Emotional Abuse

Coming From An Emotionally Abusive Household I Learned Early That Words Hurt

When you were brought up in a household that was emotionally abusive, you learn to not give a crap.

Nguyen95
Nguyen95
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People say words can hurt but that is one thing that I had to learn after growing up in an emotionally abusive household.

Growing up I was always harshly criticized for a lot of things, including my looks, grades I got in school, and even what I wanted to do in the future. I rarely had a good compliment from my mom growing up and it made me believe that no matter what I did it would never matter to anyone. It also made me believe that no matter what I say to people, I should not care how they feel and that how they feel is their personal business they need to deal with themselves.

When it came to empathy and respect, those feelings are few and far between. Growing up in a household that was emotionally abusive, my own feelings were never put into perspective of my family members. When it came time to move out and start my own life, I thought what I learned was normal. But it wasn't until my last relationship that I realized that this isn't how most people were brought up.

Here are 3 things I learned when healing from my past.

1. Words do hurt.

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I never realized how much I had hurt others with my words and how much I was hurting myself until I would talk to my friends and my therapist about my life. I realize that even though it may have felt like the right thing to say at the moment, it can end up going a long way.

I cannot speak for the people I had hurt, but for me, I realize that because of my rough upbringing I grew overly independent but also I had always doubted myself and my self-confidence.

2. It is hard for me to know how to encourage the people I care about.

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Growing up I was never encouraged through love but instead, I was always given bad outlooks on things. My mom used to tell me that I would never do anything right and that she didn't know if I would ever be something of myself. At the time I felt she was right and I just took it as it is.

When I dated my last ex, he was doing all that he could but he was not doing things the way I felt he should. Instead of encouraging him to do more for himself, I tore him down by telling him that he would be nothing if he kept doing things his way. I wished I was more patient towards him and been more positive with him, but I had also wished that I had gotten the same from my parents.

3. It's hard to be kind towards myself and others.

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Not only had I put others down a lot, I had also put myself down as well. I would judge myself so harshly to the point that I would fall into crippling depression and anxiety. At the same time I would have this huge ego and would tend to hide my pain by criticizing others especially whoever my partner is.

It is hard to analyze yourself and tell yourself that you will work towards changing for the better. When my ex-left me I realized that I had to make a decision and that was either I stay who I am and risk having a lonely life, or I can do on this journey towards bettering myself and have people who are in my life stay for a good reason. I chose to change because I want to be kind and empathetic towards others.

This won't be overnight but it is a journey I am willing to take no matter the hardships that will come my way.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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20 Signs You're In A Toxic Relationship As Told By 'Sherlock Holmes'

Having Trouble In Paradise?

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No relationship is perfect. For the most part, a good relationship makes you feel euphoric, loved, respected, safe, and free. There are seven fundamental elements, including good communication, respect, trust, acceptance, compatibility, affection, and patience needed for a healthy relationship.

Good communication allows people to talk openly, without fear of being judged. Respect helps maintain equality in the relationship. Additionally, it promotes compassion and sympathy between two people. Trust lets a couple count on each other and feel safe.

In return, you build credibility and consistency with each other as your relationship becomes more and more transparent. Acceptance makes people appreciate their partners and accept them for who they are, faults and all. However, this does not extend to abuse in any form.

Compatibility brings people together and strengthens their emotional bond. Affection causes two partners to feel special, wanted, and acknowledged. Patience allows people to feel free. Pushing someone to do something they do not want to do allows causes that person to feel pressured and become they are not.

Mixed together, these seven elements create a strong, healthy long-lasting relationship.

Therefore, a toxic relationship lacks many, if all, of these elements. As a result, a toxic relationship typically makes you feel exhausted, broken, and miserable.

However, toxic connections ring multiple alarms. Sadly, many people never hear them.

Here are some of "alarms" to help you recognize a toxic relationship:

1. You are filled with insecurity. 

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You are questioning whether anyone likes you. Your partner actively tries to cut you off from your support network of friends and families. Also, nobody wants to hang out with you when you are with your partner.

2. The relationship has become boring. 

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You are lonely when you are with your partner. You no longer enjoy his/her company.

3. The atmosphere is loaded with negative energy. 

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Your partner sees himself/herself as having a much higher "mate value" than you. They think you are lucky to have them, but not vise versa.

4. Constantly complaining, making ultimatums, and yelling out commands, your partner drains your energy. 

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Your partner is all take and no give. (S)he is demanding and never takes "no" for an answer.

5. Nothing is ever your partner's fault. 

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Your partner is ALWAYS right and NEVER wrong. When you argue, one or both of you always get defensive. You can never acknowledge that the other person has some valid points. When you argue, you just blame each other rather than accepting some blame.

6. Your partners always want to control what you are doing. 

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(S)he never wants to do anything you want, making you think of several friends whom you would rather be in a relationship with.

7. You always seek acceptance from your partner. 

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You constantly are doing thing to "impress" your partner. Yet, (s)he never seems interested or proud of you when you experience success.

8. ​​​You are giving more into the relationship than what you are getting. 

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You feel like you are the only one that makes an effort in the relationship, causing the relationship to seem one-sided and like a rollercoaster.

9. The atmosphere is hostile. 

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You are too scared to confide in your partner. If you were to reveal something you are sensitive about, you are not sure how they would react.

10. Your partner causes you to lower your standards. 

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You feel nauseated about who you have become while with your partner. You can identify ways your partner has negatively influenced you. As a result, (s)he has involved you in unethical activities, causing you to feel ashamed of what you have done.

11. Your partner never treats you with respect. 

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(S)he doesn't listen to you. As a result, you do not feel able to get your partner's attention when you want to talk about something important.

12. You receive no support form your partner. 

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When your partner is listening, (s)he never takes into consideration what you are saying or feeling. Your partner is dismissive of your interests and projects. (S)he judges the things you do by how important (s)he perceives them to be, rather than how important they are to you.

13. You are always on your guard as your relationship presents constant challenges. 

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Your partner gets mad at you when you disagree with him/her. When you and your partner disagree, (s)he insists you do things his/her way or leave. It is their way or the highway.

14. Your partner diminishes your self-worth. 

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(S)he does not see you as a priority. As a result, (s)he makes jokes about leaving you or teases you about what his/her "second" or "next" partner will be like.

15. You are afraid of your partner seeing you in public with other people. 

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You dread coming home after work or school because of how much stress your partner causes you. As a result, you often spend time at Starbucks to procrastinate coming home to your partner.

16. You believe you would be nothing without your partner. 

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Despite thinking about how disrespectful, cold, untrustful, and inconsistent your partner is, you feel compelled to tell him/her how wonderful (s)he is.

17. You feel like you have betrayed your own morals and values. 

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You have changed for the worst. You feel worse about yourself as a person than when you first started the relationship. You are less confident and can see fewer positive qualities about yourself.

18. You are constantly corrected and judged. 

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Your partner implies that you are stupid or that they are "the smart one" in the relationship. (S)he tries to dissuade you from trying something new because you probably would not understand it.

19. Your partner manipulates you with gifts and compliments.  

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Your partner uses "love bombing" to gain your trust and love. (S)he regularly does something, such as giving compliments, flattery, or promises. Moreover, these actions are what you use to justify the relationship and your partner's "love" for you.

20. There is no trust in your relationship.

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Your partner always checks your phone and asks where you are going or hanging out with. As a result, you feel as though you must get their permission before you do anything. At the same time, you can not trust anything your partner says or does, causing you to constantly wonder what they are doing behind your back.

If any of this sounds familiar, it is time to make some changes.

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