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Watch: This important video highlights the subtlety of emotional abuse when you’re in a relationship

Most depictions of abuse we’re used to seeing are physical — bruises and black eyes — but emotional abuse can be just as damaging, and much more subtle. So subtle, in fact, that many people might not even realize when a partner is emotionally abusive.That’s why Interval House, a Canadian shelter for abused women and children, teamed up with ad agency Union to create a video to help people recognize the signs of emotional abuse.

Gifs: Interval House

Hey, I just kinda want to get this out of the way. It’s not directed at anyone in particular; it just seems like something to note.

Bethany and I are still in emotionally and verbally abusive environments. We’ve both been gaslighted and tend to question if how we see or perceive reality is right. We can get extremely upset or needlessly aggressive when we’re accused of being abusive because we’ve been abused and to my knowledge, are both still being abused.

Us saying that we’re victims of abuse doesn’t mean it’s all in the past. We’re still being abused. We’re trapped in abusive households.

I can’t speak for Bethany, but my absolute worst nightmare is turning out to be an abusive, controlling piece of shit who doesn’t understand that what he did was wrong, just like my dad.

If we are legitimately being abusive, bring it up to us and provide examples of our abusive behavior so we can identify it and change. Being accused of abuse without proof simply makes us both paranoid and upset. It makes us worry that we really are being abusive but don’t know how and therefore can’t fix it.

- Mod Ash

Here’s the thing tho...

Okay, so Issac’s a lying motherfucker and we all know that. Thing is, yeah, Abusers do often come from abusive backgrounds.  Guess what that changes… not a DAMN thing. 

TRUTH: None of that matters. An abuser’s fucked up rationale, abusive background, bad day, personal injury, none of that eliminates their own responsibility or retracts the damage being done to the victim.  People are responsible for their own behavior and the consequences, period.
NOTHING excuses emotional and psychological abuse. 

Abuse IS ABUSE.

You can have empathy for someone’s own shit, but you ain’t got to put up with it and you should not tolerate it coming out onto you #personalexperience. 

I hope Hanssen gets Dom into a corner and tells him this. 

terrifying your own child into submission makes you an abuser.

watching your child cry and screaming at them to stop and invalidating their pain and reasons for crying makes you an abuser.

staring at your child in disgust and contempt after they displease you makes you an abuser.

threatening to your child to take away their basic resources if they don’t give you exactly what you want makes you an abuser.

forcing your child to feel ashamed for not living up to your ideals makes you an abuser.

using slurs, hateful names and insults on your own child without any regard to what it does to their mental health makes you an abuser.

forcing your child to chase impossible expectations and making them feel like they’re worthless for not achieving them makes you an abuser.

acting like your child is a burden and a waste of space and blaming their illness/disability/depression on it makes you an abuser.

behaving like your child will never amount to anything and isn’t worth any resources and nurturing makes you an abuser.

making your child feel like they’re never good enough makes you an abuser.

if your child’s heart is hurting because they know no matter what they do and how hard they try they will always be a failure in your eyes, you are an abuser.

if your child can’t look at themselves without self hatred because they had to look at themselves from your perspective and all they saw is disgust and hatred, you’re an abuser.

If your child is struggling to believe they have the right to live and to be cared and loved, if they can’t stop hearing your hateful voice putting them down and using their every action to prove they’re worthless, you’re an abuser.

If you watched your child in pain and assured them they deserved it, you’re an abuser.

If your child can’t love themselves from how badly you hated them, you’re an abuser.

One thing that really gets me about today’s society is how emotional/psychological child abuse is normalized and even celebrated.

I’ve noticed a phenomenon of parents getting together and talking about how they’re such a Mean Mom or Mean Dad and how they’re raising their children to be respectful. They talk about destroying their children’s possessions, isolating them, humiliating them, and/or publicly shaming them.

And when these people hear about, say, a parent smashing a kid’s phone for not cleaning their room or burning their possessions or filming a punishment or embarrassing moment and putting it up on social media, they commend the parents for “teaching the kids a lesson”.

Why the fuck do we, as a society, think this is okay?

It doesn’t teach kids valuable life lessons, it teaches them to be scared of repercussions. It’s bullying and child abuse and for some reason, people think that’s commendable.

Whenever I hear people saying “haha I bet that 14 year old learned a lesson”, it instantly makes me suspicious of them. I will instantly think of you as either a potential child abuser or a child abuse enabler.

As a survivor of psychological abuse, people dismissing this behavior as “harmless life lessons” makes me wonder if it really was abuse. If I deserved it. If I really deserved to have my pet’s life threatened because I was a liar.

It’s not cute. It’s not “good parenting”. It’s intimidating, shaming, and traumatizing your child into compliance.

The trauma side of tumblr really seems to focus on survivors of csa, and that’s completely understandable, but I don’t see enough posts about kids who had to deal with serious neglect/emotional abuse. It can be devastating as well

shoutout to kids who had to grow up too fast because their parents never allowed them to be a kid

shoutout to kids who had to fend for themselves every day, or even little siblings

shoutout to kids who felt like the parent

shoutout to kids who cling hard to people because they never got the proper love and care that a parent should provide

shoutout to kids who have health issues because they were never taken care of, and it’s hard to recover from

shoutout to kids who felt abandoned and empty and like they had no childhood because their family wasn’t there 

You’re all valid and I’m so sorry for what we’ve had to go through. It’s tough. And I hope we can all heal from it 

Even if they say “they didn’t mean it”, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they say “they don’t remember it”, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they say “you’re delusional, I would never do that, you made it up”, they’re still responsible for what they did, and for trying to gaslight and invalidate your memories.

Even if they say “I didn’t do it, and even if I did, I would be right to do it”, they’re still guilty for what they did.

Even if they have excuses, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they act like it would have been crazy to expect from them to act any different way, they’re still responsible for what they did to you.

Even if they come at you with an entire agenda of how you should perceive what they did so it actually “benefits you”, even if they insist they did it for your own good, they’re still responsible for what they did to you, and for lying about it.

Even if they cry about how much it pains them to be accused of hurting you, they’re still responsible for what they did to you.

Even if they cry about how much they love you and how they did it all out of love and never meant to hurt you, it’s still their responsibility for what they did to you.

Even if they act like what they did shouldn’t have hurt you and you’re the one responsible for taking damage, for being sensitive to being abused, it’s still their responsibility for what they did to you.

Even if they blame you for what they did to you, they’re still responsible for what they did.

Even if they insist someone else did it to them too, even if they insist they had it worse than you, even if they say it’s a cultural thing, they’re still responsible for what they did to you.

Even if it was long ago, and they act like you’re wrong for remembering such old wrong doing, it’s still something they did, and they’re still responsible for doing it.

They can lie and deny and accuse and blame and invalidate and gaslight. It doesn’t absolve them of responsibility for what they did. It doesn’t absolve them from guilt.

Nothing can absolve abusers from responsibility for their own actions. Nothing.

just a friendly reminder: FRIENDSHIPS ARE RELATIONSHIPS, TOO.
  • friends can be emotionally abusive.
  • friends can be physically abusive.
  • friends can disappoint you.
  • friends can lie to you.
  • friends can make you wonder if they found someone better than you.
  • friends can be manipulative.
  • friends can give you severe trust issues.
  • friends can dump you.
  • friends can be jealous that other people want to be friends with you.
  • friends can argue over the same issue repeatedly because someone’s needs aren’t being met.
  • friends can hurt you.
  • friends can judge you.
  • friends can ghost you.
  • friends can damage your self esteem.

there does not have to be a romantic undertone. we put so much weight on romantic relationships that we forget how important friendships are. romance does not automatically give your relationship more validity. treat them the same.

Child abusers don’t let children know they’re victims. Survivors of child abuse by large don’t know they’ve been abused. Abusive parents raise the child to have great compassion for them, to always view them as humane as possible, they make sure children are grateful to them, they point out every single thing they did for the child, such as “paid for your stuff” or “financed your schooling” or “gave you a roof over your head and fed you all these years” (even though to not do these things would be straight illegal, but they don’t mention that part, do they) as a proof of how good and generous they are, they make sure to recite all possible excuses to why they’re acting so abusive, they had a hard life, they have a lot on their plate, they’re good people they just make mistakes, they’ve been badly treated too, they don’t even know they’re hurting you, they’re insisting you’re too sensitive and get hurt from nothing, they don’t let the child hold them accountable or hold them guilty for any of their abuse. Abused child will be ashamed of themselves and hardly ever consider themselves a victim, they will be taught to repress and ignore trauma symptoms, to find a way to blame themselves for everything, to feel guilty just for how awful they feel all the time.

Emotionally abused child strongly believes that their parent is inherently good and deserves all the compassion in the world, all the excuses, all forgiveness and none of the blame for their actions (parents make sure children know that the blame would hurt them so children must never blame them) and will fight to defend the parent and point out why abuse was not really abuse, why children deserved it, why nobody is to blame, except maybe themselves, because “they weren’t good enough” to appease the parent which would then hopefully be a bit more kind (of course not). They often wont even admit how badly they’re scared of their parents.

To have an abused child realize they’ve been exploited, lied to, betrayed, systematically destroyed and dehumanized by their parent, their entire world needs to break down, everything they’ve been taught has to be acknowledged as a lie, what they considered right and fair needs to change to wrong, who they trusted the most needs to change to be least trust-worthy, who in their head, made sure they survive up to that point, needs to turn into a person who almost cost them their life, and destroyed it rather than held it safe. It’s not a fun ride. It’s devastating to go through, it breaks a person apart completely and forces them to re-construct their entire reality. And it’s the only way to have a chance to really recover, to validate themselves and their pain, to understand to what depth they’ve been damaged, and by who and why. It’s the only way to realize that they’re entitled to life, to food, to roof, to nurturing, to everything that was held against them, they’ve been required to feel grateful that they weren’t left to die. 

For those who still have to face this, or are facing it right now, you are going through the worst of your life right now. For those who have no empathy or patience for survivors to figure their lives out, fuck you, try living their life for a few years, see if you survive it. For abusers, I hope someone figures out how to force you to feel every single bit of pain you’ve inflicted on your children, I hope you fucking scream yourself to death from pain you’ve caused.