If you haven’t read my previous posts, I was in a three year long abusive relationship. The flags were bright and red but I was too blinded by love that I couldn’t see them or I choose to ignore them.
When it got to the point where I knew I had to get out, I felt as if it was too late. We had already moved in together, my friends tried to intervene but there is not a lot an outsider can do. They could’ve said anything and I still wouldn’t have listened and/or come up with excuses. My friends only knew that he could be verbally abusive but they had no idea he was physically abusive as well. Both are bad, but together it’s deadly. My soul became so broken. For me it was the words that were worse. The bruises healed but the words left scars.
I had two different reactions when I told people what had happened and why we broke up.
The first one was people getting angry at him and saying that I should’ve said something, they would’ve helped me.
The second one is people saying: “Why? Why didn’t you leave? Why did you let him do that?”
For me both of the reactions was difficult to deal with as I felt ashamed for have letting it happen and for so long. I was already blaming myself and now it felt like they were blaming me too for being in a relationship like that. It’s hard for people to understand how manipulated one is in a relationship like that.
If you are in an abusive relationship;
He/she will not change, maybe they will for a few days or a couple of weeks but it’s not going to last.
I threatened to leave a lot of times and every time my ex would change and become the sweet puppy he could be. It was as if we fell in love all over again, then when it was really good, he would change back and start abusing me. I know why he did that. He didn’t feel happy about himself and let it out over me. For him to change, he needed to change the way he sees himself first and that doesn’t happen over night.
2. Talk to someone.
It doesn’t have to be a friend or a family, it can be a therapist, neighbor, coworker or anyone else you trust and feel comfortable with , but you need all the support you can get right now. Look up shelters in your area or help centers for people in abusive relationships. There is help to get. You are not alone!
I had one friend that I could talk to, she was the only one that knew what was going on. She was my biggest support and cheerleader and without her I think I would’ve fallen for the sweet talk and gone back.
3. No contact.
Strictly no contact! He/she will probably call you and text you a lot. Saying that they done a mistake and that they will change. They regret everything they ever done to you. That they love you and can’t live without you bla bla bla.
Well, you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone and if they couldn’t appreciate it then, why would they appreciate it now? As I said before, they might change for a little while but old habits die hard.
4. It’s not your fault!
An abusive relationship really breaks you down. You blame yourself (absolutely not your fault), you wonder what you did to deserve this? Are all men and women like this?
The answer is no and you did nothing wrong, I can’t stress that enough!
I remember while being in the relationship and after. Every time after my ex hit me he used to apologize but still blaming me.
” I am sorry I hit you, but you did this…”
“I am sorry I hit you, but you are no angel either…”
“If you had just let me…. This wouldn’t have happen”
“I am sorry I got mad but you promised to…”
The list can go on and on and on. In my head he planted that I deserved to be hit and beaten. ” I shouldn’t have called him five times at 4am to ask where he was as he promised to be home at midnight and hasn’t let me know if something happened or if he just went out” or “Yeah.. I’m no angel either, I did hit him back when he punched me.. I shouldn’t have done that” . That last bit, he made me feel bad for defending myself when he hit me. That was something he did a lot and it took a long time for me to get over that guilt, but it wasn’t my fault.
5. Love yourself!
Before I got into a new relationship or even felt that I was ready to date again, I had to learn how to fall in love with myself first. I did meet other people during the healing process but I wasn’t ready, I backed away as soon as someone showed me a little big of affection. I realized that if I can’t love myself, if I can’t see my own beauty, then who would?
It’s been three years and it’s still a work in process but boy do I love myself and my company, obviously there are days when I am feeling low and feed up with myself and you know, that’s okay. I try to write down 3-5 things I like about myself, I would want to do it everyday but I don’t.
Just try it for a week, a month or a year. Start with 3 things. It can be anything.
” I love how the way my right eyebrow look” or ” I love the fact that I am a hard-worker”
It sounds like one of those cliche self-help books exercises and it is, but it works. Also take yourself out on dates, go to the movies alone, a restaurant. Learn to love having fun with yourself. It might feel weird at first but you will get used to it, and probably love it. Grab a book and read, listen to a podcast/music or just people watch (Maybe pay attention to the movie if you decided to go to the movies).
6. Let yourself feel and heal
Take all the time in the world and let yourself heal from what have happened. Let yourself feel all of the emotions you might be feeling; Sad, angry, scared, lonely, happy, free, maybe sad again. It will take time, but allow yourself to feel and heal. But at the same time, try and move past it (in your own time obviously) and live your best life. Be like a sunflower growing out of the payment.
If you are a friend to someone who is currently in an abusive relationship:
They might not talk to you or they might. If they do, just listen without judgement. It’s so difficult to be a friend to someone that is being abused as you feel helpless (I’ve been both the friend and the abused). You can say whatever you want but it’s only your friend that can make that the decision to leave and when he/she wants to leave, be there. Help them pack their things, be their support or do whatever you can do to make them feel loved.
2. Don’t give out to them!
Don’t blame them for anything, don’t say that they are stupid for being in that relationship. That will only make them close up more, they might even cut contacts with you. Instead treat the subject gently when it comes to their relationship. You can say that you are worried and that if they ever need anything, just let them know that you are there for them.
Most of my friends told me that after I broke up. They knew the relationship was bad, but I had to realize it myself. Only I could do something about it.
It really is hard for everyone when it comes to abusive relationship and to be honest, I am no expert. I am just talking about my experiences.
If you are afraid of your or anyone else’s life being in danger CONTACT THE POLICE/EMERGENCY NUMBER IN YOUR COUNTRY!
Down below are some links to sites that might help you for both men and women:
( “Abused men can reach out to the following organizations for help:
- U.S. and Canada: 1-800-799-7233 – The National Domestic Violence Hotline
- UK: 01823 334244 – ManKind Initiative
- Ireland: 046 902 3710 – AMEN
- Australia: One in Three Campaign offers a number of crisis hotlines.
- In other countries: Visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a list of hotlines in your area.
If you’re a gay man who’s being abused, you can also find support and advice from the following organizations:
(In the U.S.: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE), visit the Domestic Violence Resources Directory for local help, or search Womenslaw.org’s state-by-state directory of domestic violence shelters and advocates.
UK: call Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247.
Australia: call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines, shelters, and crisis centers.)