Abuse can be a train wreck, or subtle, long term harm. Deep in a relationship, it can be hard to have perspective.
What’s healthy? What do I deserve? What’s happy? Is life really supposed to be like this?
Wow, I was out to sea so long. I forgot what happy could look like. I thought I deserved a lot of bad mixed in with my good. But no, I was wrong.
Here’s a list of what abuse can look like, in case you need a refresher.
- When you don’t like the self that the other person inspires in you. You don’t like who you are, with this person.
- Living on scraps like a dog that’s never fed but eats the little crumbs of chips and dried up scrambled eggs that fell under the table, tummy always grumbling, malnourished, and sad. Thinking it’s your fault, like if you were just a better dog, you would deserve actual meals.
- Basic things you need being denied you, like sleep, water, quiet, clothes that fit well, access to your own money, future, time.
- Physical violence against your person or property.
- Threats, unsafe feeling, being isolated from your support people.
- Being controlled.
- Having no privacy.
- Being forced into doing what you don’t want to do–sexually, emotionally, with housing, with childcare. Non-consensual anything.
- Neglect–medical, emotional.
- Being lied to a lot.
- When you’re scared of the person you’re supposed to love.
- Having to pretend and hide stuff, to get by.
- Feeling like you’ve been painted into a smaller and smaller corner.
- Nightmares and ptsd from your relationship.
- Not having room in your life for who you are and what you need.
- Feeling like you have to lie to your friends and family about the harm someone is doing to you.
- Self-harm escapism as a reprieve from your situation.
- When someone hurts themselves to hurt you.
- Feeling used all the time.
- Contemplating leaving all the time, but never having the strength to, or swinging between extremes in how you feel about the relationship.
- When other areas of your life are suffering from this abuse seeping its poison into everything. Or you just don’t have energy to nourish the good parts of your life, wasting everything, being abused.
Thank you for doing what you can, to recognize abuse and step away. Love to the lovers.