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    • #46807

      Have any of you ladies ever found it hard to find words to describe some of the emotional abuse?

      I’ve had a fair few emotional abusers in my life: my father, brother, ex-husband, ex-partner, a couple of short term boyfriends and just recently an emotionally abusive friend.

      I wonder if any of you can relate to this?

      You try to discuss an issue and you get the sense that your abuser doesn’t believe you;
      You try to discuss an issue and you get a sense that your abuser doesn’t take you seriously;
      You try to discuss an issue and you get a sense that your abuser is secretly amused or is mocking you;
      You try to discuss an issue and you get a strong sense that you are not being ‘heard’

      You try talking about a subject that interests you and your abuser doesn’t respond or is silent, giving you a sense of being ‘blocked’.

      You feel as if you and your abuser are on different wavelengths and you don’t somehow feel emotionally connected.

      Some of the things your abuser says don’t feel sincere or genuine.

      Your abuser makes jokes about things you don’t find funny.

      My abusive friend ignored a lot of stuff I wrote in my messages to her, so that when she replied, her messages to me felt completely unconnected to my messages to her. The wording in her messages was often vague and ambiguous and she would often ‘imply’ things rather than saying things openly.

      My abusive friend controlled the conversations we had by ‘blocking’ all my attempts to talk about different topics, so that all we ever talked about was her ex and the DV. I don’t want to sound boastful but I’m quite a lively conversationalist and I like to talk about a wide range of topics, so in the end I became very frustrated that she ‘blocked’ all my attempts to talk about different subjects. Yet in her last abusive messages to me, she accused me of always wanting to talk about “the dark stuff” and of being unwilling to talk about more lighthearted topics!

      Some time ago, she and I were on a dating site. I didn’t like it because the men on this site were predatory and took it for granted that any woman they met would have sex with them on their first date. My friend made fun of me because I said I would NOT have sex with anyone until I myself felt ready, although she soon changed her tune when she met a man who kept pressuring her for sex. Yet she still made fun of me when I decided to come off that site – it was if different rules applied to her.

      I think all the above would fall under the description of gas-lighting, but I find it very hard to describe the feelings that this behaviour invoked in me.

      I’m so glad I’ve blocked her but feel very scarred from the experience.

    • #46808

      I forgot to add: When you’re talking about something that matters to you, your abuser looks faintly amused.

      Your abuser acts like he doesn’t believe you and you constantly feel the need to justify yourself.

      You can explain yourself until you’re blue in the face, but your abuser still doesn’t believe you, take you seriously or validate your feelings.

      Does any of this sound familiar?

    • #46812
      lover of no contact

      Yes so familiar. I thought most people were like me, had similar motives, intent and agenda to me. I didn’t know there were different ‘kinds’ of people who I would come across in my family, workplace, community etc. When I was in denial unacceptable behaviour towards me was ‘normal’. As I am recovering, unacceptable behaviour towards me by another is making me feel uncomfortable (this is normal).

      A lot of unacceptable behaviour has been directed towards me in my lifetime. I kept quiet, shut up, put up and repressed my ‘uncomfortable’ feelings by overworking or with food. I didn’t know that I had choices. I didn’t know that I could walk away from that relationship. I didn’t know that what people say and do is about them..not me. Now I do, thanks to this Forum and other recovery supports.

      You describe so well the subtly of emotional abuse. What makes it so confusing and hard is the nice or sweet parts of the nasty/nice, sweet/mean cycle. If the friend/partner/family member/work-colleague were superior, blanking us, silent treating us, dismissing our ideas, opinions, preferences, and laughing at us all the time, then it would be easy to see but they need to keep us in the relationship so they have to use sweetness and niceness to keep us from going.

      All very confusing and head-wrecking. That’s why I keep coming unto this Forum to keep me grounded in reality.

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