Tag Archives: domestic abuse

Emotional abuse in relationships

 

abuse photo

Emotional abuse in relationships

Unfortunately, many people use others to take their frustrations out on. They have a bad day at work and they transfer that anger and frustration on to a ‘safer target’ – usually a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband or wife. This behaviour is incredibly common yet very few people ever talk about it. I liken domestic abuse to an ice berg – what we know about and see is like the tip of the ice berg but the largest part remains hidden. The reality is very frightening. I would even go so far as to say at least one couple out of every five experiences domestic violence in some form – either physical, mental, emotional or all three. The longer the abuse continues, the harder it becomes to break free from the destructive cycle. The victim is subjected to a pattern of damaging behaviour that erodes their confidence and sense of self. Their identity is slowly chipped away and they become ever more passive.

Signs to look out for:

If you are in a relationship where you feel you cannot be yourself for fear of criticism or judgement, you are in an unhealthy situation. This does not mean it is necessarily abusive but the foundations are not good going forward. Each relationship is unique but trust your instincts.

Other signs – jealousy and possessiveness. No one has the right to own another person and control who they see and where they go.

Some abusers tend to be fantastic at knowing what to say in the beginning. They are charming and you feel so loved yet it can all be part of a strategy to hook you emotionally. Once hooked emotionally, a person is much easier to control. Abusive people tend to go on the offensive and move quickly in the early stages…be wary if they want to hurry things along. It may seem flattering but if it is the right relationship, it will continue in the right direction even if at a slower pace.

Someone who regularly belittles you, trying to keep you in your place is usually someone who has low self esteem and is afraid you will outshine them. They need to keep you full of self doubt in order to control you. Someone who doesn’t encourage you and who doesn’t want you to achieve your best is not ultimately on your side.

Minimising your feelings is another form of emotional abuse. Do you feel you are never heard? You talk but the other person doesn’t listen and keeps imposing their own views upon you. If you are told that you are “too sensitive” it is a way to avoid dealing with what has upset you. Every now and then we can be too sensitive, so ignore one-offs. However – look out for patterns of behaviour, they are more damaging. No one is perfect and we can all say and do the wrong things at times. The difference though is that a non-abusive person will genuinely not want to upset someone they love and will try not to do it again.

When things go wrong, is it somehow always your fault? This is another sign of abuse. Somehow, your words get twisted and you are left apologising and doubting yourself. See this for what it is – emotional abuse.

Testing your emotions – some people will test you. They will say something upsetting and see what response they get. When they see you get upset they feel satisfied that they still have an emotional hold over you. Instead of being assertive in their attempts to find out how you feel, they will play games to get reactions. Sometimes displaying passive aggressive behaviour.

Abusers are generally cowards who feel quite powerless. This is why they try to control others to give them that sense of power. They can seem like emotional vampires and in the long run they will drain you completely.

If you suspect that you are in an abusive relationship it might be time to see a counsellor to help you break free. Get in touch if you need help or check out my YouTube video for more info on abusive relationships.

Life is too short to spend it being a ‘smaller version’ of the real you!

Mandy X

 

Why it’s no good to stay in an unsuitable relationship

 

relationship photo

Why it’s no good to stay in an unsuitable relationship

Let’s clarify what an unsuitable relationship is. Relationships sit on a continuum with truly awful relationships at one end and perfectly satisfying relationships at the other. This post refers mainly to relationships where there is abuse.

There are many reasons that people stay in relationships-many of these reasons do not make sense yet we justify our behaviour in order to cope with staying. Most people stay in an unsuitable relationship out of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of being lonely and fear of never finding someone else again. This limited thinking creates a limiting life.

We take on limiting self beliefs in order to cope with our dismal relationships. We tell ourselves that things will improve, that we could never make it on our own or end up believing that we are somehow worthy and deserving of the bad treatment we are receiving.

Staying in an unsuitable relationship is like feeding yourself poison everyday. When you’re made to feel inadequate and inferior, it chips away and erodes your confidence and your self-esteem. I have been in relationships where I have become a shell of my former self. I began to believe all the criticism and felt powerless to change anything. The longer I stayed the more powerless and helpless I felt. An unsuitable relationship reminds you on a daily basis that you are living a life below what you deserve. Everyone is entitled to feel loved, worthy and supported. Abuse in relationships is wide spread. I compare it to an iceberg-the part that sticks out is the part that the public sees that the majority of abuse goes unnoticed. More often than not, abusers are affable and extremely popular with friends, family and colleagues.

The truth is however very different. Abusers are cowards and they take out their daily frustrations on their loved ones. So much abuse goes on behind closed doors and most of it is hidden because of the pressure we face to show a happy and united front to the world.

Do not live a lie. Remind yourself what you are worth what you really deserve and make the necessary changes to achieve your true potential.

There is a fantastic charity in my area called Your Sanctuary. Helpline: 01483 766822

Website: Your Sanctuary

There is also another charity nationwide: Women’s Aid

Take your power back. It is possible to do as I have done it-it’s not easy but it can be done. Believing yourself and expect better for yourself.

Mandy X

Photo by pissedoffpatriot007

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for trauma

stress photo

 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for trauma

CBT can be used for all sorts of problems ranging from anxiety, depression to post-traumatic stress disorder. I found this brilliant summary of CBT and have copied it below:

The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse: Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster and Regaining Control of Your Life
By Albert Ellis, Marcia Grad Powers

Important points to remember:

“Rather than focusing on the psychology of the abuser themselves, this book looks at what you can do (as the person on the receiving end of abuse)to help change the situation. There are 7 basic ‘truths’ which form the core of this book, as follows:
1. You, and only you, create your feelings.
2. Your view of a person, situation, or event determines your reality of it.
3. People, situations and events do not upset you. It is your interpretation of them and what you tell yourself about them that cause you to become upset.
4. Thinking produces feelings, which generate behavior.
5. Your view of yourself, others, and everything that happens to you is filtered through the screen of your beliefs.
6. You keep painful feelings alive with your upsetting thoughts by repeating them to yourself over and over again.
7. You can change your feelings and behaviour by changing the underlying beliefs and thinking that create them.

Mandy X

Photo by topgold

domestic violence in relationships

Domestic Violence

 

violent man and woman photo

 

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence (now more commonly referred to as domestic abuse), is a broad umbrella term for many types of abuse that take place, mostly behind closed doors. Domestic violence can be divided into three categories:

1) Physical violence

2) Emotional abuse

3) Mental abuse

Physical violence involves hitting, punching, restraining – any type of physical assault on another person. This type of domestic violence is a clear cut area as it is easily identifiable.

Emotional abuse is another type of domestic violence even though it cannot be physically seen. In many ways, emotional abuse can be harder to deal with as a victim often doubts their perceptions and the abuser will often belittle the victim, telling them they are being too sensitive. Emotional abuse involves name calling, constant criticism, treating you like a child, accusing and blaming (nothing is ever the abusers fault…they will tell you that you “made them do it” – this is utter nonsense. Never believe it. Silent treatment and withdrawing affection are also signs of emotional abuse.

Mental abuse and emotional abuse are similar in nature although emotional abuse affects how you feel about yourself and mental abuse affects how you think. Mental abuse could take the form of possession and jealousy, blaming you for doing things you haven’t done. For example – flirting with someone when you haven’t done anything. Mental abuse leads you to question your beliefs about the world and about yourself.

Domestic violence is a growing phenomenon and affects men and women. It can be found in all walks of life. Domestic violence is well hidden and victims are often reluctant to come forward due to humiliation. Many feel they should have known better and fear being judged by others. Domestic violence can be likened to an iceberg – we only see the tip but underneath, there is a vast number of people suffering in silence.

I grew up in a home where there was domestic violence. I remember waking up when I was four years to my mother’s crying. I went to the lounge to see what was going on and my mother’s boyfriend had my mother on the ground. He snarled at “get back to your bed”. I was so frightened I did as he said. My mother and I were both petrified of Phillip. Eventually, my mother found the strength to leave him and no one believed that Phillip could possibly be capable of hurting my Mom. This same man told everyone what a devout christian he was and even gave me a Holy Bible as a gift. What a hypocrite.

Abusers can often be charming, they are  adept and adopting different personas to hide their dark side. Domestic violence is all about control. Abusers are good at justifying their actions either by blaming the victim or by minimising what they do. They very rarely look at their own behaviour and change their ways as they believe they are entitled to behave the way they do.

Domestic violence often comes from abusers who have witnessed violence in their own upbringings but this isn’t always the case. Alcohol and drugs can worsen a situation. If you think you are a victim of domestic violence, get help. Abusers rarely change their ways.

Typical signs of domestic violence:

Physical abuse, jealousy and possessiveness, controlling finances, controlling where you go, who you see, how you dress. Belittling you, keeping you ‘small’ – often due to the abuser’s insecurities and low self esteem issues.

Help:

http://www.womensaid.org.uk/

http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/

http://www.refuge.org.uk

http://www.thehotline.org/    (USA)

A book on the subject of domestic violence that I highly recommend:

Mandy X

Photo by ulisse albiati