Emotional Healing by Understanding Psychological Abuse

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emotional recovery from psychological abuse
there is peace when the fog lifts

Every day I realize more and more that if the world is going to change at all, it is going to change through the emotional healing of the victims. I think that victims of emotional abuse and all the other forms of abuse that stem from emotional and psychological abuse including sexual abuse, domestic violence and spiritual abuse, make up the majority of the people in the world.  We have a voice; it is time to take our voices back, to heal and to take our lives back. Abusers can only be truly stopped when victims heal. When the people that they have hurt, realize the truth and realize that we can overcome the pain, oppression and rejection we have lived with and finally take a stand against it in our own lives. When victims emotionally heal, we are strong enough to stand up to the abuse and we are no longer fooled by subtle manipulation. There will be a ripple effect and we will raise our own children differently then we ourselves were raised, and the abusers will lose some of their power because the psychological abuse, lies and manipulation highlighted in the points below, won’t work the same anymore.

~ Abusers and controllers run the show;

~ They insist on and instigate cover ups, communicating that loyalty and respect is “not talking”

~ Emotional abusers misuse their power in order to get what they want and to have things the way they want them.

~ They misrepresent “right from wrong” teaching false truth out of the desire to control

~ Psychological abusers teach that submission, compliance and obedience are love

~ The power they exert over you is “for your own good”

~ They don’t respect or encourage individuality because that would limit their control

~ Psychololgical abusers demand that we don’t question them and teach that doing so is disrespectful  

~ They are always right, they know best

~ They demand that their authority is respected, but they don’t model respect

~ Emotional abusers teach that we have NO value outside the value THEY give us.

~ They do not live by their own teachings and values, rules, or standards

~ Psychological abusers do not live by their own definitions of “respect” “love” or “truth”

And the minute I made “a mistake” or did something that the abuser or controller decided was “wrong”, they declare that they now have “the proof” that I am a failure, a liar, crazy, a misfit, just as they said I was all along. They will often do this publically, twisting the truth and making sure that others agree that I am is the crazy one. Always making sure that the blame never falls on them. This is a very big part of how psychological abuse works.

They taught me and shaped me; mistreated and devalued me, all of which broke me. Then they rejected me because I was broken.

Labeled by their psychologically abusive actions as not good enough, not lovable, not the way that “they” wanted me to be.  A disappointment. A failure. In convincing me that I am responsible for the results in our relationship they can make it my own fault that I am not lovable or good enough. And it is easy to do because the training starts young. I was even more compliant because I was constantly trying to prove that it wasn’t me! I had become so confused in believing that I wasn’t’ good enough and so brainwashed that I believed that unless they agreed that I was worth it, and validated that I was worth loving, then I wasn’t.  They defined me in the first place and I didn’t realize that it was up to me to take my identity back, to redefine myself by deciding that they were wrong about who they convinced me that I was. I didn’t even know I could define myself because I was so lost in the fog that they encased me in. And I doubted that I had the strength to take my life back when I found out that emotional healing was possible and that part of the solution was in taking a stand against being falsely defined. I had to find the real me and a big part of how I did that was in first realizing that I was not who they said I was.

They kept me in the spin. Psychological abusers have to keep us in a spin because if we break through the fog for one second, we might realize that they are wrong. They know we just might recognize how pathetic they are so controllers and abusers quickly defer to a statement or event that proves their point, but that statement usually has nothing to do with the current situation and because psychological abusers create such a fog storm, victims rarely resist being led down the rabbit trail that the “proof or statement” is designed to take you down. We don’t resist because this conditioning begins at such a young age.

This description of emotional abuse and the abuse tactics used by controlling and manipulative emotional and psychologically abusive people apply to all people who desire to control others. These tactics are used by teachers, bosses, spouses, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, and even siblings and are based on the abusers belief that the all people are not created equal. Abuse and control is made easier when the self esteem is damaged.

You are most welcome to share your feedback, stories, victories or pain with us.

Exposing truth in order to inspire emotional healing;

Darlene Ouimet 

 part two; highlighting some of the statements that controllers and abusers use to get their way.

Recommended reading: People of the Lie by M.Scott Peck (the hope for healing human evil)

Coping methods and trying to escape myself (with Discussion here on EFB)

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from the people that have bought my book. Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

114 response to "Emotional Healing by Understanding Psychological Abuse"

  1. By: Angie B. Posted: 22nd June

    Well my abuse came from the family members who talked about my actions in the third person, like my stupid air-head of a sister. I was told that I was going to die alone,by my other pmsing sister that no one would love me or care about me; with verbal manipulation by my oldest sister to then turn into a physical coercion by her too. that’s if I don’t want to follow her stupid advice or want to take her direction of her lame *** suggestions. I was manipulated and said many horrendous things by my families, teachers and people I trusted my friendship with. I don’t know if that a cultural thing, or just based on racial profiling. All I know is that sometimes I could feel so unloved because I would think like, who is going to love someone who is as damaged as me? I guess I put all of my broken piece of my life to therapy; because I’ve felt like a huge crutch to society these days. I’m feeling so low when I talk about this. Now though, my spirituality has grown to it’s greatest capacity. I don’t have to live with my abusive and believe none of her old hogwash from my mother anymore. I know that God is reserving them people for eternal destruction. And I’m good! I would like to work more with myself and recover with some feedback. I would appreciate that very much so thank you. I guess my sister is pretty much disturbed by knowing that she’s a sinner, and what she’s been doing to me is bringing her to her knees in remorse now…

  2. By: ricky Posted: 25th March

    my mother told me from the time I was born that I was disgusting and she wished I was never born. She tied me up and beat me and degraded me on a daily basis, she went as far as to try and drown me in our toilet bowl so she didn’t have to see my filthy face anymore. As far as I knew boys were disgusting and dirty and shouldn’t be aloud to exist because of their ugly dirtiness.She locked me up at night so I couldn’t eat dinner with my family because “nobody could stand to look at me” and I spent almost every night trying to peek underneath the small crack of my door waiting patiently to be let out in the hope that I would get to eat and as always I made sure not to make eye contact with anyone in case she saw me and became irate at the fact that I was still there. To this day I still spend as much time alone as I can and I still feel like I have to take my food and hide around a corner to eat so no-one has to look at me. I still feel disgusting for being male and for my existence, and I also feel as though I have no attachment to people as a whole. I am for all intents and purposes emotionally and physically numb. I have so many people trying so hard to help me including my step-mother who I have to say has been more of a mother to me in the last 2 and a half years than my mother would ever be and I still have an almost sociopathic approach to life. I want to love the people who help and nurture me but I feel so dirty and unworthy and I just want to hide all the time and have nothing to do with them. I can’t maintain a relationship with any woman because I can’t explain to them what I’ve been through and I know I can’t expect anyone to understand. My mother has also slept with all of my best friends which has left me feeling alienated from any male I’v e ever known and humiliated once again. I’m wondering whether I can ever be normal or trust anyone and whether I am beyond help at all. I love people for the love and compassion they potentially have inside them but at the same time hate everyone for what they are capable of. I won’t have male friends because I can’t trust anyone and I am too scared to have female friends because I am so paranoid about them seeing me as dirty and disgusting as my mother did. Can anyone give me any advice at all???

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th March

      Hi Ricky
      I am so sorry that this happened to you. I understand what you are sharing. I felt that same way once and wondered if there really was any hope. I had written over 300 articles about how I found hope and how I overcame so much of this opression and found freedom on the other side. By finding out the roots of the where the fear and all of it came from, and you have already made a great beginning on this part ~ but the work for me was realizing how I viewed myself because of it. I had such a false view of who I was because of the trauma in my childhood. I really hope you will read more and share here often. (the majority of the sharing goes on in the current blog posts if you want to get feedback from other commenters. (start at the home button)
      Hugs and I am really glad you are here!
      Darlene

  3. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 16th May

    Hi Pam,
    The results of abuse are devastating no matter which way we look at it. I found that over time my kids began to trust me again, (although I think they are younger, none have kids yet, but it is never too late!) when they say the changes in me. It took a long time, and sometimes it does feel hopeless, but it isn’t. All we can do is make a living amend. I am so sorry, I know how much all this hurts. I believe that the only way to stop the cycle is to heal and the ripple effect of that is what makes the difference.
    Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Pam Posted: 16th May

    Darlene,

    There was nothing I wanted more than to raise my children differently and I did. The problem was that I didn’t really have a good understanding of why tings were so rotten growing up. I blamed a lot of it on alchohol so I became a tea todler. I was neglected and lonely so I became a helicopter mom. I was frightened of things that happened to me and things that I got into after I left home and hypervigelent. That translated as over-protection of my children. When they became teenagers, I was terrified and I had no idea how to raise them because I had never even had the chance to be a teenager. I became a different mother. I had always been spiritual but I became hyper-religious as I patterned myself after people who seemed to have it together as far as raising kids. The rules were appealing as there were no rules for me when I was that age. I hurt my kids because I was trying to solve the problems of my own childhood through them. In running to escape the dysfunction of my childhood home, I created my own dysfunction. Now I see my son doing much the same thing. It hurts like hell and now that I see more clearly what has happened, I am still pwoerless to change it because my son really doesn’t trust what I have to say about it.

    I did the best I could do as a mother. I love my children. I don’t know how I could have figured out all of the damage that had been done before I had kids. Sometimes, I really feel hopeless when it comes to breaking the cycle.

  5. By: Tina Posted: 6th May

    Hi Lynn, that’s a difficult situation. I think I am ready to let both parents go now, as my mother ‘allowed’ my father to abuse me and even collaborated in the scapegoating. I’m not sure I’d be involved even if she got sick. That’s a huge thing for me to say as my getting into grieving is still very fresh. I can still get angry at what the abusers have done too, but I’m not willing to let them ruin my happiness any more and so I let it pass through me. I’m glad you don’t let his opinion of you hurt you any more. I wondered recently why I let someone I don’t value diminish my sense of self. Just the habit of years; that I was wrong and ‘they’ (everyone who abused me) were always right.

  6. By: Lynn Tolson Posted: 6th May

    I read Tina’s comment, which summarized how I feel exactly. I am directly dealing with an emotional/mental/psychological/religious abuser, my step father. I would be ok to never have another thing to do with him, but he is caring for my mother who has Alzheimer’s and terminal cancer. To this day, he has taught me that I have no value outside any valuable service I can give to him. In other words, if I was living on the streets, he would not take me in for my own sake, UNLESS he was ready for me to share in the care of my mother. Although he was not a sexual abuser, he fostered the home environment that nurtured the seeds of evil to grow in the other family members that were perpetrators. Tina says she does not live in anger anymore. I get angry when I think about how I lost my opinion and voice to his, But I no longer live in obsession of what he will think and how he will react.

  7. By: Tina Posted: 6th May

    ~ Emotional abusers misuse their power in order to get what they want and to have things the way they want them

    and

    ~ They demand that their authority is respected, but they don’t model respect

    and

    ~ Emotional abusers teach that we have NO value outside the value THEY give us

    These three particularly are resonating with me today. And the worst of it is, if you try to tell them that’s what they’re doing to you because to you it’s as clear as day … then you are mad, bad and abusing them. But what’s very clear to me is that because it was done to me from a very young age I was too vulnerable to it for the rest of my life, and therefore very easy meat once I met it again. I don’t reinforce their story any more though. I don’t live in anger any more, because I know they’re often carrying on what was done to them, identifying with their own abusers, etc., using manipulation to make sure they’re in charge for the rest of their life rather than feel their own vulnerability. As has been said, they externalise it all and we carry it for life.It nearly killed me but I’m grateful for the chance to make a new and better life.

  8. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 27th March

    Lynda, thank you. I think that everyone on there is awesome in sharing our stories and our courage and support of each other. Sending you prayers and (((Hugs))). Do what is necessary to take care of you. My blog articles aren’t going any where. They will be there when you are ready.

  9. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out of the cRaZy Closet Posted: 27th March

    Wow, Patricia, you are AWESOME. I loved your comment #77, and I loved your comment #79 even more.

    BTW, I just want you to know that I want to read your letters to your family, and I am saving urls in my favorites, to read… when I feel ready. I’m been having a slightly rough couple of days, so I’m not up to it now.

    Lynda

  10. By: Bonnie Posted: 24th March

    @Patricia – Thank you. 🙂

  11. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 24th March

    Bonnie, you are very welcome. The harsh reality of your circumstances with your diabetic mother is that she knows that you want her love and are doing things for her, i.e. making her take her medicines, putting up with her continued abuse because you love her and you want her to love you back.

    What we do is a form of enabling which I learned about in 12-Step meetings. When we are super-responsible and take care of others as a way to earn their love, they don’t have to do for themselves because we will do it for them. Your siblings who live in the same town, don’t have to do for your mother because they know that you will step in and do it for them. If you don’t do for your mother and your siblings don’t step in, whatever happens to your mother isn’t your fault. I am sure that your siblings will try telling you it is your fault because that lets them off the hook in their minds. Don’t believe them. They are being selfish and irresponsible.

    I went through this with my dad when he reached his 60’s. I had not seen my dad for over 10 years because I had told him he could not be in my life or the life of my kids because of the incest. Suddenly several of his siblings were letting me know that I needed to help him with social security and some other things. That was when I wrote my Dear Family Member letter letting all of my dad’s siblings and my brother, sister and mom know about the incest and why I wasn’t going to take over the care of my dad in the last years of his life. He died when he was 68, alone in a bus converted into a trailer that he lived in on the side of a southern Arkansas county road. I shared that Dear Family Member letter recently on my blog if anyone is interested in reading it. I actually have 2 blog posts.

    Dear Family Member – Notification About Incest Happening In Family:
    http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2010/10/dear-family-member-notification-about.html

    Revisiting Dear Family Member Letter About Incest:
    http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2010/10/revisiting-dear-family-member-letter.html

    Bonnie, if you took back your life and quit taking care of your mother and the worst happened and she died, it still would not be your fault. She is an adult who can and should make choices for herself. If she choses not to take her meds, then she is choosing death – suicide by diabetes. That is her choice to make if she so chooses. I myself am a 58-year-old diabetic who daily makes those choices for myself.

    I learned the hard way with my own mother who I took in to live with me and my family for 14 years so she wouldn’t be alone that it didn’t make any difference in how she felt about me. She didn’t love me any more than she did before, or if she did, she couldn’t or wouldn’t show it. Nothing you can do is going to change your mother’s behavior toward you. Only she can do that.

    As long as you enable her by making her take her meds, she doesn’t have to change because she knows you will do it all for her. That is how many people are with alcoholics that they love. Your siblings are doing the same thing in giving up their responsibilities for your mom because they know you will do it. Their consciences, if they have one, are clean because they have put off all of the responsibility for your mother’s care off onto you, because you let them. You were given the title of “responsible one” in your family. That doesn’t mean you have to continue in that role. You deserve to have a life of your own. Others will not take on that responsibility as long as you are willing to do it for them.

    I make it sound so easy here, I know. It isn’t. I have been there, done that so I do know how hard it is to stop being the “responsible one.” I also know that you can do it. Go to school. Have a separate life. Don’t let others continue to abuse you. I have done all of that and it gets easier the more that you choose to live your onw life on your terms. (((Hugs))) Bonnie.

  12. By: Bonnie Posted: 24th March

    @Patricia #35 – THank you so much. I have realized that I have to stay away. I applied for and think I have a job here (2 hours away) and am going to concentrate on that and finishing school.

  13. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 23rd March

    Lynda, I will repeat what Renee said, your sharing did not in any way harm her or cause her to leave the blog. She has been having flashbacks for a little while now and coping as best that she can. She and I are friends so I will be here for her when she needs me to be. She knows that. Renee and I met over a year ago through her brother and my friend Jack. Jack was my first 12-Step sponsor years ago. Renee is doing what is necessary to take care of herself right now.

  14. By: Renee-A Ressurected Spirit Posted: 23rd March

    Lynda Please don’t think that or any one else think that. What happened was I read Darlenes blog, read Carlas blog the the son’s blog. I then turned to my sister and started to visualize what the creation of a monster was allowed to grow. It had nothing to do with you or ony one. It needs to come out, the girls in me are safe the melted in to a safe place and I gave Pat permision to give it to all of you in its entierty. I need to stop because of a vivid flashback has come back that is so violent it makes me want to do things that are unsafe so I have to stop. I have a lot of landscaping to do and the plants and flowers all have a special meaning to me. The represent each busk each flower of those I love. so that is what im going to do. So dont worry the girls and I will be playing in dirt! my inner child Savannah will think she is in heaven!
    Take care dear sister,
    Renee

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th March

      Hi Renee
      Enjoy your time planting and landscaping! I love planting flowers and find it very soothing and healing. You know we are here if you feel like coming back. I totally understand the need to take breaks, and to do self care. I have enjoyed all of your sharing and feel blessed to have shared this recovery road with you! Thank you for telling us that you need to stop sharing.
      Hugs and love and all the best with your journey!
      Darlene

      Lynda
      We all share trauma, that is the nature of this blog.. because it is about healing. Most of the readers here that comment take breaks ~ often long breaks. It is part of healing and each one of us hopefully will do what is best for our own healing. I think that is what Renee is doing.

      Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 23rd March

    Renee, I am going to miss your comments here. I understand your need to take care of yourself in any way that seems best to you. I hope you will be back soon, but only if you feel that’s best for you.

    I have been sharing so much here, so many details about my traumas, and now after reading what your last comment, I am worried that I may have shared too much, gone into too many details, and that may have caused triggers and flashbacks in you? If so, I am so very deeply sorry.

    Lynda

  16. By: Renee-A Ressurected Spirit Posted: 23rd March

    To all my sisters,
    I have had a set back that was pretty bad. I wrote Pat about it and I give her permission if she chooses to share it. Because of the flash backs and triggers I need to step back. Actually it may seem selfish for some but it has a vaule and reason that will help my inner journey of healing. I need to plant my garden of flowers and vegtables. I can’t do that while I have a melt down. I can’t do both because it takes energy that I have a shortage anyway. So I have picked my garden to come first. I will not beable to stop in and read the topic or the posts. I will miss all of you and know you have helped me in so many ways, ways that you all know because when you reach a low there comes an army of sisters to lift you up. I will be in touch with Pat and I give her permission to speak about me.
    Know you all mean a lot to me. You are the miricle God placed in my life and I hope I have been a little help to you in a small way.
    Thank you dear sisters, I say good bye just for a time.
    Renee

  17. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out of the cRaZy Closet Posted: 22nd March

    Lynn, what you said: “I get sick and tired of the victims/survivors having to do all the work while the perpetrators don’t. Just saying.”

    Amen, Sister.

    That reminds me of what I heard someone say one time about life not being fair. “Life isn’t fair!”, she declared. “If you’re looking for FAIR, you’re looking for a place with clowns and balloons and cotton candy and a Merry-Go-Round and a Ferris Wheel…. and that’s not REAL LIFE.”

    She was right, but I still don’t like that life isn’t fair. Just saying!

    Lynda

  18. By: Lynn Tolson Posted: 22nd March

    You know, I get sick and tired of the victims/survivors having to do all the work while the perpetrators don’t. Just saying.

  19. By: Sheryl Posted: 22nd March

    By “this same grandma” I actually meant the same woman who claimed to have said words (BIG WORDS) that she didn’t even mean…

  20. By: Sheryl Posted: 22nd March

    Gangrene sets in!! LOL!!

    I had a friend who attended a church and was confiding in an older woman about her custody/child safety issues (the dad sexually molested her daughter and had no visitaion)and this older woman, for some “unknown” reason just suggested to her one day in church that perhaps SHE should not have custody of her own daughter, and then the SAME woman recoils at herself (once she saw the look on my friend’s face) and claimed to not have MEANT to have said that!! (woman who is best little buddies with the grandma of the child–all in same church) OH, how the abuser changes the focus to herself, because afterall, it IS all about her@! I told my friend that this woman did it on purpose in order to drive her away from the church. It is pretty obvious to me, and after being driven out of several churches, it is plain as day to me.

    This same grandma has a dead daughter who left behind two teen age sons who play with guns after school while not attended. One day, another (single mom) friend of mine lost her son to a gun “accident” at this same home. I got on the news postings and commented that I wondered how many other guns were in that home and how many other times these boys had been playing with the guns unattended. GUESS who responded? Someone who sounded SO familiar!! Someone who wasn’t afraid to come out and lamblast me for being SO ignorant as to ask a dunb question as that. And they think their “slip” isn’t showing? Some people get away with stuff for a long time in certain settings.

  21. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 22nd March

    Sheryl, maddening and insulting is what it is. CRAZY-making, too. But I am Coming Out of the CrAzY Closet, so THERE! 😉

    I like what you said in comment 59: “The temptation to take care of the one who hurt us, ah yes, let’s focus on them!! LOL!!!”

    Haha, it is ridiculous when you think of it that way. Like, there you are with a crushed foot, in agonizing pain, and you have to worry about what was this person’s motives, did they mean to do it, did they not know what they were doing, was it on purpose or out of their control, do they feel terribly guilty now and you need to focus on making them feel better, you must FORGIVE, you must FORGET, you must assure them that you don’t need to feel bad, oh please don’t worry about what you did to ME, you just go on and have a Nice Day! LOL!!

    Or we try to become their analyist: “Now were you having a Really Bad Day and you felt like taking it out on someone by running over their foot with your car? Or maybe you had a very abusive, unloving mother, and I happen to look a lot like her, and you just couldn’t help your implusive reaction when you saw me walking across the parking lot?”

    Or we play the role of their medical doctor (while WE are in dire need of a medical doctor ourselves!): did you have a mild seizure? Maybe you are under a lot of stress and couldn’t concentrate on your driving? Do you have high blood pressure or an undiagnosed heart arrythmia, maybe that could have caused a momentary mental lapse? Or you had a sudden uncontrollable spasm in your arm that jerked the steering wheel? Whatever it was, we need to get you to a dr. for help pronto…”

    And meanwhile, who is taking care of our crushed foot?

  22. By: Sheryl Posted: 22nd March

    completely maddening and unsulting at the same time WHEN YOU HAVEN’T caught on yet. Not that it is ever fun, or like a counselor practically berated me one time that ‘I should have KNOWN that this would happen because he always lies, etc.” I hate this blaming the victim crap. You still have to deal with each thing as it comes up and it is nice to have outside support for doing so. It is nice to have someone to help you think through the next step, your own feelings, whatever. And the thing I hate seeing is my kids on the receving ends of lies or abuse, that is my challenge now.

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