If you’ve ever been emotionally abused, you’ll be able to relate through and through with this post. For those who don’t know, emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behaviour that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also be called psychological abuse. Victims of emotional abuse love differently as a result of the hurt they’ve experienced. When it comes to abusive relationships, it isn’t always just physical abuse. Emotional abuse can be just as damaging, but in completely different ways. It’s hard to love again after you’ve been manipulated, put down, controlled, belittled, and made to feel worthless by someone who was supposed to love you and care about you. Here are some of the recognizable ways:
- They keep their distance longer than most: Even if they think they’re really into you, they’re going to keep their distance. They’ll keep you at arm’s length, might not text you back immediately, and definitely won’t want to spend too much time with you. They just don’t want to get too close.
- They play it close to the chest: After you’ve been emotionally abused, being able to open up freely is painful. They don’t want to put themselves in a vulnerable situation again and when you open up about yourself, that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re exposing the bits and pieces of you that all of a sudden make you a target. For them, it’s safer if they just keep some things to themselves.
- They take it slow: I don’t mean just physically slow, but emotionally and mentally slow. Like a wounded puppy, it’s hard not to proceed with caution. It’s just an instinctual way of protecting themselves from further harm.
- They’re overly-suspicious: When you’ve been with someone who’s put you down over and over — saying you’re no good and are worthless — you just can’t help but wonder why anyone would want you ever again. If you tell them you love them and they look at you weird, it’s not that the feeling isn’t mutual; rather, they’re still a bit unclear as to what about they might be appealing or lovable to someone else.
- They’re hesitant about getting to know the people in your life: When you start to get to know the friends and family of the person you’re in a relationship with, it means things are getting serious. It also means that your lives are becoming more and more intertwined. It can feel a bit scary, so they proceed with caution.
- They’re affectionate, but on our own terms: They show their affection on their own terms. They don’t hold hands, cuddle, hug or other displays of affection when you want it; rather when they want it. They take show of affection at their own pace and on their own terms.
- They assume the worst (but hope for the best): When you’ve been mistreated by someone you love, you automatically build up a wall around your heart. You become guarded, protective, and you hand out your love in pieces, bit by bit. Because this is the case, they naturally assume that things won’t last or that they’ll be hurt again.
These don’t mean that they don’t love in a healthy way; it just means that it takes some time to love and trust again. It’s simply a coping mechanism, and one that works for many of them.
Culled from yourtango.com
Photo Credit: blueribbonproject.org