Abuse is not only in one form. It is not just physical; it is emotional as well. Just because emotional abuse cannot be seen does not mean it does not exist. There are times that it is worse than physical violence.
We come across physical abuse cases in the newspapers and read about them more frequently. We have never read a case where someone was abused emotionally or mentally. Being abused mentally may destroy you for a very long time, completely shattering your self-esteem and identity.
A victim is scared to express him or herself as people think they are using it as an excuse to take advantage of other people.
Due to lack of awareness, most people do not even know that they are being abused. Abusers usually mask their manipulation under the banner of love or care. You are confused for so long, that by the time you realize, a lot of damage has already taken place.
This is what emotional abuse looks like:
Essentially gas-lighting is psychological warfare. The abuser throws irrational sentences at you to instigate you. The abuser angers the victim on purpose and whatever you say in return – they pretend as if they cannot understand it. They make you go round and round in circles to drive you mad, and then accuse you of being crazy. They gas-light you so they can continue taking advantage of you and when you try to solve the issue at hand rationally, they mentally abuse you.
Abusers target emotional people. Every human being was born with emotions, which is why the first thing a manipulator does is make sure that he gets under your skin. Once he has your trust, which is when the abuse starts. When you express your concerns and why you are upset with them, either they keep silent, or their response is cold and emotionless. They will make you feel like your efforts in expressing were useless and unimportant.
Your partner will surprise you with gifts, and call you telling you how much they miss you. They can’t seem to live without you and love you deeply. This is just in the beginning because this is a way for them to know where you are at all times. After some time passes, they will make you feel like you are neglecting them and make you feel guilty for being elsewhere. For them, nothing is more important than they are. They will cross all boundaries and harass you when you do not answer them whenever they ask.
Once abusers get control over you and have fully gotten under your skin, which is when they start showing you their real self. Even if you do something good for them, if it is not perfect in their eyes, they will lash out at you. Regardless of how much effort you are putting in pleasing them, they would want more, and they will take their anger out on you if they do not get it. One moment they will love you, and the next moment they will start being mean over something as small as you not having an appropriate reaction to their love.
A genuinely loving partner will make you feel better about yourself. That does not mean that they will shower you with compliments for no reason, but they will make sure they support you in every way. People who insult people in passive aggressive ways every opportunity they get are slowly bringing you down. Such people feel better about them after doing so and want to break their victim to have full control over them. This in the long term will break your self-esteem and confidence.
You will always find an abuser talking about random things in their life but not about their personal life. You will never find them talking about their feelings. In addition, even if they are, they are not interested in your feelings. It is always about them and less about you. They are not answerable to you about anything but you are supposed to communicate everything.
The abuser will always chose a person who is an easy target and does not have a strong backing. People who are introverted or have fewer friends are easy to target. There is no one to save them or advise them about the abuse that they are undergoing. If you are a person who is surrounded by friends and family then they will slowly try to isolate you. Tell you how these people are not good for you or the fact that they dislike them.
Abusers are mostly immature people. Their reactions are very raw and very childlike. If they do not get what they want, they will start screaming and throwing a tantrum. They will fight with you so much that giving them what they want will seem like an easier option. They will not understand when you are trying to be rational with them, they will only see how it is unfair on their part that they are not getting what they want.
Abusers are usually people who get jealous very easily. In addition, they will get insecure of everything you do very easily. They will even accuse of you being disloyal when you are not to bring you down and take advantage of you.