Emotional Abuse – Any pattern of behavior directed at one individual by another which promotes in them a destructive sense of Fear, Obligation or Guilt (FOG).
The Bruise that Doesn’t Show
Many people who are victims of abuse live in homes or environments where they have become so accustomed to the situation they consider it normal. They do not recognize it even IS abuse sometimes, because there is no physical injury; instead an ongoing emotional barrage takes place which can be just as damaging.
Examples of Emotional Abuse
Alienation – The act of cutting off or interfering with an individual’s relationships with others. [Your advice was generally to avoid people YOU didn’t like]
Baiting – A provocative act used to solicit an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another individual. [This was normal for you so you could get a laugh]
Belittling, Condescending and Patronizing – This kind of speech is a passive-aggressive approach to giving someone a verbal put-down while maintaining a facade of reasonableness or friendliness. [ This was generally called ‘Advice’]
Blaming – The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem. [I was always too stubborn, it was never going to work…]
Bullying – Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.
Cheating – Sharing a romantic or intimate relationship with somebody when you are already committed to a monogamous relationship with someone else. [ You weren’t?? could have fooled me and the rest of the world]
Emotional Blackmail – A system of threats and punishments used in an attempt to control someone’s behaviors. [I am reminded of your use of ‘it’s never going to work if you don’t change]
False Accusations – Patterns of unwarranted or exaggerated criticism directed towards someone else.
FOG – Fear, Obligation & Guilt – The acronym FOG, for Fear, Obligation and Guilt, was first coined by Susan Forward & Donna Frazier in Emotional Blackmail and describes feelings that a person often has when in a relationship with someone who suffers from a personality disorder. Our website, Out of the FOG, is named after this acronym.
Gaslighting – The practice of brainwashing or convincing a mentally healthy individual that they are going insane or that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false. The term “Gaslighting” is based on the 1944 MGM movie “Gaslight”. [Watch the movie…this is SO YOU].
Hoovers & Hoovering – A Hoover is a metaphor taken from the popular brand of vacuum cleaners, to describe how an abuse victim trying to assert their own rights by leaving or limiting contact in a dysfunctional relationship, gets “sucked back in” when the perpetrator temporarily exhibits improved or desirable behavior.
Imposed Isolation – When abuse results in a person becoming isolated from their support network, including friends and family. [YES!]
Intimidation – Any form of veiled, hidden, indirect or non-verbal threat.
Invalidation – The creation or promotion of an environment which encourages an individual to believe that their thoughts, beliefs, values or physical presence are inferior, flawed, problematic or worthless. [Yes because you have such a ‘ high’ opinion of women’
Name-Calling – Use of profane, derogatory or dehumanizing terminology to describe another individual or group. [Not about me, but plenty about people we knew]
Proxy Recruitment – A way of controlling or abusing another person by manipulating other people into unwittingly backing “doing the dirty work”
Push-Pull – A chronic pattern of sabotaging and re-establishing closeness in a relationship without appropriate cause or reason. [ You were never sure but you wanted to marry me…what??]
Ranking and Comparing – Drawing unnecessary and inappropriate comparisons between individuals or groups. [ALWAYS. ALWAYS . ALWAYS.]
Shaming – The difference between blaming and shaming is that in blaming someone tells you that youdid something bad, in shaming someone tells you that you are something bad. [Apparently, i had to be fixed]
Silent Treatment – A passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence.
Splitting – The practice of regarding people and situations as either completely “good” or completely “bad”.
Targeted Humor, Mocking and Sarcasm – Any sustained pattern of joking, sarcasm or mockery which is designed to reduce another individual’s reputation in their own eyes or in the eyes of others. [Your jokes weren’t funny]
Testing – Repeatedly forcing another individual to demonstrate or prove their love or commitment to a relationship. [Something you admitted to yourself]