Getting back on task after having to say goodbye to our Lucy has been rough but it’s time. I wanted to continue talking about the 5 types of domestic violence.
Last time we chatted about physical. If you would like to revisit you can here…
This time I want to talk about 2 out of the 5 since they can be interpreted as the same sometimes. They really are two distinct categories but they totally intertwine. Emotional and psychological abuse can hurt and cause damage if not more long lasting than the physical kind. My emotional scars have long since overpowered my physical ones. But let’s break it down.
Emotional abuse refers to the type of abuse that affects how someone feels. Being put down, isolated from friends and family, constantly criticized, being blamed for something you can’t control. There is no emotional growth between you and your abuser. You will always be in the wrong.
For me, my abuser started with minor things like commenting on an outfit not looking right or my hair was out of place. He would show concern everytime I went out with my friends or had drinks. At first I thought it was cute, but when it progressed to me not spending enough time with him or I was cheating everytime I went out..I just stopped going so there wouldn’t be an issue.
There was even a time if I needed to go to the store I had to ask if it was ok. If he was out of town or at work he would assume I was up to something because I didn’t want to wait until he got home. I would be in the house most days because going out meant a fight.
When we did fight that’s when the name calling kicked in. I swear he called me a fucking idiot more that he ever said my name. Stupid, crazy, dumb, idiot. Shut the fuck up was also the phrase of choice in our house.
I remember how those names made me feel. Worthless, empty, I even started to believe it. I would go into the shower and just cry my eyes out. Then he would always see my puffy eyes and ask what the hell was I crying about. He told me once he’s the one who should cry because of having to deal with me!! WTF?!?!
Psychological abuse falls close to emotional but psychological abuse involves trauma to the victim through behaviors that are used to “control, terrorize, and denigrate” victims. I guess I think of it as taking the emotional abuse up a notch. Next level stuff. Examples are gaslighting, (meaning making you second guess yourself). Telling you that you are wrong or mistaken when you know your right. Using anything you’ve said in confidence against you. Using threats to spark fear. Feeding you negative thoughts about things to control you.
Mine would tell me bad things would happen to me if I left the house. Nowhere is safe. If I go somewhere he has to go too so he could protect me. Another example is using a past insecurity against me. I had an ex cheat on me when I was younger and it crushed me. He used to tell me I was the reason he cheated because I didn’t do things he liked. Then he said he would too because that’s what happens if they don’t get things. Ugh.
You can see they can be pretty similar but once has a larger manipulation factor to it.
Don’t get me wrong when I say this but for me the verbal/psychological abuse messed me up the most. The physical hurt like hell and can absolutely have devastating outcomes. My injuries healed but my mind has not. I’m 3.5 years out of the abuse but the pain of the words and memories are still right here with me.
This is hard to admit but it’s my truth.. I would actually hope he would hit me instead of the hours long verbal assaults. Typically the physical wound last less time. Ugh I can’t believe I said that but there it is.
I will ALWAYS say that any and all abuse is wrong and one is not worse than the other. It’s not a contest. I think that’s why a lot feel if they are not getting hit or have brushes then they can’t come forward for help. I totally felt that way too. Mine was all 5 categories but the physical came last.
My hope for you is you can recognize the 5 types and make a plan to leave when safe to do so. You deserve all the love and more.