The effects of emotional abuse on your sense of self are significant. Yet often these effects are not linked to the emotional abuse you have suffered. Because this connection has not been made, you may find yourself suffering from one or several of these effects without really understanding why.
Here is a list of effects of emotional abuse:
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of self-confidence
- Transfer of needs
- Acting out sexually
- Failure syndrome
- Unrealistic guilt
- Crisis oriented
- Unresolved anger and resentments
Go over these effects and honestly evaluate if and how they are present in your own life. Which ones are most debilitating to you today? As you look at these, are there some you’ve been able to overcome? God is not happy with the list above. He never intended that list to overshadow your life. Instead, he has another list he wants for you. It is found in Galatians 5:22-23:
Take time to explain how your life will be different with God’s list guiding your life and thoughts. Using God’s list, write down at least one way to counter each of the effects of emotional abuse.
Realistically, what will it take for you to begin to substitute the characteristics from God’s list for the negative consequences of your emotional abuse? What is the first step you need to take? Be sure to make note of any negative patterns you are not ready to give up. Identify why, and work to implement more positive patterns.
Countering the lies of emotional abuse with the truth about our true nature and value as individuals is important. For help in doing that, read over the following statements of commitment. Meditate on them and visualize the positive difference living out these commitments will make in your life.
- To believe in my true value.
- To reject the lies of emotional victimization.
- To pray that God’s love would increase in my life.
- To learn more about my true self, not my abused self.
One of the most important commitments you can make to yourself is to substitute the negative effects of emotional abuse with positive, affirming characteristics. I cannot think of a better list to strive for than the fruit of the Spirit talked about in Galatians 5:22-23. May these be yours more and more each day.