You love your partner and you hold on desperately to the times that you used to share.
The times that were happy, the times that were fun, before all the heartache, fear, and despair.
He hasn’t hit you yet, but his words cut you shorter than any knife could.
Maybe those times occurred before you had children…
Maybe those times occurred before you or your spouse faced financial problems due to a job loss.
Maybe those times occurred before you or your spouse lost a loved one.
All you know, is that now, those times are few and far between.
You dread for the door to open and for your partner to be on the other side.
You try to make sure that everything is done correctly; for fear that your partner may lash out at you.
Your self-esteem is low and you are very particular about the way you dress because your partner has said things that make you feel insecure about yourself.
Your hair has to be just right… you’re overly cautious of what you eat because you feel like you may gain more weight and be judged….
Your relationships with your friends and family has changed because your partner doesn’t like you being around them.
As a result of all of this, you feel extremely afraid all the time.
You find your heart beating fast and you can’t get it to stop.
You toss and turn at night because sleep is so far from something you’re able to do.
Your palms sweat at the thought of you ever feeling like yourself again.
You want to leave your partner, but you don’t know how you’re going to make it by yourself.
What will your friends and family think?
Will your children blame you?
Can you relationship be saved?
What would life be like for you if you learn how to deal with it?
If any of this feels familiar, you might be experiencing emotional violence.
What is emotional violence?
Emotional violence is also referred to as psychological or emotional abuse. It is often more harmful than physical violence because it is hidden with words, feelings, and behaviors. It doesn’t leave physical bruises and the emotional abuse is often obscured.
Many women suffer from emotional violence, especially within their homes with their significant other. The pattern is often subtle but the result can be harrowing.
Forms of Emotional Violence
Emotional abuse takes various subtle forms which are often not noticeable by a third party. It presents itself beyond the act of throwing insults; it also includes things like timing and patterns.
Simply put, emotional violence presents as psychological and verbal abuse through incessant criticism, unwarranted rebukes, isolation, bullying, intimidation, name-calling, denying, manipulation and threats. The victim may not even recognize the actions and inactions of emotional violence as the perpetrators continue to manipulate and abuse the victim to the point of making them dependent on the abuser.
Trauma Symptoms from Emotional Violence on Women
It is difficult to identify emotional violence and its effects since there is hardly any physical evidence. However, Emotional violence can result in all kinds of trauma.
- The most common effect of emotional violence is psychological trauma. The symptoms present as depression, PTSD, insecurity, anxiety, despair, fear, and insomnia. The long term effect can lead to low self-esteem and lack of confidence in oneself leading to conformity and dependence on the abuser.
- Physical symptoms of emotional trauma included migraines, fatigue, indigestion, eating disorders and addiction.
The effects vary from individuals and depend also on the severity and consistency of the attacks.
Dealing with the Trauma
Trauma from emotional violence is hard to deal with due to the psychological nature of the abuse. Outsiders will hardly notice the abuse and often times the victim will not realize she is being psychologically violated. This makes it harder to identify and address. Nonetheless, the scars from emotional violence runs deep, so it is important not to neglect them.
Steps to address the trauma of emotional violence include:
- Recognize and accept that you are being violated. This is the first step in dealing with the trauma. You need to see the signs for what they are and avoid the temptation to live in denial.
- A wise WoMan once said a problem shared is half solved. Share your pains and agony with trusted relatives or friends. Be selective in choosing who to talk to about your experience as many people, in fact most people, are not equipped to provide support on this issue, but it is important to receive emotional safety, if indeed you’re emotional safety is at risk. This will help you purge your emotions. This will also help if you were able to document by way of social supports, some of the emotional things that have happened, should you require evidence if there is a legal issue that arises as a result of the abuse. (Also, beware that your trusted friend might encourage you to leave the relationship. Be honest about whether or not the suggestion is feasible and necessary, and try not to endorse anger towards your friend who is trying to keep you safe. However, if your friend is also the one who is emotionally abusing you by being insensitive about the vulnerable nature of your report, you will have to reevaluate that friendship as well. You can tell the difference, because your emotionally supportive friend will speak with you in a loving and compassionate way while accepting your response to do what is right for you.)
- Understand that the abuse may continue even after you have left the relationship. One of the greatest tools to keep an abuser in power, it’s for the abuser to think that he has complete control over the victim. By leaving, it threatens the abusers ability to maintain control, and at times it can get worst. You have the options to get a restraining order or move to another vicinity but that requires additional adjustment from yourself.
- You also have the choice to stay. For some, it may be difficult to up and leave. And let’s be honest, there is something that is causing you to be in an emotionally abusive relationship to begin with. Up and leaving your life, will not necessarily resolve that. Thus, if you decide to stay, it is important to know that the abuse is likely to continue. It could escalate to physical abuse as well, and that can be life endangering.
- Seek medical attention/professional help. Even though there may be no physical injury, the emotional trauma is harmful. Here, at Tech Talk Therapy, we understand that this is a sensitive topic and getting support is very much an emotional process. We are here to help. If you would like a free consultation, to see more about how we can be of service to you, please visit our website at www.techtalktherapy.com or call us at 844 – My TechTalk.