I’ve been in several types of emotionally abusive relationships.
Now that I’m older, wiser, and more in tune with figuring out what I need (and more importantly, what I deserve), I wanted to take some time to write down a few ways to spot if you’re in an emotionally abusive situation.
Ask yourself the following questions.
1. Do you feel lonely in their company? Like they’re giving off the impression that you’re the last possible thing on their mind? Do you call to them across the room and they ignore you? Do you feel stupid, fat, ugly, and like they make decisions without even thinking about your needs?
2. Do they make every issue in the relationship your fault, especially when it’s actually their issue?
3. Do they immediately get angry when you try to explain why you’re feeling hurt about a particular situation, and manipulate the problem to an extent that you feel bad and end up apologizing to them?
4. Are they possessive?
5. Do you end up blaming yourself for everything that went wrong in the relationship, to the point where you are made to defend the other person every time they come up?
6. Do they, in subtle or unsubtle ways, blame everything on you?
7. Do they get irritated by your very presence, to the point that you begin to silence yourself in order to avoid making them mad?
8. Do you cry more than you laugh?
9. Do you feel like bringing any of this up will make them blame you?
10. Do you feel lost? Like you did something terrible to anger them but you can’t remember what it is? Do you sit up at night crying, feeling hurt, worried, depressed, angry, and like nothing you do will ever change the constant feeling that you are nothing?
Before you lose more of your soul. Before you feel like a pile of garbage on the side of the road. Before you end up like how I was. Broken. Questioning. Blaming myself. Before I realized something. None of it was my fault. Oh sure I had my issues. But abuse is never the fault of the victim.
I don’t recognize the girl I was this summer. Because that girl? That girl would have walked on broken glass for half an acknowledged stare. I have learned. I am not nearly so foolish now.
Now, I prefer to be called a survivor.
You have no idea what light and infinite possibilities – what hope – awaits you when you set yourself free.
I feel free. Free, and more content. Happiness is fleeting. Contentment you can’t buy. I LOVE my jobs. I love my family. I love my life. All of the things that I thought I was lacking because he told me I shouldn’t be satisfied.
I know, finally, what love is. And more importantly, what love is NOT.
Love is not ignoring. Love is not in-communication. Love is not ignoring problems and blaming it on the other person. Love is not refusing to get help. Love is not feeling like no matter what you do, the other person will never put you on the top of their priority list.
I deserve a love that equalizes me. That creates in me a better version of myself. That doesn’t make me actively despise my life.
Love should never put you in a cage.
Love sets you free.
And in loving myself, I found liberation.
I will never make those mistakes again.