Hello Everyone,

A lot has been on my mind about this particular subject recently, and I decided to finally get this out there. Many of you are probably dealing with this without even realizing it. Maybe some of you think you might be dealing with it but don't know for sure. Or maybe you don't want to admit it because its too scary to think about.

I'm guilty of that one myself.

So I decided to open this subject up for discussion. Emotional abuse: what is it? How do you deal with it? How do you move on from it? I'll try to answer all of those for you right now.

What is emotional abuse really?

"Emotional abuse includes non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking." -http://www.loveisrespect.org

So, how do you know you're in a mentally abusive relationship? What are some examples? From someone who's dealt with this, here is my list of 7 things I learned from it.

1. Guilt

They will make you feel guilty in many situations. Whether it be during a fight, or just because you forgot to text them back within their short time span they set upon you.

Example: It was my ex-boyfriend and I's 5 month anniversary tomorrow. I told him the night before I was going to be busy so we couldn't hang out, and I might not be able to text him as much through out the day as I would like. He said it was alright and understood. Skip to tomorrow, our anniversary. I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him through out the entire day. It was about 9pm and when I finally texted him, he responded within the same minute telling me happy 5 months, but in a cold tone. When I asked was was wrong, he blamed me for forgetting it was our anniversary (even though we talked about it the night before) and told me I ruined his day. We fought for a good half hour and when I told him I didn't forget, he didn't respond to me for hours as my punishment. Later on, though, he texted me apologizing, which leads me to number two...

2. Bipolar Personality

They tend to jump back and forth from acting like the most loving partner in the whole world, to thinking you're an enemy.

Example: My ex-boyfriend and I were texting each other one day and having a good conversation. We were both in a good mood, talking about our day and planning a future date. He texted me saying, "I love you" with a thousand hearts and kissy faces. When I texted him back I said, "I love you too" but didn't add all the emojis back because I was busy with my family and wasn't thinking. Once he replied he got mad at me for not putting any emojis and questioned if I still loved him. He told me I had to prove it to him that I still had feelings for him. Which leads me to number three...

3. Expectations/Control/Threats

They go hand in hand. Your partner will set certain expectations on you which become their form of control. If you don't listen, they threaten you.

Example: They'll tell you what to do. He/She will tell you to "stay here" when they don't want you to move. They'll tell you to "come with me" when they want you to go somewhere with them... basically as if you were a dog. My ex-boyfriend made me stop hanging out with certain people he didn't like (this could apply to your friends or family). If you say no, they pressure you or guilt trip you. Why? Because they expect you to listen. Your partner expects everything out of you but will almost never return the favor. Expects you to make time for them when they don't make time for you. Expects you to respect them when they don't respect you. Expects you to tell them everything when they hide everything from you, and so on. My ex never told me anything, never made time for me, and never respected my opinions. He once told me, "If you ever broke up with me I'd kill myself". It's a form of control. He/She wants you to live life by their rules.

4. Pressure

They'll pressure you to do what they want, not what you want. Your partner will not put what you want into consideration. To them, that doesn't matter.

Example A: Sex. My ex pressured me for explicit photos and sex for months, despite the fact that its against what I believe and what I'm comfortable with. Even after explaining that, though, it never made a difference. He told me he wanted a "real relationship" and that if we loved each other it shouldn't matter.

Example B: Drugs. He also pressured drugs although it made me uncomfortable. Course that didn't stop him, either. He told me maybe I'd actually make some friends if I did drugs. It'd help me "fit in" he said.

5. Intimidation

They'll put you down to make you feel like you're nothing without them. He/She will try to make you think you need them. They harass you whether they realize it or not.

Example A: Once I was telling my ex-boyfriend about some friends I sat with a lunch, and he asked, "What friends? You have no friends. That's what I'm here for. I'm your friend."

Example B: One time he told me, "Smile more. Maybe then you'd get more people to like you. That's why no one talks to you."

Example C: Once my ex texted me saying, "I hope everyone finds you ugly so you'll have no choice but to stay with me."

6. Isolation

Silence can be a killer. And they know that, they just don't care.

Example A: They'll make you feel bad for something you did (that probably wasn't even wrong/bad) and then they'll stop talking to you to make you feel worse. They purposely ignore you.

Example B: They only talk to you when its convenient to them. So unless they absolutely need to talk to you, or need to get something out of you, they don't bother talking to you or put in the effort to make conversation with you.

Sometimes they'll do both.

7. Arrogance

And finally, my last point: They act like they are above you and that they are always right. Their opinion means more than yours.

Examples on this one can be forever long. All you really need to know is that anytime you try to defend yourself or share an opinion of yours, they'll always try to prove that you're wrong and make themselves look right.

Okay, so there's the signs, now how do you handle the situation?

You talk to them. And I know, it's long and agonizing. But it's the only way to help yourself. You try talking to them, you defend yourself. Out of all the times your partner has screwed with your mind, you are allowed to speak up and help yourself, because they haven't helped or considered you at all. They train you to think that you don't have a voice/say. But you do. So show it.

And if they don't listen to you when you talk to them, or avoid talking to you about it, you break it off. At least you can say you tried. It might hurt like Hell, but you are doing yourself a favor. Trust me. The relationship is unhealthy.

Or maybe, they heard you out, you talked to them, and they apologized. But if they apologize but go back to doing exactly what they used to do, you cut them off. Break up with them.

Don't continue to waste your energy for someone who doesn't go out of their way and do the same for you.

If you don't do this, you will continue to be let down and be hurt. They might say they love you, but love is not emotional abuse. You don't treat people like this if you love them.

If you are scared, talk to someone you trust. You don't have to do this alone. Emotional abuse is still abuse. It can be traumatizing. A friend or family member can help you through it. If need be, I can help you through it, send me a postcard. I can guarantee you that I'll respond.

Reminder: There's always different types of emotional abuse, and you can never see it coming because each person does it differently. So never blame yourself. Unless you are a victim that's never something anyone can fully grasp.

So, how do you move on from emotional abuse?

It'll never be something you just move on from. It's something that you'll carry with you for a long time. It'll always be hard, but eventually, it wont be as hard.

You take it step by step. It's like a wound.
They hurt you,
you bleed,
you clean it,
and put a band aid over it until it heals into a scar.

And I don't have anything to really say after that, because I still haven't gotten my scar yet. We are all in this together.

But to end this, just remember:

You are worth so much more then what they made you feel.
In my eyes, as someone who knows what you are going through,
you are a diamond that was kicked through the dirt but still came out shining in the end.

And I believe that makes you the strongest, most courageous person ever.
You are beautiful and have a story to tell.
You are art.
And one day you'll meet someone who doesn't treat you like they did, you won't have to tell them how to treat you.
They will already appreciate and respect you for who you are.

I'm here for you.

All the love,

-m.c.

more of my writing if you'd like to check that out :) or send me a postcard and we can chat
my other articles if you'd like to read those :)