Emotional abuse is a form of trauma. And one of the effects of trauma is that it confuses our brains with lies that keep us trapped in fear, unable to trust ourselves and others. Sharmen talks about 3 lies of emotional abuse that people start to believe, and how you can break free of those lies and start living in truth.
3 Lies of Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is a silent, insidious force that can slowly erode a person’s self-esteem, sense of self-worth, and overall well-being. It often goes unnoticed by those on the outside, and even the victims themselves may not fully comprehend the depth of the damage until it’s too late. In this article, we’ll shed light on three common lies perpetuated by emotional abuse, offering insights into the journey of healing and self-discovery that can pave the way for a brighter future.
Lie 1: “If He Just Stops, Everything Will Be Fine”
One of the most dangerous misconceptions about emotional abuse is that the solution is as simple as the abuser stopping their harmful behaviors. While it’s true that ending the abuse is a crucial step in the right direction, it alone is insufficient for true healing.
No one, not even the abuser, can heal the victim’s wounds or make them whole again. Healing is a journey that both parties must embark on separately. It’s important to recognize that healing for the victim will look very different from the abuser’s journey of transformation. It’s not a “tit for tat” situation, and the victim is not equally responsible for the damage caused.
Lie 2: “I Must Submit and Endure”
Emotional abuse often thrives under the guise of submission and compliance. Victims may believe that they must endure the abuse, catering to the abuser’s demands and even apologizing for their actions. This submission is driven by a nurturing heart that desperately wants to salvage the relationship. However, submission should never mean surrendering one’s self-worth and mental health.
Victims of emotional abuse need to understand that they have the God-given authority to choose their steps and protect their own hearts. Compliance is only meaningful when both parties respect each other’s personhood. It’s crucial to break free from the cycle of submission and embrace the power to make choices that safeguard your well-being.
Lie 3: “My Healing Depends on Him”
It’s a natural instinct to look to the abuser for healing, especially when they promise change. However, this is another dangerous lie that emotional abuse perpetuates. Your healing should not hinge on your spouse’s transformation. While their change can certainly make the path easier, true healing requires your active participation.
Your heart’s healing doesn’t require your spouse’s collaboration or approval. You have the power to find wholeness and joy within yourself, regardless of your spouse’s actions. Seek expert help to guide you through the process, addressing trauma, emotional regulation, and building healthy relationships. Remember, you cannot love well if you are not well.
Taking Control of Your Healing
In the face of emotional abuse, it’s crucial to take control of your healing journey. Trauma may teach us to hide and protect ourselves, but it also teaches self-sabotaging behaviors that can isolate and diminish us. Break free from these patterns and seek expert guidance to regain emotional footing, process trauma, and reclaim your voice and direction.
Guarding your own heart is not about hiding but training. Learn to navigate dangerous situations with intention, just as a trained guard would. Explore therapies like dialectical behavioral training (DBT) and trauma work (such as EMDR) to address your unique needs. Remember, your circumstances may impact you, but they do not define you. Your healing is your responsibility, and it does not depend on your spouse.
In conclusion, recognizing and dispelling the lies of emotional abuse is the first step toward healing. Embrace the journey of self-discovery, seek expert guidance, and take control of your emotional well-being. Remember, your heart’s healing is your own responsibility, and you have the power to reclaim your life, no matter the circumstances.
Also read: How to Stop Being Narcissist
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.