Too many children experience emotional abuse. It seeps into the fabric of their being, and colors all their relationships in adult life. Are you recognizing it? Today's episode will help.
Being abused is a BIG deal! Not recognizing it is also a BIG deal.
Often, when it happens when you are young, it becomes buried in the fabric of your life and you don't realize that you are operating from it. That happens too often.
Maybe, you've downplayed the emotional abuse, or any other kind of abuse, in your mind to somehow make it alright, or at least, tolerable. Maybe, you've made up excuses for the other person. Or, worse, you've taken on the blame for the abuse on yourself!
No. The very best thing you can do for yourself is to get some help to take a detailed look at your life, and see what really happened to you. Start with the insights and questions in this episode, and journal your thoughts.
Emotional abuse can make your life darker. It's limiting, and enclosing. You need to be free from it, and that begins with recognizing the emotional abuse.
This episode will definitely help, especially if you take the time to reflect on the questions. You deserve to do that. YOU MATTER!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE:
- Too many people do not recognize that they experienced emotional abuse
- When you are emotionally abused as a child, you accept it more readily as an adult
- Seven ways to recognize emotional abuse
- The consequences of internalizing emotional abuse as your fault
- 14 questions to ask yourself to recognize any emotional abuse in your life
Machine Transcription - apologies in advance for weird errors!
Today we're going to talk about something kind of general for all people in all kinds of abuse. We're going to be talking about have you actually experienced abuse that you haven't acknowledged because that can have it very, very detrimental effect on your joy, your happiness, your peace, your ability to trust your view of the world. There's so many things in a course, how you interrelationship. So want to talk about that today. We've been having some great conversations over in optimized circles. So if you're looking for a safe place to ask your questions and be part of conversations that works just like Facebook and other social media places, but as safely on my website, come on over and join email@example.com and also if you need help from me, go to transforming relationship.com so lots, therefore you lots and lots and lots.
And you can also access many of my other podcast episodes. So that would be good. A, whether you want to access as savior sanity I episode or you'd like to listen to my other podcast, which contains guest interviews and it's called emotional savvy, the relationship help show. So wherever you like to get podcasts, you can find that. So lots of ways to get further information if what you hear today really rings true for you. So let's talk about, have you really ever experienced abuse and did you not acknowledge it because it's a really big deal to be abused. I've had hundreds of clients who have not wanted to call it abuse. For many it it seems like it's a taboo. They don't want to touch at least for a long time after the fact. So for others, they didn't want to make waves. They didn't want to upset apple carts.
They want to blow whistles. Maybe they were afraid of upsetting their family or maybe being seen in a poor light aid or not being believed or maybe fear of reprisal because it was a family member or a boss or fear of things getting worst as any of that ring a bell. For you. Many people have been an, are being abused and don't even realize that it is abuse. You know, we hear more and more about domestic violence, sexual, physical abuse. It's good that we're hearing about it, but it needs to be outed and it needs to be outed loudly. You know, I mean, the outright amazement that people had when dark jewelry Nassar was exposed on the u s uh, Olympics, um, gymnastics team doctor made somebody that they were supposed to be able to trust, absolutely trust. Then nobody said anything that reached any ears to anyone who would do anything for a long, long time.
And although he received a sentence in effect, a death sentence in the words of the sentencing judge, um, he re received a sentence of 40 to 175 years. Where were the willing ears when the first victims came forward? Probably 20 years ago. That's a problem. Who justified and rationalized or made excuses for the so-called stories the children brought home what was going on, who didn't want to lose their power by taking this seriously in the case of the Larry Nus or situation and who wanted to cover it up, who wanted to hope it would all go away. Well, way too many people and maybe people in your family did this same thing to you or worse people in your church or your school choir workplace. And that's simply not all right in any way, right? Oh, I hope you're agreeing. And if you're not, think about this, is it possible you're denying what happened to you?
So if that can happen in an Olympics program, that makes proudly the statement that is three core values are excellence, friendship, and respect. Then what's up that's look at those excellence as easy, standout, give your best friendship, be asked. That's admirable. But then there's respect for respect for whom? Respect for what and in families. Well, in a family, there's no committee to go to for that. Each family makes their own values. They do it either consciously or by demonstrating them by the way they live and treat one another. And it's the same for workplaces except there. They're supposed to be regulating bodies who may or may not listen or serve you well or care. It's sad. It's bad. It makes me mad. Right? You too. I hope so. It's quite possible to be abused or to have been abused and to not be acknowledging it for the abuse it is, or it was.
Abuse happens to men and women and for various different reasons. Each genders processes somehow differently, but shame, shame, shame, shame. That's a big factor. And I want to focus attention today on emotional and psychological abuse. And that often includes verbal aggression. So do you know what emotional abuse includes? Because you need to know that so you can get real about what happened to you or to somebody you care about. So here's a few things that emotional abuse includes confinement, not being able to go where you want to go. Isolation. Nobody knows that you have been cut off from your friends. Verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation. They make you completely afraid to say anything. Infantilization that's where they treat you as though you know nothing and they take away all your rates and any other treatment which may diminish your sense of identity, dignity, and self worth.
Wow, that's emotional abuse. Is any of that ringing a bell? Can you think of times when you were humiliated, were intimidated or threatened? I certainly count. My father used to do it frequently. Is there someone in your life who makes you anxious? Just thinking about them now you might want to look into that. You know, for many of my clients, they were abused at times in their life when they just took it in and moved on and they don't recognize why they have difficulties in relationship or why they have fears or any of those things that are holding them back. And then when we uncover them, it is startling and sometimes not very pleasant. But when you work through the gift, you give yourself as amazing. So ask yourself this too. Am I walking on eggshells around someone all the time? They may be an emotional abuser, it could covert and that's why you don't think about it as abuse.
You may have been in a home where you desperately wanted the approval of a parent, probably because it was being withheld. The like my mother, your parent frequently demeaned or belittled or degraded you and you wanted them to like you because you are a kid. So in your own mind, in your own brain development stage, you made it your fault. Children do that. They do that readily. Does that sound at all familiar? Well, that's how covert and submerged it can be and it happens over and over to children. And this sets you up to accept this emotional abuse from others in your adult life. Yes. You become used to it somehow. It even seems air quotes normal. Even if you don't like it. It's how you see yourself and the world and it's not right and it's not acceptable. Just because there's no mark on your body doesn't mean there's no scar on your heart or mind. Did you hear me? Just because there's no mark on your body doesn't mean there is no scar on your heart or on your mind and you didn't put it there. Someone was abusive. There are big consequences to internalizing the abuse as your fault. It'll turn into low self esteem or a willingness to put yourself last in every situation. Or maybe you don't have the confidence to speak up and voice your needs or your wants or your thoughts or your opinions. Maybe you don't think you matter.
You don't want to rock the boat even when the thing needs to cap size. That's how bad it can be. I remember when my parents were coming home [inaudible] excuse me, my parents came home and I had been being babysat and I had the gumption because they'd come home early to tell them what had just happened. The babysitter had molested me and he was just about show me where babies come from. So they came home early and that stopped him in his tracks and he rushed out of the house with his money and hopefully his tail between his legs and I tearfully told my mother and father as they leaned against their bed, which was next to my caught now, yes, you might ask why I slept in my parents' bedroom, but that's a whole story for another time because I have lots of experiences of abuse.
But in this situation, my father said nothing. When I told them and my mothers said, you have to be lying. Young Lady, nine year olds don't know those things now as a pretty bright nine year old. So I said, well then it must be happening to me or I wouldn't know about it. That is where the conversation ended. What? Who is 40 years old? I sat my parents down again and revisited that story. And my father said he'd never heard about it before. And my mother reiterated her same ignorant response. You must have been lying. Nine year olds don't know about that. And that's what happens to too many kids. The parents deny the abuse. Now in my case, the relationship with the next door neighbors whose son was the babysitter was much more important than me. So they chose them over me. So that was abuse, doubled.
Emotional abuse, which is not as obvious, extends to not wanting to look into the allegations of sexual abuse. So it was emotional abuse on my parent's part as sexual abuse on the babysitters part and it all just was swept under the rug. So is it possible that a parent abused you? If so, it will affect your adult choices and it definitely will affect your ability to have satisfying emotionally intimate adult relationships. And it can affect your career and it can cause you to think about sabotaging your career because you won't speak up, you won't speak up on your own behalf. You mean no longer believe that you matter. And you allow that to take away your voice. Now is it possible that a partner abuses you? Yes, of course. This possible patterns of abuse, are they just a bound them relationships that people sadly refer to as love relationships.
We too much abuse so you can do the math. I'm going to give you some questions to ask yourselves and these questions point to potential emotional abuse and if any of these happen to you, I really recommend that you talk to someone like me. I work with people all over the world by video conferencing so we can always talk and I do offer that one time a one hour consultation for new clients for only $97 if you need to talk about this, you want to talk about it, you want to figure out if there has been emotional abuse in your life. Just go to be a client.com be a client.com and you'll get right to that page for that one hour offer. So let's let's work on the math here. All of these questions that I'm going to ask you point to potential emotional abuse.
As I said. So take a moment to think about each of them. Does your partner, parent or any other significant person in your life threatened violence or threatened to leave or leave you with? Nothing as a vague one that's emotional abuse. You know, do it my way or I'll leave you and I'll take all the money or I'll take the children or I'll take everything or apparent, we'll say, and we'll oust you from the family and disinherit you. I can't imagine how many times I was disinherited before my parents died. They never did it that they threatened it every time they got angry ks. So there's a question. Is anybody threaten you with violence or threatened to leave and leave you with nothing? Okay, here's another one. Does anybody frighten you intentionally?
You know people do that to children too often. They make them afraid just to see them afraid it's cruel. Or does anybody make you afraid that you or you and your children will be left without money, care, shelter, or food that's read as far too frequent. I had a client at one time whose husband, he was a high jackal. You know those relentlessly difficult people I talk about all the time and every week he gave her a little less money for food and made her wrong and yelled at her for not being able to make the money stretch. That is emotional abuse, physical abuse, ad's just violence against his family and his wife. So does anybody make you afraid that you'll be left without what you need to survive or in other one, does anybody lie to you frequently and possibly about you to your watch for that? You know they start with little lies, little lies that you don't correct them about because it doesn't seem like a really big deal. But if you watch the pattern of lying to you or about you, not good. Does anyone speak poorly or inappropriately or degrading Li about you to other people? No. I've had in my life my
parents who would say something right in front of me. Right.
Anything to make themselves look like they'd want up to me. That's emotional abuse. It is. That happened to you. Somebody puts you down in front of other people. I even had a school teacher do that to me when I was in third grade. Emotional abuse. Does anybody withhold important information from you or lie about important information? Did they tell you that you're on the bank account but you're not? Did they take you off the, uh, registration of a car or truck and not tell you?
They lied to you about importance, Jeff. And if you're in a marriage hijack, clothes like to lie to you about financial matters. They like to be putting the money in secret accounts and telling you there is no money and going to the bank or whatever they need to do and taking your name off things with some big concocted story. So that's an important one that people withhold information from you or lie about it.
Or how about this, parents or partners or some significant person in your life tries to keep you from seeing friends and family or tells lies about you to the friends and family to get them on their side. Wow. That happens too often. That truly is emotionally abusing because it's misinforming of their pupil. But it's very abusive to you because those people create a concept of you and it's not true. It's not true. And then you will be treated as a result of what those lies were. That's, that's emotional abuse. Did you ever have a situation where anybody made fun of other people for how they look or speak or dress on a regular basis? Yes. That can be what we call bullying, but it can be more settled in that and what hijackers liked to do and passive aggressive people excel at this and all high jackals are passive aggressive but not all passive aggressive people that are high.
Jack goes is they like to make a remark that cuts down and then they'll say, oh, I was just kidding. And then you're caught. You don't know where they kidding and are you supposed to laugh or you're deeply hurt and what are you supposed to do? And that's emotional abuse. When people make fun of you or here's one that often happens and in families is they'll tell you you're too much trouble. No one would put up with you and you're lucky to have a home or a partner will tell you that, you know, you're such a hot mess and no art, isn't it wonderful that I put up with you and just be careful because we lose me. You'll have nothing. That's not true. Not True at all. It's emotional abuse.
Oh yes. Here's another one. When they tell they ignore you or tell you to be quiet or they run this silent treatment for days. Yeah. I was giving a class once in, a fellow asked me, how long is it normal for my wife to give me the silent treatment? And I said, well, how long does she do it for? And he said six weeks and that's just abuse. I [inaudible]. But in that case, she was very afraid of him because he would get very loud and angry and she didn't want that. So she was happier to be quiet and silent and stay out of his way. So she had her reasons. But if somebody is giving you the silent treatment all the time, they're trying to control you and trying to control, you can be very emotionally abusive. So let's just look at a couple of more.
Is there somebody in your life who criticizes you often in private and in front of others and they may do that passive aggressive thing I was just speaking of. They may try to pass it off as a joke or if you speak up they'll say, oh, I was just kidding. Or if you speak up, they may say, oh well you're having a sensitive day, aren't you? Don't make that okay on any level. Just quietly and neutrally say no, that was unnecessary. It's not true and it hurt my feelings and know that you have the right to say what's going on within you. You know when I wrote the book Kaizen for couples, and as you all know I've written 16 books so there's lots to read, but the most important thing to read is Kaizen for couples to get all of the communication strategies that I put in there so that you really understand how to speak up on your own behalf and how to see things that will be not threatening.
Very, very important. Okay. Couple more. Does anybody treat you with a lack of respect regularly as though who you are just doesn't count. They just look down on you. They just treat you any old way they want to. That's emotional abuse. Or sometimes they'll treat you like you're a child and they'll talk to you as though you're a child and they take on a parenting role and you may even be older than them, but they speak down to you and they constantly do that. That's emotionally abusing. And the flip side of that is they give you orders without consultation and they expect you to do things as you're told. That also is emotionally abused. Yeah, of course. Every situation is different. Every relationship is different and you've made a verbal and non verbal agreements that certain things are okay, but if something is really not okay with you and you haven't spoken up about it, do it.
Absolutely do it. Don't allow people to be emotionally abusive to you. You don't have to get angry with them. You don't have to say nasty things. Go and read chapters in Carson for couples on the personal weather report. It'll give you a way to communicate with other people that will always work and you just speak up and say what so but you only speak about yourself because my definition of assertiveness is that you know you have the right to take up space and draw breath and therefore you have the right to say what you think, feel, need and want. As long as you do not mention another human by name or Pronoun, you're only speaking about yourself. You want to be able to use that personal weather report. So you can go to Amazon and get Kaizen for couples as k a I, Z, e, n or if you want to see all my books, just put my name Roberta Shaler in the Amazon search bar and you'll find them all.
So you need good communication skills. You may not feel comfortable, you may not feel confident speaking up right now, but you can learn and then you can start putting in an assertive stop to this emotional verbal abuse. And we need to do that. So all those questions, do you see what I mean when I suggest that many things that are abusive are often not seen as abusive by the person being abused and we get used to it. If it happened to us when we're children, we just get used to it. We kind of accepted as the way it is and that's how people are and that's what I deserve. And that's not true. It is not true. So once an abuser has you in his or her sites in the cross hairs of abuse, the intent is to wear you down, tear you down, exhaust you so they can gain control and power over.
You and abusers are very good at this. You, especially when you were a child, had no experience to draw on. You knew you needed the giants in your life in order to survive. So you bent to the demands. What could you do? But no more. You're an adult now to not let this happen to you in any area of your life at any time. And I know that sounds so easy and I know it isn't, but would you start by realizing that you have the right to speak up or you have the right to walk away, take your rights into, into consideration, not theirs. Take yours so no more. Don't let this happen in any area of your life at any time. And if it has happened and you recognize it right this minute, get some help. I'm always here for you. Come over to optimize circles if you're not ready to work with me personally, I answer in the discussion groups over there all the time.
At one level we have to ask me anything group calls a month so you can ask me directly. So come on over, be there. Optimize circles.com so it's, it's very difficult to, if not impossible to heal and recover from all this on your own. So I want to help you. And I've had clients who've had abusive partners and Xs and parents and adult children and coworkers. It doesn't end if, if people are used to abusing you, you're used to being abused and people can sense that and they'll keep doing it. So I tell my clients, don't be hooked on hope that those people will change, that they'll all of a sudden be different, they'll get better, they'll stop doing it, they won't. What is happening or has happened requires so much work and a willingness to shift on your part and that's where you start. So don't matter how much an abuser promises to not believe it until the behavior has changed and maintained for a year.
How many times do people write to me and say, well, I was in this relationship with this person and it was just awful. They were terrible high jackal. And they give me all the stories and they say, but now the person's come back and they want a relationship and they say they've changed and they've had therapy and they've done all of this, what should I do? And I say, first of all, don't believe it until you actually see it and don't believe it until he actually see it for a year. And don't let them back into your home or your heart. Right? Very important. Tell them that you know if they have changed and they've done all this therapy and everything, you tell them, okay, we'll start by going to couples counseling on a weekly or biweekly basis. We will go and we will talk and we'll see.
And if after six months of that is going well and we're maybe dating a little, then we'll see if the relationship can be reconstructed. Because believe me and abuser I high Jacko a will not go to counseling for that long with you. And unless they can hoodwink the counselor into believing their story and then you will be abused again. So in all likelihood, the person will not go to counseling. They will find reasons and excuses, iron clad ones like work or whatever that they can't go. And then you will slowly find out that the nothing has changed. And if in the very rare case it has changed than it was worth it. But really if you say to them, great, let's see then if we can change the relationship, if you really want that, we will work on it for a year and then see if we want to reestablish a relationship that has real legs to be emotionally intimate, equal, reciprocal, mutual, and that will work.
Don't be afraid to ask for that. You certainly don't deserve to be abused. So no matter how much an abuser promises, don't believe it until the behavior has changed and maintained for a year. That's when you know it was heartfelt and you can begin, and I emphasize the word begin to trust. So with all this, I just wanted to share it. Just in case you have been downplaying anything that happened to you that truly was emotionally abusive and or may be is right now so that you can see it and you may not want to see it. You may not like to see it, but you need to see it. So have you been abused and made excuses for it? Are you ready to acknowledge it? Now? If you haven't, you may know someone who can help and better understand now that you've read this or it rather, because of course they're not reading it, but it's a problem and we all have to fix it.
So if any of these things are ringing true, they could be effecting how you feel about yourself. They could be affecting your relationship with other humans, your children, your partner. If it's not your partner who is abusing you, may be another partner did and they realized it wasn't healed and what's going on in your current relationship could be so much better if you did the healing. All these things are important, so important. And I'm here to help. As I said, go to be a client.com listen to other broadcasts in this podcast series. Save your sanity. Go over and listen to my other podcast, emotional savvy. Get some clues and cues over there from all my expert guests and maybe even come along to my youtube channel. It's called for relationship help youtube.com/for relationship help every Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Time. I have a live stream over there so you can join in. Make your comments, ask your questions to go to youtube.com/for relationship help.
I'm dark too. We're British Shayla, you find firstname.lastname@example.org and I hope you will transform your relationship with yourself and with other humans so you can have the absolute best life possible. So until we talk again, invite your friends over. Listen to these episodes, invite them to subscribe, subscribe yourself because these are tips everyone needs and you need them because you matter. Never forget that. Talk soon.[inaudible] I'm so glad you spent this time with me today. I hope you heard something that touched your heart and empowered you to move forward. You can have the life and relationships that you most want and that begins with you within you. Today. I'm always here for you. Life can get better, and you heard that for me, the relationship helped. Doctor. I'm a British shader and I work with clients throughout the world through video conferencing. We can talk, so learn email@example.com for relationship, h e l p.com or visit me on youtube at for relationship help. Join me for next week show.