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  • Writer's pictureChristine Smith

Abusive Relationships/Domestic Violence

Abusive Relationships/Domestic Violence

Emotional , physical and psychological abuse, any or all of these erode the mindset and self worth of another persons sense of well being.

It more often than not involves one person exerting their will or power over the other. It undermines a sense of confidence and this has been aptly described to me as the,"abusers voice in their head, was louder than their own". This leads to a dependency- you depend on them through their control bulling, manipulation, degradation, coercion and/or verbal cruelty, at the extreme end physical violence and/or the threat of violence.

The perpetrator may manipulate in such a careful way that it can be difficult for others to take seriously and even harder to prove. Abusers can be men and women, it is not age specific , affects people from all different cultures, and across all kinds of relationships .

Things to look out for

  • statements such as "look what you made me do"

  • putting you down, name calling

  • ignoring you

  • monitoring your online presence

  • monitoring your phone and texts /who you speak to and then degrading/you or the person you are in contact with

  • not letting you go out alone

  • controlling who you speak to and see, isolating you from loved ones

  • sulking if you don't do what they say ... in extreme cases saying they will kill themselves if you don't do what they say

  • controlling your finances

  • running up debt in your name

  • telling you everything is your fault

  • making you think you are nothing without them and you "need them"

  • using sarcasm to belittle and put down

  • they cry say they don't mean it, its not really them

  • they love you so much that's why i do this

This is just some of the things I have seen when working with my clients. It can take a long time to heal the emotional scars ....

It can take time to heal ....

When being abused emotionally it can erode your self esteem, this can leave you not knowing who you are. This can make future relationships difficult to get into, second guessing yourself or not feeling you can trust your own judgement. it can affect your career, social life it can often lead to low mood and depression.

The thing not often expressed in literature is how hard it can be to turn off your caring feelings toward the person who is abusing. Saying things such as: "I can take it", "That's just the way he or she is, " if I stay with them, perhaps they will change and things will get better".

I understand why people stay and how hard it can be to disentangle from these kind of relationships. Family and friends can be difficult to turn to, not wanting to hear "I told you so".

Emotional abusers are unlikely to change within the structure of a relationship, they would need to be committed to change and admit that they have a problem. I am not suggesting you spend all your time getting them into therapy , unless they do it of their own accord it has little benefit and is rarely useful .

With Therapy we can deconstruct the mindset that the abuser has created in you . It is manipulation on a high level and can leave even the brightest and strongest confused. Integrative counselling will give the means so we can unpack what has happened, give the space to speak confidentially and feel the feelings to process the hurt and confusion and pain. You deserve to be happy and feel free to be you, autonomy means you can choose your next steps in your own time and be supported and cared for as you work through your emotions .

Help to move toward happier times.

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