The diary of an abused woman. Excerpts from my own personal journal. How to recognize the signs of emotional abuse.
“Last night I spoke to XXXX and we fell into the same pattern old pattern of control through anger and abuse. It made me feel proud that the usual triggers did not jump start my anger. It made me feel excited to embrace this journey and self-discovery”.
“Anger can be used to regulate vulnerability in committed relationships.”
“I kept thinking of the emotional pain I felt as he was out buying new clothes, spending time with another woman and picking fights. Why would I let him demean me so? Am I really in a cycle of abuse or do I love him?”
“I actually caught him at his girlfriend’s house. He swaggered down the courtyard….and gloatingly said, XXX’s[house]”. “It was as if he was taking pleasure in his actions and having me see him with her.” Then he told me “he loves me, he wants to work this out. He has feelings for her, she’s not a whore and then he blamed me. I pushed him there. I don’t listen. I tell him what to do, he needs space and then I love you and I want you. Finally, I had enough.”
“I feel happier when I think of a life actually without XXXX. When I am with him I feel drained. He is verbally abusive and says things which make me feel bad or are meant to put me down. He does not protect me.”
“I am grateful I had the courage to leave him. Hooray for me!”
“When a woman is loved correctly, she becomes 10 times the woman she was before”
Does any of this sound familiar? Abuse takes many forms. Physical abuse is the most recognizable. We hear friends, family, people say if my partner ever hit me I’d leave him, but do they really leave when they are subjected to domestic abuse? The statistics state that 1 in 3 women are abused. Why? Because abuse takes many forms and not just physical. The other forms are more subtle and despite our independence and intelligence we still ask ourselves, “am I really in a cycle of abuse?” Plus, we have to look ourselves in the mirror and recognize our role. Recognizing our role DOES NOT mean we are to blame!
- Some of the signs of an abusive relationship include a partner who:
- Calling you names, insulting you or continually criticizing you
- Refusing to trust you and acting jealous or possessive
- Trying to isolate you from family or friends
- Monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
- Demanding to know where you are every minute
- Trapping you in your home or preventing you from leaving
- Using weapons to threaten to hurt you
- Punishing you by withholding affection
- Threatening to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
- Damaging your property when they’re angry (throwing objects, punching walls, kicking doors, etc.)
- Humiliating you in any way
- Blaming you for the abuse
- Accusing you of cheating and being often jealous of your outside relationships
- Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
- Cheating to prove that they are more desired, worthy, etc. than you
- Attempting to control your appearance: what you wear, how much/little makeup you wear, etc.
- Telling you that you will never find anyone better, or that you are lucky to be with a person like them
These are signs of emotional abuse. Some of these happened a lot more than I want to admit, some were just part of my normal. Despite my confusion about whether I was in an abusive relationship, my journal entries speak volumes.
What do your journal entries look like?