Many people end up in abusive relationships only to feel trapped and afraid to get out; generally that’s because the abuser has worn you down, chipped away at your self-esteem and scared you half to death! The first and most important thing to know is ‘there is help’ and second ‘you are not alone’. There are ways to save yourself, you just need to know how what, who and where to turn.
It’s very important to equip yourself with knowledge regarding abuse. Abuse comes in more than one form, “verbal, emotional and physical”. All forms of abuse can be and are damaging. I’ve heard people who are verbally and emotionally abused make comments like, “I’d rather he hit me and get it over with”. This is a very sad statement with a loud cry for help! Many people are abused every day but have learned to hide it very well. The stigma of ‘women get abused’ is just a fragment of the truth, men also are victims of abuse. Learning to recognize some of the red flags may be the deciding factor in getting you out of a potentially deadly situation.
Ask yourself some of the following questions:
-Do you feel afraid of your partner most of the time?
-Do you feel you can’t say anything right?
-Do you believe you DESERVE to be hurt or mistreated?
-Find yourself avoiding topics to avoid an argument?
-Does your partner BLAME you for his or her behavior?
-Does your partner isolate you from friends and family?
-Is your partner constantly checking up on you?
-Does your partner obsessively text or call you to find out where you are and who you are with?
-Does your partner threaten to kill himself/herself if you leave?
– Does your partner constantly put down how you look or your intelligence?
These are just a few warning signs of an abusive relationship. There are many sources available on the internet, books, etc., that can help you identify the warning signs. Equip yourself with as much knowledge as you can to help yourself getting in and out of these types of relationships. It’s not easy. Once you’ve been in an abusive relationship, you probably feel drained of your energy, you feel stuck and hopeless wondering if it will ever end or if you will ever be happy and free of this hell you are living in. Do not give up hope! You are not alone! There are shelters and organizations that will help you. It may be scary at first, but once you take the steps to free yourself from the dysfunction, you will begin to feel so much better.
Learn some of the warning signs before you even get into a relationship, such as:
– Does this person give off a sense of ‘entitlement’? Does he/she believe they deserve special treatment and/or consideration?
– Does this person carry a lot of resentment over particular issues?
– Does this person feel superior or above most people and frequently remind you of that?
-Does this person continually use sarcasm toward you?
-Does this person constantly turn a conversation around to make things “your” fault?
– Is he/she displaying jealousy?
– Does he/she violate your own ‘personal boundaries’?
– Do his/her moods sway your moods and make you feel uncomfortable?
One of the best ways to avoid an abusive relationship is to know yourself. Learn to love yourself, acknowledge and embrace that you are worthy of real love. You are worthy of happiness. Every person has unique and individual qualities that make them special in some way. It doesn’t matter who you are, the color of your skin, your religion or appearance, everyone has something that makes them special. Every day remind yourself of three positives you can think of. Something as simple as you woke up that morning, can be a reminder there is hope.
Trust yourself, trust your gut instincts and trust that you deserve to have the best, you can be! For more information on abuse, please check out the links below. Be safe, be your best you!