you were genuinely happy.
  3. Anything you do or say will be first met with dismissal and with anger.  So, you constantly live in the fear that anything you do or say will be met with either with anger/dismissal.
  4. Your feelings and/or desires just don’t seem to matter at all. You feel like that that’s your problem. When he or she does not feel good, it is your problem too.
  5. You constantly think about saying or doing the right thing so that your spouse does not become upset and change the calm atmosphere existing in the house.
  6. You are unable to plan ahead because of your spouse’s disinterest or non-response to any plans or ideas you have, even if it about inviting friends over.
  7. Any action you take is criticized unless it is one of compliance to his/her desires.
  8. You feel as if you don’t have the energy it would take to fight back against their controlling behavior.
  9. You often live in the past—there is an inclination to review past incidents with the hope of determining what went wrong.
  10. You start distrusting people and keep maintain only the relationships where there are absolutely no issues.

One consequence of emotional abuse is that the self-worth and self-confidence of the victim is completely worn down, sometimes to the point of total hopelessness and despair. The victim may have difficulty discerning the truth. They may begin to wonder if they really are a failure, confusion is rampant. The victim begins to wonder who she can believe or who she can trust.

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