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by Tigress Luv, The Breakup Guru & by Glass Slipper Publishing

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Recovering From Emotional Abuse

By Tigress Luv & Glass Slipper Publishing

“What you call flaws are really just scars and wounds accumulated over a lifetime.” ~Deepak Chopra


Sometimes bad things happen to us and we don’t even become aware of them until it’s too late. Like an earthquake, the bad thing sneaks up on us, taking us off guard and attacking us from behind, or infiltrating from the side. It is only afterwards – in the ‘aftershock’ state – in which we finally see the damage that it has caused.  Sadly, by then it’s usually too late, we have already been negatively affected. Smoking is one of these things. We usually don’t show signs of COPD, heart disease or cancer until it is too late.  I am the ‘barely breathing’ proof of that.

Emotional abuse is another.

We don’t see the signs or feel the repercussions of emotional abuse until it’s too late. That’s because emotional abusers are extremely adept at slowly – and methodically – manipulating their mastery over us in order to gain total control. They isolate us from everything and destroy our self-esteem so that we will have total dependence on them. We are emotionally beaten into not feeling worthy of anyone else … or we have lost the confidence or the means available to leave and stand on our own two feet.

First, they remove our ‘support group’: They take away our friends, either by insulting them directly or by insulting our choice to be with such ‘losers’ – or by actually being rude, intimidating, or inhospitable to them. Next, they start on our family; they find reasons why we can’t visit our family, spend any meaningful time with them, or remain in frequent contact with them. They may even give us ultimatums, such as forcing us to make the difficult ‘choice’ of our parents or our children or our friends or our career, or they may often move us ‘miles’ away from our family.

Even the pets that we love may be threatened, teased, harmed or removed from the home.

Next, they remove any self-supporting or financial independence we may have: We may not be allowed to work, or we may be allowed to work (out of necessity) but we must hand our paycheck over to them each week. The bank account is only in their name, or we have no access to it. We may, however, be given an ‘allowance’ for household expenses or personal needs, such as hygiene products.

Finally, we lose our total independence via the ‘outside’ world by being denied access to the Internet, a cell phone, a vehicle or any other modes of transportation – or we may even lose our driving privileges.

Moreover, during all this they’re also slowly working on destroying our self-esteem. They cut us down for not being stronger, smarter, richer, prettier, thinner, a better cook or housekeeper, a more understanding partner, a more contributing partner, a better lover…the list goes on and on. They falsely accuse of us being unappreciative burdens, or even claim that we are being unfaithful in our minds or in our hearts, or that we are having affairs on the sly. Slowly they drive our confident ‘self’ right out of us. They make us feel like we are idiots, failures, clumsy, ugly, less than, unworthy, unaccomplished, unappreciative or woefully inadequate.

We wake up one day and realize that we have been socially isolated. We have no friends left. We don’t even have schoolmates or co-workers, as we were not allowed to work or go to school – or, if we were allowed to go, then we were not allowed to associate with anybody before and after work or school. We have no means to leave our situation, as we have no vehicle or friends to turn to. Even our own family is now very distant, as the abuser either has driven a wedge between us and our family, or made sure that they have moved us far away from the town our family lives in.

We are completely and totally dependent on our partner for everything – from a ride to food to love. Ironically, our self-image has been so ripped to shreds through the emotional battering that we may even feel grateful to the abuser for putting up with ‘despicable’ us.

Here is when we realize the abuse, but it is too late. Our beloved pets are gone. Our family and friends are gone. Our ability to leave on our own is gone, as we are without transportation. In addition, we have no financial resources or means, nor valuables and assets to fall back on. And we feel totally without worth and value, so we feel whom else would even want us. We are now totally dependent on the abuser for everything.

Emotionally abusive partners may do any (or all) of the following:

  • Insult, humiliate, degrade or belittle you
  • Minimize or disrespect you, or disregard your accomplishments, value, or contribution to the relationship, the home, or society as a whole
  • Demonize you by distorting or exaggerating your ‘flaws’ or contradicting your input, and ignoring or underplaying your accomplishments
  • Discount or minimize your needs, hopes, wants, dreams, and desires
  • Become highly suspicious of you. They may ‘police’ you or your actions, or falsely accuse you or blame you for unfounded things, such as hiding money or having an affair
  • Isolate you from your friends and family. Intimidate or insult your friends or family, or move you far away from them
  • Punish you by withholding affection or emotional support and understanding. Give you the silent treatment, or treat you in such a way as to leave you emotionally needy for love, tenderness, respect, and equal companionship
  • Withhold money or financial resources. Take away your privileges or access to bank accounts, charge cards, deeds, assets, property, valuables
  • Behave towards you as if you are ‘disgusting’, repulsive or despicable. Tell you that you are fat, stupid, an embarrassment, etc. They may dismiss you as being not worthy of love, or they may openly disapprove of you, give you contemptuous looks, or act as though you repel them. They may tell you that you are ‘lucky’ that they are willing to put up with you.
  • Threaten to harm anything or anyone that is important to you. This may include your pets, your family, your valued possessions, you precious heirlooms or anything that you love, cherish, or hold with high regard
  • Openly dislike anything you like. For instance, they may openly dislike your dog, your cat, your friends, your family, your choice of music, your favorite color, your clothing style or fashion sense, your taste in food, your taste in movies, your passions, your favorite sports team, your hopes, your dreams…even the ‘mornings’ if you are a morning person

Getting out of the abusive situation was your first move. But, now that you have what do you do forthwith? You, at least, now know how to recognize the signs of this kind of abuse so as not to allow this to happen in your future relationships, but how do you handle the shame you feel when you wake up one day and acknowledge that you have slowly let someone steal your life? … When you wake up to find that you have allowed someone to blatantly shred your self-esteem, your dreams and your freedom?  … When you wake up to find that your friends, your life – and even your basic daily means –that you had before the relationship have all slowly been taken away from you, and now you are left with nothing at all? …

And how do you deal with all this when you, yourself, are left feeling worthless, shameful, depressed, and hopeless?

You simply – and hypothetically – give it all back to the abuser. You accept nothing. These feelings are not yours to own, let them go and give them back to the abuser. Do not take ownership over the repercussions of abuse.

First, you stop being so hard on you. You are not the first person who trusted someone and who was then slowly and psychologically entrapped by that person. There is absolutely nothing that you should blame yourself for. Always place 100% of the blame on the abuser, no matter what you did or didn’t do, you never deserved to be treated in such an extremely discounting and disrespectful manner.

Secondly, you make a commitment to yourself.  You envision in your mind the person you are meant to be; the person who you once were. You envision you as that person who once held passions, hopes, self-esteem, dreams, friends, family and independence…because that person is still there inside you. You must see yourself that way, because that is who you really are. The facsimile that you have become is not the real you; it is merely a reflection of the abuse. Visualize the real you, not the battered you. The battered you is not the true you, it is merely a conception of the demon who created it. So give it back to them; evict that ghost from your life.

It’s hard to look for the light when you’re stumbling around, lost in darkness, but it’s not that hard when you stop looking for it; realize the darkness is simply an illusion and just place yourself back into the light.


~~ Today I will envision my true self. I am so much more than the product of abuse, rejection or disrespect. I am the product of my Higher Power, my dreams, my passions, my talents, my gifts, my standards and my moral beliefs.

Just for today I give the emotionally battered part of me back to the abuser. I let it go into oblivion; I dismiss it. Just for today I conceptualize my true self and allow that wonderful person that I am … the wonderful person that has become a trapped prisoner somewhere deep inside me beneath my pain ... to come back out. Just for today my goal is to become revitalized, re-energized, and to release my true self; today I return that blackened ghost of me back to its creator. ~~


“The greatest way to move past emotional battering is by refusing to firmly plant your roots in your captor’s den.” ~Tigress Luv

 “Domestic abuse results when the 'fear of abandonment' is put forth by those who aren’t healthy enough to know how to 'abandon their fear'.” ~Tigress Luv

“For every minute you allow yourself to stay damaged by emotional abuse you give your abuser 60 more seconds of your life. Add this up in days and the numbers are staggering. Take back your life; it is your gift from God, your God-given right to have and to hold – and not that of your abuser’s.” ~Tigress Luv

“All violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power, but the absence of power. “ ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Thank you for reading this week's newsletter! As always, we welcome feedback and new ideas for future newsletters.

Have a great week everyone!

Tigress Luv

Article published by Tigress Luv & Glass Slipper publishing, the Breakup Gurus. For more breakup advice and forums please join us at the Lifted Hearts Breakup Support Forums & Community at

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