What’s worse? ………
We can’t look at it this way anymore.
To date, we’ve thought it was a bully who is the culprit behind such abuses as Elder Abuse and we’ve thought that Emotional Abuse is merely a symptom of those forms of abuses, such as Elder Abuse. Not so.
So, with that comes a new awareness that we need to be wary of the kind of damage the Emotional Abuser actually does inflict onto their victims before it even gets to the phase involving other types of abuses, whether it be spousal, financial, negligence, elder or physical.
Also, where bullies instill fear in another by showing their power either by intimidating or physically ganging up on their victim, essentially their presence in the victim’s life is what gives the bully a sense of power. They get great joy by knowing their victim is very much aware of just who they are.
Emotional Abusers operate on a different level. Their sense of power and method of control comes from playing and toying with their victims quietly and manipulatively. They enjoy destroying them emotionally, one day at a time. And being able to see their victims writhe and struggle in pain without knowing who is doing what to them is what brings them great joy. Essentially, Emotional Abuse is disguised pressure and undue influence that over time will cause mental and physical duress, if not death.
For victims of Emotional Abuse, they are all broken well before a hand is placed on them physically. And each victim ends up dealing with a myriad of known and unknown feelings, thoughts, emotions and open wounds. Because of so many unknown factors, it is then very important to tread lightly in trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together that represent their life as it is at the moment of intervention before one can help determine where to begin to help not them but perhaps their family as well, if they still exist.
If the abuse has lasted a while, one can only try to imagine what the victim has been experiencing day in, day out, at the hands of their perpetrator and what it’s done to them where:
- they have been teased, yelled at, controlled, watched, pushed around, belittled, criticized
- they feel absolutely humiliated, embarrassed, powerless, weak, unconfident, ugly, stupid
- every day the rules and demands keep changing, they have no security
- every moment they have spent with their perpetrator in the same house, in the last month, year or years, has been spent in fear; they don’t know what peace means anymore
- they haven’t slept or eaten properly in a long time
- they feel very sad and depressed
- their abuser is always sneaking and pouncing on them out of nowhere, scaring them
- they can’t think straight because they’re so confused and exhausted
- every moment they’ve been asking themselves what they did to cause this
- their abuser never stops applying pressure onto them
- they’re constantly being watched and never know what’s going to set their abuser off
- they know they have to say everything just right, do everything just right and act just right or they’ll set their abuser off
- they haven’t been out of the house because they’re not allowed to leave
- they feel no hope
- they’ve just been trying to cope with their feelings of danger and helplessness
- they may have been forced by their abuser to lie about them to family and friends or may have been forced or chosen to have lied to discredit someone their abuser feels threatened by. Either way, the victim will have those feelings, resentments and guilt to deal with if the abuser’s identity is disclosed….and just maybe
- they’ve been mentally traumatized if they’ve been subjected to any sorting of mind manipulation.
HEALTH RELATED ISSUES THAT WILL APPLY TO A VICTIM OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE ARE VARIOUS:
The emotional centre of brain is being affected:
- Reacting to fear or anxiety causes high blood pressure, etc.
- The brain cannot deal with negative impact of fear or anxiety on the body for prolong periods of time. Eventually, the victim will get confused and lack clarity.
- The victim will experience diminished cognitive function.
The Silent killer:
Stress hormones – creates high acidic levels in body, which predisposes the victim to cancers, stress ulcers
Weakened heart- cardiovascular disease
“Broken heart syndrome”
Dental issues: stress fractures, infections, loss of diseased teeth, oral hygiene neglect.
THERE IS ALSO THE MANIPULATION OF THE VICTIM’S MIND THAT HAS TAKEN PLACE:
Core beliefs have been tampered with
Hypnosis / brainwashing which result in “reprogramming” of the victim’s behaviour and emotions….literally their life and personal self
New habits are formed (without the victim’s knowledge)
Suppression of emotions (causing stress and anxiety)
Disassociation from one’s own feelings (inability to express one’s anger, fears, needs)
Emotional Abuse destroys anyone and everyone who falls victim to the crime. And it doesn’t stop there. The collateral damage is extreme. Because everyone in the perpetrator’s path is merely an obstacle to be dealt with, it destroys families, it destroys communities. The effect on society is devastating.