Trusting Yourself after Emotional Abuse

girl being abused

Emotional abuse is meant to hurt  emotionally, of course, but it also hurts intellectually.  It begins to make the victim wonder if the words and actions are warranted.  Always questioning whether the abusive behavior is deserved.

Eventually this leads to the victim losing trust in his/her own self, whether it be their intellectual, emotional, or physical self.  Self-confidence and self-esteem erode over time.

Victims want to believe that the abusers love them.  Most relationships start with love, after all.  The abusers typically try to convince the abused that they indeed do love them and that the criticism or insults are really meant to help.  The abuser may even believe that, which makes them almost believable to the abused.  This dynamic makes it possible to blur the lines of a person’s boundaries.

All people need boundaries.  There’s a place where people should be able to say, even to loved ones, “Don’t go there.”  If you’ve experienced emotional abuse long enough, you may forget that you are entitled to that line in the sand.  But you are!

Everyone has the inalienable right to define, whether consciously or subconsciously the boundaries where they feel safe.  You need to take it back by thinking about where you want the line to be,  or try to remember where it used to be.   If physical abuse is not a threat,  speak up to the abuser during a calm time.   Explain how the words hurt you.  Try to agree on changing negative statements into positive statements.  Explain how you cannot be changed by him using negativity and insults.

Often with emotional abuse,  part of the erosion of self-confidence also comes from isolation.  The worse you feel about yourself, the less you feel you have to offer others, and so you stop maintaining close ties to friends and family.  If you realize that you have been isolated because of the abuse, try to reconnect with those who would support you.  You need support from loved and trusted people in your life.  Bring them back in.

Change does not happen overnight, but taking steps toward fixing or dealing with the emotional abuse will strengthen you.

Learn more about healing from this emotional abuse here.

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