Signs of Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Abuse

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I’ve been listening to a new mind-blowing podcast called Something Was Wrong. In this audio-series, the host interviews people who have endured some of the most controlling and later some of the most dangerous situations of their life. Situations that would cost some of their identity, sanity, financial stability, and peace; while almost costing others their life.

So, in light of this area of interest, I wanted to share with you a few signs or red-flags you must be aware of before dedicating your life to an individual who will possibly ruin it. 

My advice? 

Please pay attention to your intuition and gut feeling about someone. Do not allow this person to detach you from your family and friends. Do not allow this person to diminish or mock your beliefs or faith. Do not allow this individual to isolate you. You cannot become financially, emotionally, or spiritually dependent on this person because they will wreck your existence.

Now here are several things to keep an eye out for. For a thorough and expansive list of other red-flags please visit HealthLine

If you are in an abusive relationship, living under abusive parents, partners, roommates, or friends. If you attend a church ministry or group that thrives from degrading you and its adherents please proceed to the end of this post where you can find links to agencies that can help and assist you. 

Today is the day you can be free. 

List of red-flags to keep an eye out for:

Humiliation

Name-calling – an intentional effort to degrade you with disgraceful words. (Stupid, idiot, selfish, ugly, fat, loser, etc.)

Derogatory – an attribution of a title that degrades the individual by comparing them to a creature of lesser intellect or physical capability or an inanimate object that serves of little to no use. (Bigfoot, silly poodle, block of wood, etc)

Yelling – an effort to constantly diminish your voice, concerns, requests, problems, and ideas by shouting you down. They make you believe you are always the reason for them raising their voice and losing control. Can be followed by physical violence toward doors, walls, windows, other household objects, vehicles, you or themselves.

Control

Threats – as imagined, the individual controls your life and conduct, decision-making abilities, and your future plans with threats of abandonment, withholding of funds, affection, time spent with children, and etc. The individual will also attempt to intimidate his victim with threats of violence or calls to have the victim institutionalized.

Financial Control – a consorted and concentrated effort to control every facet of the relationship’s financial direction. From wedding planning to vacation destinations to credit card authorized users to what brand of pasta the victim is allowed to buy. The victim has absolutely no say on where the money goes, is invested, spent, saved, or etc. 

Social Media Spy – a disgraceful effort by the perpetrator to disregard personal privacy and space of the victim by snooping and spying through the victim’s social media accounts and emailing platforms in hopes of finding embarrassing or innocuous information they can use to control their victim. This is displayed by shared social media accounts or a situation where the abuser monitors every conversation, post, interaction, and the abuser prevents the victim from sharing freely.

Insecurities Projected

Jealousy – an overwhelming and irrational, mostly unsubstantiated belief that the victim has or plans on having extra-marital or open-relationship trysts with every person of the opposite sex they encounter. Having work, school, community, or church friends is almost always called into question. 

Denial – a distinguished ability to refuse to accept any form of responsibility for harm done to the victim. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a dust particle than for the perpetrator to admit fault, accept the ramifications for their wrongs, and seek help. Every problem, fight, issue, and things to that effect are the victims’ fault. 

Trivialization – any concern the victim brings to the table of the perpetrator’s continued and insidious behavior is lessened, diminished, reduced, mocked, laughed at, and trivialized. Nothing he or she does is ever serious enough to deserve a discussion or attention. Possibly also known as gaslighting.

Emotional

Demanding Respect – a disgraceful and cowardly attempt to disregard the victims’ concerns by demanding and expecting respect as if the concerns mentioned devalue the perpetrator. 

Withholding Affection – a heart-rending tactic that steals joy and love from a victim by withholding, negotiating, or refusing to show or demonstrate any form of affection. 

Interruptions – a disrespectful and calculated effort to reduce a victim’s voice to rubble every time an attempt is made to voice their opinion. Done in private situations but often amplified in public gatherings to shame and silence the victim. 

Therefore…

Healthline states that if you believe you are in a dangerous relationship but find it extremely difficult to come to terms with that reality, the one where you are living with an abusive person, married to one, engaged to one, dating one, or possibly interested in one then you are displaying signs of codependency.

According to Healthline, you might be codependent if you: 

  • Are in this relationship but fear alternatives
  • Forsake your own needs to appease the abuser
  • Have abandoned friends and family for the sake of this relationship
  • See yourself as the source of the problems in the relationship, they’re never in the wrong
  • Defend your abuser every chance you get
  • Feel guilty when you stand up for yourself
  • Believe that you are worthless

If you’re exhibiting signs of someone who is in this stressful and potentially lethal situation please get help. 

If you believe your life is in immediate danger call the police right away. 

National Domestic Abuse Hotline – 800-799-7233 24/7 hotline. (United States of America)

ShelterSafe.ca – for a province by province information. Their motto is “Help is just a click away.”  (Canada)

Healthline has four steps you can take if you believe you are in this situation or one similar to it:

Accept that the abuse isn’t your responsibility.

Disengage and set personal boundaries.

Exit the relationship or circumstances.

Give yourself time to heal.

Let’s break the cycle. Your life is worth living and if you’re in a situation like any of the things I’ve mentioned above, please, understand that that is not living!

That’s survival! 

Your life is worth so much more. 

Understand that I only listed and paraphrased 12 of the 64 signs of mental and emotional abuse Healthline covers on their website.

You may be a victim and not even know it. 

Please, retrospect, seek help, find friends who will help, ministries willing to take you in, and people willing to lift you up. 

They’re out there and this is not the end but the start of your journey. 

“Behold, I am making all things new.” – Revelations 21:5

*Special Note: These habits of abuse apply to faith communities as much as they apply to relationships. If you believe you are in a church where a pastor or a leadership structure is abusive and dismissive, get out now. If you cannot, please contact the sources I’ve listed above to be rescued immediately.*

**Special Note #2: Men can be at the receiving end of abuse as well. Please educate yourself.**

Further reading material to consider:

Published by olivettheory

My name is Jarrel and I'm a lover of words, people, odd behaviors, theology, independent films, all-immersive RPGs, Christian metal, podcasts, and history. Not in that order. I'm a writer... in training. Let’s read and talk about things together. This is my Olivet Theory. Husband - Dad - Dude

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