Things Nobody Tells You About Emotional Abuse

Things Nobody Tells You About Emotional Abuse

Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can also hurt you.

When you first hear the word "abuse," you probably think of physical abuse; the punching, kicking, slapping, throw-you-against-a-wall kind of abuse. But there are other forms that often aren't discussed, and they can be just as damaging as the physical kind.

I wasn't familiar with emotional abuse until a concerned adult provided me with a list of red flags, and even then, I ignored all the signs, convinced that she was the crazy one. It wasn't until months after I escaped an emotionally torturous relationship that I actually used the term "abuse" to describe it. When you're in the midst of a toxic relationship, it's hard to see and understand just how poorly you're being treated. That's because it starts out completely normal; almost too good to be true.

But as the months pass by, things slowly start to go downhill. I always think of abuse as a hot shower: you start out with the water at a comfortable temperature, and then as you get used to it, you slowly turn it up. After a while, you realize that you can't see through all the steam, and your body is red and itchy from the scalding water. Everything starts out like a fairy tale, and you have no idea what's coming. Nobody tells you about that part. There are a lot of things that nobody will tell you.

Nobody tells you that even though emotional abuse isn't physical, it can have physical effects on your body. You might lose a scary amount of weight and your bones might stick out. You might develop deep purple circles under your eyes from either the constant crying or the lack of sleep... or both. Your hands might shake a lot from the adrenaline that comes with the constant anxiety of always having to walk on eggshells around the abuser. You become a sad, mistreated zombie.

Nobody tells you about the huge amount of strength and courage you'll need to gather up before you finally have the guts to leave. They don't tell you about the begging and pleading. They don't tell you about the abuser's threats to commit suicide if you leave them. They don't tell you that it's going to take everything you've got and more to think about yourself and your own well-being for once.

Nobody tells you about the aftermath. Even though he never laid a finger on me, I am now stuck with the emotional scarring that comes along with nearly three years of abuse. I am stuck with the anxiety, the nightmares, and the constant self-doubt. Every day is a struggle to get past that. Abuse isn't something you can just "get over," it will haunt you years after you thought you've finally escaped.

And finally: nobody tells you that surviving the ordeal of an emotionally abusive relationship will make you a better person. You have to learn how to rebuild yourself in the aftermath, and the strength you will gain from that experience makes you nearly unbreakable. You learn to appreciate the good relationships in your life, and you value them more than you ever have before. You learn how you should not be treated, and you make sure that your next relationship is the best one yet. But most importantly, you learn that you are more than someone's words. Nobody, no matter how much they mean to you, can ever tell you your worth; only you can do that.

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26 Extremely Obscure & Occasionally Horrifying Things That Keep Me Up At Night

Scary persistent thoughts can really wreck a nighttime routine.

We've all had those persistent thoughts that interrupt our nighttime routine of hopping into bed at a weird time, tossing around for a bit, then staring at the ceiling for fifteen minutes before we drift off into a nice deep sleep. But sometimes I can't get past the "staring at the ceiling" phase, and I start to have thoughts that make me question everything. Here's a look inside my mind at two in the morning:

1. What if our pets can really talk but speak at a higher frequency than we can understand?

So what if when our pets meet they talk behind our backs about our embarrassing moments that they've witnessed?

2. What if nothing is real and I'm just rolling around in the middle of a field somewhere imagining my entire life?

3. What if all of the "It's too good to be true" moments really weren't real but instead a simulation to compensate for the crappy day that I had a few days before?

4. Now that it's 3 in the morning, did I really turn in that assignment at 11:30 that was due at 11:59?

Or was it just a figment of my imagination? Or did the computer not submit my work for whatever reason?

5. Coffee is just really hot bean water.

6. There are people who believe in both creationism and evolution.

7. Things that my parents bought me that I never used and now I feel like a terribly wasteful human being.

8. What if all dolls are alive but they just pretend to be inactive to protect their status?

9. I only recently learned the rule of thumb for mirrors.

If your reflection's fingertip touches your finger, then it's a two-way mirror. Hence "no space, leave this place." Considering that this is newly acquired information, how many times have I used fake mirrors thinking that they were real ones?

10. Did that creaking noise come from my floorboards or is there a monster from my childhood coming to get me because I forgot about them long enough for them to plan a sneak attack?

11. What if flowers were alive and could speak? Would they scream when we cut them for bouquets?

12. What if when we walk into a room and we forget what we were doing we actually were being controlled by some other-worldly force and they just canceled the action?

13. When we're in a car we're just sitting but moving forward at 65 miles an hour.

14. I know that I've made a good pun when everyone around me looks annoyed.

15. Patrick was dumb because he literally lived under a rock.

16. When I'm in a room full of people I sometimes say something really crazy in the back of my mind to see if anyone looks disturbed because they can hear my thoughts, but what if this truly worked and they could hear my thoughts?

Or what if they heard me but they're just playing it cool because they don't want me to know that they have powers?

17. Our weight is really only dictated by gravity. So if I want to lose weight, I can just go to outer space.

18. If the earth spins at 1000 miles an hour, then I'm always moving at 1000+ miles an hour

19. Chilli is a spicy food that's pronounced "chilly."

20. I could think of any possible scenario of death and it's probably happened.

21. We reach our peak in our 20s and then from that point, we start dying.

22. We need food to live but if we eat too little then we will die but if we eat too much then we will die but we don't know that we've done either of those things until it's almost too late.

23. Every time you date someone you're either going to break up or get married.

24. I'm just a brain inside of bones piloting a piece of meat.

25. My stomach has no idea that potatoes come in any form other than mashed.

26. Once you explain an inside joke to someone it's called an outside joke.

Cover Image Credit: 123

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Confessions of a Closet Catastrophe

Addressing the Flaws to Make Room for Growth and Favor

Growing up, my parents were very serious about keeping a clean room. I was a master at converting my room into something straight off of HGTV within an hour. My secret: I simply stuffed all my junk, unfinished projects, and loads of clothes into my closet. From the outside looking in, my room looked spotless. However, I knew that my closet was a complete and utter mess. Just the slightest opening of that closet door would cause an avalanche comprising of years of stuffing.

Can’t Keep the Door Closed Forever

It's a complete disaster when we have to take every single piece out and go through it. Yes, we will find wonderful things we forgot we had, outfits that bring back memories, and even money but be prepared. We will also rummage through worn items that no longer fit us, countless pieces of trash, and things that make us subconsciously ask “what was I thinking and why did I keep this for so long?”

We then make piles of items to keep, clean, or get rid of. By doing this we make room for more things that we want, have the opportunity to pass on items that we can no longer use, and wash clean the items we want to keep. We don't want it to ever get that disorderly again. Our lives, minds, and spirits are just like that. When we decide to sort through the feelings, situations, and downfalls in our life, it puts everything back in our hands.

Accept the Mess to Manage It

Sometimes we experience things that strip us of our comfort and picturesque views of ourselves and the world around us. We analyze and beat ourselves up trying to rationalize our actions, reactions, and reasonings. It makes us not only step back and wonder how we got there, but also search deep within ourselves to understand the connections to our catalyst.

Though I can say I’ve accomplished many goals, always reached for happiness, tried to exude positivity, and strived to always do my best and be the best I have also fallen short. At times in my life I’ve been a doubter, hypocrite, fool, liar, loser, backstabber, runner, miser, glutton, gossip, and coward. I’ve acted out of fear, impulse, and frustration and have done irrational, irresponsible, ignorant things. I’ve judged without understanding and failed to practice what I preached. I have regrets of things I have and have not done. I've hurt people and I've hurt myself.

Truth is, discovering and presenting the good is easy but acknowledging and accepting the bad is a difficult and humbling action. I can't fix my flaws until I face them. I’m not some perfect person who's only capable of excellence and has never fallen on her face. I’m a flawed human like everyone else that is just trying to get her life, soul, and mind together.

Out of Sight Doesn’t Mean Out of Mind

For a long time, I threw anything not conducive to my ideal, positive lifestyle to the back of my proverbial closet. I compartmentalized and stacked away many painful events, traumatic experiences, and insecurities and thought I threw away the key. Not because I didn’t care, but because I cared too much. I got to a point where I didn’t want to feel pain, acknowledge, or accept it.

I subconsciously started to shut things out because I didn’t want to see or feel anything negative. I avoided people, places, and events because the discomfort seemed unbearable. I would bite my tongue in every situation because I didn’t want to make things worse, further confirm that people didn’t understand me, or have people upset with me. Avoidance not only made me ignorant and naive of the real world, but also made me suppress a variety of emotions that I didn’t allow myself to express properly.

Nothing Can Come Out of You That Isn’t Within You

Fear, anger, frustration, confusion, weakness, sadness, vulnerability, and resentment are much like outfits and shoes in a closet. They didn’t just pop up in our closet one day. We set them there with the intention to (or not to) come back for them.

Fun Fact: Burying and not addressing our flaws, emotions, insecurities, and issues does not get rid of them. It just gives them a place to grow and fester more. Those pent up emotions aren't only a danger to us, but also to all around us. Therefore, if I want to seek peace, exude joy, and experience happiness, I have to address and release the baggage in my heart and mind.

Release is Required to Make Room for Growth

It takes time, counseling, and praying without ceasing. It takes screaming, crying, and releasing my ideal self so I can grab hold of and work on my authentic self. It took me hitting the bottom to see and realize that “Cloud 9” is only a figment of my ego, worldly desires, and others' approval. For now on, success will be measured in happiness and not accolades. My peace will come from living out my purpose, not appearing to be perfect.

My closet has skeletons that came from tough lessons, messes that have given me messages, and a testimony for every test. No matter how messy or old the closet may be, it's never too late to clean it up.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Richard Olivier

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