Emotional (e.g. spiritual) abuse is often overlooked, considered less harmful than physical or sexual abuse — but research shows that nothing could be farther from the truth. Emotional abuse can leave a very successful, kind, and confident person feeling crazy, emotionally unstable, and out of control. Before you know what has happened, you have lost your well-established sense of self-respect, confidence, pride, and trust-worthiness. The abuser considers your most admirable traits, like vulnerability and empathy, as weaknesses and exploits them to achieve their self-serving goals. Over time, if you stay with the abuser, you start to doubt the very foundations of what make you you.