I read an amazing post today written by a survivor of an abusive relationship which I really resonated with.
She said that some friends didn’t get it as they didn’t see the lie she was living, with others seeing him as Mr Nice Guy and her the Drunken Idiot.
She was good at faking to the outside while crying on the inside.
She said she may have damaged friendships along the way without being able to properly explain what was going on to others.
She finished by saying she is in a better place now and in a relationship with someone who treats her like she never could have imagined.
I see myself in her post and know this is how all those in abusive relationships feel.
Abuse is about so much more than being physically assaulted – in fact the physical abusive is absent in a lot of abusive relationships.
The kind of treatment that leads to the receiver feeling like they’re going crazy.
Often what the abuser shows their partners’ friends and family is their charming side.
Others think they are awesome.
The abuse stays behind closed doors, in secret.
The person being abused is seen by others as becoming unreliable over time, inconsistent, lacking in integrity, having fundamentally changed in a negative way, abusing substances, being a shitty friend and isolating themselves.
None of that will be blamed on the abuser, because they are the wonderful charming one.
Not all abusers are that clever though, for some it’s pretty obvious the relationship isn’t going well but then the blame is usually shifted to the person putting up with it.
“Why don’t they just leave” the onlookers think.
It’s not as simple as that.
Being abused is often something that happens over a very long period of time and it’s insidious.
It never starts like that.
They’ll charm the pants off you and promise you the world.
When you’re madly in love, it’s a lot easier to ignore the red flags.
Then it’s too late to leave.
You’re in it.
They erode your confidence and self esteem over time, very subtlety at first.
Little digs here and there about how you look or about certain friends and family.
There seem to be arguments every time you go to any social events, to the point you stop going to avoid an argument.
On the drive home from work you find yourself worrying about what mood they’ll be in.
One day you realise how isolated and unhappy you are.
You think it’s your fault.
You need to do better, be better.
You start focusing on “fixing” yourself in the hope it improves the relationship.
The more you continue with personal development, the more you start to realise the problem isn’t with you.
You start feeling more compassion for yourself.
You start setting boundaries.
It’s not received well – it creates more arguments and you get blamed for changing.
“You used to be fun” you get told.
Everything is still your fault.
One day, often many years later, there is a snapping point.
You can’t. Fucking. Take it. Anymore.
Everyone thinks you’re a bitch.
My neighbour, who I became best mates with after I kicked my ex out, told me he used to think I was just a miserable bitch.
He also used to hear the way my ex spoke to me, and realised why I was that way.
We’ve since become best mates who only feel joy in each other’s company.
In time, often a long time, you heal.
It frustrates you that you’re still letting them get in your head, but you deal with it.
You heal your heart.
You meet someone new.
Sometimes it’s also not the right relationship – this shows what you still have to heal, and you focus on healing it.
You leave a lot sooner that time.
If you commit to working on your baggage and healing it, over time, you meet someone who it’ll take time for you to fully give your heart to.
You watch, and go slowly, so you don’t miss any red flags.
But when you do finally open your heart to the right person, it’s the best gift you could have given yourself.
Because they’re actually worthy of your amazingness.
And over time, they get to teach you about real, true and enduring love.
They also show you how amazing you really are.
And you can finally be your true, authentic self, without criticism or judgement.
Even if there is judgement, you don’t care about it anymore.
Because you’re living your best life, and have worked your arse off to get here.
No mo fo is going to take that sparkly shit from you.
I’ve finally found myself in that place and it’s fucking glorious.
Does this hit home?
Much love to you xx
Catcha on the flip side,