Emotional abuse vs. Physical abuse. What is worse, has this ever been part of your life?

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Emotional abuse vs. Physical abuse. What is worse, has this ever been part of your life?

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I was emotionally and physically abused as a child. This has messed me up and provided for some baggage in my life, however I have managed to realize that it made me who I am today and have used it to better myself. I have a dear friend who is currently being abused by a partner and it is very sad. He has turned a gorgeous sexy confident woman into a shell of a person that is scared of her own shadow. The physical abuse is terrifying and more immediately dangerous, but the emotional abuse seems to be more damaging, long term. Any advice, experiences, etc. that you would like to share would be appreciated and very much taken to heart.
10/15/2011
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AndroAngel AndroAngel
I don't think there's any way to quantify which type of abuse does the most damage. I've been physically and emotionally abused at different points in my life and even I don't know which damaged me more, although I suspect it was the emotional wearing down, but physical abuse can cause emotional damage.

The only advice I can give is to get her to talk to a councilor or a women's shelter worker.
10/15/2011
Kkay Kkay
As someone who was in the position where you were, as the friend on the outside, I know how difficult this is for you as someone who loves her.

I linked my best friend, who goes by badk1tty on EF, to this post- because she's to me who your friend is to you.

She was in an abusive relationship for years. Years, and years, and years. And a lot of it had to do with self-esteem, and thinking that she didn't deserve better, and that she had no way out. Then she got pregnant and the already poisonous relationship became something that she had to salvage, for the sake of their child.

From my side of things, no matter how much I tried, I couldn't make something happen. I couldn't give her self-esteem. I couldn't give her the will to leave. I couldn't force her to see that what he was doing wasn't okay.

It felt like being powerless.

It was being powerless.

What I discovered as the friend was that it wasn't my life. And I don't say that to say that you shouldn't care, or that I shouldn't have. I say it because ultimately, you are not the one who can make this decision.

You can offer her help. You can tell her that it isn't okay. You can urge her to document, or document yourself. You can give her numbers for women's centers; you can call the cops if you know something is going on.

But ultimately, you cannot make her leave. As much as you want to- and I know that there were days I wished with my entire being that I could- you cannot make her.

But you can be there for her throughout it, and you can encourage her, and you can be there for her when she does make that decision.

As for the question in the title of your thread... I don't really know. I've been abused in both ways, though for me it was as a child. Both have seriously impacted my ability to trust, and how I feel around others. Both contribute heavily to the PTSD that I struggle with today.

For me, I don't feel like physical abuse is possible without emotional abuse. I feel that physical abuse innately is emotional abuse as well, because having someone that you trust and care about treat you as a punching bag is betrayal, and that lasts far longer than bruises.
10/15/2011
Angelica Angelica
Both forms deal incredible amounts of damaging. It is inappropriate to say one is worse than the other. Minimizing abuse is never ok.
10/15/2011
badk1tty badk1tty
Quote:
Originally posted by AndroAngel
I don't think there's any way to quantify which type of abuse does the most damage. I've been physically and emotionally abused at different points in my life and even I don't know which damaged me more, although I suspect it was the ...
My BFF, Kkay, referred me to this forum, and asked me to give some advice. Without delving into too much of my personal life, I somewhat recently went through this myself. I had a somewhat physical, though much more verbal/emotional abusive (now ex) husband, who I struggled to get away from for, no exaggeration, over 6 years.

For the first few years of my relationship, things were alright. Not great, but alright. But as time went on, they got worse. The problem is, in these situations, that they do exactly what you're talking about - they turn someone into a shell of a person. Often times, the depression, the lack of self-esteem and self-worth are things that do much more damage than the abuse, because the abuse is short-term, where as the effects are long term and lasting.

I have been away from him for two years now. I am with someone else now, who loves me more than anything in the world except our daughter. I have not been abused in two years, but I still have the lasting effects of my ex. I still have severe trust issues. I still have self-confidence problems and self-worth issues.

Kkay tried to get me away from the ex for more than five years, but the problem is that you end up trapped. Often times you're in financial situations that require you to stay. Or you just don't feel like there will be anyone better for you, because the abuser has made you feel like you're not worth shit. Worse still is when you start to believe that you aren't worth shit, or that you actually deserve the abuse.

The only thing you can really do for your friend is what Kkay did for me - you have to be there to listen, first and foremost. Don't get mad. Don't get accusational - because the last thing she needs is someone who is supposed to love her and care for her making her feel even worse. Don't judge - if you haven't been there, you WON'T understand. Try to help her, if you can. Do you have a couch she can crash on? Can you help her get away from him? Encourage her to involve law enforcement, if it's physical. Document EVERYTHING. Get an order of protection. Contact your local battered women's shelter. Call EVERY DAY, see if they have room.

There ARE options, and there ARE ways out. Sadly, statistics show that it often takes a woman leaving her abuser 7 times before she finally stays gone. If she DOES find the courage to get away from him, SHE NEEDS TO STAY THE FUCK GONE. Help her STAY GONE. No matter what sweet talk he says, keep her gone.

But, most importantly, even if she does go back, be there for her. You do no have to agree with her decisions to go back or stay with him, but turning your back on her (likely very stupid choices, to be honest) is going to do nothing but reinforce everything he's said about her, or done to her.

She isn't worthless. Only through real friends will she realize that. (thanks, Kkay, for that <3). Pass along 1-800-799-SAFE that number. And best of luck, to her and you both. It's not an easy road.
10/15/2011
Ghost Ghost
Quote:
Originally posted by Angelica
Both forms deal incredible amounts of damaging. It is inappropriate to say one is worse than the other. Minimizing abuse is never ok.
This is how I feel as well.
10/16/2011
Chilipepper Chilipepper
I was in an emotionally abusive marriage for near ten years.

It took years of therapy and nearly jumping off a bridge to save my life, sanity, and soul.

Both emotional and physical are equally evil.

As I had said in another thread, codependence clouds a person's thinking and their sense of self-worth. Adults are supposed to know better, but they frequently don't. Children are rescued from abusive homes because they can't defend themselves or leave the situation ... adult victims are supposed to fight their own way out. It takes courage and conviction to do so, along with a huge dose of self-worth to know it's the Right Thing to do.
10/16/2011
- Kira - - Kira -
I was physically and emotionally abused as a child and emotionally abused in a few relationships. I think the emotional abuse causes a lasting problem but the physical abuse also lowers self esteem and is a type of emotional abuse in its own right. So they are equally awful. The emotional abuse certainly made me cry more at the time. I used to tell my emotional abusers that I wished they would hit me instead of saying such cruel things to me but I'm sure I that I would not have liked that much either.

I'm sorry about your friend. I hope she finds the help she needs.
10/16/2011
js250 js250
Quote:
Originally posted by Kkay
As someone who was in the position where you were, as the friend on the outside, I know how difficult this is for you as someone who loves her.

I linked my best friend, who goes by badk1tty on EF, to this post- because she's to me who your ...
You are a great friend to Badk1tty, a welcome reaffirmative advice giver to me and you have made me think about a lot of issues. Thank you!!
10/18/2011
js250 js250
Quote:
Originally posted by badk1tty
My BFF, Kkay, referred me to this forum, and asked me to give some advice. Without delving into too much of my personal life, I somewhat recently went through this myself. I had a somewhat physical, though much more verbal/emotional abusive (now ex) ...
I am very proud of you and your new start!! Thank you for the advice, I try very hard not to get mad or tell her what to do, but have made suggestions, left literature around my house, etc. hoping that when she is ready she will look at or take my suggestions.Thank you!!!
10/18/2011
badk1tty badk1tty
I wish you the best of luck with your friend, I know it can be very hard.
10/29/2011
l'amour l'amour
Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost
This is how I feel as well.
As do I.
10/29/2011
Total posts: 12
Unique posters: 9