Scars that emotional abuse leave on you take so much longer to heal. They are invisible. No one can see them. You can’t show them to anyone. No one has to believe you were emotionally abused.
Real, visible bruises are horrific, but the ones inside that no one ever sees, the ones only you can know, they are much worse. Physical abuse leaves so much damage on a person but emotional abuse leaves damage in different ways.
Emotional abuse leaves you scarred for life. It leaves you in constant fear. It makes you doubt everyone. It makes you trust no one but yourself.
No one notices when you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. Maybe you didn’t notice it either from the beginning. But then, his behavior started to get worse and worse. It reflected on you. You were starting to feel worse and worse.
Fear took the better of you. It turned you into something you’re not.
He emotionally destroyed you, bit by bit.
Those ‘invisible’ wounds he gave and the scars he left you will leave an impact on your future. These emotional scars will change your idea of love and they will change the way you behave and react.
These are the ways how you, an emotionally destroyed and abused girl, loves differently.
1. You don’t know what real love is
The only thing you have experienced is twisted love. This wrong kind of love where you were manipulated, criticized and abused – that is all you’ve ever known. Throughout that toxic relationship, you thought that abuse was love. You thought that abuse was what you get from loving someone. You thought that was the best it ever gets, because you never felt what real love was.
So, when you meet someone who treats you the way every man should treat his woman, you get confused. All these new feelings and ‘royal’ treatment are completely unknown to you. It takes time to get used to it and to surpass the abuse.
2. You try to sabotage your relationships
You get scared because they treat you the way you deserve. In your eyes, they’re perfect. Maybe even too perfect and that’s what scares you the most. As soon as you see everything is going how it was supposed to go, you convince yourself that it’s not true.
You convince yourself that kind of love only exists in fairytales and movies. You will try to subconsciously ruin it because you cannot accept all the good things that are happening to you.
You will open up to them just enough to be vulnerable and therefore extremely scared of getting hurt.
3. You think you don’t deserve a loving relationship
You don’t believe you deserve to be loved. Because you were abused for so long, you’ve actually started to believe you deserved being abused. You were brainwashed into thinking you were not good enough.
You actually think you don’t deserve love, even though you are aching for it.
4. You are always suspicious
You were always put down in your previous relationships. You were fed lies such as being worthless and not meaning anything. You always came last and you got used to it. This made your self-esteem vanish. Your self-worth is next to zero and of course, you get suspicious now.
Why would anyone love you all of a sudden, when all you’ve had so far is pain and abuse? What has suddenly changed? If it happens that you react poorly or inappropriately when someone tells you they love you, it’s not because you don’t love them back. It’s because you can’t comprehend that someone loves you the way you should have been loved from the start. Everything seems so surreal.
5. You will show affection the best way you can
Your man shouldn’t be surprised if one moment you are cuddling with him and the next, you’ve had enough and back away all of a sudden. It’s not that you don’t want to be close to him, it’s just that you’ve been used to so little affection or none at all.
It takes time for you to learn how to show affection, how to love someone. You’ve got a lot of love to give and you will give it as soon as you feel it’s safe to let go and give yourself completely to someone.
6. You wait for the ‘hurricane’
Even when things go smoothly, you are restless. You can’t seem to shake off the feeling that something will go wrong any second. That he will lose it. That he will flip and throw away this mask of your savior, this mask of Prince Charming, and turn into an abusive piece of shit.
You’re imagining clouds coming up and a huge storm breaking loose any moment. But, the skies are clear. The sun is shining. It’s warm. It’s lovely. It will stay that way. Because you expect the worst, you are guarded. You are careful. You overanalyze every little thing, but still, you hope for the best.
7. You keep your distance
You keep your distance, just in case. Even if you fall for him so hard, you will keep your distance because you’ve been burned once before. You’re not going to risk that happening again. Even if your heart is telling you to let go and trust him, you will keep him at arm’s length.
It’s not your fault. You can’t endure any more pain. You had your fair share. You don’t want to get too close.
8. You need security
That is something you crave the most. Some kind of an affirmation that everything is going to be alright. But it doesn’t exist, especially not for you. You need stability around you. You need a safe place where you can be loved and love back.
You need and want a safe zone, where everything is clear. You despise lies. You want the truth. You want love. You want something you’ve never had.