Have you ever noticed the following behaviour, in yourself or your colleagues or friends?
Jangly nerves - Do you dislike being in small spaces with someone standing behind you, or anywhere you can't see them? How do you respond when startled?
Short-term thinking - Do you have difficulty making plans beyond the next week or so? Perhaps the year ahead is difficult to focus on, fuzzy or foggy, and you have little motivation to get clear.
Short-term control - Do you feel much better working with others when there is a plan? At night, are you anxious if you don't know what's what, or who's doing what when, the next day?
Swelling of the body - Wherever it is, do you feel swollen in your physical self? Belly, fingers (check your rings,) ankles, or even your tongue? You might find sore ridges along the sides of your tongue from time to time.
Short-term shopping - Are you someone who tends to buy inexpensive things, versus things that last? Do you have lots of stuff you could use but you tend to buy more anyway?
Everyone responds differently to the stress of an emotionally abusive environment, but the common denominator is an increase in actions that fall in the category of self-protective. Actions that increase a feeling of safety, even for a few seconds.
If you notice your colleagues or friends, or even yourself, showing some of these signs, good for you. It takes nerve to let yourself recognize these things for what they are.
Time now to keep observing how the environment changes one's personality. Time to breathe, stay awake, listen closely, and create small safe places to be, just 15 or 30 minutes at a time. Time sitting in your car. A extra few minutes after your shower. A brief walk.
Just a few minutes of greater safety a few times a week can be the opening for something better to take root.