Table of contents:

How to protect yourself from emotional abuse from your parents
How to protect yourself from emotional abuse from your parents

Violence isn't just about bruises and bumps. Psychological abuse also leaves traces on a child's social, emotional and mental development.

How to protect yourself from emotional abuse from your parents
How to protect yourself from emotional abuse from your parents

How to know if you are experiencing emotional abuse

Many parents do not realize that their behavior is hurting the child. They may not know how to behave differently, or even think they are doing good to you. Nevertheless, they can be recognized by some signs.

Your parents belittle your dignity

They may try to pass it off as a joke, but there is nothing funny about it. If your parents often laugh at you, publicly belittle your dignity, brush off your opinions and problems, say that you are a failure and can never do anything right, then you are in a situation of emotional abuse.

Parents are in control of your every move

This behavior, when your parents constantly try to control you, get angry if you make decisions yourself, or reject your right to independence, is also an indicator of emotional abuse. Moreover, they themselves may feel that they are simply doing parental duty.

Parents blame you for all the troubles

Some parents blame their children for all their problems, refusing to take responsibility for their lives and feelings. If you are told that it is your fault that your parents had to leave their careers, or that your parents divorced because of you, this is also a form of emotional abuse.

Parents ignore you

Another sign is a boycott by your parents when they stop talking to you, if you have offended them in some way, are not interested in your feelings and needs, or try to shift the blame for their neglect on you. Love and attention should not be bargained for.

Parents always put their interests ahead of yours

Parents with a narcissistic tendency often see their child as an extension of themselves. They try to manipulate him to do what they think is right, without thinking about what is important for the child himself, and get upset if you do not meet their expectations.

How to deal with emotional abuse

Create distance between yourself and your parents

  1. Don't let your parents use guilt to make you listen to the insults. When they start screaming and humiliating you, leave. If you live together, go to your room or to one of your friends. If you live separately, stop calling and coming. If you do want to maintain a relationship, set boundaries right away. Say, "I will call once a week, but I will hang up if you start insulting me." And don't forget that you don't have to make excuses or respond to hurtful words.
  2. Try not to depend on your parents for anything. Make friends yourself, make money yourself, and move out as soon as you get the chance. If during your studies you cannot do without material support, be sure to mark the boundaries in the relationship.
  3. If the emotional abuse continues after you have grown up and are living apart, break your ties. You do not have to maintain relationships with those who hurt you. And you don't have to explain to others why you no longer communicate with your parents. If you're worried about missing out on a reconciliation opportunity, ask yourself if your parents are showing any signs that they are willing to listen to you and understand your feelings. If not, you better stop communicating.

Take care of yourself

  1. Notice what words and actions are causing your parents' anger and avoid them. For example, if they always belittle your accomplishments, don't tell them about your successes. Share with someone who will rejoice and support you.
  2. Find a place where you feel safe. This could be your room, a public library, or your friend's apartment. The main thing is that you can go there when you need to calm down and recover.
  3. Have an emergency plan. Just because until now the violence has not been physical does not mean that it will never come to that. Think in advance where you can go in this case, who to turn to for help, what things you will need to have with you, what legal actions you can take.
  4. Spend time with those who support you. Emotionally abused people often have negative attitudes towards themselves. To overcome it, spend more time with those who respect and support you, do something that is good for you. For example, join a sports team or club. This will increase your self-esteem and allow you to spend less time at home.
  5. Learn to manage stress. Emotional abuse can lead to serious problems, including depression and PTSD. Try to find techniques to help you calm down. Try meditation, breathing exercises, or yoga.
  6. Find positive qualities in yourself and develop them. Do not believe insults and ridicule - you are worthy of love, respect and care. Think about what qualities you like about yourself. Maybe you are smart, generous, or good at listening. Remind yourself of these qualities and find an activity that will develop them.

Ask for help

Emotional abuse often includes the suggestion that no one cares about you, that no one will believe you, that they will not take you seriously. Don't be intimidated. Think about who you trust and ask that person for help. It can be a friend, relative, teacher. If you find it difficult to talk about it out loud, describe your situation in writing.

If there is no one to share with, call the helpline. There is a children's helpline in Russia created by the Children's Support Fund - 8-800-200-01-22.

Don't be afraid to seek professional help from a psychotherapist or psychologist. It is very difficult to get rid of low self-esteem and negative thinking patterns that arise due to emotional abuse on your own, and a specialist will help you understand how to act in your situation. There are psychologists in most educational institutions, but you can also look for someone who specializes in helping with psychological abuse.