Welcome to Inner Healings Counseling blog, I am so glad you are here. There are many types of abusive relationships, verbal/emotional, physical, sexual, mental/psychological, financial, and cultural. How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship? This is defined as a pattern of behavior, used by someone who seeks to gain power and control over another person. Let’s take the time to explore ways to get out. Even if you are not ready yet, it’s ok. Be easy on self, acceptance first. You can’t change what you don’t accept. I have outlined a list of three places to start.
Your abuser wants you to be isolated. It’s part of the cycle of abuse. The abuser wants to control what you are doing, who you are taking to and limit your social network. Take one step towards communication with others, in any way you can. One baby step a week. Getting out is a process, trust that you don’t know if you are almost at the top of the mountain. Change can happen rapidly, and abrupt. Make a therapy appointment, this will be support for you to move your process. It’s extremely hard to get out. You don’t want to be in this and if you could do it on your own you would have done it by now. It’s not your fault you are here. Most likely a consequence of your childhood.
Humiliation of Portrayal
Emotional abuse, name calling, mind games, gas lighting, making you feel crazy, and guilty. Practice responses so you are prepared, change your responses. You know your abuser, this varies from person to person. Many times you won’t be able to say the right thing so do your best to engage less. Keep it moving, if you can get away while they are name calling this is best (this just depends on the situation of course). Remember, they want you to feel like all the names they are calling you so you don’t leave. Get in touch with your rebel, look at all the best rebels who stood for change in a positive way; Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Kathrine Switzer (first female marathon finisher) and many others who paved the way.
Confident of the Rebellion
Abusers don’t want you to be confident, hence all of the name calling and put downs. This is tough for people because if you have been in it for years, you are probably believing the abuser. I get that, that makes sense. Here is a list to draw off of and a place to start:
- Imagine yourself doing something right
- Question your internal voice (it’s a liar)
- Do something for yourself
- Reach out to a friend
- Help a friend
- Try something new
- Take a break from the abuser
I want to share a little about my experience. I was in a relationship with a guy who cheated on a regular basis, an alcoholic, how exciting? I only knew I could expect two things, he would drink and cheat. I felt powerless over the relationship, this was my destiny. Trapped with no way out, and I would say things to myself like “we have so much fun when we are together” or “he did make time for me last night.” Making excuses. The process of getting out took a few months. I ran in to a previous counselor/professor and he said “you are still wasting time.” He was right. After some time, I realized that I was going back to rescue myself from being alone. If I can get out, anyone can get out. Comment below, feel free to give me so feedback or suggest a topic. Be well. Christine Weller, LMHC