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  • Writer's pictureMallory James Glenn

A Few Words On Emotional Abuse

A few words on Emotional vs Physical Abuse- If someone says their partner is abusive, don’t ask them if their partner has ever hit them. It’s quite possible it has taken years for them to validate their experience as abuse. Just listen and believe them. Don’t question it. They don’t need anyone else to gauge if it’s as bad as you think it is or if “it could have been worse.” Don’t worry, they’ve already considered that. When I was a teen I knew two people that were physically abused by the person they were in a relationship with. They both went back to their partners over and over, both convinced they wouldn’t but with the same certainty a few days later they were sure their partner would change for the better. I never understood it, it made me angry at their partners and on the defence for my friends and at times mad at them for taking their partner back once again. Not understanding and fixating on the physical trauma,I vowed to leave a man if he ever hit me and would never go back. So when I found myself in an emotionally abusive relationship I didn’t see it. He never hit me and so I went back, over and over. Each time I was convinced I wouldn’t, it was over this time but with the same certainty a few days later I was sure and he assured me, he would change for the better. As a “strong woman” (we’re all fucking strong) I am shocked by my own momentary surprise whenever I hear of another strong woman who has been in an abusive relationship. Even after experiencing it myself, I am still breaking down that old bullshit idea that it only happens to certain people or that it doesn’t happen to strong people or that you must be weak to put up with it. The thing is- abuse breaks you down mentally and puts any self confidence you thought you had to the test, you feel weak and questionable. You feel crazy, you become crazy. Once believing only weak people are abused and now feeling weak, crazy and to blame. We need to call abuse abuse. It’s not physical, it’s not emotional, it’s abuse. And let’s stop teaching our sons and daughters that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”. That’s a lie.

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