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Could you be in an emotionally abusive relationship?

This is an abridged version of an article on Thought Catalog, written by Shahida Arabi and I thought it was a great article.  Please click on the link to the full article in order to give the site the traffic it deserves: 50 Questions You Must Ask Yourself If You Think You’re In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship.

Please remember: When we want to be in love, we sometimes see the person through rose-colored glasses, and all the red flags just look like flags.

What Is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is a set of behaviors in which a person manipulates, coerces, controls, belittles and terrorizes another person repeatedly. Chronic emotional abuse takes a toll on victims, causing them to struggle with depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and learned helplessness. In extreme cases, long-term emotional abuse can cause symptoms of PTSD or Complex PTSD.

When one person emotionally abuses another, it can include the following behaviors:

  • Calling the victim names.
  • Mocking, shaming or humiliating the victim.
  • Ignoring the victim and emotionally withdrawing from them.
  • Threatening the victim or coercing them into activities they don’t want to engage in.
  • Making cruel remarks towards the victim regarding their appearance, personality, lifestyle, career choices or friends.
  • Verbally assaulting and insulting the victim, sometimes under the guise of “joking.”
  • Emotionally invalidating the partner or pathologizing their emotions.
  • Subjecting them to overt and covert put-downs as well as rage attacks.
  • Using intimidation as a control tactic.
  • Controlling the victim’s finances.
  • Micromanaging the victim’s social life.
  • Isolating the victim from friends and family.
  • Stonewalling the victim during discussions.
  • Giving victims the silent treatment for no apparent reason.
  • Gaslighting the victim into believing that they are imagining things or are oversensitive when they call out the abuse.
  • Repeatedly treating the victim with contempt, scorn and disdain.

There are also many other underhanded and subtle ways in which a victim can be emotionally abused, such as triangulation (bringing in the presence of a third party to abuse by proxy), smear campaigns (spreading rumors or gossip to ruin the victim’s reputation), and hot and cold behavior (pushing the victim away and emotionally withdrawing, intermittently throwing in periods of affection). Emotionally abusive partners may also lie pathologically and lead double lives, causing their victims to invest in a false partnership that ultimately brings harm and devastation.

 

 

How To Tell If You’re Being Emotionally Abused

Here are fifty “loaded” questions you should ask yourself if you think you’re being emotionally abused in a relationship. These questions take into account the fact that you already suspect you’re being abused. Your answers to these questions can give you insight regarding the emotionally abusive behaviors you might be currently experiencing, can help you to identify the red flags of abuse and assess the level of toxicity in your relationship.

1. Does your partner enjoy humiliating you in public?

2. What is the worst way in which your partner has used your own insecurities against you?

3. Do you find that the way your partner treated you in the beginning of the relationship is unrecognizable from the way your partner treats you now?

4. How often does your partner make you feel sorry for them after mistreating you?

5. Are you persistently made to feel guilty for voicing your concerns in the relationship?

6. Does your partner shame you about qualities or traits you have that they once praised?

7. Does your partner shut down conversations about their behavior before they even have a chance to begin?

8. Is your partner nicer and more respectful to others in public than they are to you behind closed doors?

9. When your partner gives you the silent treatment, do they usually explain themselves or do they continue to ignore you and come back only to pretend like nothing ever happened?

10. Does your partner continuously claim that you’re too sensitive when you express your emotions?

11. Do you find yourself questioning your own reality on a daily basis?

12. Have you been made to doubt things that you know for a fact your partner has said or done?

13. Does your partner call you names when he or she doesn’t get their way?

14. Are you afraid to express your true feelings around your partner because of the way they’ve reacted to you in the past?

15. Do you feel like your accomplishments are belittled, ignored or minimized by your partner?

16. How often are you made to feel insecure and invisible when your partner engages in conversations with people of the opposite sex?

17. Does your partner frequently compare you to others in a demeaning way in terms of appearance, personality, success or any other aspect of yourself they like to criticize?

18. Do you feel like you’re always walking on eggshells around this person, careful what to say or do just to avoid “offending” them?

19. Does the way your partner looks at or talks about other women or men (whoever they are attracted to) make you feel uncomfortable?

20. Has your partner reminded you of how lucky you are to have them, usually after an outburst?

21. Does your partner have frequent rage attacks when their ego is threatened?

22. If you call out your partner’s behavior, do they become excessively angry?

23. Are you allowed to ever point out your partner’s mistakes, even in a light-hearted manner?

24. How often does your partner make you feel ashamed about qualities and accomplishments you used to be proud of?

25. Do you find yourself apologizing for things you’re not at fault for in the relationship?

26. Has your partner ever made you feel as if you were in ‘competition’ with other people for their attention and love?

27. Do you find yourself apologizing for the mistakes that your partner made but refuses to own up to?

28. How many times has your partner accused you of having flaws that they themselves possess?

29. In what ways has your partner turned the things you used to enjoy doing into things you dread doing?

30. How does your body react when you’re around your partner?

31. Do you feel overly anxious when you think about how your partner treats you?

32. How many ways have you wasted time trying to please your partner, only to learn that they are never satisfied with anything you do?

33. In what ways do you feel you have to ask permission from your partner before you do something?

34. Have you ever gotten the sense that your partner is envious and hateful when you’re happy and successful?

35. Does your partner seem happy when you’re in pain?

36. Does your partner often comfort you, come to the rescue and ‘play the savior’ for the pain that they themselves caused?

37. Do you find that your partner gives you more negative feedback and criticism about yourself than they do encouragement?

38. Has your partner punished you for making choices independent of their opinion?

39. Have you ever felt limited in your ability to see your loved ones because of your partner?

40. How frequently does your partner call or text you to “check in” when you’re not with them?

41. Has your partner ever coerced you into sexual activities you weren’t comfortable with?

42. Has your partner ever made you feel guilty for not having sex with them?

43. Do you fear leaving your partner, out of the fear that they might harm you or harm themselves?

44. Does your partner discourage you from pursuing dreams or goals that would make you independent of them?

45. How often do you feel like you’re pleading for your partner’s affection or attention?

46. How many times has your partner insulted you and made you feel terrible, all while claiming “it was just a joke”?

47. Have you been told you’re too sensitive when you start setting boundaries with your partner?

48. When your partner is acting kind, does it seem out of place with the way they usually act?

49. Does your partner treat you tenderly and affectionately one second, only to pull back and coldly withdraw?

50. When your partner tells you they love you, do you have a hard time believing them because the way they act is anything but loving?

The Impact of Emotional Abuse on the Survivor

When emotional abuse takes place in childhood, it wreaks havoc on the mental architecture of the brain, affecting areas such as the amygdala, the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. These areas of the brain help with emotional regulation, learning, memory, focus, cognition and planning.

Many survivors of emotional abuse, whether they suffered it in childhood, adulthood or both, struggle with a sense of powerlessness as they are repeatedly put down. As a result of these adverse experiences, they may turn to self-destructive behavior, become trauma-bonded to their abusers and find it difficult to leave the toxic relationship.

 

 

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The Dimly Lit World of the Alienated Child

The process of alienation is not well understood. This article sheds some light on a difficult subject in a surprisingly insightful way.

Karen Woodall

I was asked a question recently about how one can recover as an alienated child.  Clearly the person asking the question was beginning the process of working through the reasons why they, as a young adult, may think about the world in a different way to other people.  In responding to the question, I found myself wandering the backstreets of the world of the alienated child again.  A world which is dimly lit at best and at worst, is full of shadows and secrets and lies, to such an extent that reality based thinking is more or less impossible.  It got me thinking, how does a child recover from the experience of psychological splitting and what is the psychological journey to full health that must be taken?

The process of psychological splitting, which is the strongest symptom of alienation, drives a child back into an infantile state of mind…

View original post 1,900 more words

Stages of Grief applied to Parents Affected by Parental Child Abduction / Alienation

Seth Romeo Singleton, Aiden James Singleton, Haley Rose Singleton

This article has really helped me to understand what I’ve been going through, and to see that my emotions are normal for my circumstances.

ABP World Group - Parental Abduction Recovery & Kidnapping Recovery

June 23, 2016

Source: Medium.com

“The death of a child is indisputably one of the most incredibly horrible tragedies one can imagine. Whether by sudden accidental circumstance, or by a more lengthy cause as in illness, the loss of a child is undeniably painful to experience. Painful to the parents, parents to the family, and painful to anyone related to the child. Never knowing the laughter of that child again or the tears, the joys and the accomplishments is a pain no parent should ever have to endure, and yet it happens. No one might be to blame. It can just happen”. (Tim Line)


Imagine a similar pain and the same sense of loss, with one exception-the parent is very much aware that the child is alive.

Parental Alienation PAS

The effects of Parental Alienation, Parental Child Abduction and retention are very similar to the loss of a child in some other way…

View original post 1,382 more words

09/12/2016 – All About Haley

Hi Aiden and Seth, I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you.  Last week was particularly difficult, but I’m doing better this week, I guess.  Still miss you guys a lot.  Thought maybe I could tell you some of the things that are going on with your sister, Haley.

First of all, you should know that the things you’ve been told about Haley are not true.  She has no mental or emotional problems, and did not “take over my role as the abuser”.  That’s just nonsense.  Haley lived at Cherokee Estate for a year, and got along just fine with all the other girls, and even earned herself several privileges there.  She came home to live with me  permanently on August 8th (so over a month ago), and has been doing very well.  She is not on any medication, because she never needed to be.  She is attending church and school, and making friends in both places.  She has her own room.  There is no yelling, or angry slamming of doors, or any need to “restrain” anyone.  On the contrary, having her home has been a blessing, both for her and for me.

Now that you know what’s NOT going on, let me tell you what IS happening.  I know that Jenn took you both out to fun places several times and left Haley home, punishing her due to some infraction, whether real or imagined.  Well, she now has an annual pass at Disney, and we’ve been at least three times.  She’s also been to SeaWorld several times.  She decided to cut her hair short, and she looks fantastic with it that way.  She has joined the Air Force JROTC at school and was already made the first commander of her Freshman class.  So far she’s loving it.  She’s also participating in band.  I got her a trumpet a few weeks ago, she’s been practicing, and getting pretty good.  Last weekend we went to a concert at the House of Blues in Disney Springs, because I know the band.  She’s been going back to the church you were all going to before you left Florida, and is planning a sleepover with one of her friends soon.

I don’t tell you this to make you envious, but to tell you that your sister is a good person. She always has been. She misses both of you guys a lot, and I know she wishes you could be with us when we do these things. We almost always talk about you two when we’re out doing things, and even when we’re just at home hanging out. Your sister loves you, and so do I.

walter_and_haley_singleton_ready_to_climb

Dad and Haley ready to climb!

haley_singleton_kayaking

Haley kayaking

haley-lobstersSpecial treat!  Lobsters for dinner tonight!