The best analogy I could come up with on emotional abuse is the use of words rather than force. You have your physical abuse that can range from hard smacks, punches, kicks, shakes, and so forth. Emotional abuse is the same but it's with words than force. It's like this, you have Superman whose weakness is the stone comprised of his home planet called Kypton. You have your green kryptonite and your red kryptonite. Green kryptonite harms Superman physically while red kryptonite affects him mentally.
Physical abuse is the green kryptonite and mental abuse is the red kryptonite. Mental abuse is verbally assaulting you. It can be intentional or culture-related. Basically, how to tell if your parents are being emotionally abusive is if they keep putting you down. Anything they constantly say that deters your mental development is considered emotional/verbal abuse. The most frightening thing about emotional abuse is that it leaves no physical scars. It does leave emotional scars but not many people can detect that.
Detecting signs of emotional abuse is easy if you're not the one being emotionally abused. But this is to show if your parents are being emotionally abusive. It can range from the following:
- Constantly putting you down with malicious intent on your choice of friends, career path, sexual preference, faith, and other things. That's one example.
- If your parents are calling you names with derogatory meanings. I had a long distance ex-girlfriend a while back with an emotionally abusive step-father. From what I heard, he kept calling her all sorts of names. One of the names is the other meaning of a female dog and rhymes with witch.
- There have been situations where you're forced into isolation by your parents. Not allowed to hang out with your friends after school, not allowed to be able to partake in any activities outside of home, and other stuff. In more extreme cases, they can withdraw you from school as an excuse and say its better that you get homeschooling.
- I've been rejected and dejected by family members saying that I'd never amount to anybody or anything. That's one of the most common signs of emotional abuse. This one can also be linked to culture. I have relatives like that back in Vietnam from what my mother told me. They did the same to her, constantly putting her down, making her feel worthless and such. They didn't understand what they were doing was emotional abuse. In Vietnamese culture in Vietnam, they considered this as a way of keeping people from developing huge egos. But the effect is still the same.
- Toying with your emotions. That's another sign that your parents can be emotionally abusive. There are plenty of sick people that will toy with your emotions. That includes parents. This type of abuse is most common with parents whom are divorced. One example is the Alec Baldwin phone message scandal.
- This one applies to boys. If your parents use sexually derogatory remarks to calling you a "faggot," "queer," "homo," "gay," and such because you have different tastes or not like sports. This is a very common form of emotional abuse amongst boys.
Unfortunately, there are a bunch of parents in the world that are in serious need of help. More unfortunately is that we can't pick our biological parents. I used to work as a substitute teacher for two years and I've dealt with many students that come from broken homes. The most unruly students that I have come across are a result of emotional abuse. It's like putting the thought in their minds that it's the only way they can express themselves.
This is one of the reasons I feel that the United States education system needs to be reworked. You can detect physical signs of abuse, but it's more complicated with emotional signs. I don't feel that there are enough programs out there that accommodate students who are victims of emotional abuse. Just recently, the United States Army made a change in policy for the drill sergeants not to be harsh to recruits because that emotional abuse can seem to make things worse.
In the past, it was about breaking people down and building them up as soldiers. But you can only do so much in nine weeks. And with what's going on in this country, the military has had to make many changes to policy.
If you feel that your parents are being emotionally abusive, you should talk to a friend, friend's parents, teachers, the counselor, and most definitely the school principal. Those people are usually the first people to take action against the parents.
This is what to do in this country. Unfortunately in certain cultures, emotional abuse is a way of life. People tend to combat physical abuse such as public stoning of women in public squares in the Middle East for adultery. But the mental is just as important with building bridges.
So yes emotional abuse does exist and these are the signs you can tell if your parents are emotionally abusive. If they are being emotionally abusive, tell someone. Don't let it go on. Physical pain can go away but emotional pain takes much longer to go away. There is the possibility that the emotional pain caused by emotional abuse may never go away completely.