There are many forms of abuse, and they are all equally destructive. I have always thought that emotional abuse was one of the worst forms because it is easily hidden and hard to prove. Those being abused often blame themselves or don’t say anything because they don’t think anyone will believe them.
What does emotional abuse look like? It comes in a variety of forms, but the usual goal of an abuser is to tear down his target making the person feel useless, without value, a good for nothing. The weapons of an abuser are control, manipulation, deceit, isolation, and critique.
An abuser can be a master manipulator who sees using people as a game. He can be charming and funny, and no one would ever suspect that he has dark moods or anger issues. Imagine when someone is being abused by a charmer, and someone says, “He is so funny. You are so lucky to know him.”
An abuser uses every opportunity to critique the person being abused. Nothing the person being abused does is ever good enough. When a friend’s father passed several years ago he told me, “I feel so guilty, but I am relieved he is gone. I don’t have to listen to him telling me everything I do is wrong.”
Emotional abuse can be devastating, and although it doesn’t leave physical signs it can be debilitating to our mental health. If you are being emotionally abused please reach out to someone you trust for help.