Emotionally Abused Women

Sunday I talked about emotional abuse and the effects it can have on us, without us even realizing it. In that post I also talked about the different categories or types of women that are or have been emotionally abused. And I want to reiterate of the importance of not labeling ourselves as one of these or multiple types because labels do no one any good. They are just simply to help you to see the types of behaviors and beliefs that are associated with emotional abuse. Everyone is different and so none of these are set in stone!

The first category is the “Selfless Woman.”

This woman has no concrete identity and a weak sense of self. She might have been kept from being able to form her own thoughts and perceptions at a young age. She sees herself negatively and feels empty frequently. She may also be depressed and feel helpless at times. She is usually sensitive to rejection and can be fear abandonment but also of being suffocated by someone. She will have issues maintaining healthy, stable relationships and might “take on” characteristics of a close friend or partner. (Think Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride) And she most likely pursues people who are not available. This woman doesn’t learn from her past mistakes and constantly feels victimized.

Some questions to ask yourself to decide if you fit into this category:

The Pleaser

The pleaser is a woman who is always trying to make everyone happy, she will seek peace at any price. She rarely feels she is worthy, appreciated, valued, or loved and feels she must earn acceptance and love. This woman wants everyone to like and approve of what she does and needs to be the “good girl.” She tends to believe that most people are better than her and often feels pressured to perform. She is a perfectionist, apologizes often, and will almost always take the blame. When she is treated poorly she will make excuses for others bad treatment or rationalize that things could be worse.

Some questions to ask yourself to decide if you fit into this category:

The Sinner

This woman is not unlike the pleaser. She has strong feelings of guilt and/or shame and has a tendency to blame herself because she feels responsible or like things are “her fault.” She constantly apologizes and obsesses over the “what if’s,” “should of’s,” and “would of’s.” She may also believe that she doesn’t deserve to be treated with respect or to be loved.

“Sinners” have a propensity to:

  • Get involved with those who are cruel, uncaring, and abusive
  • Suffer intense feelings of self loathing
  • Feel they must pay for their past sins/mistakes
  • Be overly self critical 
  • Always blames themselves for anything that goes wrong

The CoDependent 

The Codependent woman has a pattern of getting involved with people whom she tries to “help,” take care of, or rescue and lives her life for other people. She anticipates other people’s needs and wonders why they don’t do the same thing for her. Often she will find herself doing more than her fair share of work in her different relationships. (friends, family, romantic partner, coworkers) If people don’t do what she wants, she feels victimized, angry, unappreciated, and used. She has low self esteem and only feels worthy when she is giving to others and likes to feel like a hero. This woman doesn’t feel like she is enough just as she is, feels she must be dependable, and is constantly trying to prove that she is good enough. She does not feel happy with herself so she feels she has go to outside sources to feel happy.

She has trouble asserting herself and getting her own needs, and wants met. She also struggles with expressing her emotions and feelings openly and honestly especially if she feels hurt. She tends to believe lies from people who have given her plenty of reasons not to trust them but she blames others for her unhappiness. She tries to control other people with coercion, threats, advice giving, helplessness, guilt, manipulation, and domination. She feels afraid to let herself be who she truly is and can appear rigid and controlled.

The Drama Junkie

The Drama Junkie has a lot in common with the CoDependent. They tend to be adrenaline junkies, and can often be depressed or anxious when life is stable and/or uneventful. She is attracted to people who are distant, or hard to reach– someone they can’t be too sure of.

Some questions to ask yourself to decide if you fit into this category:

Victim or Martyr

The woman who is the victim/martyr sees life as a series of problems to survive and obstacles to overcome. She has a pessimistic outlook on life and has one bad thing after another happen to her. She sees herself as a victim and she sacrifices her own health, happiness, and well being for others.

Some questions to ask yourself to decide if you fit into this category:

Again, it is important to be aware of these characteristics in yourself so that you can recognize the roots of the problems, and it will help you to understand why you have a tendency to choose a particular type of abusive person. It can also help you recognize how and why you allow others to abuse you as well as help you to identify they type of emotionally abused person that you are and can help you to focus on what you need to work on. 

If you relate to any of these categories you will probably relate to more than one, which is normal! BUT you probably will see ONE of the categories as the MOST like you. Either way, bringing your awareness to this will help you to grow in the future. 

If you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Instagram or leave a comment below! 

Source: The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself, Beverly Engel, M.F.C.C.

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