[COLUMN] The Lovers Rocque:<br />
Abuse Without Hands

Have you ever been emotionally abused? 

In light of the Rihanna-getting-back-together-with-Chris-Brown-or-not saga that has been swarming the Internet ad nauseam lately, Mr. Rocque asked me if I would leave him should he ever hit me. Let’s be clear, Mr. Rocque not the violent or emotionally unstable, so I don’t think I’ll ever have that problem. If in the exceptional case that something wild like that happens, then it will be time for us to call it quits. I don’t think there’s any coming back from that when people bring out that type of negativity in each other.

My initial response to his questions was, “I don’t know, I’d have to have been in that situation.”

“You’ve never been in an abusive relationship?” It was a loaded reply.

“Actually, I have been but the abuse wasn’t physical, it was emotional,” I said.

When most people think about “domestic violence” they think about physical assaults. However, emotional abuse is real and can be tangible in some ways.

I trolled the internet for information on the signs of emotional abuse and according to EndDomesticViolence.org, it’s the most common form of abuse in relationships. LoveisRespect.org stated that emotional abuse can be characterized as someone putting you down, making you feel bad about yourself, name calling, humiliation, making you feel guilty or making you think you are crazy. A large portion of the latter few is what I experienced in said prior relationship.

Small things always became major issues and anything that ever happened was always my fault. For the first time in my life, I questioned my actions, wondered if it was really me, and why no one who claimed they loved me (relatives and friends) had ever pointed out any of my “crazy” and “dramatic” behavior.  I was on that rollercoaster for a while until I had a doctor’s appointment where I discovered that I had high blood pressure. It wasn’t dangerously high but the nurse pointed out that at my age (early 20s at the time), the reading was unusual and that I needed to make some changes. I was already working out regularly and eating a decent diet but the one thing I realized that I didn’t have under control was stress and after some self-reflection I realized that a large part of my stress was from said relationship.

Being emotionally drained was taking its toll on my health, and that’s where I had had enough. After breaking up and overcoming the relationship, I stopped having consistent drama and I stopped questioning whether I was truly crazy or not because I realized that the only part I played in the situation was doubting myself and lacking faith enough to know who I was.

Again, emotional abuse is real and the affects can be extremely impactful. It might hurt your health—mentally and physically—damage your career, and can generally impair your relationships with other people. If you recognize these signs and think you might be dealing with this type of abuse don’t take it lightly. Visit the aforementioned websites for help.

Have you ever been emotionally abused? What were the affects? How did you overcome it?  

Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.