Emotional Abuse – Revealing the Signs. Can You See Them?

Emotional abuse – revealing the signs. Can you see them? The post I wrote last week dug deeply into my past https://www.crystalmmhuntley.com/sexual-abuse-revealing-the-signs-can-you-see-them/(opens in a new tab). As a result, I stated how challenging I had found it to write. Additionally, this blog is proving to be just as laborious. A threat presses upon me as I revisit events within my life to create these posts. This threat acts as a bullhorn, announcing the scars abuse has carved into me.

Writing these blogs places a spotlight on stains within my soul. Regardless, my drive remains strong to push forward to help others break their chains of abuse and find freedom. Hence, I take a deep breath and continue to write this series.

Emotional Abuse – an Umbrella Term

Emotional abuse is an umbrella term. It contains multiple forms. These forms include humiliation, shame, guilt, and intimidation. Confinement, harassment, and rejection also fall under this title. And do not forget about controlling your whereabouts. Not to mention withholding affection, fear, and threats. Then there is psychological abuse. It is the master of manipulation and gaslighting, where the abuser manipulates how another thinks. Anytime one person dominates over another, there is abuse. Rarely does a victim suffer from only one form of abuse. Furthermore, emotional abuse is often the foundational stem that branches into other abuses.

Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse can be even more dangerous than physical abuse. I state this because weapons used in physical abuse are often easy to detect. As a result, the victim knows when it is happening. On the other hand, psychological abuse builds up little by little. This subtle accumulation makes it challenging to recognize. The psychological abuser uses power and control to back up their tactics. They manipulate their victims, diminishing their self-worth and instilling fear.

This subtle yet damaging way of getting into someone’s head erodes that person’s self-worth. Its vicious effects weasel under the victim’s radar detection. As a result, they often do not recognize the harm done as it strips away their core sense of value. Before they realize it, they have become deeply embedded, so much so they cannot find a way out.  

To see more Crystalisms, go to  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1360983917796761.

Emotional Abuse Effects

Emotional abuse is especially damaging when inflicted upon a child. This is because it interferes with the ability to develop their unique personality. My parents caused this to happen to me. They forced me to be who they wanted. That inauthentic way of existence spilled into my adulthood. Without a sense of self, I could not detect my needs, desires, and feelings. For decades, I molded to what others wanted me to be. This way of life made me vulnerable to even more abuse. I began finding my true self only this past decade. This shift occurred because I now finally exist within a safe, nurturing environment.

My parents saw questioning or disagreeing with them as a sin. And they taught that all sins lead to condemnation. Being raised isolated in every way, even religiously, I knew no other reality. They perfectly groomed me to fall victim to the next perpetrator, my children’s father. In 1993, I dared stand up to my father. He responded with a demand. “You must feel and think as I do, or I will never set foot in your house again!” He kept that promise. Even as I began the long journey of breaking free from the constrictive chain of abuse he had forged.


Emotionally destructive abusers show no mercy. For example, they often throw their victims under the bus. My mother did this whenever she felt something risked her reputation. My children’s father also engaged in this act. He did this by feeding them the belief that I had not earned the right to receive respect. He even encouraged one son’s violent behavior toward me. When I asked for help, my ex quickly gave a sharp “No!” He declared that my request proved that I abused my son by stifling his emotions.

This example of gaslighting illustrates how the abuser twists everything their victim says and does. The insanity involved pollutes the victim, making them feel helpless. It causes them to question reality while destroying the core of their true self. The false belief that they are delusional settles in, peeling away their last identity layer.

Mind Games

The perpetrator plays on the victim’s weaknesses. They strip away the victim’s strengths. My ex insisted that I overcome all my shortcomings. Yet if I became strong in any area, he then emotionally beat me back down.

He belittled me, making me feel like a lesser person. If I dared speak up, he gave his typical response. “I’m only joking. You’re being over-emotional.” This comment spins another level of craziness within my mind—I can’t even recognize sarcasm. His intimidation boomed over me. More mind games included a demand that I never stand up to him. All this makes a person feel as if they are going insane.

I did everything I could to be “good enough” in his eyes. Nothing satisfied his commands. When I felt things were going well, he insisted I was still not fully committed to him. Because of my “lack of commitment,” I have not earned his affection. When I asked what I needed to do, he would not give a concrete answer. “You must figure it out.”

Much of his demands fell against my moral code, so I resisted wherever possible. My reluctance caused him to become manic. Yet the few times I gave in, he became unhinged. The ways of making me slip down the road to crazy land proved endless.


One way the abuser enforces their brutal behavior is by physically and psychologically isolating the victim. Both my parents and ex masterly criticized friends and relatives behind their backs. This action further heightened fear within me at the thought of reaching out. Also, these perpetrators placed roadblocks in my way whenever I spoke of bettering myself. Everything I did, every place I went, and every person I saw had to meet my keeper’s approval.

If I dared venture outside of their constructed parameters, they pulled me back into their prison with threats. My parents used condemnation as their favorite form of intimidation. They taught me about God in a cult-like environment. This brainwashing gave me reason to believe they embodied such divine power.


My parents did a fantastic job at securely installing deep shame into me. My ex took advantage of that shame. He used it whenever possible to cement the effects of his deplorable tactics. To keep peace, I carefully dealt out every word I spoke. This constant diligence builds anxiety. And when my efforts proved ineffective, it plummeted me into depression.

An Added Factor

My disability limited my ability to care for myself. This added factor made the execution of threats easy for my ex. He took full advantage of my condition. Furthermore, he spat warnings to stop paying bills if I did not “fall into line. Then, I would be to blame when my children became homeless. He enforced this warning by keeping the house on the edge of foreclosure. In time, he even stopped providing money for food and necessities. More on this next week as we cover Financial Abuse. Found at https://www.crystalmmhuntley.com/financial-abuse-revealing-the-signs-can-you-see-them/(opens in a new tab).

Then, in 2012, he demanded I sign papers to give him legal control over me. Additionally, he threatened to place me in an institution. On that day, I fled to the shelter. By doing this, I severed a link to my generational chain of abuse and never turned back.

Seek Help

If you relate to anything within this blog, you may be a victim of emotional/psychological abuse. Breaking free is not easy. It requires complete commitment. A person cannot accomplish this alone. Seek help from qualified resources for proper support.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233. They can assist anyone to take that first step. They are available 24/7 to provide immediate support and advice. Other ways to contact them are through their website at https://www.thehotline.org or by texting “START” to 88788. I highly recommend you reach out for help. No person can break free alone.

Upcoming Posts

I hope you join me each week as we continue this sensitive topic. Next week, I will delve into financial abuse. I am saving religious abuse for week six. Week seven will cover legal abuse. Domestic violence is the topic of week eight. In week nine, I wrap up this series by providing resources and steps to escape an abusive situation.

I pray this series adequately informs all who read it and need such vital help. I welcome questions and comments on any of my blogs. To do so, go to CONTACT THE AUTHOR – Crystal MM Huntley. Furthermore, I pray that all who indulge in my written creations find entertainment, enjoyment, and education. I also hope to inspire you to move forth in your healing journey.

Note To My Readers

Hopefully, you have gained value from this blog post. If you have, I would like to offer you the opportunity to purchase my book, The Hidden DiamondBUY THE BOOK – Crystal MM Huntley. In addition, I invite you to support my mission of breaking the chains of abuse.

A Different Light Alexandra Another Reason to Forgive Back to My Story Boundaries Direct Forms of Religious Abuse Domestic Abuse Defined Emotional Abuse – an Umbrella Term Faith Shattered Forgiveness Does Not Mean to Forget. Free Giveaway From Robin’s Gift Grace Hope Invite Long-term Effects My Fight for You My Solution My Story Note To My Readers Perfection’s Curse Resources Robin’s Gift Robin’s Gift – A Sneak Peak Seeking Help Step Five Step Four Step One Step Six Step Three Step Two Take the Challenge The Hidden Diamond The Root Meaning of Sin The Scars of Abuse To Find Help To My Readers Two Other Forms of Legal Abuse Unveiling the Hidden Crime Upcoming Posts What Is Legal Abuse? Why Do I Forgive? Why I Share Why I Write You Are Worthy!

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