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There are many type of abuse, these are my experiences with abuse told me and what I’ve witnessed. I hope that this helps you to stay educated to know where it leads, before it actually gets too late.While many of these are "obvious" you will be surprised at how quickly you are sucked into it, if you aren't careful.
1. Verbal Abuse:
This is usually the first tell tale sign of abuse, however there are many things to consider. The context, was it used jokingly? Next, the body language, was your partner serious, angry? Check their stance—men tend to stand upright with their shoulders back, trying to make you feel small. (I would blame it on evolution, but being a shitty human being is not an excuse.) The words that they used, they usually start off small, like “stupid” or “dumbass” were they along the lines of those? Or were they more tailored to you, i.e. “You’re so stupid, and you work at the bank... how’d they hire you?” That one was using stupid a plain word, but the comment was directed at a my profession. I hope I’m starting to help with pointing out the differences.
2. Controlling Who You Interact with and Where You Go:
This one is the most obvious, however sometimes it might catch you off guard, until it’s too late. It might start with their concerns about this person, and how they think that they’re bad for you. They’ll suggest that you shouldn’t see them, as it might put a strain on your relationship. If you don’t keep a careful eye you will find yourself surrounded by no one but your S.O. That’s what they want, so that they’re all you have. It’s all part of the "making you feel little" plan. The less “support” you have from others the easier it is to manipulate you.
3. Using Location Finders/ GPS Trackers:
Now, I love technology and how it’s advanced so much that your loved ones can track your location if you ever get stuck. This is perfect for parents with children. However, if you find that your partner requests to track your location for whatever reason be wary. It could be for a good reason. i.e., you’re traveling far alone, and they want to make sure you get to your destination okay, or if you run into trouble they’ll be able to send help ASAP. When it turns into a problem is when they question why you were somewhere. This could be anything from sending screenshots of your location, notifying them of who you’re with, the locations of where you’re “allowed” to go to. You already have parents you need to answer to, your S.O. is supposed to be your cause of relief, not cause for a headache and anxiety.
4. Going Through Phones, Social Media Accounts/ Going Through Your Items:
Your personal space is something that is important in any relationship. Regardless of who pays the bills, and where and how you live. Your stuff is YOURS. It doesn’t give anyone the right to look through your items or your phone. It’s not healthy, and it takes away the feeling of having your own space. Something that’s yours now becomes ours, and slowly turns to “mine.” Don’t wait until it gets to that part, lay down the law early.
5. Extreme Jealousy:
It usually starts off small, like questioning why you have all these “Justins” as friends, and no “Sharons.” Then it gravitates into your all aspects of you life. Such as social media accounts, phone contacts, classes you have, friends you hang out with etc. The most extreme it got was looking at people, whenever we went out in public I was brushed by a wave of anxiety. I always walked with my head staring at the floor. That way I knew I wouldn’t get into trouble. A little jealously is fine, but there’s a line and when it gets crossed you’ll know. Trust your gut.
6. Bringing Up Your Past Continuously:
Your past is what makes you present. I understand we all have done things we regret, I have a long list, believe me. But if they never happened they wouldn’t make me into the person I am today. It’s so important to disclose your past as much as you are COMFORTABLE with. You don’t owe the person everything. It takes time to build trust and a relationship is a constant work effort. You can hold on to your regrets if you don’t feel like they're the ones worth sharing with, that’s okay. But when they constantly bring up your mistakes, being insensitive to the events that might’ve happened that made you do some of the things you’ve regretted. But in the end those events are what made you TODAY. NOW. And ultimately the person they fell for. So now all of a sudden your past is an issue? Pass.
7. Using “If You Love Me” as a Guilt Trip:
This one is a guilt trip in its ugly form. You end up doing something all because you feel like you owe it to them. You “love” this person, so you should do what makes them feel good right? Yes of course, but that’s when you need to step outside and ask yourself if what they’re asking is sincere, or just a demand to get you to do something you wouldn’t do—but you’re doing now because they used the word “love.” Side note: this is not love, this is abuse. Get out now.
This is the most obvious, no one should be touching you ever. Let me tell you something from experience. If you let it happen once, it will keep happening. If it does happen you need to speak up RIGHT AWAY. It’s not fucking cool at all and not a joke either. Speak up. If you don’t it just gradually worse and worse.
Tips on How to Help Yourself:
- Use “I” statements, so that this doesn’t gravitate towards an argument. “I” statements don’t put the blame onto the other person, you’re also helping the other person see things through your point of view.
- If you feel like you’re going to need “backup,” find someone to talk to. You’ll find that the people you least expect will be down to help you the most.
- You’re not alone, there sadly are many women in the exact same situation as you, if you find yourself in a shitty situation. The support system you get from women who’ve been down the same road, and have gotten out of it are your biggest supporters.
Don’t feel ashamed, or stupid. I know that thought constantly ran through my mind endlessly. I felt worthless at times too. I didn’t know if I could trust another person ever, or be stable enough for a relationship. But trust me, you need to be open and share your story. You’ll be surprised at the love you’ll receive. There are good people out there.
Just be cautious of who you give your heart to.