You don’t plan to enter into abusive relationships. In fact, many women or men who’ve escaped abusive relationships swear to themselves that they will never get into another one, only to find themselves becoming victims of abuse once again.
Sadly, it takes an average of five to seven acts of violence before a woman leaves her abuser. So, why not plan to avoid entering into an abusive relationship in the first place? HOW? Because when I was in an abusive relationship the most common question is why don’t you leave him? Like it’s that easy and you are staying there just to be humiliated and abused for fun. I actually find it to be more and more common these days. People stay in these relationships for so many reasons, but mine was that I saw the good in the person and you want them to change. You also know that they are dangerous and you don’t want to get hurt or that they might hurt someone you love.
Signs Of An Abusive Partner
You get home and he interrogates you and wants to check your phone? You know this is not normal behavior, but you think he must really care and is concerned. You start believing any lies that you are told because you are completely manipulated by them.
I was not allowed friends and seeing family always started fights so you try and avoid that and you cut people out as quick as you can. You make excuses all the time and you even battle to keep a job. People ask you when looking back were you blinded or just dumb? The truth is you are not any of those you are believing their lies and you are wanting to keep them happy that you will do anything not to make them cross.
I was 16 when I met my boyfriend being so young I was flattered when he showed interest, I gave my number and I was interested to see what he was like.
I met up with him behind my parents back and life was so exciting. I had very strict parents that would not let me see him as he had a car and was a lot older, he would come past my school and we quickly started dating. Being so young and naïve I was taken from the car and the excitement of doing things behind my parents back.
A year into the relationship it started to get violent and he was overly possessive. I lost all my friends and the guys at school wouldn’t even talk to me in case he came looking for them. I had to look down at the ground when we went out in case he thought I was looking at other guys and my behavior quickly changed. My parents started to see this and decided it was time I finished school in the UK. As I thought I was in love, this was the end of my world and I was dying inside to leave him. But it wasn’t long and I came back to him. We lived together and I was quickly back to see his abusive ways. After having him arrested 3 times I finally walked away, luckily as most people aren’t as lucky.
Walked away alive, yes but the damage and scars were a lot more painful than most things in my life with him. He broke me down as a person and destroyed my faith and trust in any human beings. I was scared and completely broken as well as I was not a normal happy girl. People ask me so what advice do you have for girls that are in abusive relationships? Firstly, I don’t know because each situation is different, but the moment you know he scares you and the moment you have that fear from him you need to ask yourself is this worth it.
If I could go back would I change anything. No because I learnt the most valuable lesson ever and I would not have learnt it any other way. Love yourself and respect yourself enough to know that you deserve everything and more. You Love and kindness doesn’t go unnoticed, but do not give it to someone so undeserving of it.
Twin Rivers can assist clients who have been abused and help them to better understand their destructive patterns and why they are repeated!
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process