Living with the threat of routine yet unexpected outburst is a common indicator of an abusive relationship. The stress and fear of embarrassment or humiliation at any given moment is not natural nor a normal part of life with another. This is a sign something is wrong. Do you live with such outburst and the constant worry it can occur at any given moment? The uncertainty as to whether life can be peaceful and balanced for an extended period of time is not a healthy situation.
How to Spot The Abusive Relationship
Learn the signs of an abusive relationship, find out if you're in an abusive relationship and what to do. How to be safe and get out of an abusive relationship.
Why I Stay in an Abusive Situation?
What's wrong with me, why do I stay and how come I don't get out?
When in an abusive relationship you feel unable to truly be yourself or simply let your hair down and relax. You feel you must act in a manner unnatural to you in order to avoid a negative response from your partner. Feeling lost and as if you’re not yourself occurs from being in a controlling and abusive situation. It's lonely, very very lonely! But you're not alone and it's more common than you might think.
How to Know if it's an Abusive Relationship
Spotting the first signs of trouble or abuse in a relationship is vital but not key to leaving.
Ever feel like you're losing your mind, going crazy or flat out mad? One minute everything seems worked out, normal ah but no once again you're faced with yet another burst of criticism and or outrage. Does it come from out of the blue with no warning? Just when you feel you can take a breath and let your hair down you're faced with the rude awakening that is your partners alter ego. If you relate to any of the above you may be in an abusive situation. Trust your gut, if it feels wrong it's wrong!
Give yourself a break, most every person in an abusive relationship goes through a long period of confusion, not denial. The abuser intentionally creates a confusing scenario one that would perplex the most well adjusted person. Abuser's are really good at making everything feel like it's your fault and or normal. This is where the split personality comes into play. They push it as far as they can and then quickly retreat once they feel you're about to break knowing they've gone as far as they can, for now! This allows them to maintain the relationship.
Why are Some People Abusive?
People abuse most often because it's in their nature, they took a different direction than you.
Abusive people are bullies, they keep a constant monitoring process going to gauge your tolerance and confusion. They're careful to stay within the zone that keeps you guessing. This is why you experience that spontaneous burst of anger and rage once you're happy and calm again. Once they realize you're tolerating this process the urge to pounce is unleashed once again and the cycle continues. The abuser is addicted to it, maybe it's the rush of adrenaline created by the control, or conflict, maybe it's pure evil or a narcissistic behavior out of control. It is not your job to figure out why abusers abuse! The why is not your problem or fault nor can you fix it! You biggest concern is how to safely get out of the relationship.
Learning to Avoid Abusive Men
You can be free from this by learning all you can and avoid abusive types in the future.
But wait a minute he keeps telling you everybody fights, all men are alike on and on until he convinces you it was just another fluke. Could it be you're in a relationship that isn't right for you? Is it that simple? Yes, It can be and yet we should look at a few key differences to determine what is going on with you. I've been in an abusive relationship, researched and studied other abuse victims and what I know is this, above all else if it feels like abuse, it is abuse. You should never second guess that gut feeling. Being abused leaves you with an unmistakable taste in your mouth, it makes you feel lowly and bad. The haunting question is why can't you fix it? First let's take a step back looking at situations that may not be abuse.
Am I Being Abused?
The difference between and abusive relationship and a relationship that's gone bad.
The major difference between a bad relationship and an abusive one is your partner won't let you walk away from an abusive one. A normal end to a bad relationship is two people parting ways, often with hard feelings but they do go their separate ways. Abusive people get outrage and violent at the thought of your leaving them.
Know When to Leave
Getting out of a bad relationship is ideal and yet often doesn't work out.
This is a key difference. There is on the other hand the bad relationship in which we allow ourselves to get into a situation that doesn't feel right. We sometimes look to blame anyone but ourselves. For example settling in a relationship, you know settling for someone you really aren't sure of.
Maybe you've decided there's no perfect relationship, no real love and commit to something you should not. Maybe you realize this only after it's to late.
Having committed to a relationship that's not working creates a lot of anger. The lack of fulfillment triggers feelings of being wronged but it's not abuse. These ill feelings are reflected back to you as the other person mirrors your anger. This person may not be abusive, just not what you need.
Resentment and Anger
You begin to resent, find fault or blame in the other person as you pretend, for the rest of the world, you have a normal happy relationship. Living this lie creates many tense and frustrating moments. Being with the wrong person can feel as though they're doing everything to annoy you or withholding what you feel you deserve.
The truth is this person is not capable of being the one, when all along you knew something was missing. You feel an inner rage as you've sold yourself out to be with the wrong person. Your inner voice is screaming, "let me out, I'm being wronged".
How to Fix A Bad Match
Get out when you can if it's bad it's bad, love is not supposed to feel bad.
In such cases we must take charge and do what's right. The thing to do is move on, get past it, do not settle for an unhappy relationship that's going nowhere! Remember, It's wrong to take it out on someone you've settled for without being certain.
Settling in a relationship builds the foundation for collapse. Despite it all you may also be in an abusive relationship. There are in fact many abusive relationships, lets look deeper into the signs of abuse.
The Control Freak - Controlling Abuse
What is control? You've often heard the phrase, "their such a control freak" This is important as many people are addicted to control and feel a strong overwhelming urge to control everyone and thing around them, this always leads to abusive and controlling situations.
Control is when a person tells you on a regular basis how to do things, what to and what not to do. Humans are not meant to be controlled in such a manner but to be team players sharing in experiences equally.
A controlling person will demand things be their way and make arguments as to yours being bad, wrong or flat out stupid. Many times this person will expect you to do things for them they themselves should do. They may also suggest that it is you who treats them badly due to your unwillingness and or lack of submissiveness.
It's as if you're being parented by a unfit parent. They are displeased with your behavior claiming you to be the problem even though their behavior is outrageously obviously wrong, abusive and inhumane. Abusers often thrive on control as a means to take away your dignity and self worth.
Why do they do something so cruel? By taking away your control and making you feel powerless to do anything about it they feel more powerful, more in control themselves. Many abusers have abandonment issues. They subconsciously feel you too will abandon them and feel controlling you is the only way to keep you around.
How to Stop Abuse - You Deserve Respect
Abuse is not your fault, your abuser will manipulate the situation to make it look and feel that way but it is not.
In fact you are an adult and capable of making your own choices and having your own thoughts as to right and wrong.
A controlling person often goes as far as to point out your faults, mistakes and short comings regularly and without reason.
They tend to claim the skills and qualities you're most proud of are those you do badly. Subtle little fault finding and criticisms are the order of the day. They attempt to sprinkle them about so matter of fact to validate the lies as truth.
A controlling and or abusive situation can make you feel crazy as the things taking place are so outrageous and often come out of the blue catching you completely off guard. The fact that you can't make sense of it creates disbelief.
How Men Get Away With Abuse
How Men Keep You in Abusive Relationships
How They Do It
- The abusive person is quick to redirect your attention acting as if nothing happened.
- The abusive person does not want you to have time to rationalize what just happened, they would then have to take responsibility and the abusive person does not like to do this or say they are sorry.
- This is as if giving up their power, something they cherish. It's rare to hear an abusive person apologize earnestly or at all.
- They always snap back into the nothing ever happened, everything is fine mode, especially when you're apart. I feel this is to insure you don't leave.
The Fear of Abuse
How to protect yourself even when it feels hopeless.
Abusive people make you honestly believe you will no longer continue to live if you leave.
An abusive relationship is one in which you're left feeling crazy because the things this person is saying to and about you just don't ring true in fact absurd. They may often accuse you of saying and doing things that you do not.
In addition to the abusive dance of control you move from one situation to the next so quickly your reaction time is in slow motion while your survival autopilot kicks in.
You have no response and take no action to better the situation as life moves on and you're left in shock unable to make sense of it all.
Abuse may be one of the hardest things in the world to explain to others.
How could you explain this to another when you yourself can't put it into words. This is when a diary or journal becomes valuable.
It's important to keep it private, in a safe place. Writing things down as they occur will help you realize if what's going on is reasonable or not. Plus it gives you a record of the facts which will prove helpful over and over again.
This is a great source of protection. It's easy for an abuser to say they never did anything and yet the documentation of actual events proves to over rule their lies. Although you find it hard to relive such events it will be therapeutic. Date your journal entries.
I recorded my abuser during his rampages, this man was extremely verbally abusive. He woke everyday with a constant flow of lies, demands and outrage. He would go on and on even though I pretended to be asleep. It was horrifying the things he would say and the threats he tossed about so effortlessly.
I understand what you're going through to the extent that my own personal experience allows. It can feel so helpless and it is for this reason you have got to do any little thing you can to feel as if you're trying, don't lose sight of hope.
Gathering Evidence of Abuse
It's important to gather evidence of abuse, this proves to you and everyone you need to help you that abuse is in fact occurring.
He would rant and rave as to how I sabotaged the shower by leaving soap on the floor or moving his shampoo. The most horrifying part is the great care I took making certain I never touched his things or left any of mine as I knew he would go off.
So when he had no reason to go off, he'd do so anyway. It was nuts, he would rage, break things, mess up the house and curse me until he left slamming the door behind him. I couldn't believe it each time it happened. It took nothing to set him off, he'd create any excuse, any, he woke alone and created a reason where there was none, zero!
I felt crazy as he would call me an hour or so later as if nothing ever happened. The only reason he did this was to keep tabs on me, it drove him crazy not knowing where I was and what I was doing. He would call me several times a day just to know.
Plus, he was nice on the phone to keep me available for more later. Being nice on the phone was his insurance I wouldn't pack and leave. After it was all said and done he confessed to me he was amazed at how long I hung on. He never thought I'd make it that long. He confessed his plan was to control my leaving as he knew it would happen in time anyway, so he may as well help it along. Very sobering words!
How to Make Sense of Abuse
Once you first hear the honest words of abuse you realize the beast it is.
The first time I recorded the abuse and played it back, I was sick as it was worse than I thought. I couldn't image how one human being could treat another that way and it was me being treated extremely inhumane. The recordings really helped me but I was very careful not to let him find the recorder or the tapes. Hearing what actually took place in a safe environment really woke me up to the sick nature of my abuse.
This gives you solid without a doubt proof that you are not crazy, it is not your fault, you do not instigate it and you are in fact being abused!
Protecting Your Family From Abuse
A plan protects you, friends and family from the after math of fighting abuse.
Note: Abusive people most often have the world fooled into thinking their a nice person. With the proof of evidence you can prove your case and get help. I went looking for a good attorney, I have children and did not want him to get visitation so I was prepared to tell them about the abuse.
At first the attorney didn't react to my claims of abuse as I felt they should. Once I played the tapes, I had a super hero on my side. The attorney could not believe it. This lawyer knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was telling the truth and fought like hell to protect me and my kids.
I kept the recorder and journal in a fire proof lock box kept under my bed, he never thought about it as we had more than one, i kept birth certificates, titles and the like in them. I later took the tapes, flash drives I learned to be a must, to a safe place locking them in a safety deposit box for later.
I started using an old tape recorder and once I realized the value of these recordings I purchased a recorder with a down-load feature, I copied everything to two flash drives I alternated back and forth, keeping one locked up at all times.
Plus, I cannot express enough how vital it is for you to play the madness back and hear it on neutral ground. The first time I did this I was shocked myself as to the tone and intensity of his hate and control.
How to Protect Yourself Against Abuse
Protecting the Kids from Your Abuser
Keep your journal and recorder in a safe place where it can't be found. Abusive people don't want you talking about them in a bad or honest way. They expect you to lie and paint them to be something they are not.
It is therefore crucial they not find your journal or tape recordings. Consider getting one that doesn't look like a journal, something that wouldn't be noticed.
The bottom line is this, we are meant to be happy, creative and purposeful. We should never be treated in a way that makes us doubt our worth, safety or abilities.
There is no reason to stay in a relationship that makes you feel doubt and unease.
The best time to end it is as soon as possible and yet for many, years go by and issues mount. In situations like these please find a way to talk to someone you can trust.
It is very helpful to have someone sort out the facts and help you come to understand you are not off base. A good ear is always a good start.
You then can set a plan of action to better help you deal with it and get out in a safe and careful manner.
Life is brief to brief to live it unloved, you deserve to be loved unconditionally.
Much Love and Success, Katie