Emotional Abuse Warning Signs

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What are the warning signs you are being emotionally abused?

Am I being abused? Someone who has experienced long-term emotional abuse by an abusive personality disorder, such as narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, psychopathic, or antisocial can be suffering from Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome or signs of emotional abuse.

emotional abuse reaction after domestic violence

People can spend years walking around in darkness, not knowing what they are going through even if they see a therapist because most therapists do not have training around this topic. This can feel very isolated and lonely. 

Here are some symptoms that you may be experiencing if you have narcissistic abuse syndrome. You can experience these symptoms while you are still in the relationship.

Identity Erosion

You might be looking in the mirror and you don’t even recognize the person looking back at you. 

It would be hard for you to answer the question, “Who am I?” 

You can feel disconnected and much different from the person you were before the relationship or the beginning of it. 

You can be conditioned by the abuser to stop doing things you love, to focus all of your time onto them, and to even change your personality to fit their desires.

You are distant from the people, places, and things you once loved.

Identify erosion worsens over time.

Rock Bottom Self Esteem

Although you may have felt insecurities before the relationship your self-esteem is at an all-time low.

You are more focused on your flaws than you have ever been and most of all of the time you are feeling very insecure about yourself.

Personal Criticism

You have negative and damaging thoughts. These can resemble things your partner has said to you or pointed out, even if they disguised it as a joke, caring, or covert manner.

You may feel like nothing you do is ever good enough and that you are never good enough. You can feel worthless and defective and have an inner voice that keeps criticizing you.

You may even tell yourself that you are so lucky to have someone like your partner in your life because nobody else would want you right now. 

Diminishing Health and Energy

This type of relationship will suck every bit of energy possible and your abusers will never get enough of it. 

You may be taking care of your partner so much and constantly trying to fix the relationship that you are neglecting your self-care.

Your mind, body, and soul feel like it’s breaking down or barely functioning. 

You can feel fatigued, depressed, body pains, have problems sleeping, and can develop other illnesses.

You might be sick more than normal and daily functions can seem like overwhelming mountains to climb.

You’re always walking on eggshells, not sure what exactly to expect. It’s an emotional battlefield that can make you feel helpless or hopeless.

Weak or Non-Existent Support System

You don’t feel supported or understood and you feel very isolated and lonely.

Your partner is not there for you and they don’t really seem to care about your feelings and pain.

The support system you had before the relationship has been weakened.

You may have pushed family and friends away because of their judgment, or frustration with you, or because they keep telling you that you need to leave and you are not ready.

Some may have even taken the side of your partner because they see only one side of them, which is probably the side you feel in love with.

You are withdrawn from social situations that you would have attended before the relationship or at the beginning of it.

Feeling Crazy, Confused & Shameful

You feel like an emotional wreck and easily triggered.

You don’t feel clear in your thoughts. There is a lot of brain fog and head spinning.

You don’t experience many “normal” days like you did before the relationship or at the beginning. 

You may be experiencing feelings and behaviors that you have not in past relationships, such as extreme jealousy, going through their phone or computer, checking up on them at work, or making sure they are where they said they would be.

You are crying so much. This can make you feel like you are being too sensitive but you continue to be triggered into crying spells.

Your partner seems like they are well put together on some of your worst days.

Nothing seems to be clear. Your mind and heart keep trying to understand conflicting ideas, like, they love you but they are doing this. They say they care about your feelings, but they continue to do the same hurtful actions. They seem like a good person and everyone loves them, but they are exploding and going into rages when you are alone with them.

Your partner seems to be so loving when you have one foot out the door and this confuses you so much you often pull back into the relationship.

The good times keep hope that they will change alive even though there is no real evidence of lasting and consistent change.

You second guess your decisions, even the smallest ones. 

Conversations with your partner can make you feel more confused, embarrassed, and shameful. You never get real answers and the conversation just goes in circles.

You may have addictions that you did not have before or at the beginning of the relationship.

Anxiety & Panic

You experience anxiety and panic attacks over things that never caused them before

Sometimes you are unaware of what is causing the panic and anxiety, but they are strong.

You have a strong sense of fear over both staying in the relationship and leaving. There seems to be no way out. Negative consequences either way.

You fear what your partner will do if you leave.

You may wake up with a panic or anxiety attack.

You are experiencing nightmares more than before or at the beginning of the relationship.

You often feel like something is bad about to happen or you are going to be attacked but not sure why.

People, places, and things can bring on anxiety and panic. These are not things that you had a problem with before or at the beginning of the relationship.

You can experience obsessive thoughts about your partner.

How Many Symptoms Do You Identify With?

If these things sound familiar to you, you can feel like your life is falling apart and you are so confused about what to do next. Even when you talk to others, it just seems like they don’t understand.


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  • I’m a survivor of a narcissistic relationship.. which I had no knowledge of what one consists of being. I started writing on my own all the abuse my exclusive partner had done to me.. but had no recollection of it at all. It seems to be the most popular answer at the time. When I watched the video 10 signs of a narcissist.. the first 3 signs were written in my diary.. how incredible is that noise. I never cried so much over a man who was nothing but a liar. He knew how vulnerable an lonely I was at the time.. almost destroyed me.

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