Many people already know that domestic violence? Isn’t just physical, there are numerous ways to be abused. The unfortunate part of it all? Is that most don’t recognize the fine line between normal and abusive, most don’t stand up and talk about it to anyone because they don’t want to be overreacting, don’t want to fear the aftermath of speaking out if they are still in contact with their abuser. I Believe you.
* I just want to make a point, that I will be doing my best to post via FB & IG every day, a fact, a stat, a part of my story, a myth, that it may seem geared toward only women, but I will do my best to keep it diverse, this happens everywhere to ANYONE. I just am a woman and that is where my point of view lays.*
This wheel was actually just shown to me within the last year, I didn’t know that it existed while I was in my abusive relationships, I didn’t understand the different wheels.
In my time of domestic violent relationships, I have experienced almost the entire wheel. The bruises, the broken bones, the cut lip or bruises across your throat? They hurt than right then, I am never minimizing the pain because its loud and it fucking hurts, it hurts so bad and you can’t cry because the abuser sees it as fun, as something that makes him/her happy. Standing out on the coast of escape and survival I don’t carry forth the pain of the physical abuse as much as all the abuse that no one could ever see. I still jump at loud noises, a man raises his hand and is loud and I’ll want to hit the deck as fast as possible. Lingering effects, lasting results. It’s not fair! Fuck I hate how much it’s not fair, I feel you if you are feeling the same, it’s not fucking fair dealing with the aftermath, the triggers, the memories that sweep over you and the abuser just walks away after eventually.
The emotional abuse cuts deep within your soul, it strips your worth and clings onto your personality. It holds you captive within your own head, fighting with people who don’t even exist in your life anymore. It’s so exhausting to fight a war against someone who isn’t even in your life, it’s not something you just get over, there isn’t just letting it go- if it was so simple therapists everywhere would go out of business. Words hurt, words last, threats last, they burn the image into your mind and leave you feeling helpless. You are stronger than you know though, regardless if you are out, if you are planning to get out or if you need a reason to get out, I PROMISE you are stronger than you think.
The psychological abuse, the control, and the isolation, huge things that over-power your life. I know for me personally, it doesn’t make sense when people treat me the way I deserve, it doesn’t make any sense to me now when people or men treat me like a human being that deserves respect. The abuse stays with you through your healing journey but it slowly gets better, you slowly get better.
I was also recently given this wheel to look over from my therapist, it’s to see new relationships if they fall into this wheel? It’s equality, as a survivor I know it’s hard to adjust, to accept that you deserve to be treated right, that you are equal to your partner no one is better than the other. I wish I had seen or been taught theses when I was younger when I was in school or had parents who taught me these things. I hate that this topic? Is so quiet, hush-hush, it’s bullshit. My boys already know about domestic violence, they know the different levels of abuse, as a parent is it my responsibility to explain more than just “Don’t hit a girl” because it’s deeper than that. It’s an ocean where some treat it as a raindrop.
If it hurts? It is not love. You don’t have to change yourself for someone to love you, you don’t have to do certain things for a person to love you, Love isn’t about controlling someone, or changing someone. Love is about accepting each other as is, loving all the parts for what they are, The bottom line that I preach a lot? Love doesn’t hurt.
Mental illness doesn’t cause abusive behavior any more than alcohol does- alcohol doesn’t create an abuser just the same as being sober doesn’t cure an abuser. It’s the abuser’s fault, alcohol or mental illness can be an excuse, but they want to hurt you. If your own low self-esteem doesn’t cause you to abuse others? Your own mental illness doesn’t cause you to abuse others? Alcohol doesn’t cause you to destroy another person? Why is it an excuse for the abuser than? It’s not, I believed it was for a very long time, it’s not my fault it was the alcohol, it’s not the reason, it’s just an excuse.
This book is an amazing resource, it clarifies so many things, it makes your brain cross the questions you have about it being your fault and shows you it is not. YOU don’t cause abuse, YOU don’t deserve abuse, YOU don’t do anything wrong that causes it.
In my last abusive relationship, I could never do anything right. Ever. I didn’t fold the laundry right, I didn’t greet him after work right, I didn’t cook the right things or if I did it wasn’t enough, the house wasn’t good enough, the lunches I made were not good enough, I wasn’t attentive enough. This isn’t on me! It was never on me!
Some of the abuse described in this book that hit me enough to takes notes;
Is it abuse?
- They tell you your objectives to their mistreatment are your own problems.
- They blame you for their behavior (Could you imagine blaming others for your own choices? The way you treat others?!)
- If they raise a fist, destroy personal property of yours, threaten to kill themselves
- Distorting what was said
- Sulking (This stands out to me because often when I wasn’t doing something good enough? I would get a short “I am not eating or doing whatever is expected of me because YOU did this wrong and YOU ruined this time for me” and silent treatment to follow or threats to leave me. Again this was never my fault nor is it your fault)
- Accusing you, interrupting-never letting you speak, name-calling, insults, threatening to hurt you or leave you, ( I spent the better part of a year convincing him he needed to stay because I would do my best to be better, once I realized he really wasn’t going anywhere I stopped trying to stop him from leaving and than he turned to threats of harm or tantrums which ended with violence)
- Physically hurts or frightens you ( Physical abuse, raising a fist to hit you even if they don’t hit you, scares you where you feel the need to fight or flight)
- Makes you believe he will hurt you. ( Threats of abuse, raising a hand to hit you, punching holes in walls, throwing things at you, my last one threatened to kill my entire family and me and then laughed about it the next day)
- Harm, control, force frighten, verbal abuse leading to physical.
- Forces sex ( Many abusers force sex, studies show those who are abused sexually can have some of the greatest emotional difficulties of any other type of abuse)
Sexual abuse within a relationship
- It’s for him. ( Sure wasn’t for me but I was always expected to “Love” it)
- They believe they are owed sex because many times they believe they own you. My last abuser often used the words, “You belong to me, you have to please me, it is literally your job)
- Sex is a way to establish power & domination
You are worthy, you are good enough, you are strong, you are not responsible for another person’s mood.
If you are in this situation, or you read into it and see red flags, you can always connect with the YWCA in your area to speak with someone to see if your relationship is healthy or not. You can reach out, you can make a safety plan to leave, there is help available.
You are not alone, you are strong, you can be free.
Be The Inspiration