Before I begin, there are a few things I want to clarify.
The first is that there is absolutely nothing romantic about emotional abuse. If you or anyone you know is being mistreated with the guise that it is loving and caring, be very cautious. Don’t let this type of behaviour be normalized.
The second is that anyone is susceptible to emotional abuse. It doesn’t matter your gender or the type of relationship. It can be romantic, platonic, or even parent-child. If someone has your full trust and intimacy, they also have the potential to emotionally abuse you. There is not always a physical aspect of abuse. The power tactics all lie in being able to control someone emotionally and mentally.
The third is that while there are universal symptoms of being in an emotionally abusive relationship, all experiences vary. Some people will experience gaslighting more, others will be more susceptible to the effects of being bullied. This piece is an example of someone being gaslighted into believing that the undesirable is desirable, a tactic that is used to achieve control in emotionally abusive relationships. This piece, however, is not meant to be a one-size-fits-all representation.
This piece is coming from the fact that I have not only seen it through others, but have experienced emotional abuse myself, at both the romantic and platonic level, and in a coordinated fashion.
Emotional abuse has the power to change your reality, especially when it is coming from someone you love. If you suspect someone you know is in an emotionally abusive relationship, please do your best to be there for them. In their world, their value and self-worth revolves around one person and one person only. They are pushed to believe that only one person can bring them happiness. Prove them wrong. Continue reading