Over the years I have been subjected to all forms of abuse. It’s not fun, let me tell you! My advice to each of you is to stop dealing with it! Remove yourself from this situation immediately. If someone truly loves you (being family, friends, or a significant other) they will go above and beyond to place you on a pedestal. Your happiness will be their main objective. They will never belittle you, they will never make you feel unworthy, and they will never, ever place their hands on you. If you find yourself in a volatile environment, I say “Run Forrest Run!” while you still can.
I am going to hone in on 6 forms of abuse. I hope and pray that you cannot relate to any of these.
As the title indicates, this form of abuse targets your emotions. How you feel about yourself, how you feel about others, and how you feel others view you. This is a super common form that most of us do not recognize as abuse.
When someone insults you or puts you down, this is abuse. When someone wants to access your personal online/phone accounts, this is abuse. When someone refuses to listen to your point of view, or when they do not respect your feelings on a topic, this is abuse. When someone intimidates or talks down to you as if you are a child, this is abuse. When someone spies on you or has one of their friends check up on you, this is abuse. When someone makes threats to hurt anything that you care for, this is abuse. When someone embarrasses you in public, this is abuse. When jealousy or possessiveness enter the picture, this is abuse. This includes an overabundance of text messages, email messages, or voice mail messages. When you are accused of something that you are innocent of, this is abuse. Never having your privacy is abuse. If you feel that you have to justify your actions, thoughts, or feelings to someone else, this is abuse.
Verbal abuse ties in with emotional abuse, yet it holds a classification all its own. Verbal abuse includes: interrupting you, intimidating you, mocking you, yelling or shouting at you, name calling, swearing, put downs, talking over you or using a fear inducing tone.
When someone distorts reality to cause you to think that you are losing your mind, this is abuse. Playing mind games to their advantage is abuse. Manipulating you is abuse. Twisting everything around so that things are always your fault is abuse. When they accuse you of doing what they are actually doing is abuse. If they claim you are always wrong, this is abuse. This happened because you did or didn’t do such and such is abuse.
If you have to put all of the bills in your name, this is abuse. When you are not allowed to work or further your schooling, this is abuse. (My mind drifts back to Germany…) Withholding money that is rightfully yours is abuse. Preventing you from being allowed to use the car is abuse. Forcing you to leave your job is abuse. Causing you to feel shameful for how you decide to spend your money is abuse.
Unwanted physical contact is abuse. Forcing you to have sex with others or forcing you to witness them partake in sexual relations with others is abuse. Using vulgar comments that make you feel uncomfortable is abuse. Forcing you to have sex with or without birth control is abuse. Pressuring you for sex is abuse. Forcing you to participate in pornography (be it watching or creating) is abuse. Forcing you to get pregnant or have an abortion against your will is abuse.
Kicking, punching, biting, slapping, choking, strangling, stabbing, pulling your hair, throwing objects at you, breaking things, burning, cutting, punching walls or doors, or driving restlessly is abuse. Trying to confine you, blocking a doorway, or grabbing you if you try to leave is abuse. Towering over you or getting in your face is abuse. Threatening to harm you or refusing medical care is abuse. Any use of weapons is, without a doubt, abuse.
I’ve been pushed down stairs, my arms have been twisted behind my back towards my shoulder blades, I have been pushed toward and out of a 3rd floor open window, I have been pinned on my 8 month pregnant belly, I have been punched, bit, had body parts twisted, slammed into door handles, and the list goes on and on….
So there you have it; my little breakdown of the different types of abuse. What’s truly sad is that I can admit to 99% of these actions being used on me. It was not from a lack of self-esteem either; I have always thought quite highly of myself! I have always known my worth. Call it poor judgment I suppose. The fantastic part about it all is that I was smart enough to recognize the signs, stubborn enough not to subject myself to it any further, and strong enough to use the knowledge that I gained to help others in need.
Have you ever had an encounter with abuse? I would love to hear your story…