Not every scar is physically visible. Sometimes we suffer emotional abuse which leaves us with deep wounds beneath the surface. Whereas physical abuse tends to be immediately recognizable by the outward tell-tale signs of cuts and bruises, emotional abuse is not so glaring. It’s much more subtle, which makes it hard to detect and yet easy to cover up and hide.
The emotional trauma brought on by repeated psychological, verbal, and emotional manipulation often gets repressed in our thoughts and written off by our minds. We cope with it by denying and internalizing the effect it has on us. That’s because emotional abusers use a range of tactics to deceive and break us down over time.
1. They don’t view your hopes, dreams, wishes, or desires as meaningful or realistic. They don’t help you reach your goals and may actually try to get in your way so as to make you fail.
2. When it comes down to who is right and who is wrong, they are always in the right. If and when you try to fight them on this point you either lose or they make you feel super uncomfortable and weird about it.
3. They control who you can see and be friends with and what family members you’re allowed to be around. They also dictate how long you’re allowed to visit with them and so you likely don’t see them nearly as often as you’d like to.
4. You feel guilty when you’re having fun or doing things without them.
5. You tell them everything, even your deepest and most darkest secrets. They do not tell you theirs, nor do they keep your secrets solely between the two of you. Instead, they tell whomever they choose and oftentimes it’s done in such a way that’s calculated to hurt and embarrass you.
6. Your opinion is theirs. If it wasn’t originally it will be very soon because they expect you to adopt their way of thinking without questioning it.
7. In their eyes you are not your own, individual person. Instead, they see you as more of an extension of them and as such you need to stay and be a part of them to be complete.
8. They throw temper tantrums, pout like a baby, or run away whenever they want to get either their way or your attention.
9. You are the source of their unhappiness, misery, problems, troubles or worries. At least that’s what they tell you and where they place all the blame.
10. You are not able to decide what you want. Your partner starts to control aspects of your life including who you hang out with, what you wear, when and how you spend your free time, and more.
11. Everything is always your fault, even if it clearly is not, you end up getting blamed for whatever it may be irregardless of the facts. This especially rings true when they get upset.
12. Your partner is fully in control of your money and finances. You’re not free or able to spend it as you wish to.
13. They constantly tease you and make you feel horrible about yourself. Then when you speak up or try to defend yourself they play it off by claiming all the mean things they said about you were just them being sarcastic.
14. They make it seem like you’re blessed just to be with them in the first place. They may say things like you got lucky when you met them or that they are above you and too good for you. Stuff that falls along those lines is them being flat out emotionally abusive and manipulative.