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Psychological Abuse: Am I A Victim?

Sharing experience in the hope of helping others and making them realize they are never alone ❤️

What Is Psychological Abuse?

Psychological abuse, also known as emotional abuse, mental abuse or psychological violence, refers to a series of behaviors and actions that aim to harm your emotional and psychological wellbeing.

It may not hurt your body. The abuser chooses words that cause distress to deliberately hurt the victim.

Psychological abuse refers to someone regularly:

  • Threatening to take away the things you love the most
  • Calling you names
  • Embarrassing you in front of friends, family, partner or colleagues
  • Treating you badly for things you cannot change (your past, religion, race, a disability)
  • Correcting everything you do accusing you are unable to perform activities correctly
  • Ignoring you and pretending you are not present

No one behaves perfectly in their relationships all the time. However, when someone deliberately hurts you over and over again it becomes abusive.

— 1800Respect

My Experience: How I Dealt With It

Emotional violence os psychological abuse is more common than you think. Many people hide behind a "I was angry" and "it was just a thing I said when I got mad" but that is just the surface.

Even in a one-off situation people should always respect the other person and not feel they have permission to insult or diminish them to make a point.

It may start when you were a child and, growing up, you feel it is normal for your parents or your partner to call you off or point out things you do wrong. However, it all comes down to how regular these episodes happen and how they impact you.

My Story: a snippet

I've been hearing distressing things about myself since I was a child and they certainly impacted the way I now think about myself and how I interact with others (self-esteem and trust-related).

It happened that I got told off for not getting the top grade in school because of a misunderstanding my parents had regarding the school's grading system; it happened when I was returning from gym practice and missed the bus home so I was told off for coming home late; it happened when one of my previous partners selected words they knew would hurt me because of my past; it happens now when I insult myself because I did something wrong or am unable to think I can do it at all.

How I Processed

What I have lived through has significantly impacted the way I think about myself. As children, we tend to absorb many notions and believe in what people with greater authority than us have to say (e.g. parents).

It is difficult to see yourself positively as you keep receiving comments of you being not good enough, stupid, worthless, and so on. These feelings did not help me overcome the situation, instead, I had to force myself to believe and repeat to myself that I was good enough, I can overcome any difficulty with patience and concentration, I am worthy of love because I respect myself and wish the best for my life.

You can help your brain reboot by repeating positive affirmation to yourself.

For example, instead of saying "I am never gonna be able to do that", say "I will achieve my goal with work and determination".

Instead of saying "I am so stupid", say "I am going to learn how to do it and nail it".

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Food For Thought

The first person to believe if yourself has to be you.

You are the only one who can teach others how to treat you. Be kind to yourself and respect and love yourself first.

Why And When Do They Become Abusive?

There is not a specific point in time when these people turn abusive or suddenly become violent. I believe it is the cumulative experiences they had that turned them the way they are.

A troubled past is often a catalyst for an abusive behavior, it may not be because the person itself is violent, but because they don't know how to process their suffering and unknowingly reflect their anger on you. Some people feel that because they have lived through tough times, other people need to know their pain and tend to reflect mirror the bad behavior received.

Any behavior from others that aims to make you feel scared or bad about yourself is not OK.

Psychological abusive people tend to justify their actions to feel better about what they have done. Please be aware that there is never a reason that stands tall enough to make you feel diminished, disrespected or not worthy of love.

Effects Of Emotional Abuse On The Brain

What Should I Do?

I am not a medical or professional authority, therefore I can only talk from experience and the following is a suggestion regarding how to deal with toxic and emotionally abusive people:

    Distance yourself from the person or people who make you feel worthless, unloved, and who don't respect you. The best way to avoid further conflict is slowly fading away from the person.

    Professional help is very helpful as it can help you recognize the pain points of the relationship as well the the areas you need to work on to increase self-esteem and self-love. Psychological support can help you heal quicker and understand what cause you to fall in a subtle pitfall and avoid it in the future.

    Along the lines of distancing yourself from the abuser, if you keep yourself busy with other activities you will have less time to interact the that person.

    In the case of verbal abuse, understand that the person you are interacting with is angry and you cannot reason with him/her/them. What is happening is just a reaction to some deep negative feeling they have about themselves. They may be conscious of the reaction they are having but, at this moment, are unable to communicate in the right way how they feel.

    Whatever triggered the reaction, it is not your fault. Remember that we should all be able to control our emotions and behaviors towards others. Having a bad day at work is not a good reason to snap, the stress of sustaining an argument with other people should not be passed on to another person, bringing forth past bad experiences is not enough... these are all excuses!


If you feel in danger, please call the local authorities for help and/or support.

"I Wasn't Myself, Sorry"


Sometimes the abuser may come to its senses and realize how bad their behavior was and how it affected your wellbeing. Their guilt may come across with a classic phrase like, "I wasn't myself, I'm sorry" or "I don't know what got into me".


Other times their attempt at apologizing fails and phrases like "when you make me mad, you make the worst come out of me" or "if you hadn't done/said that, then we wouldn't be here arguing about it".

What is the difference?

The difference between the first set and second set of "apologies" are huge. In the first set, the abuser realizes that the reaction was disproportionate to the situation and blames themselves for the occurrence. Something in their mind lit up and decided they were in the wrong and it was not correct to insult, diminish or disrespect you.

In the second set, the abuser seems to realize a mistake was made but is not willing to blame itself. The problem remains the other person (the victim) who is responsible for all that was said during the argument. Even though this is not true, it causes the victim the feel inappropriate and wrong.

What kind of apology blames the other person?

We should always be responsible for our actions and reactions.

In any kind of relationship (friendly, sentimental or professional) there shouldn't be any excuse for insulting or disrespecting the other person. We should all gain good understanding of ourselves and our limits. It is normal that we get mad occasionally and are unable to control all of our emotions, but some of them are never justifiable.



Some behaviors are impulsive and cannot be predicted. If you fear you are a victim of a psychological abuse, please call the authorities or the help line in your country to ask for help and/or support.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 GrowTrueWisdom

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