Emotional abuse takes its toll on victims in such a way that scars can be seen decades later. What we fail to notice are the superpowers they gain from the battles.
I guess it doesn’t make sense, for victims of emotional abuse to have positive qualities, considering the mental trauma they’ve endured. When you hear the word abuse, the predominant symptoms that come to mind tend to be depression, anxiety, and anger, for the most part.
Most people who’ve suffered from this type of abuse even seem weak to others, but surprisingly, this is not true. In fact, victims of emotional abuse possess characteristics much like superpowers – being able to act and function beyond what is necessary during troubling times – and that’s just one talent.
We are not the weak and we are not the defeated! We are so much stronger than our adversities!
Speaking of superpowers, notice how your view on life and love changes when you’ve endured emotional abuse. I’ve endured emotional setbacks, such as blackmail and abuse, for over 20 years. Here are some examples of my superpowers: I am able to hold a calm and pensive exterior as others rage in anger, I am able to find the pure happiness in little things and I feel confident in the face of some of the most horrific insults.
I guess these don’t really sound like superpowers, so let’s try a few more on for size. Maybe these other characteristics will seem more… how shall we say it, extraordinary?
Emotional abuse makes you more flexible
Now, I am not referring to being a contortionist or anything, when I speak of flexibility. What I’m referring to is that difficult ability to accept change. I have struggled my entire life with accepting change. For the most part, I hate it. I would have rather had my hair pulled out than to have made some of these changes.
Seriously though, over the years of enduring insults and degradation, I have learned to roll better with the punches. Things quite often do not go my way and instead of throwing a tantrum, I use the changes to discover other aspects of myself. I also search for each silver lining that is embedded within those changes. This is called flexibility, and even if you don’t understand it, it’s definitely a superpower.
Extreme adversity creates wisdom
During abuse, all you usually feel is pain and sadness, but afterward, when the smoke is clear and your abuser is not around, you start thinking for yourself again. After years of criticism and manipulation, I have gained wisdom, especially in human behavior. I have the power to look beyond the seemingly evil exterior, which, I might add, appears to be downright heinous, and I can see the pain and insecurity that dwells within.
Be careful of this superpower, however, and don’t let it make you endure abuse out of pity for your abuser. Yes, it sounds outrageous, but I can attest from my own experience, that even the wise can be drawn to endure abuse out of pity. Wisdom shows you the truth about yourself, and with others, not so you can stay in the abuse, but so you can have the knowledge you need to fight back, find ways to escape and fortify your self-esteem. As with most cases of emotional abuse, you are not the words they call you.
Emotional trauma builds compassion
When you’ve spent many nights, all night, crying over someone who abused you, you learn what it’s truly like to crave compassion. You experience loneliness, neglect and even disgust for the human race. There are so many thoughts and emotions racing through your head and, in many cases, you are alone to fight your battles.
As you grow older and stronger, you see things differently. You are no longer impervious to suffering as some are. Your heart burns to be there for others, to encourage them to stand up for themselves and to be a friend, when otherwise, there might not be anyone else for them to run to. Your superpower is to fulfill a need that you had to fulfill on your own. You know how painful emotional abuse is, and you feel it’s your duty to help others fight, in any way you can.
Pain and desperation strengthens independence
Pain can do strange things to the human mind. It can lower self-esteem, cause a temperamental demeanor, but it can also make a human being rise in independence. In my lowest hour, I cried at first, and then I rose to my feet and decided I was too smart to let the trauma happen to me. I was too strong to give up, and I was able to rebuild my life into what I wanted it to be.
When you endure emotional abuse and then come through on the other side, you are a force to be reckoned with. You see obstacles as fuel for growth instead of something that holds you back. You become much more independent than if you had led a sheltered life. Pain has a way of creating a beast, a super human and something you just don’t want to go up against.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us, are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We, the downtrodden and the discarded, we are the real superheroes
Do you feel it rising up now? Do you feel that well of strength flooding every limb of your body? There are times, when I wake in the morning, that I realize just how strong I really am. I look back at my life, its circumstances, and events, and I wonder how I survived it all.
Then, I put those things aside and I get ready to fight the present battles. Because now, I am much better equipped, and more confident, ready to go head to head with those who choose to underestimate me. I may be kind and patient, but I refuse to believe the lies of emotional abuse, and I refuse to give up.
I’m no longer a victim, I am undefeatable.
*If you are suffering from emotional abuse, take steps to eliminate this immediately. Learn the signs of emotional abuse, seek help if needed and take the steps needed to separate yourself from this treatment.