Abuse comes in many forms. A person can be a victim of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, and there’s no type better or worse than the other. While the assault of a physical or sexual attack can bring about pain and blemishes to the body, the words of emotional abuse can linger in your psyche for a lifetime.
Statistics paint a bleak picture in this country, especially since there are more than 5.3 million reported incidents of domestic violence each year. Sadly, most abuse cases are perpetrated by intimate partners, making people more apt to hide the ordeal. When it comes to emotional abuse, it’s hard to put numbers to it since so many suffer in silence.
Being caught in a cycle of abuse is often fearful, and most people don’t know how to escape. They are caught in a vortex because, and in most cases, the perpetrator is a lover or close relative. If they were to come forward and ask for help, it means getting the one they love in trouble, but they need help getting out of this toxic relationship.
Red Flags of Those Being Silently Abused
How do you know if someone is suffering from abuse? How do you reach out and help someone who acts like you’re always overreacting? Those silently abused need someone who can help them, but often they don’t want your assistance.
They will often wait until things get out of hand before they tell someone. Thankfully, there are ways that you can tell that someone is being silently abused and needs you to step in.
One of the hallmark signs of physical abuse is unexplained bruises and cuts on the body. They may wear clothes that cover a great deal of their physique, even when the temperatures are scorching outside. They may wince in pain when trying to sit down or move in specific ways.
Black eyes are not uncommon for the person who is silently abused. They may wear sunglasses or have heavy makeup around the eyes, trying to cover any marks. With each attack, the person goes deeper into a shell as they pray for the abuse to end, but they don’t know how to get out of this situation.
If you ask questions about abuse, they may mock your opinions or laugh off what you say. They will protect and defend the person they love as long as possible, even though inside many fear for their life.
2. They Miss Work and Social Engagements
When you’re suffering from abuse, you hardly feel like getting out of bed each day. The average person will miss 137 hours each year due to abuse, yet many just think they have medical problems.
When confronted with their constant absences, they make rude comments or downplay the events. Still, the empty seat at the table or desk where they sit is undeniable. These people do not listen to reason, and they won’t get help until they’re ready.
Whether physical or emotional abuse, this person doesn’t know how to get out of the cyclone that has captured them. The perpetrator often goes from buying gifts to attacking them, and it wreaks havoc on the emotions. Plus, verbally attacked someone is often put on a guilt trip for leaving home as the perpetrator fears someone will find out.
3. Their Self-Esteem Plummets
It’s hard to stay positive and upbeat when someone tells you how horrible you are or how ugly you’ve become. The root of many verbal abuse cases is jealousy. It’s not uncommon for men or women to feel their spouse could leave and find someone new.
So, they try to undermine their self-esteem so that they won’t leave. The core of this problem is a perpetrator with low self-esteem who feels they’re not good enough. However, they project this feeling onto their partner.
This person might become agitated or nervous when their spouse goes out on the town for fear that they might find someone better. They may also be continually accusing their lover of cheating. The problem with verbal abuse is that it almost always escalates into something physical, a double whammy for the victim.
4. Unexplained Weight Loss
When there’s an emotional war going on inside, many people won’t eat. How can you eat when your world is falling apart? A person who is repeatedly told how ugly they are may want to lose weight to stop the abuse by enhancing their looks.
If a person isn’t dieting and working out or doesn’t need to lose any weight, yet there’s a noticeable loss, then it could be a case of being silently abused.
Whether the abuse was a one-time event or it’s ongoing, it can leave lasting damages mentally. It’s effortless to slip into depression or to have bouts of anxiety when these mental health problems weren’t there before. They silently suffer, and emotional turmoil can be detrimental.
In fact, they want to tell, but they fear the repercussions. They may have been threatened that if they tell anyone they love, or their pets could be hurt. A manipulator will use whatever tactics possible to keep things a secret.
The rude comments made to this person often beat them down to a place of depression. They can become anxious as they fear when the next verbal bashing or physical assault will occur. Without proper treatment, this person can suffer from a total breakdown and require hospitalization.
6. Frequent Trips to the Emergency Room or Doctor
As things progress further into the abuse, they may go to the hospital for broken bones or other significant bodily damages. It’s essential to notice the timeline of new bruises and cuts and when they seek help.
Many victims of a toxic relationship will wait a few days to heal a bit, hoping that they won’t be questioned about the abuse. Their stories will become more outlandish as they try to cover up the truth. They will recant acclaims of falling down the stairs, accidents in the kitchen, or encounters with animals.
With each story and trip to the emergency room, the staff and friends and family start to question what’s going on with this person. Yet, they do not listen to sound reason and continue to hide behind their abuser with each confrontation.