It’s easy for people to tell you to just leave an abusive relationship.
But they have no idea what you are going through and they have no idea just what may happen to you if you do leave. You fell in love with this person who seemed like a dream partner when you first started dating. It is easy to hope for that person to return. But maybe life’s circumstances have changed the one you love and they have become abusive rather than loving.
It is important you learn more about abuse and how to remedy your situation.
What is Mental Health Abuse?
Abuse happens when a person repeatedly tries to gain power or control over you through cruel actions. They hurt you time after time to get you to be dependent on them, emotionally, physically and any other way. The abuser has patience and can spend years wearing you down until you feel like you cannot exist without them. Logically you know you should leave the abuser but it is an overwhelming and seemingly impossible feat to accomplish. If you don’t get help, however, or find an escape, your situation could become more damaging or even fatal.
There are many types of abuse and many times a person will experience two or more at the same time, with the same abuser. Knowing the signs and symptoms of common abuse can help you recognize which type of abuse you are experiencing and the best way to get help. Some of the different types of abuse include emotional, digital and financial.
Have you ever been humiliated by someone? Ever been called bad names or told you are not good enough? Have you ever felt like your partner plays mind games with you, making you feel like you are crazy for thinking certain thoughts? This is emotional abuse.
If you are constantly being criticized and made to feel worthless, eventually you will start to believe these negative statements and your self-esteem will suffer greatly.
Emotional abusers don’t take your feelings into consideration. In fact, they may completely disregard any feelings you may have. They may even blame you for their poor behavior. Sometimes they even claim you are too sensitive and should be stronger emotionally. The sad part, some abusers don’t really know just how abusive they are and how much harm they are doing you.
Examples of emotional abuse include rejecting you, terrorizing you, ignoring you, isolating you, and exploiting you. Long term emotional abuse can have serious negative effects on your life.
The financial abuser tells you when, where and how you can spend money. They may even give you an allowance and are proud of themselves for doing so. They may forbid you to work or get your fired from a job due to their frequent appearances on the job or harassing telephone calls that interfere with your work duties.
Other forms of financial abuse are when your partner expects you to work but he or she won’t work at all. They may have been great at buying you things in the beginning of your relationship but now when you get a gift you are also expected to do something in return. If you refuse to do something in return, then they become even more abusive.
In the most severe cases of financial abuse, your partner may steal your identity.
You know those people who get on Facebook or Twitter and curse their spouse or make rude comments about their spouse to their 500 “friends”. This is called digital abuse. It is also considered digital abuse when two partners send each other harassing or threatening messages through some form of technology.
Teenagers experience the most digital abuse. The teens who are in these types of dating violence situations are often harassed online and when their social media accounts are hacked. When they hack their partner’s account, they put extremely humiliating posts online and cause a great deal of emotional turmoil for the person being abused, especially when the posts are of a sexual nature.
It’s time to take your life back and be happy again!
Fighting back does not mean getting into a fist fight with your abuser or a verbal smack down straight off the Jerry Springer show. Neither of these actions are healthy and may end in deadly consequences. But there are ways you can fight back so that you can save your life and go on to live a happy life, free from abuse. Getting out of the abusive situation may be the only way, even if it is temporary, to save yourself and get help for both you and your partner.
It’s okay to feel anxious about leaving, this is normal. You may even feel fearful of your abuser, worried about where you will stay and what other people with think. You may be worried about how you will support yourself financially. These are all very normal thoughts of people who are exiting a dangerous living situation. But you should also feel hopeful for a happier and safer lifestyle and proud of yourself for having the courage to do the right thing in protecting yourself.
There are several steps in planning a departure from an abusive relationship. The first and one of the most important things you can do to help yourself is to document the abuses as they happen. Document them in a journal that can be hidden from the abuser. You need to have evidence of the abuse in order to get the proper protection from the law, which may include a restraining order or even jail for the abuser.
The second most important thing you can do is to prepare a plan for exiting the situation. This plan should involve details such as where you will go, who will you notify, how you will pay for your departure. Prepare a bag that includes spare keys, clothing, birth certificates, bank records, and your evidence of abuse. Be ready to take this bag and leave when the time is right.
You also need to get help. There are many counselors you can meet to discuss your situation. Counseling is completely confidential so they will not, they cannot by law, talk to your abuser. Women’s shelters and domestic violence agencies have escape plans in which they can help you break free of your abuser. All you must do is reach out and ask for help. Professionals working in domestic violence will also go to court with you and support you through the entire process.
No matter what type of abuse you are facing, there is help available. You deserve a life of happiness and joy. You can do this! Reach out to someone today for help!