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It’s easier said than done to get out of a toxic relationship. Toxic relationships can happen between partners, friends or family. Mental abuse can easily be overlooked due to there being no visible physical attack marks.

In a piece by MAD-Aid, they discussed the definition and behavior of one in an emotionally abusive relationship, as well as the differences between women and men.

“Mental abuse is also called psychological abuse or emotional abuse. It occurs when a person is subjected to ongoing abusive behavior from another person that causes trauma; such as anxiety and depression,” MAD-Aid said. “The biggest single risk demographic in mentally abusive relationships is females and children. There is, however, some evidence that emotional abuse of males by female partners is on the increase.”

Did you know that there are various forms of emotional abuse?

A Better Help article “You’re Not Crazy, But Emotional Abuse Can Make You Think You Are” by Marie Miguel, goes into depth about emotional abuse.

“Several forms of emotional abuse can arise in relationships; such as threats, constant criticism, gaslighting, disregarding your opinions, rejection, isolation” said Miguel.

Some may not be familiar with the term gaslighting. The term gaslight comes from a 1944 film called “Gaslight.” So, what is it?  Gaslighting is when one repeatedly lies to the point that the victim begins to doubt their on sanity.

How does this affect college students?

“During college, sexual and emotional abuse were equally common (12% and 11.8%, respectively), followed by physical violence (7%)” said Todd Neale, staff writer for MedPage Today.

In the Hall Health Center University of Washington article “Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships” the author discusses what makes a healthy or unhealthy relationship.

“Unhealthy relationships will exhibit these characteristics more frequently and cause you stress and pressure that is hard to avoid; such as put one person before the other by neglecting yourself or your partner, feel pressure to change who you are for the other person, feel pressure to quit activities you usually/used to enjoy, notice one of you has to justify your actions, you or your partner refuse to use safer sex methods and attempt to control or manipulate each other” along with other signs, University of Washington said.

A few ways to get out of an emotionally abusive relationship are: stop all contact, remember why you are leaving, know your value and making decisions for yourself. In stopping all contact, you are cutting that individual and negativity out of your life. It is important to remember why you are leaving in the first place. Knowing your value is at the top of the list because it causes you to focus on other things that you bring to your job or other relationships. It may be difficult at first to make decisions for yourself because you could have been turning over that part of your life to the other person. Working on changing for the better and getting out of that emotionally abusive relationship will help with your self-esteem.

It’s important to keep in mind that every relationship is different. Again, it is easier said than done to get out of a toxic relationship. One thing that is critically important; don’t neglect yourself, because you deserve more than this emotionally abusive relationship.

This poem is to those that feel trapped in an emotional abusive relationship.

Poisonous Love

You made us believe that we weren’t enough.

This is our reality.

We are used to this sick twisted way; we have become so numb.

You give what you think is love and give it right back as hate.

You never said you were sorry; even though we are the same DNA.

We are a fool to wait for this supposed love.

If this is love, then why was it so painful and unstable.

We gave too much that we lost who we were.

Now it’s time to leave.

Go ahead and judge us and spit at us.

We must go.

Because we are enough.

For questions/comments about this column, email editor@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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