Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Emotional Abuse

In an earlier blog I wrote about the different types of physical abuse. Today I would like to focus on emotional abuse.

In my experience, this type of abuse can be extremely devastating to the victim. Contrary to the children’s rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”, words do and can hurt… and hurt very deeply.

Emotional abuse is a part of the pattern of controlling behavior. This is a particularly vicious way of hurting someone by cutting to the very core of their being.

Many of those who have been victims of domestic violence will tell you that it was the accusations, the name calling, and the demeaning words that really damaged their self esteem. The physical wounds healed, but the emotional scars take much longer.

Emotional abuse causes the victim to question their self worth, their ability to make decisions, their ability to parent their children, and their ability to really trust their perception of the situation.

They start to believe what is being said to them: that they are stupid, they will lose their children, they can’t survive without the abuser, they are ugly. The list goes on and on. They begin to question everything about themselves and their worth and value as a person.

The therapists at Hope House work with the clients on addressing the issue of their low self esteem and help the clients to begin to understand what has happened to them. They work with them to trust themselves and their decisions.

Healing from the wounds of emotional abuse can be a difficult road of recovery but it is wonderful to see someone blossom and become their own person again.

That is our work: to help guide people on their journey of self discovery. Sometimes for the very first time; other times, it is a reclaiming of their lost self. Either way it is an honor for us to accompany them on their journey.

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