Having words for what is being experienced in an emotionally abusive relationship is inherently empowering and validating. Many people in emotionally abusive relationships have the experience of trying to explain what is happening to them and not feeling understood because they do not have words to describe what is happening. In addition, the degree to which they are being emotionally abused is so far above what is normal that they may appear as if they are exaggerating when they are not. To assist others in identifying Emotional abuse and communicating what they are experiencing, I have compiled a list of types of Verbal and Emotional Abuse.
Discovering words for what has happened to you infers that someone else has experienced the same thing and that along brings relief. You are not making this up. Having a name for your experience of emotional abuse helps you sort out which issues belong to the abuser (and which issues are yours), confront the invalidation of the emotionally abusive person, and elicit support from others.
The article, “How to Recognize an Emotionally Abusive Relationship,” provides an excellent list on how to recognize the signs of whether you are in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship. To their list, I have added these signs:
- Changes from treating you well early in the relationship to treating you poorly once the relationship has progressed to an increased level of commitment;
- Relentless pursuit and stalking when you end the relationship;
- The abuser implies, “I can do it better,” but the abuser doesn’t offer help or criticizes you even more.
Sometimes how we are raised leaves us with blind spots in recognizing emotional abuse. For example, if you grew up in a verbally abusive home, you may think that it’s normal. In addition, emotionally abusive relationships erode self-esteem, confidence, and are confusing. Being able to recognize the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship is a big step toward healing.