Thought Catalog
April 19, 2017

This Is How You Love The Girl Who Has Been Emotionally Abused

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God & Man

Emotional abuse isn’t one where you’ll see marks or bruises anywhere but on the inside forever shaping and altering the person forever.

It’s the unkind words. It’s the verbal threats. It’s the screaming and yelling and fighting. It’s being torn down because someone else needs that to feel that power.

Emotional abuse can be defined by one word. Power.

It’s the control solely because the abuser lacks control in their own life so they take it out on someone they think is below them. The want and need to control someone, is likely a cycle passed on. It’s about control and insecurities.

It’s the constant criticism and belittling and snide comments, to take someone down because maybe someone has done it to them. Maybe it’s all they know.

They think tough love is building someone up only after you knock them down.

But every once in awhile, a victim of emotional abuse beats the cycle by not repeating it.

This person turns out to be one of the more beautiful people you meet in your life.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

When someone has been emotionally abused, the hardest part isn’t falling out of the cycle but rather finding someone to love who isn’t like their abuser.

A lot of times when someone has been abused they look for similar qualities in every person after because there is still the want and need and approval of someone like them. There is the want to be loved the way your abuser couldn’t. And trying so hard for it. So the cycle they find themselves in isn’t one where they treat someone poorly but rather they continue to find others who treat them the same way.

People who have been emotionally abused and manipulated and brainwashed begin to the belief they are worthless and unlovable and they will never find someone else.

So they settle in love thinking the best they will ever get are the relationships that make them cry themselves to sleep. They settle in love thinking, walking on eggshells and fearing someone is normal. They settle in love thinking it’s supposed to hurt and not heal.

Until one day they meet someone who goes against everything they’ve ever known. This person runs their fingers across their sharp edges showing them, it’s not them that is at fault for the broken pieces. This person wants to put the pieces back together but they don’t. Instead of cutting themselves trying to fix this person, they leave the pieces of their past on the floor and they walk away.

Sometimes the best way to love someone isn’t trying to fix them but rather accepting them.

They are taught, this is how you deserve to be loved. They show them it isn’t supposed to hurt. They teach them the power of kind words and how building someone up is what you’re supposed to do. They love them and give without expecting something in return.

They don’t use a tactic of manipulation but rather an appreciation.

We fear what we don’t know.

Many people who have been emotionally abused, fear something so new and foreign to them. It’s like they are waiting for this person to lose their shit. They are waiting for a fight to break out. They are on edge because they’ve been trained to be in the past. They expect someone always leaving. And they don’t look at themselves with admiration and a sense of strength but weakness.

They’ve been told they are weak.

Then this new person loves them and shows them, the only reason that person from your past tried to knock you down, so many times was because they didn’t want you to see the strength within yourself. They didn’t want you to wake up and realize you’re better off without them. They kept you locked away from discovering the beauty that you are because they needed to control something and someone. They went after you not because you were weak but because denying you of your strength made them feel powerful.

But walking away and not looking back steals back the power they used to hold over you.

And it’s in that moment you win back your life and freedom.

When you love someone who has been emotionally abused there’s a silence to them and things you’ll never know. You’ll look in their eyes and see both pain and hope. You’ll watch them from afar and understand that sometimes the most beautiful people got what they deserved least. And more than falling in love with them comes the task of teaching them to love themselves. And there is a beauty to that. A moment it clicks where she’ll see herself the way everyone else does and she’ll never let someone treat her bad again. TC mark