When Does Post-Break Up Communication Become Emotionally Abusive?
With the recent break up of Kim Kardashian and Kayne West, legal and mental health concerns have been brought to the forefront. The couple share four children and therefore some communication is important. However, normal discussion has turned into abusive with Kayne’s threats to Kim being seen with Pete Davidson. Kayne sent a truck full of flowers to Kim’s house for Valentine’s Day stating his vision for the two of them to re-unite. When gifts are unwanted and forced on someone who has specifically stated they don’t want contact, it’s no longer “normal.” It’s scary. This has caused concern for Kim and increased necessary security for her own safety as well as that of her family. Normal break up discussions should not make you feel threatened or worried about what your ex will do next.
Experts are likening Kayne’s behavior to that of an emotional abuser using stalking behavior as a form of manipulation. No matter what you think of the individuals involved, emotional abuse and stalking are both considered dangerous. Signs of stalking include but are not limited to these:
· Repeatedly sending unwanted texts, calls, or emails.
· Delivering unwanted gifts.
· Stealing possessions of the person.
· Knowing where the person is, tracking them, and/or following them.
The couples’ social media powerhouse as well as their extreme wealth adds fuel to the concern of how dangerous this could become. Harassing your partner on social media when you have millions of followers can ruin their life and is an extreme version of emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse is as terrifying as physical abuse and although this situation has not become violent yet, it could be building up to an escalation that often happens with abuse. If you have a history of being emotionally/physically abused or if you are in this situation now, seeing the West/Kardashian story unfold may trigger feelings of fear and trauma. I have four suggestions that can help you help yourself so you won’t have to relive your painful experience and can help you escape the abuse.
1. Unplug as much as you can from social media and the internet, because constantly seeing the topic on your news feed can reignite past trauma.
2. Make strong boundaries. Cut off all contact and do not respond to further communication except through the police or a lawyer.
3. Keep track of your abuser’s actions, unwanted visits, social media posts, and conversations. Report them to the authorities.
4. Advocate for yourself and call it what it is: Domestic Violence at 800-799-7233 or www.thehotline.org
Divorce is never easy, and due to the wealth and influence of this couple, everything is inflated on social media. However, emotional abuse is real. It’s not something that happens only to the rich and famous, and your financial or influence should not influence whether it’s wrong. Emotional abuse is a sick, toxic behavior that hurts everyone involved. If you are in this situation, there is a way out. Please get the help you need. No one deserves to be humiliated, threatened, or manipulated for another’s gain.