How do you know if you’re in an abusive relationship? No one expects to enter into one, there’s no red flag, flashing beacons or warning signs. They start off the same as you would imagine any relationship to start out and there are only tiny indications that this is not something you should enter into.
Domestic abusive behavior is often passed off as a rough patch but what you need to look at is how often these are occurring and how much hurt is being caused as a result of it. They take energy from your mind, body and spirit. It’s an attack to your general wellbeing. The abuser takes energy to deal with, they’re hurtful and inconsiderate of any effect their behaviour has on you and the people you have around you.
When it starts you will pass it off as a bad mood or bad day or bad month. It then turns to you making excuses for them to yourself or others around you. Quickly moving onto looking at your own actions to see what invokes this behaviour from them and adjusting your own behaviour accordingly to ensure that it does nothing to exacerbate the situation.
You feel trapped; you get frustrated and often upset. You stay as you think you owe them something. Maybes you stay due to loyalty, pressure, guilt or even fear of what your life would be like without them.
You feel isolated, like you have no one to turn to. You don’t want to burden anyone with your problems. This is what it’s come to, feeling like a burden to family and friends. You’ve stopped talking about your feelings due to fear of judgement and because you’ve likely been instructed that things are to stay between you and your partner.
They will try to control where you go, who you spend time with and how you dress. They attack your self-confidence and knock it down so much that you feel you are in the wrong and you end up suppressing your own feelings and being untrue to yourself. You’re in a bad situation, they’re making you feel like you are crazy and that you are bullying or victimising them in some way when you try to defend yourself which leaves you feeling guilty. Everything is always your fault.
They help you out occasionally and continually remind you of how kind they have been and you feel wretched for not being more grateful. There will be spells where they treat you nicely, buy you gifts and make you really believe that they want to change so as to reel you back in. It’s all another method of control. Look at how often they are nice and how often they are not. I will bet my bottom dollar that the bad outweighs the good tenfold! That tiny bit of nice is all they can manage; the bad side is their true self.
Domestic abuse, right there ladies and gentleman! They don’t need to raise their hands in order to abuse you!
The abuser will see this is a perfectly normal behaviour as they have probably learned by example from their parents, grandparents or carers growing up. They in turn were probably victim to the same treatment where they were controlled as children through use of fear, guilt, shame and intimidation techniques. They won’t know any different. This does not make it ok! They’re using your hurt and upset to make themselves feel good and in control. They have gone through their own lives getting what they want at great cost to others and little cost to themselves.
To shut up and put up with it is to lose everything you’ve built up over the years, everything you believe and stand for. FIGHT FOR YOURSELF! I don’t mean give them a black eye even though they most probably deserve that and then some! I mean RESPECT yourself enough to put distance between you and this person! TRUST yourself enough to know that you don’t want to sacrifice your morals or self-worth anymore in order to make them ok! They aren’t putting any positive energy into your life; they are sucking it all out. So why continue to pump all of yours into theirs???
The world isn’t going to end because you’ve decided to walk away from this person. All of the awful things that you imagine, the things people will say about it or you probably won’t happen. And if they do you don’t have to listen to any of it! You have that choice!
You are entitled to put yourself first. We live in a society where this is considered narcissistic and selfish but putting yourself first and knowing your worth is exactly how you avoid these relationships.
You won’t believe the strength you have inside, if you just be honest about the situation you’re in. Everything you’re worried about now will seem like nothing once you’re around the people that love you. Don’t kid yourself because you don’t want to leave it too late; Domestic abuse can lead to anxiety and depression. It takes years to build your self-esteem back up and your inner voice – don’t lose all of that because of just one person who can’t see past their own narcissism.
Please do not try to save them; the only person that can save them is themselves. Just as the only person that can save you is YOU!
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