Dare to Create – emotional abuse and why it can be more harmful than physical incidents

CCF90780-0FC6-4873-83D2-91370485B93FImage by Alexas_Fotos – pixabay.com 

Hello readers, and welcome to another Dare to Create article from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and you are provided with a suggestion to take away with you.

This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. PLQ begins exploring the topic of emotional abuse this week. Today’s article focuses on how to recognise the signs. You’ll find more about this below the challenge.

5107C6D1-B76D-4967-95E0-58B8C32475BB Image by Rebecca Goldthorpe

Dare to Create – the challenge

We have probably all experienced critical comments from others that have damaged our confidence, made us insecure or doubt ourselves. This week I challenge you to write a letter to yourself which reminds you of your attributes, your skills and your gifts. The things we have put aside for others. We all have them. Still let’s tell ourselves we are good enough and why we matter.

54332D32-0CCA-4DA0-836F-6AB2EC4DB8C4Image top and bottom left – Typorama


Ask yourself

  • What your gifts, abilities and skills are – we all have them.
  • What you were like before the abuse, if this is your situation.
  • What you miss doing and wearing. Why did you stop?
  • What words you would use to describe yourself and if these have changed.
  • If  you feel less positively about yourself nowadays, why do you think that is?

Please don’t forget to tag your photo with #plq and #daretocreate. The team at @projectlifequality loves seeing your participation!



What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse comes in many guises, but what it often is, is difficult to spot. It’s subtle, coercive, manipulative and those around you are therefore much less likely to see it for what it is, unlike in cases of physical or sexual abuse.


Why?  Because wounds and broken bones  are visible and will eventually heal or scar, but for a person who has had emotional trauma, particularly early in life, it shapes who they are as an individual. It scars too, affecting the brain’s development and it’s ability to process emotions and stress, only it’s hidden. Read more about this at –


This BuzzFeed video “depicts the devastating reality of being in an emotionally abusive, unhealthy relationship.

Written by and starring Ali Vingiano and Brittany Ashley, the 15-minute film tells the story of two couples — one budding hetero couple and one lesbian pair — who go away for an overnight trip together.”

According to Vingiano and Huffungton Post, this video collaboration came about because she and Ashely “…hadn’t seen emotional abuse honestly depicted much in TV or media”, especially “a story showing it within a lesbian relationship…”. Though fictional, the actors drew on personal experiences and in particular “the often overlooked traits that make a relationship an abusive one.” Vingiano went on to say this, “Unhealthy Relationships” captures those hardly noticeable moments that are so often excused – like constantly monitoring who a partner is texting, demeaning a partner in front of their friends and being generally passive aggressive and controlling. “We wanted to show how hard it can be to realize you’re in an unhealthy relationship, and how abuse isn’t always physical,”


Further reading

This article by the Relate, the relationship counseling organisation, is particularly useful.

Relate – What is Emotional Abuse? 



Be the person you want to be!


Rebecca Goldthorpe

PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist


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