Dating a victim of emotional abuse
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The behavior and thoughts of the victim then change in response to the emotional abuse.
These behaviors include psychological, social, and emotional abuse, as well as physical and sexual violence.The goal of the abuser is to establish power over, and control of, the other person.Dating abuse crosses all age groups, races, cultures, religions, educational and employment backgrounds.¹ Adverse Health Conditions and Health Risk Behaviors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence — United States, 2005, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The effects of physical abuse are obvious – a black eye, a cut or a bruise – but the effects of emotional abuse may be harder to spot.After emotional abuse, or rather, after I left my abusive husband, I hoped the effects of abuse would disappear. The intelligent part of me knew that after emotional abuse it would take time to recover from the emotional trauma and regain my mental health. During domestic violence and abuse, victims, by and large, become people they no longer like.
Those hopeful feelings minimized the difficulty of coping with life and relationships after emotional abuse.
When someone you think you love spews hatred like buckshot, it is natural to retaliate against the abuse. Defending yourself in unhealthy ways can become habit.
Not only can that habit spill over to innocent people (like your children), but those unhealthy habitual thoughts integrate themselves into your brain – they become your new thoughts. At one point during my emotionally abusive marriage I wrote: That thought started my recovery from domestic violence. I had to change my thoughts so I could be who I wanted to be. If you suffer PTSD, this symptom will take time to conquer.
And perhaps even worse is the fact that victims of emotional abuse tend to blame themselves and minimize their abuse, saying that it was "only" emotional and "at least he/she didn't hit me." But minimizing adult emotional abuse won't help and it won't hide its devastating effects.
Short-term effects of an emotionally abusive husband or wife often have to do with the surprise of being in the situation or the questioning of just how the situation arose.
I had not left the marriage yet, but with that statement, I took one giant, healthy mental step forward. Patricia Evans, author of several books about verbal abuse, offers a *list of symptoms abuse victims may suffer. For me, eventually, after realizing the spies were phantoms implanted in my head, I learned how to relax.