Psycologial Abuse

María Jesús Marín López

When we are in an abusive relationship it might be difficult at first to identify what it’s happening. We can become so used to the abuse that we learn to normalize it and live with it.
Not all forms of abuse are the same or look the same. There’s a scale that goes from saver damage that can potentially break someone’s soul to a less harmful impact. But wherever we find abuse in the scale, abuse is abuse. Any form of abuse aims, intentionally or not, to disempower the individual. This creates a deep sense of fear where to feel safe the victim needs to behave in a way that is not authentic and free.
There are different types of abuse, for example, verbal, sexual, physical, financial, discrimination and psychological abuse to name a few.
I would like to talk about this last one. Psychological abuse can be hard to recognize. A skilful psychological abuser might be the wolf wearing the sheep’s skin. They seem to have your best interest at heart but are always driving you towards where they want you to go. Somehow their superpower is to get into your head so that you stop listening to your inner voice and intuition.
Intimidation is the weapon of choice by psychological abusers. This can be aggressive, (shouting, deprive you from normal activities, not allowing you to have contact with your support network, etc). Or it can be more subtle, (like making you feel responsible for someone else’s wellbeing, playing the guilt card on you, a form of emotional blackmail). Once you have been manipulated into believing that you are responsible for something, that if you don’t act in a certain manner “bad things happen to yourself or others”, that’s the moment you have totally lost sight of yourself and what is truly important for you.
Not all psychological abusers are twisted dark people. Sometimes well-intentioned people can discriminate, humiliate, and emotionally blackmail others because they feel they are the holders of truth and moral compass. When we have strong believes around what is right and wrong, we can fall into the trap of disowning anything or anyone that doesn’t think the same way as we do. We only have to look back at history and see how different groups of people have been judged, discriminated against and even murdered for holding a different belief or way of life. History has proven over and over that any form of discrimination is not in alignment with our true nature. Somehow this is a lesson that as humanity we haven’t learnt jet. I´m hopeful that there will be a day where the thirst for control and manipulation will evolve into acceptance, freedom, and peace.
Our intuition´s main function is to alert us when something is off. We often don´t follow through on our instinct, we dismiss it as not being accurate or logical. And the thing is, our instinct and intuition is not a logical process, it´s a visceral, energetic response to threat. Red flags are often dismissed because we have been trained since childhood to follow logic as the only way to feel safe and problem solve. In the emotional-energetic arena, logic doesn´t give us much insight, the opposite, it brings us into a state of confusion and disconnection with ourselves, therefore we look for answers outside ourselves. When we do this we become more confused or we hold on to someone else’s truth as our own.
What can we do if we have been psychologically abused? How can we heal from the scars of discrimination, humiliation, and emotional blackmail?
• Reconnect with your intuition and learn to give it the power that it deserves.
• Learn to listen to your inner voice and silence the external noise.
• Work on your self-esteem and create healthy boundaries so you can feel safe.
• Let go of unhealthy guilt and that sense of emotional responsibility attached with it.
• Learn to be courageous and say NO to threats. Look at the bigger picture. If you compromise your integrity once it´s very easy to do it twice, three times, etc. This is the road you take where you loose sight of who you are and what is important to you.
• Accept the reality of the relationship. It takes a lot of energy to acknowledge that you have been gaslighted. Usually, we can have a very strong co-dependant link to our abuser. In a way we might find it very difficult to accept that what they sold us as “love and care” was in actual fact “manipulation”.

One of the most important lessons I´ve learned in life is to never act out of fear, to never make big decisions in my life just out of a reaction. I´ve learn to pause. I´ve learned that when someone puts pressure on me to do something, they are usually not thinking about what is best for me but what is best for them. I´ve learned to create space to listen to what feels right for me. I´ve learned to say NO without having to explain myself. I´ve learned to not compromise my truth. I´ve learned to not abandon myself.
We are free. Our essence is free. The moment we claim our freedom the invisible chains to our abuser disappears. We might see them as all powerful, it´s just an illusion. Let´s remember that we are powerful too. Let´s break the cycle of abuse. It begins with us.

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