It never ceases to amaze me how the manipulations of emotionally abusive people can warp and twist the lives of those whom they supposedly ‘love’ and care for.
Their ‘targets’ are often those less fortunate them themselves in some way. This can include someone who is disabled or ill; or those of us with self-esteem issues or maybe even someone who’s desperate for love .. or had a traumatic childhood and don’t know how to discern between healthy love and emotional abuse.
Conversely, an emotionally abuser can be attracted to someone they deem as having something that they want … even if they’re unsure what that is .. they ‘sense’ the power in another and mistakenly believe that by controlling the person, they can acquire their power rather than developing skills and tools that will benefit them personally.
If you’ve ever been in an emotionally abusive relationship, or know of someone who has, you will be well aware how difficult it can be for an apparently otherwise strong, intelligent, creative person to become enmeshed in the abuser’s sticky energy web of power over. Typical emotional bullies seem to take great ‘delight’ and pride in speaking patronisingly to and about their partner, and putting down their partner in public. This erodes away the self-esteem of their target, like droplets of water do a rock. It’s subtle at first, and then it becomes a continual tirade until their partner is too exhausted emotionally and mentally to stand up to them.
And if you haven’t ever been in such a relationship be thankful .. because the allure of the perpetrator is so subtle and seductive, you can be taken completely unaware until suddenly you realise that you’re no longer in a happy healthy relationship and your efforts to escape … or to effectively communicate with your partner and co-create a healthy relationship – are eroded & rubbished before you’ve even begun. And when it’s really bad as with ‘Jane’ the individual is left feeling helpless and powerless unless they have strong advocates around who are able to help them to get out of the situation and receive support to establish and maintain clear healthy boundaries of self love and respect.
So how do you move out of such a relationship or help someone you love and care for to do so? You begin by recognising the traits common to most emotional abusers.
Here are the main keys or clues to identifying whether you, or someone you love, is in an emotionally abusive relationship:
- Being very ‘seductive’ and attentive in the initial stages of the relationship including wanting to be with you in whatever you’re doing apparently because they ‘love’ you.
- slowly the emotionally abusive person will isolate the object of their desire from her/his family, friends, loved ones and activities they enjoyed doing.
- since its all about control, emotionally abusive people are prone to jealousy which can manifest as very strong verbal abuse and emotional blackmail tactics to coerce their victim into feeling guilty, scared, intimidated, helpless etc.
- an emotionally abusive person treats their ‘target’ with disdain and lack of respect including: putting them down, damaging or stealing their property, undermining their dreams and goals, rubbishing their personal and / or spiritual values.
- Is fully into self-victimization and points the finger of blame at everyone else who apparently ‘made ‘me’ do it’ .. the world is against them etc etc.
- Emotional abusers refuse to get counselling or help as they prefer to externalise the issues in their lives rather than taking ownership & responsibility for themselves, their behaviour and attitudes.
As a shamanic psychotherapist and holistic counsellor, I would encourage anyone who’s in an emotionally abusive relationship to be brave, take the steps to get support from family, friends, counsellors and/or your local GP to get you started on the process of removing yourself and your property from the person who’s controlling your life.
Learn skills and techniques [and there are many fabulous and relatively simple strategies you can learn] that help you to discern what’s your ‘stuff’ and what’s ‘theirs. Also receiving guidance from a qualified professional helps you to release yourself from the emotional &/or mental issues which led to your vulnerability.
Once you begin to differentiate between healthy and abusive power games and to recognise when and why this relationship shifted power, you can, and will become, the leader of your own destiny – strong and sure of yourself, and without the need for external approval to validate your sense of self-worth and self-love.
YOU are WORTH it …
Blessings Lynn Solang Smith, BCA, Grad Dip Ed, Dip Body Psychotherapy, Cert Holistic Counsellor, Munay-ki Rites Teacher.
Mobile: 0421 864 909