One of the basic tenants of counseling is raising awareness of what abuse is. Most people will shake their heads and claim….I do know what it is. I can’t tell you the shock I felt when emotional abuse was first outlined for me. This is a link that shares questions to consider if I the person I am with is using emotional abuse: https://www.domesticshelters.org/domestic-violence-articles-information/how-to-recognize-emotional-abuse#.WHXgVIXsuHl
Does your partner …. (or parent)
… put you down, embarrass or shame you?
… call you names?
… ignore you?
… demand to know where you are every minute?
… treat you as inferior?
… purposefully embarrass you, often times in front of others?
… not allow you to make decisions?
… rarely validate your opinions?
… threaten you?
… tell you that you’re crazy?
… belittle your accomplishments, aspiration or plans?
… forbid you from talking to or seeing you friends, family or coworkers?
… keep you from sleeping?
… accuse you of cheating or is possessively jealous?
… cheat on you and then blame you for his or her behavior?
… tell you that you will never find anyone better?
… repeatedly point out your mistakes?
… attempt to control what you wear?
… threaten to hurt you, your children, your family or your pets?
What I find disturbing about movies like Fifty Shades of Gray and other shows seem to have the goal of ‘normalizing’ abusive behavior.
Stalking is another behavior that needs to be defined with its own list of questions. Yes, I had a more than one stalker in my life.
What are The Warning Signs of a Stalker?
How can you tell if someone is a stalker? Well, you can’t until they start to stalk you. However, there may be some early indicators that you have a stalker on your hands. Let’s take a look at some of the warning signs of a stalker to watch out for so that you can protect yourself from these kinds of situations.
- You begin receiving additional unwanted contact soon after meeting someone for the first time. Now, let’s be clear here. We’re not talking about someone who sends you a Facebook request the same day that met you. We’re talking about someone who starts calling you repeatedly or sending you emails constantly. If it seems like the contact is outside the societal norm, this could be a warning sign.
- If someone makes comments to you that one would only find amusing from a long time friend, but you just met the person in question, this could be one of the signs of a stalker. Don’t just assume that they are super friendly. If someone invades your personal space early on in the relationship, draw the line and let him or her know immediately.
If someone is clingy and insists on joining you at events, or is always asking where you are going next. If you don’t want the person to know where you’re going next, just tell them you’re going home.
I had someone in my life that would come to visit then check my calendar. She would then come to my house anytime I wasn’t working or out on a planned activity. I finally had to take down our calendar and set boundaries with this person. She was deeply offended but she was crowding me emotionally. I was fortunate that the person responded well to me setting boundaries. She finally moved away. I felt sad for her because she didn’t seem to know how to be a friend. Counseling taught me socially accepted boundaries and ways to create my own.