There is a very big lie that abusers tell their targets. It is the biggest lie of all. This lie tells the target: this is all your fault!
The idea that abuse does not happen behind white picket fences or always leaves bruises is just something we tell ourselves. It makes it easier to process. It means we can think of an abuser as a monster, instead of a neighbor.
I KNOW this happened to me, and still my brain sometimes tries to deny it. Emotional abuse is hard to wrap your head around at any level I suppose.
Our most immediate association with the word violence is of physical aggression. But you can utterly destroy a person, and never lay a hand on them.
Most people are surprised about my past. ‘I had no idea,’ they say. And they wouldn’t. It was all hidden abuse, no scars or bruises to tell the story.
Domestic abuse is a difficult topic to talk about. It will likely make you feel uncomfortable – imagine how much worse it must feel for someone who has been subjected to it.