There is this phenomenon that just jumped into my head while talking to few of my friends, this is still said to be something used by the whites or foreigners, the rest say it is all about love and care. Anyways the term is MENTAL ABUSE / EMOTIONAL ABUSE
As per wikipedia- this is the definition
“Emotional/psychological abuse can include harassment; threats; verbal abuse such as name-calling, degradation and blaming; stalking; and isolation” but wait that doesn’t sound that confusing right.
Lets see it this way then – Unlike physical or sexual abuse, there is a subtlety to emotional abuse,” Lisa Ferentz, a licensed clinical social worker and educator specializing in trauma, told HuffPost. “It’s a lot more confusing to victims, as it typically is couched in behaviors that can initially be perceived as ‘caring.’
This behavior leaves victims with low self esteem; they even blame themselves despite being the victims. They are left with constant self-hatred, anxiety and panic attacks. In worst cases, sleep disorders, physical pains, eating disorders and eventually suicidal thoughts and self harm.
Some examples for mental abuses within each relationship are as follows :
1. Abuse between siblings– Aggression and violence between siblings is more often than not shrugged off as ‘Sibling Rivalry’ or ‘Sibling Bond’
Wherein a male (brother or cousin usually older) dictates an adult female as to what to do and what not to do. The power structure of patriarchy lets him believe that he has the authority over the sister who is by the way an adult.
2. Abuse by the parents/ grandparents : berating the child, ignoring emotional needs and constantly saying that “you need to toughen up and stop being a weakling”
Or comparison between the children in the family. Constantly saying the male child of the family is better than the female child, which not only creates an authoritarian structure between the siblings, but also gives a rise to sibling abuses. Also includes making them compete with each other by saying that “love has to be earned and other sibling is better than them”
There are parents in India who still raise their hand on their adult daughters (domestic violence), along with that they are constantly being said that they are too weak for the world, let the parents protect them by not letting the daughters go out (manipulation disguised in the name of love and protection) Reminds me of Rapunzel’s kidnapper who pretended to be her mother and the famous Disney song – “Mothers know best”.
The last one that is seen very often is using societal norms and religion to shame a child (For example emotionally blackmailing them to marry within the caste and gaslighting them to make them believe that parents know best)
3. Abusive partners. There are literally so many examples like that. So here goes :
Constantly thinking whether the partner would accept a quality/quirk of yours or whether they would accept a certain habit/friend/work etc, tiptoeing around them so that they are not disappointed (usually you get it done by saying “if you love me, you would never do such a thing”)
Dont even get me started on Gaslighting – this is often seen in relationships these days (Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment)
Constantly checking in your statuses, location, activity, even finances and controlling everything, from the expenses to the way they dress-up and even the display picture is of their choice.
Comparison with someone else for e.g saying “why can’t you be more like this actress/neighbor/friends – she looks so good”, and hence treating them badly because they are not like them.
Imagine how many of these a normal woman goes through everyday!! Either being a sister, a daughter or a wife. I have only mentioned about women here because, yes it’s a patriarchal society and in the name of love and protection every women believes it, because obviously who else would love them more?? They are constantly being robbed of their choices in the name of love.
This post is not intended to anyone personally but if it moves you or resonates with you please just please take the power back in your hands and end this abuse.