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Author Topic: Breaking The Cycle of Emotional Abuse  (Read 3708 times)

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Breaking The Cycle of Emotional Abuse
« on: July 21, 2019, 10:12:37 PM »
**Contents may be Triggering for Individuals**

First and foremost I want to thank the staff for the opportunity for allowing me to help raise awareness of Emotional abuse, the members and other guests taking the time to read this as well and hopefully help spread the awareness, in helping other people like me find the strength to break the cycle of abuse.

Also a reminder from your Friendly and frankly Amazing Staff and myself:

This not a place to air public grievances or name names

If you see this behavior happening on E, PLEASE report it to staff, I cannot begin to stress this part enough.



This blog is both to raise awareness of, explain, and share if any of you so choose, their own survivor stories about Mental and Emotional abuse. I will eventually share my own story, though know that I am a survivor of Emotional abuse, I am still breaking myself of breaking the cycle that this emotional abuse has left me with. The truth is though, and I know most of the other survivors out there will understand this too. It’s hard breaking yourself of the cycle your mind gets into when you’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship for so long. It’s akin to a recovering alcoholic, or a drug addict. One wrong move, one wrong step and you can find yourself spiraling down into that black hole again.

So, for those of you that are survivors, or victims still, I wanted to let you know. You are NOT alone in this fight, you are not the only one who feels lost, scared, or utterly worthless because you didn’t recognize the signs. You are wonderful just as you are, and it is NOT your fault. Also, if you are in such a relationship PLEASE do not let them continue this, leave the relationship. If it is here on Elliquiy or any other site or forum you are on, reach out the staff and report the behavior. Leave that relationship, surround yourself with a good support system, seek out therapy, or join an abuse survivor support group in your local area. Most of them are free. Even a few are ran by other survivors like myself, so they know how it can feel. There is no shame in this, and again you are not at fault.

Without further ado:


WHAT IS EMOTIONAL/MENTAL ABUSE?

Maybe He Doesn’t Hit You (A poem about Emotional abuse) short film


“Emotional abuse is an attempt to control, in just the same way that physical abuse is an attempt to control another person. The only difference is that the emotional abuser does not use physical hitting, kicking, pinching, grabbing, pushing, or other physical forms of harm. Rather the perpetrator of emotional abuse uses emotion as his/her weapon of choice. “

When Is it Emotional Abuse



Now this isn’t a onetime occurrence I want people to understand that, this is an ongoing cycle much like physical abuse. Getting hit once isn’t physical abuse, but it’s the constant terror, the constant fear of being hit that makes it physical. It would be the exact same as it would be with Emotional abuse, the constant accusations, blaming, checking up, mind games… THAT my friends is emotional abuse. Be it with a family member, a spouse, or even a friend online, this type of abuse is perhaps one of the most common, and honestly scariest types of abuse out there, because it’s so subtle, it doesn’t stand out as glaringly as a bruise. It’s also hard for a victim to KNOW when they are being emotionally abused until they either realize that the person is never going to change, it does turn into physical abuse, or worse: the victim thinks there is no other escape.



The Six Signs One Might Be in An Emotionally or Mentally Abusive Relationship AKA: The Cycle of Abuse

Constant Criticism

This is pretty much self-explanatory, just within itself. It’s a constant small thing, it starts off so small, it could be as simple as: “You sure you’re going to wear that?” to “What the hell is wrong with you are you stupid?” It can be even little nicknames that they have given you throughout the years, that although it seemed so sweet and innocent like “Chubby Pumpkin” or “My little Psycho” that can actually wear a person’s self-worth down, slowly and surely. Chiseling away at it slowly, and if you asked them to stop, they look at you like you are crazy, that why suddenly is this bothering you? What is so wrong with being called these little pet names? It starts planting a seed of doubt, that you are crazy, that you are fat… and no matter how hard you try you’ll never be that “perfect” partner in their eyes. That you will never fit in, that you will never succeed, that you wouldn’t know the first thing to do without them. Truth is, if it makes you feel uncomfortable, have them stop, if they don’t listen to you this is your first warning sign.

Isolation

Pretty much again, all of this will be self-explanatory, it’s amazing how simple something so complex can seem, and then wondering why you couldn’t see it before. It doesn’t leave physical scars, it leaves mental ones, and those will sometimes NEVER fade away. Isolation is the attempt as stated to isolate you from your support network. Be it friends, family, or simply trying to isolate you all to themselves. This is what they want in the end, to isolate you from everyone and everything except for who they allow you to talk to, what they allow you to do. It’s breaking you down so they can exert total and complete control over you. This is probably the most damaging thing about an emotionally abusive relationship.

What are signs if the person is attempting to isolate you from friends and family? It could be anywhere from  talking to your friends and family without you knowing about it, through social media, what have you whatever telling them lies about what a horrible person you are. How badly you treat them, doing all they can to garner sympathy for them, and making you to look like you are the bad guy that it’s your fault the relationship is dying, that it’s your fault when something comes up, that it’s your fault for not loving them enough that they are ending the relationship or thinking of leaving. They make themselves look like the victim, that’s why they suddenly stop talking to you, or start becoming standoffish, or perhaps even keeping their silence about the whole thing because they don’t know who to believe. 

It can even go as far as actively keeping you from talking to your friends or family. Be it guilting you into it be it them saying they don’t think you’re not spending enough time with them. Fighting with you about how they don’t like them, how you don’t love them if you talk to a certain person. That if you really and truly loved them and wanted the relationship to work that you will never talk to that person again. Or taking an instant dislike to someone because they are afraid that person might actually help you to realize the cycle of abuse you are in. Don’t let them, PLEASE DO NOT LET THEM cut you off from your support network.

Stonewalling or Silent Treatment

Ahh, yes, the silent treatment, how well do we all know what that means. The person refusing to talk to you, refusing to even acknowledge that you exist to them. It could be at the slightest perceived slight, some small minuscule offence you gave them. Or finding out that you didn’t tell them that you ran into a certain person. The simple fact of the matter, they won’t talk to you be it hours, days, what have you about what you might have done wrong. Making you question everything that you might’ve said, done, or even a glanced over that might’ve caused this behavior. Making you want to talk to them, beg them to just tell you what is wrong, why are they banging things around. Why are they slamming doors, and just not talking to you at all?  Why are they leaving with a bag packed with only a “I’ll be back in a few days, I just can’t deal with you right now.” And leaving you only with that constant freaking question of WHY?!?! Until they felt you have suffered enough, until they have “cooled down enough to talk to you” until they have “thought things through and aren’t so angry with you anymore.” And even then, sometimes when you ask them afterwards “What did I do wrong?” They still won’t answer you, or even find the way to make it look like you attacked them, which will lead us into another sign soon.

Cruel Sarcasm

Ahh yes, a lot of us know this one, be it on purpose because you are angry at someone at that point in time, but at least you apologize for it, immediately right? Yea, sorry to say, they don’t… how does it work? It’s like the constant criticism, only they put you down in front of friends and family, then if you call them on it, they claim it’s a joke, and make it look like you are being overly emotional, that you can’t take a joke, they make you look like you are nucking futs, and you can’t do anything about it, because you don’t want to embarrass yourself further thinking that maybe yea, you did over react, maybe it was at joke in the end. Maybe you are tired and overly emotional for some reason or another. You’re not, you are in the absolute right to feel that way, and let him know that, let your friends know that, let your family know that. You are worth it, and nobody has that right to drag down your self-worth. No matter the scene it may cause between you and this person, call them out on it, stick to your ground and don’t let them make you doubt yourself. Please… Letting it continue is letting them keep that control over you.

Sudden Changes in Affection: Love – Hate

Have you ever felt like you were suddenly on a roller coaster ride of emotions? That suddenly after days after them being angry and blowing up about every single little thing? The times they had blamed you for their sudden mood swings. It was some how your fault that their day turned to utter shit because you might have been home late from work 3 minutes? Or why suddenly there wasn’t any more of their favorite snack because they ate the last few during the day you spent at work, but couldn’t think of it to pick them up that snack even though you didn’t know they were running out? To suddenly being this loving and caring individual again, becoming that person that drew you to them in the first place. How sorry they are for all the pain they are causing you… that they are sincerely trying to be a better person for you. That they want this to work out with you, if you’d just change that one tiny thing. And it just leaves you emotionally exhausted, and off balance, that the slightest little thing will just make you shatter apart? Yea… been there too, you’re not alone in feeling like that. Like you just try so hard to keep going through the motions, but you start forgetting things like eating… you can’t sleep… you turn into a zombie it feels like. Especially after dealing with it for so long.

Extreme Jealousy

Have they ever suddenly started questioning you about someone? Be it someone who just looked at you in the store, someone you might’ve met out on the street even and said hello to, did they suddenly start hating a particular friend of yours? Or wondered why it suddenly took you the usual time it did for you to get home? What about that friend, you’re totally cheating on them aren’t you? With that friend?! How could you?

Ever felt that your privacy was never just your own ever again. You couldn’t have any friends to talk to, any body to tell them what’s going on. And if you do, they’re right there, they know where you are at, cause they drove you there, not even trusting you with the keys to your own car cause they think you are going to run off and screw some random stranger. Or perhaps they are going through your phone demanding all the names of your contacts, sometimes even sending them text messages in front of you accusing them of sleeping with you. You are at the fault for their jealousy don’t you understand? BULLSHIT! You aren’t. You didn’t do anything wrong. I can’t stress this enough. You didn’t do anything wrong.

So, yea, maybe they didn’t hit you like the video said, but it sure feels like they stabbed you in the heart and left you in a million broken pieces. Maybe you feel like you’ll never be able to love again because of that distrust you now have, how twisted they have made you view love and relationships. You have every right to be angry at them, you have every right to hate them. I don’t blame you. Just remember you aren’t alone in this battle; you never have to be alone in this battle. Reach out to a friend, to staff here, reach out and ask them “Please help me break this cycle I’m in.”

BREAKING THE CYCLE


Now in your personal life, this is so much harder to do than it seems. It really does, for those that haven’t been in this cycle, that haven’t been in the emotional rollercoaster of this. It’s so hard because you loved this person, you still do, even though you hurt so badly inside. Maybe they are telling themselves that this person can change, will change, they did so well before for those few months… maybe if I did everything, they asked me to. It’s hard guys, leaving with that constant doubt that maybe it was all your fault. Maybe they are just so emotionally exhausted they just don’t know what else to do but to go through the same motions, the same day to day activities, having to wear a smile on the outside all the time when inside… they are just a shell. Empty, feeling utterly powerless, and completely alone.  So yea, keep that in mind too when you talk to people you care about that may be in this type of situation, I hate saying it, but treat them like they are a drug addict and they are going to go withdrawals.

It honestly feels like that, when someone who has been stuck in that pattern for so long finally finds out that it is okay to feel what they are feeling. Be supportive of them, let them know the anger, pain, sadness, and utter betrayal is perfectly normal, and once they are over this hump that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Leave! If you believe you are in such a relationship. Leave them! Don’t give them a second chance.

Moral Support You know those friends and family the made you push away? Reach out to them again, let them know what you went through, let them know your side of the story. You’ll be surprised, these people still love you, still care about you and will help you through the process. If you don’t have that readily available there are victim abuse shelters throughout the US, and I hope that some of our European member might provide some information too about support groups in their areas, for victim shelters. Even if you are not a religious person, go to your local church, talk to the pastor, they have resources too.

Cut off contact: Yes, cut contact with this person, if you can as soon as you can. If you are like me and they are the other parent of your children. This is also where your moral support people come into major play here. If you must have contact with this person, do not do it by yourself! DO NOT! Please take a trusted friend, a family member with you that knows your story and believes you, with you. So, they can decide when enough is enough and help you to leave the situation. I won’t lie either, it’s a terrifying thing having to look in the eye of your abuser and tell them enough is enough.

Again:

If you see this or are a victim of this here on Elliquiy. I cannot again stress this enough…

REPORT the matter to staff, send them copies of the conversations, they have resources too on what can classify as emotional abuse. They are here to help you too, and to keep this community safe and happy for all it’s members.

BLOCK Don’t allow them to contact you. If you want you can tell them with a PM, please make sure to bcc a staff member as well, so they can make a note this of this request and refer to it if you have a concern that this person is not respecting your boundaries.  That you no longer wish to have any sort of contact with this person. Be polite, be respectful as always, even if it’s a simple. “I do not feel comfortable with contact from you anymore. Please respect my wishes.” And leave it at that, send it and immediately block and delete.

DELETE Delete all the PMs with this person, remove all the links and bookmarks that you had with this person. Do not let yourself get sucked back into this cycle. Trust me it’s a vicious, terrible thing.

Staff has their magic wands to wave if they need access to a certain PM again, and when you report, please also include a timeframe of when you think you started noticing the abuse, of when you started to feel uncomfortable or had that seedling of doubt. So, if they need to, they can look back through their history of all things E.

Thank you all again. May you never lose that light that makes you special. You are worth every atom, every particle of emotion. Remember too… you are always loved, there are people out there who care for you and will be your rock I promise. I know this, and together we can heal.

Offline Oniya

Re: Breaking The Cycle of Emotional Abuse
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2019, 12:49:44 AM »
Heyo!  Just want to add a couple of things to this excellent advice.

First off:  Blocking people.   There are two important steps to this for maximum effectiveness.

1) Ignoring.  If you go to your Profile, and select 'Modify Profile', you'll see 'Buddies/Ignore List' near the bottom.  Hovering on that gives you the choice between the Buddies List and the Ignore List.  Adding someone to either list is as simple as selecting the appropriate one and typing in their username.  You can even go back later and take them off the list - if you ever want to.  After you've added someone to the 'Ignore' list, all of their posts will show as 'You are ignoring this user.' with an option to click past the warning to read the post.  You won't even see their avatar any more.

2) Blocking.  This is the critical part, which prevents them from contacting you.  Back at the 'Modify Profile' menu, you'll see 'Personal Messaging.'  The second drop-down has an option for 'All members, except those on my Ignore list'.  Make sure that's selected, and any message they try to send you will be met with 'This user is not accepting PMs from you.'

Secondly - regarding PMs that they've already sent.  We highly recommend that you send a copy to a Staff person before chucking them in the trash.  It's often possible for us to recover them, but it is not guaranteed.

To forward a PM to a Staff person, open it up like you were going to reply.  Hit 'Quote', so that all the text goes into the body of a PM.  Remove the other person's name from the TO: field, and replace it with the Staff person of your choice.  Send it off, and the record is preserved.

Offline Mintprincess

Re: Breaking The Cycle of Emotional Abuse
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 06:44:45 PM »
Screen-shotting is another good way to preserve and send to staff. So many computers have snip-it now that makes it easy to take one of your screen.  Or you can use Function key and PRTSC.  Then just send that off to staff as well.   

Agree with blocking people.

I think it's often difficult to realize you're in an abusive relationship.  And it doesn't just have to be a romantic one.  Friendships can be abusive.  My sister's ex's wife would call her up and bitch her out and verbally abuse her, or send her nasty emails and true to that cycle later "we just want to work together for the best of the child. If you would just communicate more with us everything would be fine." 

It was a cycle of blaming her then working together then threats, insults, and back around.