You do not deserve to be emotionally abused. Your parents, your caregivers should be taking care of you and helping you grow up to be a healthy human being. Unfortunately, not all parents or caregivers have the emotional capacity to provide you with all of the tools you need as a child or teen. This is not necessarily their fault, but at the same time, it also is not your fault either. If you think something is wrong, here are six signs of emotional abuse and how they can manifest in your day to day life.

Rejecting

Blatantly rejecting you in extreme and consistent ways is a form of emotional abuse, it communicates to you that they do not want you or that they do not love you. Some of the ways this may manifest include:

  • belittling, overly harsh criticism
  • labeling
  • name-calling
  • yelling and screaming at you
  • humiliating or demeaning jokes at your expense
  • withholding love, attention, and touch
  • locking you out of the house to punish or “discipline” you
  • physical or emotional abandonment

Ignoring

If you are consistently being ignored, it usually means that your parent may be physically there, but emotionally they are absent. While this usually means they didn’t get their emotional needs met and are unable to meet yours, it doesn’t mean you have to stay and be emotionally abused in turn. Examples include:

  • denying you the medical care
  • not providing you as much of a safe and clean environment as is available
  • not responding to you when you try to connect
  • abandoning you physically or emotionally
  • consistently ignoring your interests, schooling, and friends
  1. Terrorizing
  2. Isolating
  3. Corrupting
  4. Exploiting

Terrorizing

If a caregiver or loved one is terrorizing you, they will often single you out with criticizism or punishment. They will often burden you with unreasonable demands and attack your self-worth. Threats and unreasonably harsh discipline are common. Examples of this include:

  • making verbal threats to hard you, your siblings, your friends, or even themselves
  • excessively and maliciously teasing you
  • screaming, cursing or raging at you often with no reason or for inconsistent circumstances
  • ridiculing or humiliating you in front of friends, family, or in pubic
  • deliberately scaring or threatening you in front of friends, family or in public.
  • threatening to reveal embarrassing or personal information to friends or family

Isolating

Severe restriction from healthy interaction with people or activities is emotional abuse. This includes the following:

  • consistently leaving you alone for long periods of time
  • not letting you interact with other teens or people
  • alienating friends or family
  • locking you in your room
  • preventing you from having healthy friendships and relationships
  • not allowing you to participate in healthy activities that provide social and emotional stimulation

Corrupting

Your parents or caregivers should be taking care of you, that is one of their primary responsibilities. If instead, they are allowing you to harm yourself or others, that is emotional abuse. It usually takes the form of the following:

  • giving you drugs, alcohol or other harmful substances
  • using drugs, or other illegal substances in front of you
  • encouraging you to steal, cheat, use drugs, be a bully, lie or other unethical or illegal behaviors
  • encouraging or rewarding violent behavior
  • encouraging unhealthy and frequent sexual contact or acts

Exploiting

Emotional abuse can also include forcing you or manipulating you into doing or participating in activities that are not appropriate for your age. You should not be given responsibilities or have demands made of you that are more than what you can handle. This includes:

  • forcing you to do activities you don’t want to do with out having a good reason for it
  • consistently leaving you at home with all of your siblings for extended periods of time
  • blaming you for something a sibling or even they did or didn’t do
  • exposing you to unhealthy and abusive sexual content or acts

If you are in an abusive situation, you do have options, you don’t have to stay and endure the abuse. There are resources out there to help you. We have the Cornerstone Emergency Shelter at 9290 Hurlock Ave, which is just around the corner from the Skate Park. We’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We are always open if you need a place to sleep and a warm meal or just someone to talk to who will understand. We can also help you talk through and work things out with your parents. If you want to give us a call instead, you can reach us at 907-789-7654.  There are other resources for you too, just follow this link for more information.