Recognizing Emotional Abuse


By Candice Kutyn (She/her/hers)

I was well into adulthood when I realized that I had been in an emotionally abusive relationship as a teen. I was researching teen dating abuse when I realized it. I sat staring at the page and all of the pieces fell into place. I had been the victim of emotional abuse. This relationship held me hostage for decades, in fact, I still dream about this person. The thing about emotional abuse is that it can sneak in innocuously with behaviors that you mistake as loving. The changes can be subtle, and you become confused when their words aren’t reflected in their actions. You may seek their approval even more.

Love does not leave you wondering what you did wrong.

Love does not make you change who you are.

Love does not ridicule your beliefs or things you like.

Love does not keep you from your friends and family

Emotional abuse includes: degrading, isolation, ignoring, corruption, exploitation, controlling, terrorizing and stalking

Abuse in LGBTQ2S+ relationships can be complicated by social contexts, such as isolation related to homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism. Individuals may not want to report abuse as they may fear that police or other helping professionals may not believe them. Services with specialized support for LGBTQ2S+ individuals may also be difficult to access.

Abusive partners can use homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism as a weapon to control their partner. They may threaten to out their partner or tell them that no one will believe them.

If you think that you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, there is help and you do not deserve to be treated this way.

Airdrie Pride Society is here to help connect you to supportive resources. Please reach out.