The Scars of Emotional Abuse

Someone suffering from emotional abuse will not always been seen on the surface. If you have ever been there and done that you know that it can take time before one realizes what damage has been done. Many experts have said that emotional abuse is just as bad, if not worse than physical abuse.

As my aunt recently said, I would rather be beaten than to be beaten down with hurtful words that can destroy me.  Physical abuse may leave lasting physical scars, but scars from emotional abuse can last a lifetime while destroying a persons self-esteem, friendships, relationships, cause depression as well as suicide.

My closest friend I adore, has been emotionally abused for the last 31 years. His wife and children have treated him like a doormat and a punching bag on a daily basis. It has taken place for so long that he either cannot see that it is abuse or that he has been in it for so long it scares him to know that things can be better for him if he left.

His wife is an excessive spender. His severance package/retirement fund from his job that ended in 2003 was gone by the beginning of this year. He does not and never has had a mortgage because he built his own house on the 26 acres he has. He has never had a car payment, always paid cash for his vehicles. In 2009 his wife had possession of two credit cards, both were maxed out in two years to the tune of about $32K. She had to file bankruptcy.

Yet he continued to stand by her while she has continuously abused him and their marriage. He has asked her numerous times to stop spending. He has sat down with her to work on a budget countless times only for her to forget about it and do her own thing.

Six months ago their youngest son who is 21 graduated from college with honors. He has never had a job in his life. He had to move back in with them. His mom had mentioned there would be guidelines, which were never implemented. Typically he is sleeping while mom or dad is mowing the yard, taking the garbage out, washing clothes, grocery shopping, Paying the Bills.

My friend continues to be a doormat, believing he is the one expected to be responsible for everyone else, even though they are grown, able bodied adults. In the meantime, his health is declining. Two months ago he broke out in shingles, an obvious sign he is severely stressed. His wife laughs about it.

Eight months ago he found out his wife has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Basically, his marriage has been a lie. She has never and will never have the true capacity to love anyone else but herself. Yet he continues to be at the hands of her control.

Thanksgiving Day this year, he was in excruciating pain from his back. He had worked on her vehicle under the dash, had to take out the seat to work on things. He had been cramped in there for so long that he strained his back. He could barely walk and it was nearly impossible for him to feel comfortable whether sitting, walking or laying down even with strong pain medicine. He did not want to go. She insisted he go with her even though he was not feeling very well and was in pain. He did stand up to her and tell her he was not spending the night at her mother’s house three hours away. The whole entire time he slept. She made him drive home. The next day she had the nerve to tell me he was falling asleep at the wheel on the way home, was weaving.

One Christmas she threatened to shoot both him and her son if they did not go with her at the same time to her parents house.

His wife does not see anything wrong with her behavior. What happens to her is everyone else’s fault. Of course her husband is the main target. He gets blamed for everything, including her massive heart attack in 2010. He has told her he does not want to be married to her anymore. For a few days she will be depressed and claiming her life is useless. A few days later it is if a switch has been flipped and nothing ever happened.

My friend goes through constant periods of depression. I saved him from suicide.

It has been a challenge to pull him away from this dangerous, toxic, negative relationship. He says he feels so responsible. He is afraid of what others will say or think about him if he made her and their son move out. He would be the villain.

He is choosing to kill himself  slowly for the sake of two people who do not care, appreciate or truly love him. Everyday that he goes home he is a doormat. It is dangerous in that his narcissistic wife is like a vampire, sucking the life out of him and he cannot free himself from her clutches.

As a friend, it is like tug of war. I get him away long enough for him to recuperate and then he goes back to emotionally beaten up more.

Emotional abuse can and will kill those that cannot cut themselves out of the ropes of entanglement. They cannot do it alone. Support from family and friends are vital to one recovering from the scars of emotional abuse.