emotional abuse can be big T trauma

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Blueberry

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emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« on: May 13, 2018, 04:13:39 AM »
I'm quoting sanmagic here, who posted this to Elpha:
"she (the T) continually tore away at my very being, attacking many levels of my 'self', down to my soul until i couldn't stand on my own anymore.  after spending 8 years with a t who was supposed to be a healer, a best friend, and a concerned boss, i ended up ... feeling less about myself than i ever had before.  something intrinsic in me had broken because of what she'd done to me. ..

big t trauma?  yes, i believe so.  anything tangible?  not one thing.  it wouldn't come under any category of what is normally seen as big t
." (I'm so sorry, san. :hug:)

I didn't want to hijack the thread so I'm putting this here.

Thanks san for posting this. It really speaks to me for what FOO did to me. There was also what is considered relatively minor CSA and CPA, but the worst (I think) was the emotional and it was a type and to the degree that  "continually tore away at my very being, attacking many levels of my 'self', down to my soul until i couldn't stand on my own anymore".

Except since it happened in my childhood, I didn't ever really learn to stand on my own. Not really, or at least not in all ways that you'd expect from the young adult woman I was 20-odd years ago. Or I could stand on my own, but not for long. I was constantly 'crashing' then working my way back up onto my feet, then crashing again (just with major depression and feelings of utter hopelessness, and complete exhaustion).

Also this "broken". Something broke in me very early. Part of me was broken. I yelled that once in group therapy to the person standing in for my F: "Can't you see I'm broken??" In that kind of therapeutic setting I'm in touch with my emotions and yelling what I really feel.

Therapists used to dig around looking for the 'real' trauma. This was it. The words and mockery continually tearing at me and my thoughts, my ways of being, my ways of acting, my very physical presence and how I demonstrated it (e.g. the smile on my face or how I ran - completely innocent activities) until I didn't want to exist.
Should is
never good,
for me.

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Deep Blue

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2018, 06:15:50 AM »
Blueberry,
Itís terrible what you went through.  I find the emotional repercussions to be the longest lasting.  The bruises and welts are long gone from my body.  The emotional baggage stays within me.  I close my eyes and hear the same criticisms and warnings over and over and how does one really fight the past?  Can I send you a safe  :hug: ? San, and you, and many of us have been there.  We may not have the answers but at least we can search for them together.
For those who understand,
no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand,
no explanation is possible.

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Blueberry

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 10:14:09 AM »
Safe  :hug: is great Deep Blue, thank you! Also for the validation on the awfulness.

Idk if you can really fight the past, but I have learnt to let other opinions on my physical existence in. So these run alongside the criticisms from the past until after much emotional healing work the truth as opposed to the verbal/emotional abuse gains the upper hand. It's been a long, hard slog, but I'm getting there.
Should is
never good,
for me.

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Deep Blue

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2018, 10:43:29 AM »
Blueberry,
Iím glad to hear that you feel that you are getting somewhere. 

It can be an arduous process but I am sending some wind in your sails.  :cheer:  :hug:
For those who understand,
no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand,
no explanation is possible.

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Elphanigh

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2018, 04:32:30 AM »
Blueberry, I am really glad you took something from that post as well.  :hug: I donít have a good capacity to respond much more, but I wanted you to know you arenít alone. That no one needs to dig for the trauma because as you said that emotional trauma is bit t stuff. It hits us all right to our very core.  :hug: :hug:
Happiness turned to me and said - "It is time. It is time you forgive yourself for all of the things you did not become. It is time to exonerate yourself for all the people you couldn't save..Time to accept you don't have to be who you were a year ago. It is time to believe that you're worthy of me"

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ah

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 04:39:23 AM »
I've always thought emotional abuse was, for me, the most damaging long term. I kind of figured that if more research would ever be done it might be found that the emotional aspect of every type of abuse is the worst aspect of it, that part of every act of abuse that carries with it the message that you're subhuman, an object to be used and thrown away.

Physical abuse left me with different symptoms, it gave me physical PTSD flashbacks which are awful but it's the emotional aspect of the physical abuse that I endured that broke me. Well, it may just be my experience  :Idunno: for me, the conclusions I reached about who and what I was, and about others and the world I was in were the most damaging part of physical abuse, too. And emotional abuse is so much worse I have no words to describe it, because society doesn't have words for it yet.
On the contrary, it seems to have plenty of ways of saying it's all in my paranoid, selfish mind, or something similarly invalidating.

I don't know but I think there's literally no research about it, and public awareness of emotional abuse is almost nonexistent because it's a huge blind spot. Maybe at least 3 factors keep it so invisible (as you can tell, I've been thinking about emotional abuse for a while...) - abusers' need to keep it out of sight and the power abusers can have in society, society's tendency to blame the victims, and victims' confusion and shame and fear of being disbelieved and blamed yet again.

I started thinking more about the implications of emotional abuse after reading the book "Get out of your mind & into your life", the name seems kind of cheesy, I know  :Idunno: maybe they chose it on purpose. It describes the process we go through when something innocuous becomes meaningful to us - for example triggers and EF's. It left me thinking a lot, and more convinced than ever that emotional abuse is far, far, far worse than I ever imagined.

In a way, it's the perfect crime. We, as in humane human-beings, use language to convey ideas and emotions. Emotional abuse takes advantage of language and warps it to torture a person.
No pesky proof, you can't have any tests done like you might try to do if it were other types of abuse, no one can take pictures of bruises, your victims look great on the surface. It's their mind that's being abused, sometimes using the most violent techniques imaginable without leaving any traces, and all the while gaslighting the victim into being so confused they'll blame themselves for life.

In the worst types of emotional abuse, when it's psychological abuse done by a sadist like my F who isn't doing it because of his own pain but because it brings him pleasure (yikes), what they're doing is triggering you in the most powerful way they can think of. They understand triggers so well that they just go ahead and push that part of your mind directly. It's the perfect crime. No need to move a finger, you just think of the worst trigger to fit the moment and plant it in your helpless, confused victim's mind and watch with pleasure as they self destruct.  :'( I think it's enormous Trauma.

Blueberry, I think it's so indicative of what emotional abuse really is when T's try to look for the 'real' trauma. If emotional abuse isn't big T trauma, how could therapy be so effective? If one can build a person so well, the other can break them just as powerfully or even more so because breaking us is so much easier than making us whole again.
You've gone through big trauma, and you're still here.
I'm very glad you're still here, I have no doubt in my mind the things you went through were far more dangerous than anyone realized.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 04:59:47 AM by ah »

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Deep Blue

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2018, 05:21:16 AM »
Physical abuse left me with different symptoms, it gave me physical PTSD flashbacks which are awful but it's the emotional aspect of the physical abuse that I endured that broke me. Well, it may just be my experience  :Idunno: for me, the conclusions I reached about who and what I was, and about others and the world I was in were the most damaging part of physical abuse, too. And emotional abuse is so much worse I have no words to describe it, because society doesn't have words for it yet.

In a way, it's the perfect crime. We, as in humane human-beings, use language to convey ideas and emotions. Emotional abuse takes advantage of language and warps it to torture a person.
No pesky proof, you can't have any tests done like you might try to do if it were other types of abuse, no one can take pictures of bruises, your victims look great on the surface. It's their mind that's being abused, sometimes using the most violent techniques imaginable without leaving any traces, and all the while gaslighting the victim into being so confused they'll blame themselves for life.

Ah, I share your sentiments here.  Itís not just you.  The physical combined emotional abuse has led to a strange warp in my mind.  I still play the blame game with myself.  The symptoms of physical and emotional abuse are different but I dare say the emotional abuse is harder to deal with.  Your post really hit home for me.  Though I would like to say more I think to avoid an EF I better just stop here.   :hug:

Much love,
Deep Blue
For those who understand,
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For those who do not understand,
no explanation is possible.

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numann

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2018, 02:05:30 PM »
Hey everyone. I just wanted to say I can relate to everything you've written. The thing thats so insidious about the emotional abuse of a young child is that a child doesn't have anything to juxtapose the abuse against what is considered normal, healthy behaviors. And many times its cloaked as a parent doing whats in the best interest for the child. Even though I constantly pushed back against the scapegoating and gaslighting, I realized that the abuse only got worse each time I did. So at a certain point, around thirteen I began to beleive I was worthless, unlovable and all the other things that I had been told. It was less painful for me to beleive those things than to believe that my M would hurt me on purpose and derive pleasure from my pain!  But as I got older, the more virulent my M became, I began to realize she was PD and that I was the healthy one. I began to feel a sense of helplessness and soon became numb to all the insults and abuses while my soul died inside. And thats when the physical abuses intensified. The most painful aspects of the emotional abuse is that I knew no one would ever believe me and if they did they would just minimize it. I just wanted to say I admire you all for your strength and courage in facing these demons eveyday and not giving up on the possibility of some semblence of a healthy life.  :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 03:22:28 PM »
Thanks everyone for validations, though I'm sorry you've all experienced it too. I still don't really believe it in my own case. I still see other people's CPA or CSA as worse (not my own of course) than my own emotional. Insidious is an appropriate word.
Should is
never good,
for me.

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Deep Blue

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 03:45:15 PM »
Blueberry,
Itís easy to minimize our own experiences when we see what others have been through.  It doesnít matter if someone had it worse.  It doesnít matter if one person had emotional, another physical, another sexual abuse.  What matters is how we have all been effected.  Those effects cut us to our core.  There is no need to minimize with us.  We are all trudging through this together looking for strength and healing.   :hug: to you
For those who understand,
no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand,
no explanation is possible.

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woodsgnome

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2018, 09:19:07 AM »
Categorizations and rankings are an effort of the mind to minimize the painful experiences, but whatever form of abuse is referenced, the commonality is they all involve emotions. Every type draws on or from the emotions one way or another.

This emotional overlay ties any variables into a solitary 'unwholesome' whole--and emotional fracturing scatters the damage to every part of one's being. Regardless of source, the inside feelings never seems to stop their never-ending hurt, no matter the source. It settles in as this ache that seems to travel with one's every aspect, affecting everything one tries to untangle the knots.

Repairing those emotions, regardless of source, alters the scope from the mind's tendency to focus on only perceived 'big' things. They're all equally devastating when it comes to the senselessness and long shelf-life left by abusive patterns. All the distinctions go away, and with it also goes the need for judging and ranking. That's hard enough, regardless of how the abuse originated.
"...we make our descent into the darkness then wait for some new kind of wisdom to take root." --Valerie Andrews

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Deep Blue

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2018, 09:31:36 AM »
Categorizations and rankings are an effort of the mind to minimize the painful experiences, but whatever form of abuse is referenced, the commonality is they all involve emotions. Every type draws on or from the emotions one way or another.

Very well said woodsgnome.  I agree with you here.
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Blueberry

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2018, 10:34:18 AM »
long shelf-life left by abusive patterns.

elicits wry smile from me
Should is
never good,
for me.

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ah

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Re: emotional abuse can be big T trauma
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 07:36:44 AM »
Blueberry,

I keep thinking about what you wrote here.
I feel exactly the same way about my own life, and my own pain. It's such a weird split... I know based on all that I've been slowly reading, and thinking about and talking here on OOTS, that emotional abuse is dreadful. I slowly see how it does its harm better and better. But at the same time when I think of my own life I'm overcome by how dreadful I am, and a conviction I just made it all up because I'm too sensitive, paranoid, needy, you name it. Maybe this very feeling is an indicator we've gone through emotional abuse, too?

It's so obvious to me that my mind is confused because I know for a fact the things I went through and still go through are sadistic. But I'm still convinced in my case it's all nothing. I don't believe it for a second in my own case, it's like there's a part of me that refuses to and just keeps jumping back to self blame no matter what. You're not alone :blink: