By Flavio Iammarino
In my 20+ years of counseling experience I have worked with many clients who have emotional issues. Some of these clients are emotionally murdered every day by people that are close to them; this could be from their spouse, family members or friends, but unfortunately no one punishes the culprit.
What does it mean when I say someone is being emotionally murdered? This occurs when someone day after day is told that they are not good enough, not smart enough, or not worthy enough. They are sometimes told that their life is just a waste, and they do not deserve to be happy. It can go as far as being told that they should be dead, and the world would be better off without them. These verbally abused people, after a while, begin to live in fear. They are worried, paranoid, terrified, anxious, and they begin to believe that they are worthless, that they are bad, and that they should die.
Fortunately, we all have a strong part inside that tries to fight – some people tap into it and some don’t. The people that try to be stronger meet a great resistance from their aggressor. The aggressor will come back fighting even stronger to wear down the victim. They won’t stop until the victim gives in and becomes weak again. Some victims, as long as they are awake, will live in hell and the only time they get a break is while they sleep. But often sleep isn’t even a reprieve because of the constant anxiousness and worry. It is not uncommon for the victim to wake up in the night with a feeling of pressure in their chest from the anxiety, and a feeling like something terrible is about to happen. It then takes time to calm the mind and fall back to sleep. Sleep never feels restful. The moment they open their eyes in the morning the hell starts all over again. Some people will live in hell almost 24 hours per day. Even when they try to sleep they cannot find peace. Often those who are emotionally and verbally abused feel there is no way out. Some come to a point where they can’t take it anymore, and their mind turns to thoughts of suicide. They start to believe death is the only way out, and the only way to find peace. They do not really want to die, but the thought of suicide enters their mind often because the emotional abuse is too much. They do not ever see it stopping or their situation changing. Some victims turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the abuse; some turn to shopping and over spend in an attempt to feel better. Some victims become obsessive compulsive, but nothing is ever good enough. The escape mechanism they choose to use is greatly based on their cultural and religious beliefs. But by doing any of these things, they are adding to the problem, and it will continue to lead to more self-destruction.
A lot of people will suffer in silence. Some will pretend that everything is o.k. and some will act in a strange behavior. In our society we often stereotype emotional and verbal abusers with a certain social and economic class of people, but this is the furthest from the truth. It is common to see emotional abuse taking place in all levels of society, from the richest to the poorest of people. Often in affluent families the victim is afraid to break out of the cycle of abuse because of what he or she feels they have to lose. The abuser may be an affluent member of society or a professional businessperson, who in public puts on a good front as being a kind, caring person. The person being abused may feel that they will ruin the abuser’s public persona and/ or reputation, which will in turn effect their financial situation. On the other hand, if they do decide to speak out, the abused person may also worry that they will not be believed. Emotional murder is unfortunately happening every day. It could start in the school yard (eg. verbal bullying), there could be hurtful messages being sent through email or texting, or constant face to face verbal abuse where the person is constantly demeaned in order to make the abuser feel empowered. We watch t.v. programs on the topic of emotional abuse and the damage it causes, but unfortunately if there is no physical abuse, the culprit goes free without any consequences. There is no law that punishes emotional murder.
There is always hope and help for those who are ready to break free from a life of emotional abuse and hurt. There is support and resources to help take the first steps to freeing one’s self from this cycle of emotional abuse. We must remember that we all have a free will to either except or reject the negative energy that may come into our life and we are all worthy of being treated with respect. Nothing will be taken away from us, without something better to take its place… we must have faith and believe in this possibility, as it is a universal law.
In order to understand our behavior we must understand that we are often victims of certain situations or circumstances. Events that occur in our life shape our belief system. Once the conscious part of the mind makes a decision to believe that a particular event, act or situation is true, a belief is created. The moment something becomes a belief, the unconscious part of the mind will take it over and will automatically act on it. What this means is, even if the conscious part of the mind wants to do something, but the unconscious part of the mind disagrees, the conscious mind will lose. The belief set in the unconscious mind will always win. Most people do not understand that if the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind are not in line, there will be an internal battle. In the end the unconscious part of the mind will always win unless the limited belief is changed. The good news is, beliefs ‘can’ be changed to shape our lives in such a way that they support us, rather than limit us.
The greatest disservice that we can do is to let a culprit of emotional murder get away with it. If someone shoots another person, or harms another person physically, they are punished accordingly. But if someone emotionally murders another person, they get away scot-free. Where is the justice in this? People who have been emotionally murdered are often so negatively affected by this emotional abuse that they feel dead inside and it wears them down until they become physically sick and weak.
To every negative situation there is a silver lining. If a person finds enough courage and strength to speak out, they can be helped quite easily by a competent therapist. Unfortunately drugs and talk therapy do not work – the best these things can do is mask the symptoms. Individuals who have suffered from emotional murder share the same symptoms as those that suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.). The great news is, there are excellent tools and techniques that can be used to resolve the issues and help the individual regain strength and peace. In my experience in dealing with individuals who have been emotionally murdered, we must first work with anger, then fear, then guilt and then with all other emotions that the person may be feeling. If the person feels they have lost a part of themselves, then they must learn how to take all of those parts back. Then they must learn to let go of all other negative memories they may have, and replace any limiting beliefs with more empowering ones.
For those reading this article, the situation described may apply to you, or perhaps to someone you know and care about. If you are suffering from emotional murder or know someone who is, it is important to take action, ask for help, and don’t stop until you find the help you need. You also must remember that you have a free will, so ultimately it is up to you to decide about your future and how you want it to unfold. You are in charge of your own destiny, so take action right now and get excited about your journey. Be strong, speak up, and don’t let the emotional murderer go free.
If you have a question that you would like answered in a future issue, contact Flavio at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-684-1717 to learn how he can help you regain joy and peace in your life.