Psychological and emotional battering, through verbal abuse, kills your spirit. It cripples your self-esteem and your sense of self-worth. In many ways, this type of abuse does far more damage and long-term devastation than do physical blows.
Unfortunately for the victim survivor, this type of abuse can't be recognized as easily as a black eye, a bruise or a broken bone - and it almost always occurs behind closed doors.
Because they have not witnessed him acting abusively, friends and family members often do not understand or believe. Abusers are usually excellent actors, therefore, many people outside your home may only know him as a "wonderful person" or a "really great guy." Little do they suspect how cruel and spiteful your partner truly is.
Closed door abuse, in whatever form it takes, breaks hearts and spirits. We are left alone to wonder... Why does he treat me like this? Why only me? Why not anyone else?
When we are abused in any way, our self-esteem and self-worth begin to wither and die. We may think there is something "wrong" with us. We may begin to feel that we are not likeable or loveable. We may turn to drugs or alcohol to help us cope. We feel shamed - eventually we may feel angry and enraged.
Be aware: When anger is hidden or buried or turned inward it can often make itself known through "depression." We may think, feel and honestly believe that we are suffering with depression, but in truth, we are quietly eating ourselves up with repressed rage over feeling hurt, humiliated and isolated.
Nobody has the right to abuse anyone else, ever.
Many women think or believe, that if they are not being physically harmed by their partner, then they are not being abused. This is far from true. If you are in a relationship which is draining something from you... you might not have recognized that he's eroding your self-esteem and happiness through verbal, mental, emotional and other forms of abuse.
The following is a list of ways to tell if you're being abused without being physically touched:
Does he physically get in your way, or follow you from room to room? Snap at you? Is he usually irritable? Does all of this usually take place in private, when you are alone? [ It's a sure sign things are escalating if he attacks you in public. ]
Another type of abuse manifests itself in the form of destruction of your property and harming or threatenting to harm pets. Unlike physical or sexual violence, this form of battering is done without actually physically attacking or ever touching your body. It is, nevertheless, an assault on you. With this type of abuse, the destruction is not random.
The abuser exhibits anger by destroying your favorite possessions by smashing them or throwing them against the wall - perhaps it's a gift he gave you during courtship. He may kick a pet. Maybe your family heirlooms are destroyed, etc.
He purposefully chooses to destroy only the objects he knows will hurt you emotionally - using these demolition derbys as a demonstration of his power and control. In actual fact, they are a demonstration of his emotional immaturity and selfishness.
Occasionally the objects destroyed are selected randomly, but the destruction is still purposeful. To make a point, objects are thrown or destroyed and you never know when the assaults on property will turn into physical assaults on you.- this creates fear and terror. As is consistent with battering and abuse of any type, you are usually blamed for causing the outburst or destruction of the property.
This type of violence normally does not stay contained within the area of property and pets, but eventually escalates to include violence directed physically toward you. Don't ignore the warning signs and dangers of this type of abuse!
Men are not immune
Jim writes: "Even though she didn't return to my office that night, she did go on a rampage when she got home. She went into my home office and gathered my personal papers, threw them into the bathtub, and burned them. Then she destroyed my personal property.
Of all the property she destroyed, the care-bear was the hardest to tolerate. I have two care-bears that are about 2 feet high that sit on my dresser. They are stuffed bears made from the dresses of my two deceased grandmothers.
My Wife took a steak knife from the kitchen and impaled the crime victims card given to us from the police on to the knife, and then stabbed the care-bear through the heart. My son found the care-bear the next morning."
Financial Abuse or Exploitation: Does he control how you spend money, where you work and what property you buy? Spend all family income including your money or savings? Use credit cards without your permission; destroying your credit rating? Force you to turn over your paycheck or your benefit payments?
Spiritual Abuse: Does he put down or attack your spiritual beliefs? Not allow you to attend the church, synagogue or temple of your choice? Force you to join or stay in a cult?
Sexual Abuse: Does he touch you or act in a sexual way that you don't want? Force or pressure you into sexual acts? Not let you have information and education about sexuality? Infect you with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases?
Neglect and Isolation: Does he not let you see a doctor or dentist? Take away TTY, hearing aids or a guide dog? Lock you in the house without a phone? Not allow you to take courses such as ESL (English as a Second Language) or other educational classes?
The signs of psychological abuse can be seen in many ways and can be manifested in many behaviors. Psychological abuse also includes social, financial, spiritual and sexual components. Here are some verbal examples of emotional and psychological abuse:
It's important to remember that any of these examples of psychological abuse can happen to either a man or a woman. Abusers are everywhere. They are co-workers, employers, neighbours, relatives, professional people (doctors, lawyers, clergymen etc.), from a stranger at the local flea market to any one of your relatives and friends.
[ Examples of emotional & psychological abuse by Kelly Holly from verbalabusejournals.com paraphrased and additions made by A Woman's Heart. Thank you for making this information available. ]
Quiz: 93 indicators of abuse - Check the box if you have experienced the listed item even one time or if you have "thought about it" or "felt it" even once. If it has occured once, it has likely happened many times under different guises.