5 Signs of Emotional Abuse...
These are only 5 signs of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is defined as verbal abuse: yelling at you, insulting you or swearing at you. Rejection: constantly rejecting your thoughts, ideas and opinions. Gaslighting: making you doubt your own feelings and thoughts, and even your sanity, by manipulating the truth.
When I meet someone as a counselor who is being emotionally abused, they usually have a low self esteem, doubt themselves, justify others actions and behaviors, take on all responsibilities in the relationship, believe they are responsible for others feelings and making them happy, have no personal boundaries for themselves, are afraid to implement boundaries to "keep the peace", and have lost sight of who THEY are, among others.
In one point in my life I had lost all sight of who I was, being known as "joyful Jen" in high school, I couldn't even remember the last time I had laughed. It is from this personal understanding that my passion to help others comes from. You may have answered yes to one or all of the the questions above. You may feel like there is no hope to have the fulfilling relationship you want with this person in your life. But I'm here to tell you, there is hope!
I have watched marriages and families heal from emotional abuse! It is not an easy undertaking, because it is not only admitting there is a problem and choosing to change it. There is a constant reapplying of new behaviors and beliefs to replace the old ways of communicating and thinking that take time to change. It starts with one person, with a conviction to choose to understand not only why you have allowed someone else to emotionally abuse you, but to also choose to understand why the other person in your life is operating this way themselves.
I have not met an emotional abuser that does not have the ability to change. The problem comes if they are not willing to, and in these situations it is in the best interest of the emotionally abused to leave the relationship. However, in my line of work, when I am able to help the emotional abuser see the "why" behind their own actions and beliefs, it is then when the relationship really begins to change for the better.
Most emotional abuse is a LEARNED response. Meaning, the emotional abuser was themselves emotionally abused, and has learned to cope themselves by doing the very things they hated done to themself. When an emotional abuser is enlightened by the ones they love to change with them, and learn a new way of communicating, accepting responsibility, being responsible for their own feelings, actions and beliefs, the relationship changes! As the two parties learn the "new", they both grow into the people they were created to be. They start to challenge each other to be who God has made them first, while focusing on Him, and as they do they find themselves falling more in love with each other.
I have seen this healing happen in between partners and parents and their children. Some of my most rewards clients have been watching God heal not only the family unit, but each individual involved as well through this process.
It starts with admitting there is a problem, and then choosing to do the work it takes! This can mean getting profession help so there is an outsiders perspective and mediator, reading books and talking about what you learn, and allowing God to be your guide through the process. One of my favorite books to help resource people to heal from emotional abuse is called Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse by Dr Gregory Jantz.
If you find yourself wanting to heal from emotional abuse, and be the catalyst of change in your relationships, I recommend beginning with this book and then seeking Christian Counseling. Remember everything you do, do it in love and with wisdom, while choosing to understand through the process. By doing these things, you will find your way with God as your guide, and will experience the love you desire through the relationships you love!
Is this you?
.Do you want to know God more? Do you want someone to help you do so? Do you want someone to walk alongside you who has been in your shoes? Do you feel alone? Do you want to experience the healthier and happier you?