Emotional abuse is not to be taken lightly. Yes, it’s real, and yes, even someone as strong as me went through it. To me, it feels like emotional abuse leaves far deeper scars than physical does, though they are both awful forms of torture – especially to someone you supposedly love. So here’s my story of emotional abuse, and my evolution from victim of emotional abuse to survivor.
What is emotional abuse?
Everyone knows about physical abuse. It’s obvious. It’s on the surface, and we can physically see it. But emotional abuse is harder to spot. My former partner practiced so much emotional abuse with me, and the sad part is I kind of realized it, even at the time. He would blame me for everything, shift his problems onto me, and make me feel crazy for doing the tiniest things. These are but a few factors in emotional abuse. Basically, if you’re made to feel worthless and blamed for everything from someone who is supposed to love you – whether it be a lover, a family member, or a friend – you’re probably experiencing emotional abuse.
How did it even begin?
The beginning was amazing. For three glorious weeks he was an absolute angel, doing everything for me. He whisked me off my feet and made me fall hopelessly in love. Of course, this is the beginning of emotional abuse. He wore a mask, and pretended to be someone he was not, in order to hook me in. It may not sound like emotional abuse to have someone constantly compliment you, pay for everything, and want to be so close with you from day one, but it’s a tactic used by many to get you in their grips so the real fun can begin.
The Journey Through Hell
His mask began to fade around week three, and, though I didn’t quite know it yet, the emotional abuse began. I thought everything was truly my fault; how on earth could I make this wonderful man so upset? I must have been acting badly. It must be me. These are the thoughts that raced through my head, and commonly do when one is going through emotional abuse. I had to walk on eggshells, and even then he’d get mad at me for not speaking. It wasn’t like he spoke to me much either, though, unless to criticize and put me down. Where once he was so excited about my accomplishments, he no longer cared one bit. I was just whatever to him. Soon I would start to realize I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. But I loved him, and so I stayed.
And So It Progressed…
Things went on like this for a couple of months. He would show signs of emotional abuse, and I would tolerate them, just hoping it would all get better. For I had met such a wonderful man, still I believed that, even though he was being emotionally abusive, the man I met must be under there. Maybe it was mostly my fault, I would think, despite knowing otherwise. Never did I hear a single apology from him, not even for the first time he pushed me. “You fell,” he said when I brought it up.
Emotional Abuse Turned Physical
He became enraged quite often. But one day he was no longer just emotionally abusive; no, he finally turned physical, and this time I listened to it. I knew if he did it once he’d do it again (and, in fact, had done it once before). When he pushed me to the ground, causing me to cut up my toes underneath the door, I immediately went to pack my things. As I was doing so, he threw me against the wall. Something in his mind still told him that because he hadn’t hit me, it wasn’t physical abuse. It was.
I gathered all of my things, and hurried out of the house. His friend – who witnessed it all – drove me to the highway, where I stuck out my thumb and hitchhiked to Two Creeks Campground in Minnesota to be around friends and far, far away from him. It was a rough couple of weeks to be honest with you. I was worse for wear, and still couldn’t fathom how this man I had loved so much could be so hurtful – emotionally and physically – to me.
We never spoke again since that day, and I’m sure we never will (thankfully). His emotional and physical abuse were enough, and I was done. Eventually the cloud lifted, and I was able to keep on living happily without him. I no longer longed for him; rather, I was proud to have left so early on in the relationship. I thank him a million times over for the physical abuse, for I could never have left the emotional abuse on its own. Or, it at least would have taken me a long time and considerable strength.
I’m now strong and confident, assured that I can do anything if I could leave that emotionally abusive relationship. I am happier than ever before, with no desire for a man to make me happy. Nah, I can do that all on my own. I urge you, if you are the victim of emotional abuse, get out now. You will be better for it in the long run. And you can check out the Facebook group MaybeHeDoesntHitYou for much needed support. And hey, I’m always here to listen, too. Don’t let yourself be a victim of emotional abuse any longer.