Health & Wellness

Psychological Abuse: Hidden in Society

Shannon Thomas LCSW-S
By Shannon Thomas LCSW-S |Southlake, TX

Psychological Abuse-Hidden in Society - Shannon ThomasWithin every community, toxic people can be found hiding in families, couples, companies, and places of worship. Psychological abuse is all inclusive, happening all around the world and affecting people of all ages, genders, ethnicities and economic standings. Something that’s rarely spoken of in social circles, in the news and even in the medical field; why isn’t psychological abuse being talked about more if it’s so deeply rooted in our society?

People who have experienced psychological abuse often cannot clearly describe what has been done to them due to the hidden actions of an abuser – repetitious mind games, brainwashing and more. You feel it and sometimes you can even see solid glimpses of the dysfunction. More often than not though, it is like a snake; it strikes quickly and slithers away before you can get a good look at it.

Psychological abuse leaves no bruises, no broken bones, no holes in the walls. The bruises, brokenness, and holes are held tightly within the target of abuse.

You may be able to identify with feeling overwhelmed by the hidden actions of someone in your life. You may find yourself in the situation of trying to sort out a romantic relationship that has kept you feeling like you are a yo-yo. It could be your family who have made you their token scapegoat and family punching bag. You may be experiencing grief symptoms. You could be mourning the loss of the relationship you thought you would be receiving. Abusers can also be bosses or coworkers who appear to take pleasure in making your daily life miserable. Perhaps the harm you have experienced is within a place of worship. You let your guard completely down only to find yourself repeatedly stabbed in the back.

womans face hiding behind her hairWithout a specific set of terms to describe the actions of a hidden abuser, targets of this type of harm feel frustrated with their inability to make other people see the games that are being played. This happens because the average person doesn’t know about psychological abuse. Unless you have the precise education needed to be able to explain the situation, the toxic person’s plan works. They want to remain secretive about the abuse. They purposefully hide their behaviors just under the public radar. When people try to complain about them, the complaints fall flat on the floor.

Also referred to as hidden abuse, the behaviors of the abuser involve chronic and repetitive secret games being played by one individual, or a group of people against a target. These actions are so well disguised that their venom frequently goes unnoticed. Covert, hidden, sneaky, and off the radar. As relationships progress, so does the game playing. Eventually their actions might become more overt and then, sometimes, noticeable. By the time these outward signs of dysfunction reveal themselves, the targets of the abuse are usually very devastated. They have been successfully manipulated to wonder if they are the problem, perhaps even the actual toxic person in the relationship.

The abuser walks away looking “squeaky clean,” and the victim appears unstable. Psychological abuse is perhaps one of the most hidden injustices of our times because it leaves the targets unable to trust even themselves.

Shannon Thomas LCSW-S
Shannon Thomas LCSW-S |Southlake, TX
Shannon Thomas, LCSW is the international best-selling author of Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse, and the owner/lead therapist of an award-winning counseling practice in Southlake, TX. Bridging clinical advice with pop culture language, Thomas...Read More
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One response to “Psychological Abuse: Hidden in Society”

  1. Brian Wright says:

    well as it turns out i am someone that did this. i really didn’t know i was doing it. saying i am sorry doesn’t even come close to how i feel. and the thing is there is nothing i can say to fix what i have done. i have tried many times to apologize for my actions. with little to no success. i am alone and probably will be for the rest of my life. i just wish i could have had what i was doing explained tome before i lost her. she was, is and forever will be my one true love. look at me 3 days over 10 months and i am still crying. my heart and my changed mind will be always be hers. but my biggest fear is she will never pick it back up. i wish i could find someone to help me with her. because without her i am just a lonely old man just waiting till its his turn to pass on to the next world. remember yesterday holding hands from across the table drinking coffee for hours. i didnt want to let you go that day and today i find i cant my lover for you burst bright. im sorry ladies for posting in here, but i am truly sorry for what i did to her and there is nothing in this world that can be done to put me in more pain than i am already in. please forgive me penney

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