by Ese Walter
I was long past physical abuse by men I loved but had plunged head first into a different kind of abuse. One that occurred in a way that wasn’t easy for my programmed mind to detect. The feeling was the same though.
For a long time the term abuse had certain triggers for me. When I hear ‘abuse,’ my mind immediately paints a picture of someone being beaten or raped. Maybe because I experienced physical abuse early in my relationship life. As time went by though, and I started to experience more and more relationships, and more people, the nature of abuse as I knew it began to shift.
I was long past physical abuse by men I loved but had plunged head first into a different kind of abuse. One that occurred in a way that wasn’t easy for my programmed mind to detect. The feeling was the same though. The core emotion of what I felt when I was physically abused was the same as when I wasn’t touched. It was the look, the sarcasm, the put downs, the ‘silent-treatment’, the stalking, the controlling, and the manipulating. Funny thing was, I couldn’t explain in words how all of those made me feel.
As I started to become aware of this feeling of fear, it became needful to ask why this was. Why is it that, when certain people I care for put me down, or speak angry, hurtful words, it would linger in my head for years and years. It would hold me back from moving forward, from trying, from daring, from evolving, from becoming my full self.
As I started to read about abuse and how it can affect a person for years and even decades, I gradually started becoming aware of Psychological Abuse in my personal and work life. I dare say it is the meanest of them all. And it goes through everybody. But this is where it gets interesting. Some people deliberately abuse others, psychologically. They learn how to manipulate and control others and set out to practice it in real time. Some prey on others who are weak and uninformed about the insidious effects of psychological abuse.
Wiki says “Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships, bullying and abuse in the workplace.”
Do you know anything about psychological abuse? Or do you think this is all bollocks? Do you know, you could be a psychological abuser and not even know it? Worse still, you could be experiencing psychological abuse right now as you play a willing victim. I’d like to hear (read) your thoughts after you have gotten some understanding of what psychological abuse is (Google will tell you loads)
Tomorrow at 2:05PM on Crowther Radio 104.5FM Abuja, Femina Speaks will be discussing psychological abuse. We would break down psychological abuse to very simple, absorbable terms. We would also mention the types of abuse and build on psychological abuse in particular.
Remember to tune in 104.5FM tomorrow as we attempt to break down psychological abuse.
Happy Eid Al-Ftri everybody.
Read this article on Ese Walter’s blog
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija