Emotional abuse. Does that phrase even have meaning in the Indian culture?
“Emotional abuse is a form of assault that is deliberate and manipulative and used as a method of control.” We know what this one means. It means that someone is abusive through their words or how they say something.
I got the following list from this link: http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-emotional-abuse.html
“A few indicators of emotional abuse might include the following:
- The behavior in question doesn’t stop or even pause when the recipient begins crying or asks for time to cool down. In fact, abuse may escalate as the abused person becomes more and more vulnerable, demeaned, afraid, and upset
- The behavior is frequent – several times a week or month, as opposed to very rare (once every few years, for instance.)
- Vulgar language, completely baseless accusations
- Insulting or demeaning words in front of other people
- “Arguments” are very one-sided; one person does all the talking, never listening, and is not kind to the other.
- Threats of violence
- Blatant cruelty
- The abuser does not apologize
- The abuser will not recognize the validity of anything his or her victim says”
I want to talk about this last one. This is the one that really affected my life. Obviously, there are many forms of emotional abuse as mentioned above but I think this last one is one that is so subtle sometimes that it’s not recognized as emotional abuse as often as it should be.
Have you ever said something to someone about how you’re feeling only to have them tell you that it’s your fault for feeling that way? Or they will tell you that what you’re feeling is wrong and you should feel this way instead?
Our feelings are our own. No one has the right to tell us that what we are feeling is wrong. No one has the right to make us feel bad about what we feel. No one has the right to make themselves more important than your feelings.
I’ve noticed two types of people (I’m sure there are more but these are the two that I have come across). The first type believes that what they think or say or feel is right and there really isn’t any other way. There is only a right way and a wrong way. The second type understands that there are many types of people in the world and every single one of them is going to have their own thoughts and own opinions and sometimes, we have to be able to see something from someone else’s point of view.
I’ve found the first type of person to be the type that tends to disregard something someone else says if it doesn’t agree with their own view. This is the person that will ignore the feelings of someone else if it doesn’t align with what they think.
Invalidation of feelings leads to other issues. You start questioning yourself and your thoughts. You start thinking that maybe your feelings are wrong and that you should be reacting a different way. You lose trust in yourself and who you are as a person. You become a victim.
That sounds like emotional abuse to me.
I think this is an issue in the Indian culture that has been left unaddressed so far. We are just starting to understand that there are ideas beyond duty and responsibility. We’ve stumbled on freedom and happiness. I think it’ll be a while before we fully get to giving the problems of emotional abuse the attention they deserve.
If you or someone you know is dealing with emotional abuse, please ask someone for help. Most people are ready to help you. Most people will help you get into a better situation than the one you are in. Just take the first step and ask.