Emotional abuse has a long-lasting, devastating impact on the victim. If you have been emotionally abused, every aspect of your life is affected. The words that an emotional abuser uses will undermine your self-esteem. Your thoughts will forge a tug-of-war in your mind as you try to figure out if you are worthy of being loved. Emotional abuse aims to damage the very core of who you are as an individual. You may feel unwanted and unloved. Relationships are difficult to maintain because you mentally ‘hear’ the voice of your abuser telling you cruel words and insulting comments. Overtime, you have self-doubts about everything that you do. You may also have a hard time standing up for yourself because you may feel as if your opinions and thoughts don’t matter. Here is some information that will help you to overcome the barriers of emotional abuse.
Empower yourself. If you are like many people that have suffered emotional abuse, you have thought of yourself as the victim for far too long. Make a decision at this very moment that you are going to view yourself as a survivor. Your abuser has carved into your mind that he is the one with all of the control. This is not true. The moment that you see that you are in full control of your own thoughts and emotions, you will slowly begin to regain back your self-esteem.
Release pent-up anger and frustration. Write down abusive events in your life. On a piece of paper, write down moments that you have felt emotionally abused. On another piece of paper, write down how you are feeling as you are writing down these awful moments of abuse. Tell yourself that you have every right to feel the way that you do. Now, tear the paper with the abusive events into tiny shreds. This will show you that you are the one in control now. Often survivors of emotional abuse will go outside with the second sheet of paper that has their feelings written down on it. They will take a match and light this paper and watch as the smoke disappears into the sky. This is a symbolic event because they are releasing all of their destructive hurt and anger rather than keeping it all inside.
Turn off the guilt. Many survivors will say that they feel guilty when they want to express their opinion because they have been told for so long that their thoughts and opinions didn’t matter. When you feel that you would like to share your opinion, you may hear that voice of guilt wearing you down. Learn to tune out that voice. As soon as you begin to hear it, immediately begin to think of a pleasant thought to replace it.
Seek a referral from your doctor. You may need to seek help from a professional therapist to overcome emotional abuse. Don’t see this as a weakness, but rather another step towards liberation from your hurtful past. This will help you work out unresolved issues and feelings that have become roadblocks in your life. It's time to break down those barriers.
Work on yourself. If you are single, do not begin a relationship until you have healed the wounds of emotional abuse. The one thing that many survivors find is that they become entangled in relationships that mirror the one that they had with their emotional abuser. You must learn to love yourself so that you can set high standards for your next love interest. Join a new class, learn a new hobby, or socialize with supportive people. The last thing that you want to do is enter that revolving door of emotional abuse by repeating the same pattern with someone else. Enjoy being single!
Know that it wasn't your fault. One thing that is important to know is that your abuser is the one that is broken inside--not you. You did nothing to deserve being mistreated. He tried to destroy your self-esteem so that he could take the focus off of his own shattered self-esteem. By making someone else miserable they could escape their own feelings of misery.