- They push for quick involvement.
- There is jealousy.
- They are controlling.
- They have very unrealistic expectations.
- There is isolation.
- They blame others for their mistakes.
- They make everyone else responsible for their feelings.
- There is verbal abuse.
- They have sudden mood swings.
- They have abused others in the past.
- There are threats of violence or self harm.
THIS NEED MORE NOTES
literally every one of these things occurred in my last relationship
If there’s one piece of advice I could give the whole world… Know these signs. Know them backwards and forwards and upside-down and inside out. Read up on this stuff and be able to rattle it off in your sleep.
Because when you’re there, or when your best friend is there, you won’t see it at first. You just won’t. Those signs, those horrible things… They don’t apply to THIS PERSON! This special, loving, kind-hearted, caring person. This person who’s changed your life; this person who’s so GOOD to them!
It’s so hard to see abuse, even when you DO know the signs. So let every one of these be ingrained in your mind - because it takes so many flags before you start to see it this way.
You know, posts like this one always bother me because they’re just another set of “prevent yourself from become a victim, stupid!” bullet points.
I was in an abusive relationship for 11 years; knowing these things probably wouldn’t have helped considering I was underage with an adult boyfriend, and everyone I knew told me how “lucky” I was to have someone willing to put up with my crazy ass, and who was such a “good influence” on my behavior. By the time it was painfully obvious that the “good influence” was actually controlling behavior and manipulation, I was a disabled young adult who’d been trained to be completely dependent and believed with every fiber of my being that I was in “the best possible situation, considering the circumstances”.
But thing thing that REALLY bothers me about posts like these is the notion that if people just **KNEW** what the signs of an abusive partner were, they’d somehow magically BE FREED from the situation.
I **KNEW** I was in an abusive situation. That didn’t make me any less disabled and unprepared for being abandoned by my family, it didn’t make me less friendless, it didn’t give me any resources or money or means to get away, or change the fact that when I *tried* to get someone to notice or help, I got KICKED OUT OF MY RESIDENCE. It didn’t make anyone more willing to SEE the abuse, it didn’t change any of the circumstances of my life, which I had to continue living as best I could.
When knowing doesn’t change anything, you might as well lie to yourself if it helps to keep you alive.
The ugly truth is, most of the people reblogging this would shit on me in an instant for half the shit I had to do to survive. It’s nice and ~honorable~ to say “I **KNEW** it was an abusive situation, so I got out!!!” But to “stay” for 11 years? You’re scum, stupid, you must like it, you’re the sort that “keeps going back”, you’re basically worse than the abusive person, because “what kind of person puts up with being treated that way?”
But I guess in a lot of ways this post isn’t *FOR* me, it’s for the precious Real People who don’t ~deserve~ abuse. It’s those Other People, people like me who suffer for years because they have no power, no recourse, no choices, no support, no advocacy, and no way out, we’re the ones who “must like it”, who “keep going back”, who probably “asked for it and got what they deserve”.
I agree that many of these types of posts put too much of the burden on victims.
But there is something to be said for making people aware of what constitutes abuse. I was in an abusive situation for many years with a family member, but I literally had no idea that what was happening was anything other than normal. It wasn’t until someone pointed out that I was being abused that it ever entered my mind that something was amiss. And because it never occurred to me that something was wrong, it never occurred to me that something could be different. It didn’t change right away, it wasn’t like I suddenly became master of my fate or whatever. But the knowledge that my situation was not what it was supposed to be made a difference because it made me feel justified that I had a right to feel unhappy. It wasn’t just that I was any awful person who wasn’t appreciative of my abuser. The things they said about me werent true. ect
But I think these lists may be more helpful for children in abusive situations or adults who grew up in abusive situations that grown ups in romantic/partnered abusive relationships.
I was 14 years old when the abusive relationship began.
The problem is, I was familiar with the above bullet points, more or less. Being aware and making the connections in your own life, especially at such a young age, are universes apart. ESPECIALLY when you have a developmental disability, like I do.
I’m trying to address the reductive nature of a bullet pointed list, and how it actually inhibits making connections like that. It also adds a connotation of “If you’re smart you wouldn’t BE in this situation”, which further inhibits making connections. Because you’re smart, right? You know what’s best for you. You’re not one of THOSE people, one of those women, one of the ones who gets abused, because if something bad happens to you, you *must* have somehow caused it, right?
Because if you didn’t deserve it, then it could happen again.
If you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it.
And if you can’t control anything that happens to you, you’re truly, deeply, terrifyingly HELPLESS.
And sometimes feeling that way is worse than blaming yourself.