Welcome to the Life After Dating A Psycho Blog
The ramblings of a girl who survived an abusive relationship and went on to live a happy life. I'm glad you are here!
“Our first goal is prevention through education. Information is always the best way to combat sexual violence. Our larger goal is to raise awareness to an issue that should have no place in society and especially in our schools.”
Biden goes on to speak about the severity of our nation’s problem with sexual assault, and the distorted views that have led to a universal mentality of victim blaming. He speaks about our nation’s need to address sexual assault on college campuses, a place that rape and assault is so often covered up in an attempt to save-face and pretend like sexual violence is not a problem.
“Students across the country deserve the safest possible environment in which to learn,” said Vice President Biden. “That’s why we’re taking new steps to help our nation’s schools, universities and colleges end the cycle of sexual violence on campus.”
Biden’s speech is a long time coming, as sexual assault is the number one violennt crime on college campuses; for those who have been fighting for years to get our administration to pay attention, it is a small but significant step in the fight against sexual abuse. The letter, which addresses some of the widespread institutional downfalls, requires schools: to support victims of sexual assault by not punishing them for underage drinking and drugs (if involved) thereby recognizing rape and sexual assault as a far more serious crime than an alcohol-related misdemeanor; to inform survivors of their rights to a full investigation, providing advisement of the outcome should a review take place; and to investigate all reported sexual assaults in a timely manner.
He includes vivid stories of victims; victims that were brutally raped and assault that were later blamed for what happened to them because of the way they dressed or acted, the places they went, or the simple fact that they were hurt by someone they knew and loved. Passionately declaring that “When it comes to sexual abuse, it’s quite simple: no means no. “No means no if you’re drunk or you’re sober; no means no if you’re in bed in a dorm or on a street… And it’s a crime to disregard no. The allocation of blame has been for too many centuries allocated in a way that’s totally irrelevant and inappropriate.”
“So much more needs to be done to empower younger women as well as empower and educate younger men,” he added, touching on a very important aspect of the battle against sexual assault.
“No matter what a girl does, no matter how she’s dressed, no matter how much she’s had to drink, it’s never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ok to touch her without her consent. This doesn’t make you a man. It makes you a coward. A flat-out coward.”
I couldn’t agree more, Vice President. Thank you.
I highly recommend watching the entire letter.
Debunking 17 Popular Myths About Sexual Assault
1. Men rape women because they are overly aroused sexually or have been sexually deprived.
MYTH. Rape is not about sex, it is about power and control. No matter what, sexual contact by force, or without consent, is against the law. No matter what.
2. It is not rape if the victim isn’t a virgin.
MYTH. Every person has the right to decide whether or not they want to have sex EVERY time they do it. A person’s past sex life does not matter and is not a factor in deciding whether or not it was rape. Even if two people have had sex before, if one person forces the other person to have sex, it is rape.
3. Acquaintance rapes are not as serious as stranger rapes.
MYTH. Any type of rape or sexual assault is serious and has serious effects on a person’s life. Despite the common belief that you can only be raped by a stranger, statistics show that over 80% of rape victims know their abuser. Acquaintance rape sometimes can be even more damaging to a victim’s life because of the betrayal of trust.
4. Women provoke rape by the way they dress.
MYTH. Women have a right to wear whatever they want. There is no correlation between what people wear and if they are raped. This is an example of victim blaming.
5. Men cannot be raped.
MYTH. Although it is less common, men can also be victims of sexual assault. In fact, 1 in 10 men will experience rape in their lifetime.
6. Women who do not fight back haven’t been raped.
MYTH. Everyone acts differently when faced with a traumatic situation. Some victims fight. Some freeze. Some are afraid that if they fight back they will be hurt worse, or possibly killed. No matter what, it is still rape.
7. Only gay men are sexually assaulted.
MYTH. There is no correlation between gay men and men that are victims of rape. Rape can happen to anyone.
8. Only gay men sexually assault other men.
MYTH. There is also no correlation between gay men and perpetrators of sexual assault. Straight men also assault other men.
9. Men cannot be sexually assaulted by women.
MYTH. Although this is rare, it does still happen and is just as traumatic for the victim.
10. Erection, ejaculation, or orgasm during a sexual assault means the victims “really wanted it” or consented.
MYTH. Our bodies react to things differently. Many victims experience sexual arousal, however, it does not mean that they secretely wanted to be raped. Even if it might feel good, the lasting and long term effects are just as devastating and can be confusing for victims.
11. Only young, attractive women, or women who engage in risky behavior are raped.
MYTH. Rape can happen to anyone. Every age, size, appearance. Rape is about power and control. It is not about sex.
12. Rapes are committed by strangers at night in dark allys.
MYTH. This is the popular image associated with rape, however, this situation is a very small percentage of the number of rapes that occurs. Rape can happen anywhere. It can happen by anyone, to anyone.
13. Most rapes are committed by black men against white women.
MYTH. This is also completely false. Rape happens to, and by, every race of the human population.
14. Men who rape are psychologically deranged individuals.
MYTH. There are examples of perpetrators who are doctors, lawyers, politicians, professional athletes, celebrities, etc. There is not one type of person who rapes.
15. Women secretly want to be raped.
MYTH. No woman wants to be raped. If a woman says no, she means no. She doesn’t mean yes. Role play is different. If a couple engages in role play, both parties are willing parcipiants. This is different.
16. Victims hide, downplay, or cover up their stories of rape because it didn’t really happen.
MYTH. It is extremely common for victims to keep rape a secret. This happens for many reasons, often due to shame, guilt and fear. Victims may blame themselves. They might not even associate what happened to them as rape for many years. They may try to pretend like it never happened or try to erase it from their lives. One of the most important things a victim can do in order to heal is to tell someone, or many people, about what has happened to them. This takes times and is difficult to do, but breaking the silence eliminates some of the power the rape has on their life.
17. If a victim has been sexually assaulted there will be physical/medical/emotional evidence to support it.
MYTH. Most victims never go to the hospital after being raped, so often times there is no evidence.
*Research courtesy of Porchlight Counseling Center
The goal of SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.
What can you do to help? For starters, educate yourself on the reality of sexual assault in our society today. Here’s a quick review to help:
Sexual assault: Forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.
Acquaintance assault: involves coercive sexual activities that occur against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress, or fear of bodily injury. These sexual activities are imposed upon them by someone they know (a friend, date, acquaintance, etc.).
Incest: sexual contact between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc.). This usually takes the form of an older family member sexually abusing a child or adolescent.
Consent: Consent occurs when both partners freely and willingly participate in sexual activities.
The legal definition of rape includes any sexual contact without consent. Consent cannot be legally given, in most states, if a person is:
– Under 17
– Mentally incapacitated
– Drunk or high
Additionally, the absence of “no” does not mean “yes.” So, even if a person does not fight back or explicitly say “no,” they still are not necessarily giving consent.
- •1 in 4 females will be the victim of sexual abuse by the time they graduate from college.
- •1 in 4 teenage girls who have been in relationships reveal they have been pressured to perform oral sex or engage in intercourse
- •According to the U.S. Department of Justice, somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes.
- Victims of sexual assault and rape stretch across every age, race, class, gender and demographic.
- Sexual violence is the most common violent crime on American college campuses today.
- Young women, ages 16-24 are FOUR times more likely to be raped than other women.
- •84% of rape victims know their attacker
- •For every 1 rape reported, it is estimated that 6 are not
- •The most common reasons women give for why they did not report the crime is the belief that it is a private, personal matter or they are afraid their assailant will retaliate.
- •In 75% of college rapes, alcohol is involved. 55% of victims and 80% of perpetrators were intoxicated. Alcohol is the #1 date-rape drug.
- •1 in 12 college men admitted that they have performed acts that could be defined as rape.
- •30% of men admitted they would force someone to have sex with them if they knew they would not get in trouble.
- •On average, it takes a victim of sexual assault/abuse 5 years to tell anyone about the incident.
- •70% of women with eating disorders have been sexually assaulted or abused in their lifetime
- •99% of rape victims are female (10% male)
- •99% of rapes are perpetrated by men (1% are perpetrated by women)
- •Approximately 28% of victims are raped by husbands or boyfriends, 35% by acquaintances, and 5% by other relatives.
- •The FBI estimates that less than 37% of all rapes are reported to the police. U.S. Justice Department statistics are even lower, with only 26% of all rapes or attempted rapes being reported to law enforcement officials.
- •In a national survey 27.7% of college women reported a sexual experience since the age of fourteen that met the legal definition of rape or attempted rape, and 7.7% of college men reported perpetrating aggressive behavior which met the legal definition of rape.
- •The National Crime Victimization Survey indicates that for 1992-1993, 92% of rapes were committed by known assailants. About half of all rapes and sexual assaults against women are committed by friends and acquaintances, and 26% are by intimate partners.
- •Victims of rape often manifest long-term symptoms of chronic headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbance, recurrent nausea, decreased appetite, eating disorders, menstrual pain, sexual dysfunction, and suicide attempts. In a longitudinal study, sexual assault was found to increase the odds of substance abuse by a factor of 2.5.
- •Victims of marital or date rape are 11 times more likely to be clinically depressed, and 6 times more likely to experience social phobia than are non-victims. Psychological problems are still evident in cases as long as 15 years after the assault.
**Statistics compiled through Violence against Women, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice, RAINN, and Porchlight Counseling Center.
This is a great article about the life-altering consequences of sexting on one teenage girl and the reality of how technology has changed our world ….not always for the better. Written by Jan Hoffman for The New York Times, it’s a must-read. Check it out and pass it on.
During a soccer game when I was thirteen years old, I stole the ball from a defender on the other team and found myself on a fast break toward the goal. I can still remember the rush of excitement through my entire body, my legs pounding down the field as I told myself that no one could stop me, I was going to score. Then suddenly, a defender slid into me from behind, completely missing the ball but sweeping my legs out from under me. I fell backwards, landing directly on my back as the wind was knocked out of me.
The defender was given a red card, dismissing her from the game. After a moment I caught my breath, stood up, and took the penalty kick, scoring a goal for my team. I played the rest of the game, somehow uninjured by the nasty tackle.
The next morning, however, as I picked up my backpack and took a step up to climb on my school bus, I felt a pop in my back followed by a pain so sharp it was like someone had literally stabbed me with a knife.
The pain was so severe that I couldn’t go to school that day. My mother took me to the doctor, where I found out that two of my vertebrae had been knocked out-of-place, causing my hips to fall out of line and the muscles surrounding the trauma to spasm and tighten, locking my left leg two inches lower than my right and leaving my body in a crooked mess.
I didn’t understand. I had gotten up and played a soccer game after being knocked down, but I crumpled to the ground in agony while trying to take a normal step?
The doctor told me that the injury happened before the pain started, informing me that sometimes after a trauma occurs everything can seem fine, and then, while doing a seemingly normal or routine thing like bending to pick something up or walking up a stair the injury can suddenly be set off.
So, what does this injury story have to do with surviving abuse? Everything.
One moment I was at the top of the world, and the next I was blindsided by a blow that left me flat on my back trying to catch my breath.
Like most victims, I somehow got through the initial trauma. I stood up again and I went on with my life as if I was fine. And then, out of nowhere, everything caught up to me and my world came crashing down. The depression sank in. The anxiety. The hatred. The feelings of being unworthy and unlovable.
I did not understand any of it. I had survived, hadn’t I? I had succeeded despite everything, hadn’t I? I had kept it all together through the worst moments—when there were weapons in my face….when I was scared for my life….when I thought I might die before the sun came up again— and yet, here I was, falling apart because I lost my gym ID; furious that my new boyfriend had decided he loved me; panic-stricken at 4am from a bad dream.
What I have learned about abuse is that at its core, it is like any other serious injury. The sad part is that the internal damage often prevents us from seeing it as such.
1. What happened to you is NOT your fault. You did not cause it. It didn’t happen because you are weak or stupid or because something about you is flawed. When the defender tackled me during my soccer game, I never blamed myself for being injured. I knew that what she had done was wrong. I might have struggled with the unfairness of being hurt, but never once did I think, why did I let this happen to me?
As a victim of abuse, however, I was conditioned to believe that what happened to me was my fault. There was something wrong with me. I somehow deserved what happened, or was responsible for it in some way. I felt as if the abuse was somehow a reflection of me. I was ashamed and I tried to downplay the things that happened or keep them a secret.
Throughout the recovery process, it is important to keep reminding yourself that the abuse was something that happened to you. It was not your fault and it is not a reflection of you as a person.
2. Nothing is permanent. Pain is temporary–you will heal. There were days when I felt like I would never be ok again, and the little things I had taken for granted before the injury seemed so far away. I was mad that I couldn’t run. Frustrated that I was forced to lay still, but day by day I started to feel better.
After the abuse I struggled with the same feelings. If I let my mind wander, I become overwhelmed with fear that I might never be ok again. The pain was so strong that it was hard to see any sign of an end to it all. It was important for me to remember that nothing lasts forever. Everything is temporary. Pain will lessen. Time will heal. You can find happiness again.
3. Like any trauma, recovering from abuse takes time. After my back injury, it took several days before I was able to walk around again, and several weeks before I started feeling normal. I met with a physical therapist almost every day who helped realign my back and begin to strengthen the muscles around the damage. If I tried to rush through the recovery process, I put myself at a high risk of re-injuring myself and ultimately making the process longer. As hard as it was, I continued to do my exercises, ice and stretch and give myself time to heal. Slowly, I got better. Some days the pain was worse, and I adjusted. I listened to my body and I rested. As time went on, the pain got less and less, and I kept moving forward after each setback.
As you are recovering from abuse it is important to understand that the process can take time, and you should allow yourself the time you need to heal. For some people, this might mean waiting to begin another relationship. For others, it is accepting that there will be bad days, even years later. Instead of getting angry with yourself or thinking that you ‘should be over it by now,’ understand that recovery is a process. The best that you can do is to be good to yourself. There will be good days and bad days, ups and downs, but gradually, piece by piece, you will recover and the internal wounds will heal.
4. Setbacks happen. At first, it was difficult for my physical therapist to get my back realigned. Each time he was able to manipulate it into place, it wasn’t long before it slipped back out-of-place again. Gradually, the manipulations became easier. As I strengthened the muscles in my lower back they began to hold the discs in place for longer periods of time, until everything was healed. Since that time, my back has gone out again. Sometimes it happens after I overdo it, and sometimes it comes out of nowhere, but each time, I make adjustments, rest and give myself time to heal, and before I know it I’m better.
Same is true as I recover from abuse. I might do well for a while, but then I have a bad dream, or I start to get down on myself, or begin a new relationship, and I slip back into the depression and the fear. Each time, I have to realign my negative thoughts and feelings and give myself time to heal, reminding myself that setbacks are part of the process and I will get past this one just as I have gotten past setbacks in the past. Nothing has ever been as bad as the first time because I know what I need to do to get it back in place. I also know that things are going to get better.
5. Sometimes the pain gets worse before it can get better. When my physical therapist adjusted my back, stretched out my muscles and massaged the places that were especially tight, it was painful. So painful that I often had to bury my face and squeeze the edge of the manipulating table to keep myself from screaming. If someone would have given me a choice, or told me ahead of time the level of pain I was going to have to endure, I would have been tempted to say ‘screw this! This hurts too much, I will just learn to live with my back the way it is.’
In the end though, I knew that I wanted to run again. I wanted to play soccer again. Staying the way that I was and learning to live with the pain instead of being opened up to even more pain so that I could heal, meant that I would have to sacrifice what I wanted most. So, instead of remaining where I was, I told myself that the injury was going to heal and I was going to play again. I told myself that I was strong and that I could handle the therapy because in the end it would be worth it when I was back on the field with a ball at my feet.
As a survivor of abuse, it can be tempting to try to stay where we are. As bad as we sometimes feel, the thought of opening ourselves up again seems overwhelming. Talking about the trauma is like massaging the tight muscles. Sometimes it hurts like hell, but it helps the tension release and it allows us to heal. Pushing ourselves to trust people again, even though we know it puts us at risk, is like stretching out the muscles. It takes time to loosen them up, but in the end, it too releases the tension and the fear and allows us to heal.
I knew that I wanted to fall in love again. To meet a great guy and to have a healthy and loving relationship, just like I wanted to run again and to play soccer. Sometimes we have to keep focusing on the long-term goal, trusting that if we give ourselves time to heal, and to work through the trauma, it will be worth any pain or discomfort it in the end.
6. The muscles you strengthen are the ones that get stronger. As I worked to strengthen the muscles in my lower back and core, it was vital that I strengthened the muscles when my back was in place. If I performed my strengthening exercises while my back was out of line, the muscles that got stronger were the ones that held it out-of-place. I might have been getting stronger, but I was actually doing more damage in the long run. Instead, I had to make sure that my back was properly aligned before doing my strengthening exercises. Sometimes, this felt uncomfortable or unnatural because of the damage that had been done, but it became easier as the muscles strengthened and held the discs in place.
As a survivor, this is important to remember. The muscles that you exercise are the ones that get stronger. If the messages that you send yourself are constantly degrading and negative, ‘I can’t do this. I am stupid. There is something wrong with me. I am unlovable.’ then the fear, and the depression, and the anxiety grow stronger and stronger. However, if the messages you send yourself are positive, ‘I’m going to get through this. I’m more than what has happened to me. Setbacks happen and I’m going to give myself time to heal. I am an amazing, strong, beautiful person and I have so much to offer the world.” then you become stronger and more confident. Even if it feels manufactured at the time, repeating positive affirmations strengthens the positive voice and over time it becomes more natural.
7. Injuries are not fair, but they are part of the game. I was frustrated after my injury. Why did this happen to me? I ended up missing a big game. I had to sit on the sidelines in pain while my teammates ran around and played. As much pain as I was in physically, it made me things even worse to watch everyone else play because it didn’t seem fair. Had I been injured because I was a bad athlete? Was it because I was weaker than my teammates or because I had somehow made myself more vulnerable? Did I get hurt because I was a bad person and there was something seriously wrong with me? No. It was just part of the game. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and another player fouled me.
The same is true with abuse. What happened to me was not fair. As a victim, it is natural to wonder why things happened the way they did. Was I abused because I was a bad person? Was it because I was weak or because I made myself vulnerable? Was there something fundamentally wrong with me that meant that I deserved what happened to me? No. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and someone made decisions that hurt me.
There’s no way to be a competitive athlete and eliminate the risk of getting hurt. It’s part of the game. Injuries come in varying degree, they happen to professionals and amateurs alike, and usually there is nothing we can do to stop them.We can lift weights to strengthen our muscles, stretch out and warm up to prevent pulling a muscle and we can learn to how to protect ourselves from hard tackles, but still, sometimes we get injured. The same thing goes for relationships. We can look for warning signs and red flags when we begin a relationship, we can practice standing up for ourselves and we can speak our mind and be strong-willed and loving and independent, but still, sometimes we get hurt. If we take ourselves out of the game, we might lessen our risk, but we lose the chance to feel the thrill of scoring goals or falling in love. In love and in sport we have to find a balance between doing what we can to prevent injury or abuse without missing out on the what we want and deserve in life. A chance to be and to have something great.
Here are some signs that might indicate that you are dating a psychopath.
1. You feel like you are going crazy. Psycho’s are masters of manipulation. They turn everything around. They will make you feel like you are the one that is going crazy instead of them. You might become paranoid. You might worry about what you wear and what you say and freak out if someone changes your plans or something unexpected happens that you will have to explain later. If you are a peaceful person, you might find yourself constantly fighting. You might explode when you get too frustrated. You feel like there is something seriously wrong with you.
2. You feel like you are walking on eggshells. You’re not quite sure what will set them off, but you are afraid that something you do is going to make them lose their temper… Bump into an old boyfriend at the mall? Get a job offer in another state? Agree to babysit for your sister? You might be terrified of what your partner will say or do if you tell them.
3. You feel like you are dating Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It seems like your partner is two completely different people. Like flipping a switch, he can change drastically from one extreme to the next. One day, he is caring and loving and wonderful, and the next he is hateful and raging and mean. He used to put you up on a pedestal…and now all he does is try to tear you down.
4. You feel like you have no voice. You are afraid to talk, or when you do talk you feel like you are never heard, your words are taken out of context, misunderstood, or blatantly ignored. From little things to big things, you feel like your partner never listens. You might want to go to the movies–your partner will make sure you go out to dinner instead. You might think that the Bears are the best football team–your partner will convince you that you are stupid for thinking so because they suck. You might say that you aren’t comfortable staying overnight together–your partner does so anyway. You might try to talk about how you are feeling–your partner turns everything around and tries to talk about everything you’re doing wrong.
5. Your partner has no remorse. He or she might get upset–especially if you try to break up with them or say that you are leaving–however, there is no underlying remorse for hurting you. Even when they hurt you, they make you feel bad for the pain it has caused them.
6. Your partner has no guilt. He or she might say that they are sorry if they hurt you (hit you, scream at you, cheat on you…etc.) and promise that it will never happen again, but their apology is more manipulative than sincere. They often don’t actually feel guilty about what they have done, only that they were caught.
7. Your partner is a world-class liar. They lie about what they do. Who they talk to. Where they were. They lie about things they don’t need to lie about. They can look you in the eye and lie. They can swear on their life that they are not lying. If they get caught, they change their story.
8. Your partner is a chameleon. He or she acts one way when they are around you, but completely different around your parents, and completely different around their friends. In the beginning of a relationship they might seem like everything you ever wanted….usually this is because they are trying to act like everything you ever wanted. They change to fit whatever group they are in.
9. You feel isolated and alone. Your partner finds faults with your friends or makes you feel bad or uncomfortable about any time you spend with other people. Slowly, you lose your friends until you feel like your partner is the only person you have left. You have no support group and therefore your partner gains more power.
10. You feel like you are on a roller coaster. Your partner cycles from mean and vicious to sweet and loving, then back again. Over and over. Up and down. Back and forth. Each time he hurts you, he apologizes and promises that it will never happen again or that he will change. You want to believe that this is possible, but the cycle keeps repeating and each time your self-esteem is chipped away at, bit by bit.
11. You have no confidence or self-esteem. Your partner knows your weaknesses and he goes after your most vulnerable parts, hurting you where he knows it will do the most damage. You feel bad about yourself. You feel ashamed, lost, alone, confused, numb, afraid, crazy, stupid, ugly, fat, worthless, embarrassed, unloveable, wrong.
12. Your partner tortures animals, is mean to children, or nasty to waitresses. He might hit or kick your dog whenever he comes over. He might set traps for squirrels or rabbits and then torture them. He or she might be mean to people they think are “below them” or people who are defenseless, like babies or children. A healthy person is consistent in the way they treat people, regardless of their status.
13. Your partner has a bad reputation or a tradition of “messy relationships”. He or she might even brag about the fact that they have left a trail of tears behind them. They might talk about cheating on an old partner, or be proud of their reputation. They might speak badly about a previous partner, claiming that their previous partner was crazy, or a bitch, or an asshole. Other people might warn you about dating your partner–if they have a track record of abuse, most likely it is only a matter of time until they abuse you.
14. Your friends and family wish that you would break up. You might get mad at people for trying to convince you to break up with your partner, or make excuses for your partner because you are convinced that you are the only one that understands him or her. Your partner will play into this, claiming that other people are just jealous of what you have or are just trying to bring you two down.
15. Your partner has a sense of entitlement. He or she feels entitled to act the way that they do. For example, if someone hurts them, they feel they have a right to retaliate. If a teacher fails them, or a coworker says something bad about them, they feel entitled to revenge. Or, if they do something nice for you, they feel entitled to a reward, and if you don’t do what they want, they are entitled to punish you.
16. Your partner embarrasses you in front of other people or talks badly behind your back. He or she might spread nasty rumors about you. They might talk to other people about how bad they have it and how hard it is to date someone like you. They might call you fat in front of your friends, or make fun of your clothes. They might lose their temper in the middle of a restaurant because they think you are flirting with the waiter. They might bring up personal issues at inappropriate times.
17. One and one never add up to two. You’re not always sure what the problem is, but things never add up. Nothing seems right. You never feel like you know the whole story. You don’t understand what went wrong, or why your partner acts the way they do or what you can do to make things better. If you follow what they say, things still don’t get better. If you work hard to fix one thing, they will find something else that is wrong. Even if you were perfect, your partner would make you out to be completely messed up. If he or she does something that is clearly wrong, they will find a way to turn it back around on you. If they hit you, they will make you feel like it was because of something you did wrong. If they cheat on you, they will blame it on something you couldn’t provide them. If you catch them lying, they change their story….You start to feel like you are playing a game to which there are no rules and there is no way out.
18. Your partner has to know where you are and what you are doing at all times. Miss a phone call from your partner? They will accuse you of cheating. Talk to a member of the opposite sex, they interrogate you about it. Come home an hour later than usual? You better be ready to explain where you were and what you were doing and why you were doing it. He or she might spy on you, check the messages on your phone, talk to your friends without you knowing, have people “check up” on you, hack into your email account or Facebook to see who you are talking to. They might tell you you are not allowed to hang out with a certain person anymore, or wear a certain shirt, or go to a certain restaurant. Of course, your partner is allowed to do whatever he or she wants and you are not allowed to question them, but they will control everything you do.
19. You feel sorry for your partner. Because they have a depressing family life, come from a broken home, had parents that didn’t love them right, are in debt, can’t hold a job, have a disease, a psychotic ex, a broken heart, low self-esteem….whatever their story is, they will make you feel sympathy for it. A lot of times, these stories are sad. They are heartbreaking. But they make you feel like you have to stay with them no matter how they treat you, or that they can’t help the way that they act. As real as they might be, and as sad as they might be, they are a trap that keeps you stuck. You can’t control what happened to them, and you can’t solve it for them.
20. Your partner is the life of the party. They are charismatic. Charming. A smooth talker. They always have the a comeback, or a joke. They can be funny, easy-going, exciting, attractive. They can also be magnetic. You feel a pull to them, and they make you feel special. Eventually, this might turn into arrogance. They act as if they are the smartest, hottest, richest or most successful person and everyone knows it. They will even tell you this if they get the chance.
21. Nothing is ever your partner’s fault. He or she can’t take responsibility for anything. They always have an excuse or a story or someone to blame: someone caused them to act the way that they did. You did something wrong first to make them explode. The police have always been out to get them even though they never do anything wrong. Teachers and bosses are trying to make things hard for them on purpose. No matter what they do, or have done, nothing is ever their fault.
of females will be involved in an abusive relationship before graduating from college
I am not a doctor or a therapist. I am a survivor who wants to tell my story in hopes of helping others. I encourage anyone who is, or has been, involved in an abusive relationship to seek professional help. Without the help of professional therapists, counselors and social workers, I would not have survived my situation.
I tend to use feminine labels when talking about the victim and masculine labels when addressing the abuser. Both men and women can be victims, just as an abuser can be male or female. When you read, please disregard gender when necessary.