When one hears the term, domestic abuse, one may automatically picture a victim with a black eye or broken bones. While this is unfortunately much too common, there are other types of abuse that victims can face. One of the more insidious is the one that is invisible yet leaves victims damaged beyond the initial injury.
Emotional and mental abuse leaves scars that may not be viewable from the outside but are clearly visible whenever one spends any time with a victim. If the injured one is not comfortable in his or her surroundings, then he or she will keep others at arm’s length while making uncomfortable small talk. They are often on edge and are unable to relax and take pleasure in even the small things in life. On the other hand, once a victim feels that another is trustworthy, they may show just how broken they really are inside. A victim who has been both mentally and emotionally abused no longer has the refuge of their own mind to retreat to, since that mind is no longer able to discern reality clearly.
Emotional abuse takes many forms. It can attack a person’s must basic sense of self and corrupt how one feels about oneself and the world around them. Mental abuse takes a terrible toll as well. When one is under the sway of a domineering and controlling personality, there is little one can do to prevent further abuse being perpetuated.
Sadly, while there is help out there for those who are physically abused, it is more difficult for other victims to seek or receive help or understanding. As a former victim of a narcissistic spouse, I can attest that many victims are not even aware that they are being abused. It becomes a normal way of life to cringe at simple phrases and to wait for the next barrage of hateful and cruel words at the least provocation.
One of the greatest tragedies is that those who are expected to reach out and help often encourage the victim to remain in a relationship simply because they think it can’t be that bad. Unfortunately, not having a string support can lead a victim to either lose all hope and sink into a deep depression or become a hard and cold person who perpetuates the abuse. There are few things in life than a wasted potential of one who had so much to offer those around them but are robbed of that due to the need of another who wishes to control and remain the center of warped world.
The best thing we can do as a society is to be attune to those around us. Be willing to get involved, to listen and to encourage someone who is hurting and believes the lies they have been told. There are many people, especially those who are religious; who believe a marriage is a sacred union that should be preserved at all costs. This does neither the victim nor society any good. A dissolved marriage is better than a broken heart, mind and soul.
Writer Bio: Angela Mose
I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years. I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia. A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.