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Surviving an Abusive Relationship

Surviving an Abusive Relationship

Guest blog by Kiana S. Harris

Abuse is never an easy subject to touch on but it’s one we hear about and may witness either often or have witnessed once in our lifetime. If you haven’t witnessed it, you’ve definitely heard about it. I myself, am a survivor of abuse. You’ll often hear the words “just leave” not realizing, it’s never that easy.

I felt like I was a target, I felt like I was already “immune” to abuse because at a young age I was exposed to sexual abuse by a close neighbor. My life went for a spin afterwards, “what do I do?” “who do I tell?” “is this feeling normal?” As crazy as it may sound, I brushed it off for a long time until I became a teenager and realized what bad habits it started to create for me and what type of “girl” it started to shape me into.

So, whenever I entered my first abusive relationship, I was actually pretty confused about my first “slap to the face” I thought I did something wrong, first mistake. A male or female can be an abuser. Abuse can be mentally, physically, emotional, sexual, verbal, etc. Seeking help is always a thought but rarely the first action taken. A lot of individuals believe abuse can only be in the form of physical, this is not always the case. After abuse takes place you’ll most likely hear from your abuser “I’m sorry, it will never happen again” or you’ll hear words along the lines of “I don’t know what came over me, that’s not me” or they’ll play into the victim role and try to make it seem like you’re the reason for their absurd behavior. First things first. IT’S NEVER YOUR FAULT.

An abuser’s objective is ultimately to control. They have to be in control all the time and once they feel they aren’t, they lash out. If you’ve experienced this, you know this first hand. You’re constantly living in fear. You may converse about it with your friends, family, co workers, associates, and they’ll sympathize with you but only for as long as they can “stand to.” Not realizing that it takes a lot for someone who’s being abused to “walk away” and sometimes, by that time, it’s too late. For someone on the outside looking in saying “just leave” is always the initial response but someone whose being abused will leave when their ready, keywords: “when their ready” and a lot of people close to them or close to you (if you’re a victim), will fail to realize this. The saying “sticks and stones may broke my bones but words will never hurt” WRONG.

This is where verbal, emotional, and mental abuse play a part.WORDS HURT. They scar you, they shape your mindset into thinking negatively, words will constantly replay in your mind, words stick to people just as much as a permanent bruise would. This is just as worse as physical abuse. Someone can talk down on you, can make you feel like you’re worthless, they can instill those words in your head until you, yourself, believe them. This took a toll on me the worst. I always told myself “I rather take a punch then have to deal with this.” It shaped how I viewed love, life, people, myself and it affected my self esteem deeply.

An abuser will always feel like their in control, only if you let them. Sometimes we may or may not recognize the signs of an abuser or abuse period, sometimes it’s completely overlooked or glorified as being “crazy.” Nothing’s cute about being crazy, nothing’s cute about being controlled or a controller. Don’t ever let someone guilt trip you with the infamous “I’m going to kill myself if you leave me” that’s what always kept me around because I didn’t want to be the reason why someone took their own life, I couldn’t have that on my hands. I finally figured out it’s a mind control thing, I finally figured out this person has issues deeper than their love for me if they feel like love is their only reason for staying alive.

I came to the hard realization that some people actually think this way, someone has had this belief their entire life. As I stated previously, I always tried to figure out what was it that I was doing wrong to make someone act this way towards me. I tried talking it out, I tried to get them help, I tried to compromise and sympathize with them. In the mist of me doing this for them, I realized I was enabling them more and letting them see that their actions were okay but clearly, they weren’t, the cycle continued until I said, “no more.”

I left. I sought counseling. I started loving myself and I never looked back. You can too.

It’s never okay.

Abuse hotline: 1-800-799-7233

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Kiana’s blog serves as an outlet for those suffering from mental illness, abuse, relationship issues, or struggling with self love. 

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Twitter: @kianasharris

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