“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.