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DEALING WITH EMOTIONAL ABUSE

“Naso I just dey jeje, dey watch my anime, nae m this cockroach run climb my wall; as I commot slippers say make I kill am; TELL ME WHY A COCKROACH DECIDED TO TURN INTO A DRAGON!? Bottom line, I’m sleeping in the parlour tonight”.

Words sting, they hurt, the words you say to someone go a long way to affecting the person’s life depending on the level of closeness you share with said person. This article may be in two series. Abuse can come in several ways and forms but what makes emotional abuse different is the relationship a person has with the abuser.

I would talk about emotional abuse by parents, partners and friends. Note:We all hope to live in an ideal world where 2+2=4; well, parental abuse first of all is a reality faced by a lot of people, far from ideal and as such, whatever this article contains runs with the premise that the situation isn’t beyond what can be handled”.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE: PARENTS

Naturally, if you are Nigerian or African in general, emotional abuse from parents is something that is part and parcel of every growing child. Birthed mostly from the frustration of the country and weight of problems, most parents find themselves abusing their children, breaking their self-esteem and causing more pain by following up their hurtful words with beatings and punishments.

Your papa beat you nae m make you sense no mean say the name wey em call you good? You see a lot of people defend certain acts of parents as acts of discipline and a reflection of their love when most times its really just a transfer of aggression and failure.

You can beat a boy in school and 8 out of 10 times, boys will not cry “especially if that babe wey em wan impress dey look am”. But address issues pertaining to a condition he’s not very proud of and watch that boy break from the inside.

Parents hold a very special place in the hearts of their children, they are the first point of contact a child has to the outside world and the way a child is being treated by his parent will determine how that child will react in the outside world. A child who knew no love from his mother will never expect love from his girlfriend and would always expect the worst from her. A son who was always put down by his father will grow to be resentful and look to bring others down.

HOW TO STOP IT

Let’s be real here; “you no go call your papa by em name con clear am on-top all the yama-yama thing wey em dey talk since you small, when no be say devil use Glovo take deliver you for their door” nobody’s gonna walk up to his parent, look them in the eye and confront them of their actions, especially while still being fed, schooled, provided for, trained, sheltered and protected by them “you sef reason am”, but you can tackle it.

  1. Extend an olive branch: When parents feel pressured, weighed down and cornered, they take it out on people who they know will not be able to retaliate; reaching out when they are in better moods and actively talking to them about the situation can help create a sense of caution and regret in their minds
  2. Do better at what you’re good at: The easiest way to quell a bad mood is to find things that will make your mood lighter; if you happen to be good at things that your parent likes, then take a step further and be better. You will be doing yourself a world of good if you are a specialist in a given field or area.
  3. Seek help: Sometimes, you can be very unfortunate to be receiving abuse from both parents, and in such cases, you don’t have the love of even one; it is important to fight hate with love, there is no antidote that works better. Having a relative, friend or colleague who can offer support will go greatly help
  4. Be more assertive: Abuse only works when the one being abused does nothing to build up his self-esteem; it’s important to respectfully have your voice heard. Be firm on matters that are personal to you, it gives a warning subconsciously that you may be willing to allow certain insults but not all.
  5. Boost your self-esteem: Emotional abuse is an attack on your self-esteem. A bully is only able to stay in control as long as the one bullied gives him that control; the moment you choose to build yourself up work on your confidence, you will lose fewer battles but have a growing confidence in winning the war ahead.

You can read a thousand articles on how to avoid, stop or overcome abuse from parents, but each abuse it tailored to a particular person. The best way to handle such scenario, is to have a talk with the parent; dialogue is important, you must be able to express how you feel and how the words or actions of the said parent makes you feel.

No matter how scary a parent may seem, when there is a hand of surrender stretched out by their own child in a solemn act of love, yearning for attention and comfort; such parent will revert to a default father-child, mother-child settings to save that child.

Abeg where I fit see charger? My phone battery wan die.

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