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Overcoming Emotional Abuse

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Overcoming Emotional Abuse:

Emotional abuse is far worse than physical abuse. While physical abuse comes in short bursts of rage, emotional abuse is delivered in subtle streams that gradually intensify over time. An emotionally abused victim is tortured from the inside out, and are sometimes beyond repair. Victims are often unaware they are being abused; emotional abuse leaves no physical marks.

When former members of a cult start to heal, the short-term effects of emotional abuse become more evident. The further distanced they are from the cult mindset, the more former members understand the fear, guilt, low self-esteem, and need for compliance that victims of emotional abuse often feel. Unfortunately, many fail to connect the long-term effects they are experiencing to the emotional abuse they faced in the cult.

Former members of emotionally abusive cults often suffer depression and withdrawal. Some return to the abuse of the cult multiple times before breaking away. Abuse victims often return to their abusers after the fear, anger or resentment begins to subside. Many former cult members have frequent nightmares, causing anxiety, sleep disorders, high blood pressure and other health problems. In the worst cases, emotional abuse victims become self-harming or suicidal. Some "live in the future", dangerously ignoring their symptoms while thinking "it will get better in time" without addressing their problems.

To heal, former cult members must learn to trust themselves and obey their inner voice. Symptoms of emotional abuse can lift only after abuse is absent from their lives. When they feel that a friend or family member is bringing negative energy to their lives, there is a good chance that person is manipulative. When they feel anger or rage in certain situations, they may be forcing themselves into doing things they don't enjoy. When a former cult member trusts themselves enough to take full control of their life, healing is within their reach.