General Question

ConfusedFrank's avatar

Are emotional abuse scars different from 'being over' someone?

Asked by ConfusedFrank (90points) October 28th, 2015

I asked a previous question with some details about my situation and got great answers but it has got me thinking, is there a difference between emotional abuse scars and not actually being over someone?

What I mean is, I had this girlfriend I really loved who did not love me in the end, she manipulated me to such an insane depth I was suicidal for the first time in my life. A big part of this (my other question) was this subtle manipulation of where I was torn down and she was built up, I was never good enough, her as a ‘hot shot flight nurse’ could do no wrong, saw everything there was to see, save everyone there was to save.

I was in a hard spot in my life, no friends (still none) and I was so desperate for attention I believed her words, I still bear those scars of my ‘worthlessness’ and her ‘coolness/value’.

I do NOT miss her at all, and often feel relief like ‘wow, so glad she is gone’ YET here I am 3 months later still caught up on her words believing this stupidity I can’t let go of.

I’m not sure my question if its ‘is this normal’ or ‘how do I erase scars’ or ‘I am not actually over her?’

To add a bit to it, I am going to a conference soon where she is a speaker there…no way I can avoid her, so it has been on my mind a lot.

Thanks, and this site is surprisingly good!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

They are really two separate issues. You can be completely “over” someone, but still feel beaten down, and betrayed. She didn’t have much empathy or concern for you. She probably loves being the center of attention and there are some people who thrive on the misfortune of others, or in this case, the comparison of others.

Constantly comparing oneself to others rarely does any good. People are different. They have different abilities, desires, and weaknesses. It is the self esteem of one’s own self that is the issue that makes people feel ok about themselves, or feel like crap. One’s own self esteem is way more important than what someone else says or thinks about us.

In this particular case, you could have been Superman, or The Pope, or cured cancer and halitosis and this woman would have tried to one up you. Some people do that, because it gives them a thrill.

You sort of allowed her to treat you poorly, not that you consciously did that, but it sounds like you have some self esteem issues and this woman was just the wrong person for you to be involved with. Next time you start to get involved with someone, figure out very quickly if they are one of these types of people who thrive on comparison and one upmanship. Ditch those people right away. I’m afraid you’re probably one of those people who give bad people lots of second, third and fourth chances, or you make excuses for their bad behavior. Don’t be that person any more. That doesn’t mean that you need to become an uncaring person, it means that you have to pay more attention to what people say and what they do. Also, try to look at things from the perspective of people that do care about you. If you mom, or your best friend or anybody that is close to you, who’s opinion you respect tells you that something seems fishy about so and so, believe them. Pay attention to what is being said, and how it is being said. Learn to spot emotional manipulation early on and don’t put up with it.

Here’s a primer on How to Spot Emotional Manipulation is a primer on How to Spot Emotional Manipulation

Because you are in such an emotional state, and feeling so down on yourself, I would suggest that some short term counseling is in order. A good counselor can give you the tools and support you need to be able to learn to deal with people like this woman, and to be able to conquer, or at least manage, your own self doubts, to put you in a place where you feel comfortable.

Since you have to see this woman at the conference, just go in there with the idea that you will be cordial and make your time as brief as possible with her. Don’t give in to any kinds of temptation that she might put you through (because she might. People like her are usually not done with people like you if they think they can get some more one-upmanship for their own pleasure). Try not to have to talk to her at all, but if you do, say something like, “Hello Karen, gotta run I’m meeting some folks for dinner/lunch/breakfast. Enjoy the conference.” Don’t let her engage you.

wsxwh111's avatar

I don’t think you are totally over her.
Neither wanting to get back or feeling great about ending it means you’ve “got over her”. Getting over her means when you think of her again, you don’t feel grieve or happiness, you two become familiar strangers.
Emotional scars are scars, sometimes as time goes, it gradually fades out of your life and you can move on, but if the scar is not dealt with but just buried and forgotten, there’s a chance that someday it’ll come back and bite you a little bit. Just chance, though.

Haleth's avatar

Three months is not a very long time. Most people at this point wouldn’t be over a normal relationship, never mind an emotionally abusive one. There are usually underlying issues that lead people into abusive relationships- in your case, it sounds like self-esteem. If you don’t think you’re good enough, it’s easy to end up with someone who treats you poorly, even if you deserve better.

You’ve done a lot of amazing things. Three months is a very, very short time. Go easy on yourself, try to focus on the positive, and work on your self esteem. You may need to find a therapist to understand the underlying problems that led you here.

Response moderated (Spam)
Bill1939's avatar

As others here have pointed out, it is important for you to learn what drew you to an abusive relationship and why you still have an emotional attachment to the abuser. It may be you are still seeking something that your relationship with this woman provided. For many, the power of their need for sexual intimacy is often involved. This is especially true for those with poor self-esteem. Even non-sexual relationships are difficult to maintain because those who do not want to exploit people who are emotionally vulnerable seek friends with a healthy self-esteem. Working with a psychologist will help you to understand why you have this problem and how you can resolve it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Of course you are not over her. She was exciting, physically fit, had a great job, and was attractive to boot. BUT she was also self centered, arrogant, manipulative, driven to obsession and uncaring.
Imagine how awful it would be to live with that 24/7. Commit the heinous act of leaving the toilet seat up and you’d be in the doghouse for weeks. Lose your job and you’d be harassed and scorned relentlessly.
As a species we evolved by selecting mates that increased our chances or reproducing and passing down our DNA. We picked the strongest, biggest, loudest, longest, most symmetrical. The world has changed – faster than our genes. We need to stop selecting mates with traits that don’t apply.
See that quiet, mousy woman over the in the corner? Yes. Her. The boring one who always eats lunch by herself. She is caring, intelligent, respectful, concerned with others’ emotions, nurturing, and supportive. SHE will make you happy for life!

Strauss's avatar

@ConfusedFrank: To answer the question directly, yes. TheyThat being said, the two situations can often overlap, and I think they do in your situation.

As @Haleth said above, three months is not a long time. You probably still need “get over her”, as well as recover from the emotional abuse.

I think your best bet to remove the emotional detritus from this relationship is to work on your own sense of self-worth. To steal a phrase from Nike, just do it!

I think if you can improve your self-image, your ability to recover from the end of the relationship will improve as well.

ConfusedFrank's avatar

Yeah, I have had a horrendous sense of self-image for a long time, completely unjustified but that’s how it is. Its likely I ‘needed’ the sex, I know for a fact my thought process was basically ‘if she calls/needs me I’m not worthless’ so when she didn’t call I tanked hard, then she’d call and it’d be a temporary high. Very addicting.

Man, hard to believe a ‘relationship’ could be so damaging.

Strauss's avatar

@ConfusedFrank Food for thought: What do you think you can do to help your self-image?

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther