Soul-Fully Beautiful recently shared an excellent statement via their Facebook page. To summarize, it points out that people who aren’t emotional abuse survivors don’t understand fighting daily mental battles with someone no longer in your life. All types of abuse, physical, emotional and verbal, leave residual affects that you simply can’t just get over.
Children of veterans with emotional and mental issues, as well as other family members directly impacted, often feel as though they’re fighting a battle. That battle occurs when the effects of long-standing emotional abuse rear their ugly heads.
This become more of a problem as my biological father descended deeper into the bottle and cut himself off from those uninvolved with his pub-focused life. Fighting a daily mental battle where you wonder where to even begin should the issue of confronting their abuse come up isn’t something I’d wish on my worst enemy.
When the emotional abuser isn’t alive anymore or you otherwise aren’t in contact, your troubles don’t automatically end. Sometimes, the very techniques you need to use to cope with the abuse make you into someone you’d rather not be – those who think you can simply “get over it” most likely haven’t walked that difficult road.
In one way, it was good that I wasn’t forced to confront my dad at the end of his life. In my last call to him, I was able to let him know I forgave him.
The hardest part wasn’t that final phone call, as much as I expected it to be. It was knowing that there were things left unsaid on my part and knowing that certain family members I thought understood how bad the relationship was were utterly clueless.
Going through emotional abuse does alter your reality, though you never intended it. Here are some of the things you’ve probably dealt with:
- Feeling kind of lackluster about things that otherwise interest you
- Having to be on guard against things that might set off your abuser
- Thinking that you’re somehow deficient
- Feeling too anxious, not trusting yourself to take charge of your own future
- Having emotional difficulties spill over into relationships
No two people will have the same path to recovery – some can manage well with the help of a great support system, others may require at least a little therapy. Regaining trust in yourself and a better sense of your own worth is one of the most crucial steps, as well as knowing when you need to give yourself some healing space.