boundaries

Getting Out of An Abusive Relationship

“You’re not stuck here. You’re choosing to stay here.” A rude awakening to say the least. These were the exact words I said to myself when I found myself in an abusive relationship.

We don’t walk into a partnership with someone knowing they’re going to abuse us. In the beginning, even with an abuser, it’s beautiful and they treat you beautifully. Being with them makes you feel like pure ecstasy is running through your body. You’re beaming with love and excitement and happiness.

But, somewhere down the line, when people get 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 comfortable—they take off their masks. And sometimes, underneath that it isn’t so pretty.

I’ve grown up watching people who are close to me be in abusive relationships. You would think I would know if I was in one. However, for the longest time, I didn’t... but perhaps, that’s because it was a different type of abuse.

Many of us, including myself for a while, have this erroneous assumption that abuse is only physical. But it’s not. It can be verbal and emotional.

𝐒𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐝𝐞: manipulation, control, gaslighting, intimidation, humiliation, treating you like a servant and putting most responsibilities on you, keeping you from work, making threats to hurt themself, smashing or destroying things, making you feel afraid and unsafe.

And... when do call them out, they’ll try to justify it. They’ll minimize or deny or blame the behavior on you.

You stay, because well for starters, they’re really good at changing your mind. They change the narrative to change your mind, perpetually. But also, it’s either a familiar cycle from your past or because you’re in love. Because you’re so far invested. Because you see changes in them, and when you see those slivers of change—it gives you hope.

I’ve been in two abusive relationships and I know how hard it is to leave. Especially when they feed you all the poetic bullshit, like: You’re the only one who gets me, understands me, knows how to show up for me. You make me feel safe, seen, and heard. You’re special. You’re not like anyone else. I’m doing my best to change and break my patterns. Please don’t give up on me.

Here’s the thing: abusers say they’re going to change. And they do...for awhile, until they don’t. Until they have you back in their grips, and then they repeat the same patterns and behaviors...over and over again.

That’s how part of the cycle works.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, I want you to know it doesn’t mean you’re weak. You’re likely a deeply compassionate and understanding individual. You feel for them and want to help them.

But also know: it’s not your job to fix them, it’s theirs. Their job. Their work. Their responsibility.

You’ve done enough. You’ve had enough.

There’s a way out. I promise. You’re not stuck. Leaving is hard—trust me, I know—but staying is even harder.

Please don’t let them convince you otherwise. You deserve so much more than this. There’s other options waiting for you.

You are self-sourced, independent, resourceful, and capable of taking care of yourself.

You are worth so much more than what they’ll ever give you. You deserve to be treated like the god damn queen that you are.

You’ve got this, babe. I believe in you.

Are You a People-Pleaser? Here's How to Stop.

I have a confession: I’m a recovering people-pleaser. For the longest time, I never saw it as a problem.

I operated under the erroneous assumption that this made me a good person. It meant I was this easy going, compassionate being who wants to make sure everyone’s taken care of and happy.

And then, it was brought to my attention that it actually was a fucking problem. I’d perpetually find myself in situations I didn’t want to be in. I habitually said yes and put on a facade acting like it was all okay...when deep down it wasn’t. I sacrificed my needs to serve others.

Can you relate?

If so, it’s time to neglect this tendency, because it’s working against you in every damaging way imaginable. And trust me, I get it. There’s resistance and discomfort to say no. Vocalizing your truth can be difficult.

BUT.

You can’t afford to put yourself last anymore. Do not trivialize your needs for others because your needs are just as important. Practice relinquishing this tendency by internalizing these truths:

☠️ You. Are. Worthy.

Your worth isn’t placed in others. It isn’t found externally. It isn’t defined by success or money.

You’re worthy simply because you exist. The end.

You’re not a doormat for people to walk all over. You’re worth more than that. You’re worth giving yourself the same love, respect, and care you give others to yourself. And you deserve to give it to yourself first, before anyone else.

☠️ We usually people-please as a way to gain control; to control how others perceive us, feel about us, or how a situation plays out.

Truth: the only thing in life you can control is how YOU feel and how YOU respond. You can’t control the outcome or how others feel or how they react.

☠️ Accept that not everyone’s going to like you and know that it’s okay, because all you ever need is for YOU to like you.

Seek validation internally, not externally. We often put the responsibility on others to love us, take care of us, show up for us...but it’s not their job—it’s yours. And it is their job to do the same for themselves—not yours.

☠️ When someone asks something of you, give yourself time to respond. Reply with, “I’ll get back to you.”

This gives you the space to process and decide if you have the bandwidth or if you even want to do it.

Set those boundaries, baby girl.

Devi

You Can't Afford to Put Yourself Last Anymore

Admittedly, I know how uncomfortably difficult it can be to use your voice to declare boundaries.

And it’s no surprise as to why.

All the conditioning from the patriarchal culture has influenced women to fall into the role of being the caretaker—to please and serve everyone in a way that forcefully demands you to self-neglect. You’ve been taught to sacrifice your needs in order to serve others. To put yourself last, and everyone else first, because somehow their needs are considered far more important than your own.

And when you do decide to say no—the world gasps.

“𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘴𝘢𝘺!?”

You’re shamed, judged, and questioned the minute you stand up for yourself. And all of it makes you feel wrong, so you find yourself dismissing what you said.

This is profoundly problematic, of course. But it explains why you, me, all of us women experience discomfort and resistance when it comes to setting boundaries.

The challenge is real, it’s valid, and I understandably get your struggle. But you can’t keep abiding to this. You simply cannot afford to put yourself last anymore. It’s not serving you and it’s working against you in every way imaginable.

It’s time to draw the line.

To stop saying yes when you mean no.

To build unbreakable walls that protect the things you just won’t fucking tolerate and autonomously decide what those things are.

To stop surrendering to someone else’s desires instead of your own.

Stand powerfully in your agency, baby girl.

Start right now. Start with something small, something easy and progress. I promise with each no, it gets seemingly easier.

xx

Devi