What is Emotional Abuse?

“Emotional abuse is about someone manipulating your emotions on a psychological level” according to Gunta Krumins, BA, PMP, author of The Detrimental Effects of Emotional Abuse

Dr. Steven Stosny, Ph.D. says an emotional abuser controls another person by undermining his or her confidence, worthiness, growth, trust, or emotional stability, or by provoking fear or shame to manipulate or exploit; and that “Emotionally abusive behavior is anything that intentionally hurts the feelings of another person.”

Because of the silent nature of emotional abuse, it’s not untypical for a woman to feel hopeless, depressed, confused and/or trapped. In extreme cases, emotional abusers can break a person’s confidence and spirit to the point they can even convince their victim that they deserve what they get. It is twisted, damaging, and it’s all about control.

Emotional abuse is any nonphysical behavior or attitude that controls, intimidates, subjugates, demeans, punishes or isolates another person by using degradation, humiliation or fear.

Examples of Emotionally Abusive Behaviors:

  • Humiliating, degrading, mocking, bullying 
  • Discounting, distorting, negating, lying 
  • Accusing, blaming, and threatening
  • Isolating the victim from the people and things they care about
  • Deception and manipulating people’s emotions, decisions, and situations
  • Withholding affection and emotional support
  • Withholding financial and practical resources
  • Dismissive, disapproving, or contemptuous looks, comments or behavior
  • Threatening harm to the victim, their family, friends, pets, or possessions

“Emotional abuse seems more personal than physical abuse, more about you as a person, more about your spirit. It makes love hurt.” -Dr. Steven Stosny, Ph.D.

Additional Reading:

Stop the Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse: It Hurts When You Love

Quotes From Women Who Have Suffered Emotional Abuse

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Quotes From Women Who Have Suffered Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse victims (women and men) often feel paralyzed or powerless to change their relationship or situation because their perpetrators are likely control freaks and master manipulators. Because of the silent nature of emotional abuse, it’s not untypical for a woman to feel hopeless, depressed, confused and/or trapped.

Though it can seem unimaginable to people on the outside, some women caught in abusive relationships can even start to believe what their abusers tell them about themselves.

Bullies may tell their victims that they are stupid, unlovable, ugly, or that no one would believe them if they tried to speak up. Often they try to blame the abuse on their victims trying to convince them that the abuse is somehow, their fault. You can imagine the damaging effects to a person’s health, both mind and body, and how living with that constant turmoil, sadly, would begin to erode their spirit.

Here are some quotes from real women who have lived through the very real pain of emotional abuse:

Bruises heal, but you don’t forget words and emotions, how an abuser makes you feel about yourself.

I have always walked on eggshells waiting for his reaction to whatever situation.

I am slowly beginning to realize that I deserve better and I can do better. It’s been a struggle.

I was a happy, confident, outgoing person once.

I would rather he would hit me because at least a bruise would eventually go away.

I am in an emotionally abusive relationship but I don’t know how to leave because he needs me.

I never know what to expect. Sometimes he’s charming, sometimes he’s volatile. He’s a chronic manipulator and deceiver. Everything revolves around “his truth.”

I used to be a happy person who had plans and dreams. The emotional and verbal abuse wore me down. I felt exhausted, numb and dioriented about who I was. I stopped thinking and believing for myself. I lost hope for a better life.

Please do not stay in that kind of relationship. Your children will suffer. 

He is the ultimate narcissist and uses his charisma as a weapon of choice to dissuade anyone from thinking it is him.

He isolated me from my family and the people and things I care about.

He’s constantly putting me down, labeling me, mocking or making fun of me. It’s his way of staying in control. 

He makes me feel ugly, stupid, small. Like I don’t matter, won’t amount to anything, or like I’m not worthy of being loved.

No one deserves to be treated like trash, especially not by the person you love.

Get out now! Abuse only gets worse over time. No one deserves to be treated like dirt. No one.

Do not sit back and take it. Pack your things and leave.

I am in domestic violence counseling and trying to put back the pieces of my shattered life.

Abuse isn’t love.

Sometimes it helps to take a step back and listen, because it can help you assess your own relationship or situation. If reading these quotes sounds only too familiar to what you are experiencing, it’s time to seriously think about what you really want out of life.

You do have a choice. Choose life—your life.

Don’t give another person permission (in essence) to define who you are, or how your life story will read. If you are already in an abusive situation, be wise about your next steps, stay safe and row toward freedom.

You matter, and you deserve to live a life filled with color, joy, peace, and fulfillment.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Freedom Series by Michelle Borquez

The Freedom Series by multi-award winning author & speaker Michelle Borquez includes 12 mini-books focused on key issues that sabbotage women from living their lives to the fullest. Words, life circumstances, and choices that steal our courage, hope, and joy for life. The issues that hamper our ability to forgive or seek forgiveness, and the ability to truly see our future as it can be, which ultimately robs us of what we so desperately want, our freedom.

Topics that resonate with women include fear, abuse, shame, abandonment, divorce, lonlieness, self-value, and more. The primary purpose of this biblical-based series is to bring truth, healing, and hope to women who are caught in the lies that hold them down and keep them from breaking free and reclaiming the lives they were meant to live. This series created by Michelle Borquez presents a variety of authors and will be in book stores beginning in April. 

“Michelle Borquez is a bundle of energy; a veritable wellspring of love, joy, and enthusiasm; and an incredible communicator of a message that can transform the world. Her passion for her work is only exceeded by her compassion for those who hurt. She truly brings life, hope, and healing to everyone she encounters.” -Ken Abraham, New York Times bestselling author

About the Author

Author Michelle Borquez-Thornton

Michelle Borquez hosted and co-produced I-Life Television’s SHINE with Michelle Borquez on INSP. She has hosted and been a featured guest on hundreds of television and radio programs, including, NBC’s Midday Connection, The 700 Club, Life Today with James and Betty Robinson, Positively Texas, TBN, just to name a few. She founded Shine Magazine, a 40,000 subscriber publication for women featuring fashion, travel and health articles. As Editor-in-Chief, she interviewed well-known personalities such as First Lady Laura Bush, Anne Graham-Lotz, Michael W. Smith, Kurt Warner, Chuck and Gena Norris, Beth Moore, and many more. She is a prolific writer and passionate advocate and mentor for girls and women. 

Currently she is CEO of Bella Women Network (launching in June) featuring, Shine with Michelle Borquez along with other programs for women; Bella Bella Gifts; and founder and President of the Dream, Hope, Love foundation, a mentoring organization for young girls. Michelle travels and speaks with her God Crazy team of authentic, very cool, amazing women, and lives with her husband Michael and four children in Nashville, Tennessee.

You may also be interested in:

God Crazy Freedom (or purchase the book, God Crazy Freedom by Michelle Borquez.)

Live Again: Wholeness After Divorce (8-session DVD kit for individuals or groups)

Check out Shine With Michelle Borquez and the Bella Women Network, or join her on Twitter @GodCrazy.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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